About Concordia

From the Director

Pentecost Monday 2014

“...Come, holy Fire, comfort true, grant us the will Your work to do..."

As the summer season begins and the pace for most church musicians slows a bit, there is still plenty to do---the filing of music, repair of instruments, looking at new issues, and the visioning and planning for the fall services. The same is true at the Center for Church Music. The efforts of several volunteers keep established activities moving forward. Others are working to bring new ventures to life.  We hope that you will check back from time to time to see what's happening and maybe even offer a suggestion or two.    

  • “Devotions on the Hymn of the Week” for the summer months from  various authors (written by both clergy and laity).
  • “Profiles in American Lutheran Church Music”- video interviews of five important figures are posted and another ten are scheduled for taping this summer.  PDF essays on other subjects are regularly being added. Check out the new, fascinating look at Edward Rechlin by Victor Gebauer.
  • “Reflections” from Paul Westermeyer on being a church musician, the importance of singing the psalms, and the basic human need to sing.
  • “Perspectives” – from Carl Schalk with editor Nancy Raabe on balance and simplicity in our worship.
  • An inaugural e-newsletter from Linda Kempke has been launched. 
  • “Conversations” – an engaging dialog between Carl Schalk and Paul Westermeyer on Lutheran identity in congregational song

If you have any comments or suggestions about the website, feel free to send them to Barry.Bobb@CUChicago.edu.


Other recent progress:

If you have already visited the “About the Center” feature, you know that this website is but one of an array of activities seeking to fulfill the Center’s purpose and vision.

Print Publications

The Center is preparing to publish Singing the Church's Song: Essays and Occasional Writings by Carl Schalk.  We expect a release date in early 2015.

The Center has entered into an exciting partnership with MorningStar Publications to publish the book Essays on Church Music in the United States: 1760---1900 by David Music (Baylor University) and Paul Westermeyer (Luther Seminary, St. Paul MN). Publication is expected in October 2014.

Three monographs in the “Shaping American Lutheran Church Music” series have been published and distributed to American Lutheran seminaries and universities.  They are also available for sale through the Lutheran University Press website and Amazon.

  • August Crull and the Story of the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book 1912 – Jon Vieker
  • The Precious Gift:  The Hymns, Carols, and Translations of Henry L. Lettermann – Scott Hyslop
  • Harriet Reynolds Krauth Spaeth (1845-1925) – Robert D. Hawkins


  • The cataloging of the Richard Hillert (3000+) manuscripts has been completed by Gloria Hillert
  • The cataloging of the Schalk American Lutheran Hymnal Collection was completed by CUC graduate student intern Bosijlke Vukobrat
  • Carl Schalk donated his manuscript collection to the Center in September 2013. It is now in the process of being catalogued by Linda Kempke and Nancy Raabe
  • The original manuscripts and sketchbooks as well as 300+ original recordings of the sainted Paul Manz are being moved to the Center on Monday, June 16th. (The rest of the Manz papers are archived at Concordia University, St. Paul MN)
  • Seven other prominent Lutheran composers have committed their manuscript collections to the Center. These are in the process of being organized and moved to the Center.  We are also in discussions with several other composers and hymn writers.   
  • 60+ important reference works were recently donated to the Center by various publishers and were catalogued by the CUC library staff and added to the resource room.

Digital Initiative 

The Center is working on a partnership with hymnary.org to digitize the Schalk American hymnal collection. Harvey Hahn, with his background in church music and library science has been an enormous help in this effort.  Phase I will include the twenty-two first editions included in the collection. Scanning and coding will begin by July 1st.

Director Travel for the Summer

I am planning on attending a couple of the regional gatherings of the Assocation of Lutheran Church Musicians as well as the LCMS Institute on Liturgy, Preaching and Church Music at Concordia University Nebraska July 28-31.

Your Support Is Needed          

If you would like to support the work of the Center financially or with your time and expertise, please contact me.  There is plenty of work to be done!

"Come, Holy Spirit, fill us with Your power!"

Peace and joy,

Barry L. Bobb

Center for Church Music

Meet the Director

Barry Bobb
Barry Bobb
Email: Barry.Bobb@CUChicago.edu

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