Dr. Michael Busch is professor of music at Concordia University, Irvine, where he serves as Director of Choral Activities. His teaching responsibilities include the areas of conducting, music theory, church music, and choral methods. His work with the Concordia Choir and the Concordia Master Chorale is featured in an acclaimed concert series which annually attracts sell-out crowds to the Concordia Center for Worship and Performing Arts. He has led the Concordia Choir on concert ministry tours throughout the United States, as well as through Brazil, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Italy. During their concert tour through Brazil, The Concordia Choir enjoyed singing before an audience of over 10,000 during the centennial celebrations of the Lutheran Church in Brazil. In their most recent international tour through Italy, the choir was featured during services at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, as well as St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice.
Dr. Busch received the doctor of musical arts degree in the literature and performance of choral music from the University of Colorado, Boulder and his master’s degree in both the fields of choral conducting and organ performance from San Jose State University. Prior to his arrival at Concordia, he taught choral and instrumental music at every grade level and administered large choral and orchestral music programs in California and Colorado. It is his great joy to mentor musicians desiring to serve as music educators and church music leaders.
Under his direction, past MasterWorks at Concordia concerts have included Bach cantatas, F.J. Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Honegger’s King David, Schubert’s Mass in G, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat, Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem, Haydn’s Te Deum, Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Durufle’s Requiem, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, Mendelssohn’s St. Paul and Bach’s Mass in B Minor.
In addition to his duties at Concordia, Dr. Busch has served as a guest conductor, festival organist, choral adjudicator and workshop leader at clinics, conventions and festival events throughout the western United States. He has served as Repertoire and Standards Chair for Music in Worship for the western division states of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).
Dr. Herb Geisler is Professor of Music and director of Concordia University's multi-ensemble handbell program involving over 50 ringers. He also teaches music education, ethnomusicology, and theory. He has served as director of parish music and taught music and handbells at all levels from elementary to graduate school in Hong Kong, Illinois, Michigan, and California. He earned the B.A. and M.A. Ed. degrees at Concordia College, River Forest, and the Ph.D. in music education at the University of Michigan. He serves as a handbell and music education clinician and has published numerous articles and handbell works with Concordia Publishing House and Morning Star Publications.
Dr. Geisler presented a paper, "Faith, Reason and Emotion: At the Nexus of Music and “Religious Experience” in Contemporary American Christianity" at the international Society for Ethnomusicology conference in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Geisler also published an article, “Thinking Outside the Bell-Music for Handbells AND Other Instruments” in Overtones, the national magazine of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers.
"A very strong musical personality."
(Dr. Glenn Price, conductor of the Cincinnati Conservatory Wind Orchestra)
Jeff Held is the music director of both the Concordia Wind Orchestra and
the Concordia Sinfonietta, as well as Director of Arts Activities and Assistant Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences (music,
theatre, and art). He joined the faculty of Concordia University in 2005
and established most of the existing orchestral instrument program at the
Dr. Held received the Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education from Boston
University. His research interest was comparing learning atmospheres for
music majors between large and small universities. He received a master's
degree from The American Band College at Southern Oregon University and an
undergraduate degree in music from Valparaiso University. In addition, he
completed the Lutheran Teaching Colloquy from Concordia University, Irvine.
His career began as band director and music department chairman at Orange
Lutheran High School, where he established a prominent concert band, jazz
band, and handbell ensemble. Held is known nationally for his innovative
hymn festivals with wind orchestra and voices, sacred-theme concerts,
implementation of new music for wind band in worship, involvement with the
Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, and his work as a board member of
Lutheran Music Program (which produces Lutheran Summer Music Academy and
other music programs).
Marin Jacobson is Academic Chair and Associate Director of Choral Activities at Concordia University, Irvine where she conducts two choral ensembles and teaches a variety of courses in the music department. She also hosts the annual Collegiate Women’s Choir Festival and Elementary/Middle Lutheran Schools Festival on the Concordia campus. She brings a wealth of experience in collegiate, church, community, school, and studio settings to her work at Concordia. She has conducted performances of the Grinnell College Community Chorus, the University of Iowa Kantorei, and the University of Iowa Women’s Chorale. As musical director and conductor of the Ames Chamber Artists, an auditioned adult community choir, Dr. Jacobson initiated a series of collaborative concerts with the Central Iowa Symphony, the Ames Children’s Choirs, and several area high schools. Dr. Jacobson has also served as a Lutheran church musician for over twenty years, providing worship leadership as an organist, pianist, and conductor of choral and handbell ensembles for children and adults. While working as an elementary music teacher, she founded the Mankato Children’s Chorus, a community chorus in Mankato, Minnesota. She enjoys mentoring students who are preparing to serve as church musicians, teachers, and performers.
She is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and has served as regional vice president for the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians.
Presentation: “The Choral Music of Margaret Ruthven Lang,” June 2012, at the National Symposium on American Choral Music sponsored by the American Choral Director’s Association, Washington, DC; Dissertation Title: “Stylistic Development in the Choral Music of Rebecca Clarke.”
Carol R. (Schroeder) McDaniel is now a full-time faculty member, having taught at Concordia since 1993. She is teaching courses in Organ and Service Playing, Church Music, Aural Skills and Children’s Music Methods; she also serves as the music faculty representative on the Chapel Planning Committee. She was instrumental in developing our first series of organ classes for students wanting to experience organ for the first time. Carol recently celebrated 30 years in music ministry as a teacher, conductor, organist and parish music administrator. She received her B.S. in Education, with an emphasis in organ, music education and parish music, from Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska in 1983. She was a graduate teaching assistant and received her Master of Music degree in Organ Performance from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1985. She has studied with Charles W. Ore, Quentin Faulkner, George Ritchie, Marianne Webb, Michael Burkhardt and Esther Jones. She has taken additional coursework at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, University of California, Los Angeles, California, California State University, Fullerton, California, and Concordia University, Irvine, California. Carol serves part-time at Bethany Lutheran Church, Long Beach, California as Director of Music/Organist, and is a frequent clinician and organist for Lutheran events in the southern California area. When she’s not at Concordia or Bethany, Carol enjoys writing new hymn texts for worship, in addition to spending time traveling with her husband Gary and their four adult children.
Two recent Hymn texts:
God at Work
Suggested tune: Newly composed tune: GOTTESWERK © Carol McDaniel, OR Voices Raised to You We Offer, LSB (under copyright) OR
a more common PD tune: REGENT SQUARE (Angel’s From the Realms of Glory)
God at work among His people
Serving us in prayer and praise
God at work in our vocations
Gifting, leading all our days
God creating, God relating: Soli Deo, Gloria!
God at work in Word and water
Font and pulpit, Holy Meal
God at work forgiving sinners
Justified: His grace will heal
God declaring, God repairing: Soli Deo, Gloria!
God at work in Vine and branches
Yielding fruit abundantly
God at work in dormant seasons
Nurturing the fruit to be
God abiding, God providing: Soli Deo, Gloria!
God at work while we are waiting
Forming life within the womb
God at work in Jesus’ dying
Rising up from death’s dark tomb
God conceiving, God receiving: Solus Christus, Gloria!
God at work: He sends His Spirit
Calling us to do our part
God at work in sanctifying
Breathing faith into the heart
God exploring, God restoring, Soli Deo, Gloria!
God at work before creation
God at work on Calvary
God at work in faith’s formation
God at work eternally
Triune God we laud and praise You: Alleluia, Gloria!
Carol R.S. McDaniel, August 7, 2014 (rev. 08/09/14)
God’s Love is Grace
Carol R.S. McDaniel (b. 1961)
Meter: LM (188.8.131.52 iambic) Suggested Tune: WALY, WALY English Traditional
Scripture Reference: Romans 6 and Romans 8
Persuaded, Yes! Of this I'm sure:
God’s love is strong and will endure!
His Spirit gives me faith to see
God’s love is grace; God’s love is free!
Baptized in Christ, who gives me breath
I share in His life-giving death
His love is true: for me He died
God’s love is grace, God’s love is wide!
When days are dark with doubt and fear
When nights are long and paths unclear
When demons rage: around, within,
God’s love is grace, God’s love will win!
The Risen Christ gives victory
His Spirit pleads eternally
With gift of water, Word and meal
God’s love is grace, God’s love will heal!
(April 2013, for Chloe Elizabeth Ruiz’s confirmation service.
Revised July 2014, with an additional new stanza (4), at the LCMS Worship Institute)
Dr. Tom Mueller is Assistant Professor of Church Music and University Organist at Concordia University in Irvine, California, where he teaches organ, jazz, and composition, and directs the keyboard and composition programs.
In 2014, Mueller was awarded first place in the Schoenstein Competition in Hymn-Playing, held in conjunction with the biennial national convention of the American Guild of Organists in Boston, Massachusetts. He was recently honored by The Diapason as a member of their inaugural “20 Under 30” group of influential figures in the world of organ and church music.
Mueller maintains an active concert schedule, and has performed at universities and churches across the United States. In 2010, he performed the complete organ works of J. S. Bach in a series of seventeen concerts in his native state of Maine. He has received numerous commissions for new choral and liturgical works, and performances of his compositions have been broadcast on national radio and television. Mueller is also an accomplished guitarist, and toured the country as a member of The Muellers, a nationally-recognized family bluegrass band. Their fourth album, The Muellers, was released in 2009.
Mueller’s research interests include the early organ and keyboard works of J. S. Bach, the performance practice of organ continuo playing in the classical-era concerted sacred music of Germany and Austria, and the American reception of the nineteenth-century opera star Jenny Lind. He has presented workshops, masterclasses, and lectures for numerous organizations, including several chapters of the American Guild of Organists, and has served as a faculty member for the Guild’s Pipe Organ Encounter (POE) program for young organists. He currently serves as the Subdean of the Orange County AGO chapter, and serves on the national Committee for Continuing Professional Education (CCPE) of the AGO.
Mueller earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with David Higgs. He also holds degrees from the University of Notre Dame (M.S.M. in organ), and the University of Maine at Augusta (B.M. in jazz composition and piano), where he graduated summa cum laude. His former teachers include Craig Cramer, Alan Wingard, William Porter, Frank Mauceri, and Steve Grover, and he has performed in masterclasses with Stephen Tharp, Isabelle Demers, Ken Cowan, Alan Morrison, Michael Bauer, and Diane Meredith Belcher, among others.
Steve Young is Assistant Professor of Music and the Director of the Worship Arts Leadership Institute at Concordia University Irvine. He directs the commercial music program, leads the chapel worship bands, and teaches music theory, music technology, ensemble leadership, worship arts and keyboard performance. Steve also leads workshops and is a conference speaker throughout the country in the areas of music and worship arts.
Steve comes to Concordia Irvine with more than 25 years of professional experience as a studio and touring musician, composer, arranger, producer, creative consultant and church leader. An active music producer, Steve has produced projects in New York City, Nashville and Los Angeles, working with world class studio musicians and engineers. As a pianist and keyboard player, he has recorded and performed with recording artists such as Cheri Keaggy, Fernando Ortega, John Patitucci, Tony Award winner Nobert Leo Butz, The Maranatha Praise Band, Patty Cabrera and Crystal Lewis. An active arranger, Steve has written hundreds of arrangements for studio and stage. Steve also composes music for radio, film and television as well as concert music. His string quartet, American Hymn (2014) was recently premiered at the University of Pittsburgh. As a student at Concordia, Steve's original score for the play Hyppolytus (1990) won a meritorious achievement award from the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival.
Steve is the architect of the music technology program at CU. He has been published in numerous publications such as Worship Leader. CCM, Roland User's Group magazine and his book All About Music Technology in Worship was published by Hal Leonard Publishing in 2004.
As a church leader, Steve has served as Creative Arts Director at a Southern California megachurch, and has served as co-planmter for two start-up church — one in Southern California and one in the New York City area. He has served on the advisory board for the Arts Movement at Willow Creek Community Church, been a speaker/clinician for Integrity Music, Maranatha Music, and a consultant and creative coach for dozens of churches in the U.S.
Steve has studied composition with Dick Grove, Henry Mancini, Lalo Schifrin, Lennie Niehaus, Clare Fischer, Bill Conti, Jonathan Bailey Holland, John Fitz Rodgers, Roger Zahab and Rick Baitz. He has studied jazz piano with Dick Grove, Lou Levy, Victor Feldman, Russell Ferrante, Joyce Collins and Terry Trotter.
Mike Zelazo assumed the position of Senior Manager of Music Operations at Concordia University Irvine in June of 2016. Mike brings a broad range of music performance, adjudication, music proofreading and preparation, administration and event production to Concordia. As a professional trombonist, he has performed with such diverse artists as Chris Botti, Roger Daltrey, Diane Schuur, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Bob James, Peter Cetera, Natalie Cole, Leonard Bernstein, Michael Feinstein, Bernadette Peters, Tommy Tune, Englebert Humperdink and Ralph Carmichael. He has also performed for motion pictures, television, soundtracks, symphony orchestras, big bands, theme park atmosphere groups, and in pit orchestras for over 100 Broadway-style musical productions. As a music copyist and proofreader, Mike has prepared scores and parts for such notable clients as John Williams, The Olympic Games, Jerry Goldsmith, Elliott Goldenthal, Bob Florence, The Pacific Symphony Orchestra and many publishing companies. His production company has provided musical equipment for The Grammy Awards, PBS Broadcasting, the Black Entertainment Network, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Warner Bros. Television, The Walt Disney Company, the Getty Museum and many other respected organizations. Mike managed thousands of live entertainment performances and special events at The Disneyland Resort for 15 years prior to joining us at Concordia University Irvine in 2011.
Rachel Ehring is Staff Accompanist at Concordia University, Irvine. She is a sought-after pianist and accompanist who has performed in Asia, Europe, and throughout the United States. She received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano from the University of Colorado-Boulder where she studied with Dr. Margaret McDonald and Dr. Alexandra Nguyen. Before moving to Colorado, Rachel served on the piano faculty at Henderson State University. Rachel is passionate about collaborating with instrumentalists and singers as well as accompanying choirs and musical theatre and teaching young accompanists. She received a Master’s of Music degree from the University of Kansas where she studied with Robert Koenig and a Bachelor of Music degree from Moody Bible Institute where she was a student of Dr. Un-Young Whang.
Handbells: Nancy Jessup
Violin: Elizabeth Johnson
Viola: Phillip Triggs
Cello: Sarah Jay
String Bass: Dr. Matthew Hare
Harp: Mindy Ball
Flute: Dr. Julie Long
Oboe: Jonathan Marzluf
Bassoon: Elizabeth Low-Atwater
Clarinet: Dr. Margaret Thornhill
Saxophone: Jay Mason
Trumpet: Richard Chasin
Horn: Robert Grishkoff
Trombone/Euphonium: Len Wicks
Tuba: David Holben
Percussion: William Schlitt
Voice: Dr. Robyn Frey-Monell, Karla Kniss,
Dr. Clarissa Shan
Piano (classical, worship, accompaniment, or jazz): Dr. Hyunjoo Choi, Dr. Tom Mueller, Patricia Riffel
Organ: Dr. Tom Mueller, Dr. Carol McDaniel
Guitar: Donovan Raitt
Electric Bass: Ernie Nunez
Drum Set: Mark Converse
Composition: Dr. Tom Mueller
Christian Guebert is a commissioned composer, educator and music professor from Orange, California. He has a music education background in teaching classes and private lessons in theory, composition, orchestration and technology. He earned his Master of Music degree in music composition from Cal State University, Fullerton in 2013, and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia University, Irvine in 2010.
Christian Guebert is the Composer-in-Residence at Concordia University. His music has been performed in many US states and some European countries. His frequently performed works include published and award-winning pieces for instrumental and choral ensembles. He has conducted music throughout this country and in Europe on music tours, having studied choral and orchestral conducting at Concordia University Irvine, and at Cal State University, Fullerton. He currently serves as music director at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Orange, studies church music, and composes for handbells, wind band, orchestra, and church ensembles.