Westermeyer, Paul

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Biography

Dr. Paul Westermeyer is Emeritus Professor of Church Music at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, where he taught for twenty-three years, served as Cantor, and directed the Master of Sacred Music degree program with St. Olaf College. Before coming to Luther Seminary he taught at Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, Illinois, for twenty-two years. A graduate of Elmhurst College, Lancaster Seminary, the School of Sacred Music at Union Seminary in New York, and the University of Chicago, he was Visiting Professor of Church Music at Yale University's Institute of Sacred Music and has taught courses at other schools, including the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Brite Divinity School, Union Seminary in North Carolina, and Concordia University Wisconsin. A church musician and pastor, he was President of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada and Editor of its journal, The Hymn; national chaplain of the American Guild of Organists; and Chair of Ecclesiastical Concerns for the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. In addition to being named a Fellow of the Hymn Society, he has received the Christus Victor Award from the Institute of Liturgical Studies at Valparaiso University, the Jubilate Deo Award from the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, and the Soli Deo Gloria citation from the National Lutheran Choir. Currently Dean of the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, he was a past Dean of the Fox Valley (Illinois) Chapter. His writing reflects his life’s work about the nature of church music and the vocation of the church musician. In addition to several hundred articles and reviews, his books include The Church Musician; Church Musicians: Reflections on Their Call, Craft, History, and Challenges; Hymnal Companion to Evangelical Lutheran Worship; Let Justice Sing: Hymnody and Justice; Let the People Sing; Rise, O Church: Reflections on the Church, Its Music, and Empire; Te Deum: The Church and Music ; and With Tongues of Fire: Profiles in Twentieth-Century Hymn Writing. His wife Sally and he have four children and ten grandchildren.

 

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