Conference Speakers

Opening Remarks: Luther’s Theology of Music and Singing with the Lutherans

Who: Marit A. Trelstad, PLU Chair of Lutheran Studies and Professor of Constructive and Lutheran Theologies at PLU

Bio: Dr. Trelstad has a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion and Theology from Claremont Graduate University and an M.A. in Systematic Theology from Luther Northwestern Seminary. Her scholarly work combines feminist, process and Lutheran theologies and has focused on Christology, theological anthropology, the doctrine of God, and science and religion. As a contributor and editor, she published Cross Examinations: Readings on the Meaning of the Cross Today (Fortress, 2006) and contributed chapters to Transformative Lutheran Theologies (Fortress, 2010), Lutherrenaissance: Past and Present (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2014), Theologies of Creation: Creatio Ex Nihilo and Its New Rivals (Routledge, August 2014) and Creating Women’s Theology: A Movement Engaging Process Thought, (St. Louis:  Chalice, 2011).

Presentation Title: The Church’s Song: Always in Reform

Who: David Cherwien, Director of The National Lutheran Choir

Bio: Dr. David Cherwien serves as Cantor at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, a parish known for its passion for traditional liturgy and creative, high-quality music. He also serves as editor of the National Lutheran Choir Series of choral music published by Morningstar Music Publishers. Cherwien is a founding member of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians and has served in its leadership in a variety of capacities, including as National President. He is a member of the American Choral Director’s AssociationAmerican Guild of Organists, Chorus America, and Choristers Guild.

Cherwien holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance and the Master of Arts degree in Theory and Composition from the University of Minnesota. In the Fall of 2000, he was honored as a “Distinguished Alumnus” by Augsburg College (Minneapolis, Minn.), where he studied choral music education and organ performance as an undergraduate. He also spent two years at the Berlin Church Music School studying conducting, composition and organ.

Cherwien is a prolific composer with over 150 publications with several publishers, and is the 2007 winner of the Raabe Prize for Excellence in Sacred Composition for his piece, “The Souls of the Righteous.” For the National Lutheran Choir alone, Cherwien has composed at least 24 new works during his tenure with the Choir.

Hymn Festival: 500 Years of Singing

Who: Paul Tegels, Associate Professor of Music and University Organist at PLU

Bio: Dr. Paul Tegels, a native of the Netherlands, is Associate Professor of Music, and serves as University Organist at Pacific Lutheran University. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Organ Performance and Pedagogy and his Master of Arts Degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Iowa, where he studied organ with Delores Bruch, and choral conducting with William Hatcher. Other degrees and awards include the Artist Diploma and the Master of Music Degree in organ performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston where he studied with Yuko Hayashi and William Porter. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship from the Netherlands-America Commission for Educational Exchange.

He holds the teaching and performance degrees from the Stedelijk Conservatorium in Arnhem, The Netherlands, where he studied organ with Bert Matter and harpsichord with Cees Rosenhart. He has done extensive research on the organ and harpsichord concertos of Franz Joseph Haydn, and has played the first American performance of the Haydn Organ Concerto in D, Hoboken XVIII-2, of which he has prepared a performance edition.

Currently he is working on a publication of 4 hand organ works/arrangements. He is past dean of the Tacoma Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and is past president of the Westfield Center for Keyboard Studies.

Prior to his appointment at PLU, he taught at Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS. Tegels has performed extensively in solo and ensemble concerts in the United States, Europe, Japan, and New Zealand. He has performed at National Conventions of the Organ Historical Society, and has played some of the most significant organs in the US. As a lecturer, he has presented numerous programs at chapter meetings of the American Guild of Organists, and at other conventions. He also performs frequently in duet concerts with University of Illinois professor of organ, Dana Robinson.

Hymn Festival: 500 Years of Singing

Who: David C. Horton, Director of Music Ministries at Faith Lutheran in Redmond, Wash.

Bio: David C. Horton, pianist, and composer, is a native of Southern California. He earned his B.M. in Composition and Keyboard Studies at Pacific Lutheran University and an M.M. in Composition (emphasis in dance and media collaboration) from the University of Oregon (Eugene, Ore.). Horton has performed with several prominent Pacific Northwest and Midwest ensembles and theater companies, including Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West, the Oregon Bach Festival Composers’ Symposium (Eugene, OR), and has been a featured artist with Music Northwest, Seattle Pro Musica, (Alex) and Taylor Dance (New York, NY), TRANSForm National Dance Collective, Ashland Productions, and Old Log Children’s Theater (Minneapolis, Minn.).

David C. Horton, pianist, and composer, is a native of Southern California.

Horton currently serves as the Director of Music Ministries at Faith Lutheran Church (Redmond, Wash.). He is the Artistic Director of Fine Arts at Faith in Redmond, which hosts professional music ensembles and solo artists from the Western Washington Region. He currently sings with Seattle Pro Musica and serves on the Executive Council for the Northwest Washington ELCA Synod.

Presentation Title: A Brief History of the Lutheran College Choir Tradition in America

Who: Richard Nance, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at PLU

Bio: Dr. Richard Nance is professor of music and director of choral activities at Pacific Lutheran University, where he conducts the Choir of the West and Choral Union. He holds degrees from West Texas State University and Arizona State University, and prior to coming to PLU in 1992 he taught at Amarillo (Texas) College and the public schools of Texas and New Mexico. Nance is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, and he has been a Washington state and Northwest division president in that organization.

Nance’s choirs have long had a reputation for excellence, and have performed at many prestigious events including the American Choral Directors Association National Conference (2001, 2013), ACDA Division Conferences (1996,1998, 2002, 2006, 2012, 2014), the 2011 Harmonie Festival in Lindenholzhausen, Germany (two gold awards and one silver), the 2014 Florence International Choral Festival (winner in two categories and for outstanding conductor), the 2015 Anton Bruckner Choral Competition in Linz, Austria (winner in two categories and the Anton Bruckner award for winning the entire competition), and at the 2015 National Collegiate Choral Organization Conference. Richard Nance received the 2011 and 2013 “American Prize” for Choral Conducting and received the 2013-2014 K.T. Tang Faculty Excellence Award for Research at Pacific Lutheran University. Also active as a composer, Nance has works published by Walton Music, Hinshaw Music and Colla Voce Music. He composed the prestigious Raymond W. Brock Commission (2002) for the American Choral Directors Association.

Presentation Title: A Theology of African American Sacred Song and Liberation 

Who: Stephen Newby, Director of the Center for Worship at Seattle Pacific University

Bio: A native of Detroit, Mich., Dr. Stephen Michael Newby is an accomplished composer, gospel/jazz vocalist, and worship leader whose works have been performed by the Cascade Youth Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Ann Arbor Symphony, Canton Symphony Orchestra, New Haven Symphony, Savannah Symphony, and New World Theater Orchestra; and have earned him numerous awards and grants.

In 1984 Newby earned a bachelor of arts in vocal music education and flute performance from Madonna College in Livonia, Mich. In 1987 he earned a master of music in jazz composition and arranging from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where he did his studies in composition under Robert Sutton, Frederick Tillis, Jeff Holmes, and Robert Stern. Returning to Michigan, he completed his doctorate of musical arts in composition in 1994 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. There he studied with William Albright, Michael Daugherty, George Wilson, Fred Lerdahl, and Pulitzer Prize winners William Bolcom and Leslie Bassett.

In addition to directing the Center for Worship, Newby serves as director of the SPU Gospel Choir and the Worship Arts Ensemble, and leads men’s ministry on campus. He has served as a worship pastor for more than 25 years in Michigan, Massachusetts, Washington, and California, and leads new worship music programs at Seattle Pacific University.

Newby’s awards and grants include the National Endowment of the Arts 2005 St. Paul, Minnesota, Continental Harmony Grant; the King County Arts Commission of Washington Grant; The Rackham School Fellowship for Ethno-musicological Research in Dakar, Senegal; and the John Wesley Work III National Composers’ Award.