Religious Life During Poteat's Administration 75
was appointed assistant organist. While he was at Columbia
University he was a member of the choir of the Brick Presbyterian
Church and later bass soloist in the Church of the Intercession, and
gained much from both university and churches.
During his absence from Wake Forest, 1908-12, the choir was
directed first by Professor J. H. Highsmith and later by Mrs. Wheeler
(Louie Poteat) Martin, and the glee club by the former. On returning
to the College in September, 1912, Dr. H. M. Poteat assumed
direction of both. His skill as an organist was already generally
recognized and he was often called to give organ recitals both in
North Carolina and in other states, in institutions of learning and in
churches, and was in demand at many summer assemblies to conduct
the music. He took the lead in securing the organ for the new church,
which was installed in the spring of 1917, and on which he gave a
recital, April 26, 1927; the record is that "he delighted a large
audience." Since that time several times every year he has continued
giving recitals, and not infrequently on Sunday evenings giving mixed
organ and song recitals in place of the regular services. It is, however,
in his work of director of the choir and the congregational singing that
he has made his greatest contribution. For the former he has utilized
not only the local musical talent but also that found among the
students and their wives and has done it so well that the Wake Forest
choir has acquired a wide reputation for excellence. The service he
has rendered in improving the congregational singing is also worthy
of praise. He has tolerated nothing tawdry in words or music, but has
taught many generations of students to love what is chaste and noble
in the service of
In Practical Hymnology, published in 1921,
Dr. H. M. Poteat gave a rather emphatic expression of his views on
the tawdriness of much that gets into current hymn books. He
continued as director and organist until June, 1942, when he was
succeeded by Thane E.
1 Visitors often remarked on the superior quality of the music of the church. At
the eleven o'clock service on Sunday, December 6, 1914, Dr. H. F. Cope, occupying
the pulpit, congratulated the church on having directors of the song service whose
choice fell on such songs as he had heard that morning, one being "In Immanuel's
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