Dr. Anton Armstrong, St. Olaf College
Anton Armstrong, Tosdal Professor of Music at St. Olaf College, became the fourth conductor of the St. Olaf Choir in 1990 after ten years in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he had served on the faculty of Calvin College and led the Calvin College Alumni Choir, the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, and the St. Cecilia Youth Chorale. Dr. Armstrong is a graduate of St. Olaf College and earned advanced degrees at the University of Illinois and Michigan State University. He is editor of a multicultural choral series for Earthsongs Publications and co-editor (with John Ferguson) of the revised St. Olaf Choral Series for Augsburg Fortress Publishers. In June 1998, he began his tenure as founding conductor of the Oregon Bach Festival Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy. A graduate of the American Boychoir School, Dr. Armstrong served for over twenty years on the summer faculty of their summer program ALBEMARLE and held the position of Conductor of the St. Cecilia Youth Chorale, a 75-voice treble chorus based in Grand Rapids, from 1981-1990. He has conducted the Troubadours, a 30-voice boys ensemble of the Northfield Youth Choirs, since 1991. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Boychoir School and the Board of Chorus America.
Dr. John D. Witvliet, Calvin College
John D. Witvliet is director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and associate professor of music and worship at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, respectively. He also teaches in the religion department at Calvin College. His areas of interest include the history of Christian worship, worship practices in various denominations, biblical and systematic theology of worship, the role of music and the arts in worship, and consulting with churches on worship renewal. "At its best, Christian worship reflects and conveys the beauty of God, profound gratitude for the gospel of Christ, and eagerness to deepen self-giving service in God's world. In my teaching, I hope to invite pastors and worship leaders to plan and lead services that reflect this vision, to offer worship that is both profoundly biblical and culturally relevant. An important part of this learning process is encountering the wisdom of Christian communities in cultures and historical periods very different from our own. Such encounters deepen our sense of solidarity with the whole body of Christ, and also sharpen, humble, and enrich our ministry."
Dr. Paul Westermeyer, Luther Seminary
Paul Westermeyer is Emeritus Professor of Church Music at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he taught, served as the Cantor, and directed the Master of Sacred Music degree program with St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. Prior to coming to Luther Seminary he was Professor of Music at Elmhurst College, IL where he chaired the Music Department, directed the College Choir and oratorio chorus, and taught courses in church music, hymnody, and worship. He was Visiting Professor of Church Music at Yale University's Institute of Sacred Music; Cantor and Assistant Pastor at Ascension Lutheran Church in Riverside, Illinois; Editor of The Hymn, the quarterly journal of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada; National Chaplain of the American Guild of Organists; and President of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. Westermeyer is an ordained Lutheran pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and a graduate of Elmhurst College, Lancaster Theological Seminary, the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary in New York, and the University of Chicago. Westermeyer's publications relate to his lifelong interest in theological, musical, and liturgical intersections. The Church Musician weaves some of these concerns together in a perspective on the role and vocation of the church musician; With Tongues of Fire surveys some twentieth century hymnody and hymn writers; Let Justice Sing analyzes hymnody and justice; Te Deum scans church music from the Old Testament to the present; and the Hymnal Companion to Evangelical Lutheran Worship discusses each hymn and tune in the hymnal.
Dr. Gene Peterson, BETHEL UNIVERSITY
Dr. Gene Peterson is the Director of Choral Activities at Bethel University (St. Paul, Minnesota). Previously he served as the Associate Director of Choral Activities and conductor of the University of Tennessee Concert Choir and UT Men’s Chorale. Peterson serves as the Director of Choirs at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church in Knoxville where he conducts the 100-voice Sanctuary Choir, 70-voice Rejoice Youth Choir, Cedar Springs Orchestra, and plays as a pianist in the Cedar Springs Worship Band. Prior to his arrival to Tennessee, Dr. Peterson has held posts as music director and conductor for college, high school, church, and community choirs in California and Washington. Ensembles under his leadership have performed in venues throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, including the Sistine Chapel, the Sydney (Australia) Opera House, and Chicago Symphony Hall. Dr. Peterson regularly appears as a clinician and adjudicator for local, regional, and international choral festivals. Dr. Peterson holds a Bachelor of Music in Choral Conducting and a Masters of Arts in Education from Chapman University in Orange, California and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington, Seattle.