Weber, Paul D.

Paul D. Weber (b. 1949) is Professor of Church Music and Director of Choral Activities and the Sacred Music Program at Lenoir-Rhyne University, Hickory, North Carolina. Since 1999 he has served as Director of the Lenoir-Rhyne University A Cappella Choir, which has toured for seventy-three years throughout the United States and has made ten European tours, the most recent in May 2007 to Russia, Finland, and Estonia. Weber is also the conductor of the Lenoir-Rhyne College Singers and the Chapel Choir. Since 1996 he has served as coordinator of the university’s Sacred Music Program, developing it into a nationally recognized course of study whose students have attained several honors and awards, have won competitions and are currently serving local congregations or in graduate programs.

Weber’s hymns, anthems, and liturgical settings are sung across the church community. He is a contributing composer to new hymnals of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. He is also the editor of the new choral series from MorningStar Music Publishers entitled, “Sacred Music from Lenoir-Rhyne.”

Weber won the 1995 Chautauqua Chamber Singers Choral Composition Contest for the anthem, “Prayer for Unity.” In 1995 and again in 1997, he won the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians’ national composition contest with his setting of “Morning Prayer” and the canticle “I Will Sing the Story of Your Love”. In 1986, he was commissioned to write the music for the theme hymn of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America “Come, Share the Spirit”, and in 1988, he was awarded the St. Olaf Prize for his hymn text “So Great A Cloud of Witnesses”.

In 2003, Weber received the Raabe Prize for Excellence in Sacred Composition from the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians for a career of outstanding contributions to the profession as exemplified in a specific work. The winning anthem “Arise, Shine!” was first sung by the Lenoir-Rhyne University A Cappella Choir on its 2001 Spring Concert Tour and subsequently by the National Lutheran Choir, the Cantorei and Chapel Choir of St. Olaf College, and Luther College’s Nordic and Cathedral Choirs.

In February 2007, Weber served as producer for an album of hymn arrangements from the new hymnal of the ELCA, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, which features the A Cappella Choir and Lenoir-Rhyne Youth Chorus in new hymn settings for choir, organ, and instruments¬–many arranged by Weber and former graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University, Michael Costello.

His compositions exemplify the continuation of the Lutheran tradition. His “Magnificat” (1997) for soprano and treble soloists, chamber orchestra, mixed choir, and treble chorus received public acclaim in performances throughout the southeast and abroad and was given its 10th anniversary performance in December of 2007. “Letztes Gebet” a setting of Martin Luther’s last prayer was premiered by the A Cappella Choir in concert venues throughout Germany, including performances at Luther’s grave in a service of worship at the Castle Church of Wittenberg. His dramatic setting of Psalm 99 “The Lord Reigns” was premiered by the Lenoir-Rhyne Youth Chorus at the 200th anniversary service of the North Carolina Synod (ELCA) and received subsequent performances at St. Philip’s Cathedral, Atlanta under the direction of Bruce Neswick, and at St. George’s Windsor Castle, England by the Lenoir-Rhyne Youth Chorus.

Weber received a doctor of musical arts degree in choral conducting from The University of Iowa, a master of musical arts degree in composition from Yale University, and a master of music degree in organ performance & composition from Washington University, St. Louis. His composition teachers have included Krzysztof Penderecki, Jacob Druckman, Bruce MacCombie, Roland Jordan, and Ralph Schultz. He has studied conducting and repertoire with Tamara Brooks, Richard Bloesch, Jon Bailey, and Joseph Flummerfelt. Prior to his tenure at Lenoir-Rhyne University, Weber held conducting positions at Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania as well as The Albertson College of Idaho in Caldwell, Idaho. He was in the first graduating class of Christ Seminary-Seminex and received a master of divinity degree through the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. A resident of St. Louis during his high school years, he attended Concordia College in Bronxville, New York and Concordia Senior College in Ft. Wayne, Indiana before registering at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He was ordained in 1979 and remains on the clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Choral music by Paul D. Weber