On Sunday, April 23, 2017, we will welcome our new Music Director, Dr. Craig Westendorf, to the staff of Faith Lutheran Church.
Born in Waterloo, Iowa and baptized at First Lutheran Church there, Craig enjoyed early exposure to organ and choral music. He has been active as an organist and choir director since the age of 14. Liturgy and church music in practice and in research have been his lifelong vocation.
Dr. Westendorf holds a BM in Organ Performance form the Eastman School of Music, a MM in Music and Liturgy from the University of Notre Dame, and a DMA in Choral Music from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His dissertation on the Spruchmotette was given the Julius Herford Dissertation Award. In addition he studied musicology at the Universität Erlangen- Nűrnberg, Germany. He has been on the music faculties of both the University of Notre Dame and the University of Illinois, where he taught musicology and conducted choirs. He has played organ recitals throughout his career in the Midwest, the East Coast, Arizona, California, and northern Germany.
Craig has been active as an organist and choral director in the greater metropolitan Phoenix area for the last 20 years. He founded and directed the Central Phoenix Oratorio Choir, was artistic director of the Grand Canyon Men's Chorale and the Fountain Hills Community Chorus, served as full-time Director of Music at First United Methodist Church, Phoenix, and has performed as organist for the Phoenix Symphony and the Phoenix Bach Choir. He taught at Arizona School for the Arts for 13 years and has just left Central United Methodist Church to assume his duties at Faith. His choirs have performed at ACDA and MENC conventions, and he has published scholarly articles on 17th Century Music as well as organ and choral music. Free time is spent backpacking in the canyon country of southern Utah with his wife, Sue, an accomplished organ recitalist and laureate of American and European organ competitions.
Welcome to our Faith Community, Craig!