Autumn 2021

Catch up on what's been accomplished and learn more about the Center for Church Music's new initiatives!


Lectures in Church Music 2021

The annual conference will be virtual only again this year, launching a two-year remembrance of the life and career of Carl F. Schalk. Among the features of the conference---

  • A concert of Schalk anthems with the choirs of Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest and Concordia University Chicago
  • A conversation between Steven Wente and Barry Bobb about the legacy of Carl Schalk.
  • Two Noël Schalk lectures
    • Scott Hyslop “Remembering Amanda Husberg” (longtime director of music at St. John the Evangelist Lutheran Church, Brooklyn NY.)
    • Deborah Jackman “The Hymnody of Herman Stuempfle: A Call for Christian Outreach and Social Ministry”

Profiles in American Lutheran Church Music 

Two new video interviews have been posted to the Center’s website…

  • Robert Batastini (interviewed by Michael Silhavy) A revealing, behind-the-scenes look at how church music publishers help to shape church music and equip its leaders
  • Lorraine Brugh (interviewed by Anne Krentz Organ) Showcases the long, distinguished career and impact of the Valparaiso University professor.

Schalk Scholar Benjamin Kolodziej has also completed a biographical essay (PDF) of Hal Rutz, church musician and professor at Concordia University Texas.


Composer Manuscript Archive

  • The manuscript archive of Dr. Paul D. Weber, pastor, church musician, composer, professor emeritus at Lenoir-Rhyne University has been set in place at the Center and posted online on its website. See also his very fine personal website pauldweber.com.
  • The extensive archive of M. Alfred Bichsel has been moved from the Scheele Library at Concordia University – New York (which closed in May of this year) to the Center for Church Music. Bichsel had an unusually rich background, being born in Switzerland in 1909 and immigrating to the U.S. 18 years later. He was not only a church musician and composer, but also an ordained LCMS pastor. He received a MSM from Union Seminary with further studies at Julliard, the American Institute of Musicology in Rome, and Eastman School of Music. He was bestowed a doctorate of letters from the University of Strasburg, France in 1943. He taught at both Concordia New York and Valparaiso University. Bichsel died in 1992.

A New Editor for "Perspectives" 

Mark Bender, recently retired cantor from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Des Peres MO is taking over duties as editor of this feature on the Center’s website. It will continue to feature pertinent essays by Carl Schalk as well as original writings from Dr. Bender and guest authors.

Hillert Award in Student Composition 2022

The Center in partnership with the ALCM is again accepting manuscript submissions from any student in a Lutheran university or seminary in the United States and Canada. Nominations may come from someone other than the composer. The submitted piece must be a church music composition (3-5 minutes in length) and suitable for a liturgical service. Compositions in all genres and from all geographical areas are welcomed. Cash prize of $1000 along with a certificate presentation at the annual Lectures in Church Music and possible performance at an ALCM national conference. Deadline: June 1, 2022. Submit to Barry.Bobb@CUChicago.edu. Include sound recording if possible.

New: William Wolfram Student Award in Liturgical Art

Similar to the Hillert Award, this award is open to any student at a Lutheran university or seminary. The award’s name honors the distinguished service to the Church of William Wolfram, Professor Emeritus of Art at Concordia University Nebraska.  It recognizes student artists who evidence commitment to the Christian faith and practice, excellence in artistic expression, sustained connection to the liturgical worship tradition, and commitment to the creation of art purposed for use within liturgical worship settings. The recipient will receive a certificate and monetary award of $1,000.00. Applications must be submitted as a single PDF attachment emailed to Barry.Bobb@cuchicago.edu no later than 12 midnight on May 1, 2022.

Composer Spotlight -- Hollis Thoms 

As a part of your autumnal listening, the Center recommends both the Passion and Requiem for 9/11 (2003) of Hollis Thoms. PDF scans can be found in his index on the Center’s website with links to performances found on the composer’s personal website. His Requiem in the time of the coronavirus (2020 will also be premiered this fall at the Center for the Arts in Baltimore, MD by the Bach in Baltimore ensemble under the direction of T. Herbert Dimmock.