2012-04-21 / News

Christ UMC honors long-time musician

BALTIMORE – Music is an essential part of any church’s worship service, whether it is a more traditional style of worship, or a more contemporary version.

Christ United Methodist Church has been blessed with a most talented musician for the past 30 years. Last Sunday, the church celebrated the talents and contributions of Helen Hodsden, a talented musician. She has spent the majority of her life playing the piano and organ for the benefit of everyone around her. Mrs. Hodsden has also used her talent to train and tutor aspiring musicians with a passion for music.

Ms. Hodsden was born in Kansas to a Presbyterian father and a Chinese mother. She did not receive any formal training on the piano until the 8th grade. “My grandmother was a very accomplished organist,” said Ms. Hodsden. “That’s where I got my talent, I think.”

Gifted with her natural knack for piano and her training, Helen then attended Baker College in Kansas on a scholarship. Three years into her schooling, Helen met Steve Hodsden, an active member of the US Army. She joined the USO at dances. After Steve was out of the service, he attended The Ohio State University, going on to earn his medical degree.

The couple moved to Balti- more in 1953, where Mr. Hodsden opened a family practice. Ms. Hodsden helped raise their children. She began to tutor students in 1966. She was teaching up until five years ago, when she retired from formal tutoring.

Ms. Hodsden was also involved with several Baltlimore organizations – the Wimodausis, which stood for Wise Mothers Daughters and Sisters. The group promoted greater cultural and societal influence for women. Dottie Harman, a member at Christ United Methodist Church, was a Wimodausis member and said that Ms. Hodsden “gave freely of herself” until the organization faded away due to lack of member support.

Ms. Hodsden began playing the piano and the organ for CUMC more than 30 years ago. She has played for more than 100 weddings. Helen also played for funerals and church services within the church and community.

The choir directors were always grateful for her presence at church.

“Helen has been a very dedicated person as she has served her Heavenly Father for many years,” said past director Becky Ety, “Many times she did not have a vacation or break from her position as organist, because there was no one to take her place.” Mrs. Ety added that Mrs. Hodsden was a blessing to both the church and its pastors.

Former director Kristy Schooler also agreed, adding, “Helen is so gifted, but so humble about her talent... I always felt so comfortable when she accompanied me. Honestly, I often felt like I was accompanying her!”

Her commitment to the church and her love of music was celebrated with with a special worship service last Sunday. A reception in her honor followed in the Fellowship Hall. Her former students were encouraged to attend and congratulate her success and her achievements.

Anyone who missed the event may send cards of well wishes or congratulations to Christ United Methodist Church, 700 South Main Street, Baltimore, OH 43105.

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