It was our joy to recently honor our beloved choir conductor, Don Neuen, on his well-deserved retirement. During his over six decades of creating music, Don has built a legacy of choral excellence that resonates in Orange County and has extended across the globe. He has passionately conducted many choirs, performed in many incredible venues, and expertly taught and written curriculum for chorale graduate students at several prestigious universities.
Don means so much to this ministry — he has helped to establish and maintain the Hour of Power’s world-renowned reputation for outstanding musical worship. But, more importantly, Don instilled a legacy of passion, kindness, loyalty, and friendship to this ministry. We are so thankful for him.
We recently got to sit down with Don as he remembered his time at the Crystal Cathedral and Shepherd’s Grove, reflecting on the people and the memories that mean the world to him:
Don recalled some of his favorite memories with the Hour of Power Choir, or, as he puts it, his family:
On Thursday, April 20th, we were honored to throw Don Neuen a retirement celebration entitled, Lasting Legacy: A Tribute with Don Neuen (or Don Voyage as several members of our staff coined the night). Don Neuen has meant, and continues to mean so much to so many people in this ministry. To the Hour of Power viewers, he is the beloved choir conductor. To the Shepherd’s Grove congregants, he is a friend. To Pastor Bobby Schuller (and his father and grandfather before him) he is “the greatest.” Above all, to the Hour of Power Choir, he is simply “dad.”
It was a night full of memories, powerful speeches about Don, a delicious barbeque meal by our very own Evan Carl (son of former Hour of Power Orchestra Director Johnnie Carl), and brilliant music. Don would often advise the Hour of Power Choir and Orchestra to not give 100% of themselves of their voices and music because later in life, they would have nothing left. That night, however, the musicians delightfully disobeyed their beloved leader, giving him their absolute best.
Just like Don Neuen, this night won’t soon be forgotten. God loves you Don, and so do we.
We will have a DVD available for purchase in a couple weeks that features event coverage of the whole night and a special behind the scenes interview with Don Neuen!