Music

Julia Fox 9-26-2010 011Music has a central place in Lutheran worship.  From the German chorales to contemporary hymnody to the addition of songs from various cultures, Lutherans have always held to the motto: “Bis orat, qui contat.”  (“Those who sing pray twice.”)  Music enlivens our worship and allows the emotions and thoughts of our hearts to be expressed as our offering to God.  At Salem, we use a variety of musical settings in our Sunday Eucharists as well as a wide range of hymns and worship songs. Instrumental accompaniment also enhances our music at our festival celebrations.

Salem is a singing congregation!  We also have choir opportunities for all ages.

Regular rehearsal for the Adult Handbell Choir is at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays.  The Adult Choir rehearses on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.  Our Salem Music Kidz Choir rehearses will resume in the fall.

Music Staff

Recent GRAMMY-nominated Producer Keith Weber is a choral and orchestral conductor, vocal coach, choral clinician, organist, pianist, harpsichordist, and collaborator widely known for his musical versatility and excellence. He is currently Director of Music and Organist at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Houston and is Artistic Director of Grace Song, Inc., the Texas 501 (c) 3 organization [www.gracesong.us] that presents captivating concerts of vocal chamber music, helps fine young American singers develop their careers and brings about the creation of exciting new music. A native of western Pennsylvania, he holds a B.M., cum laude, in Organ Performance from Southern Methodist University, an M.M. also from SMU and an M.S.M. from Perkins School of Theology.

Keith was the founding Associate Musical Director of the Lyric Opera of Dallas, and was Head Coach with the 2002-2005 Summer Festival, Opera In The Ozarks, and serves as a resource and vocal/career/life coach for dozens of fine singers. As a recital collaborator and accompanist, Keith has worked with singers and instrumentalists across the United States, many in programs for Grace Song, Inc. and maintains ongoing relationships with tenor Vern Sutton (with whom he appeared on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” in May of 1999 – celebrating the release of a CD on the Ten Thousand Lakes [Schubert Club of Minnesota] label), sopranos Laura Claycomb, mezzo-soprano Natalie Arduino and baritone David Grogan. Keith was invited along to join the PHC cast for the fun on the 2013 Prairie Home Companion Cruise of the Mediterranean Sea!

During the 1997/98 academic year, he was appointed Visiting Professor of Collaborative Musicianship at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, working with internationally-known collaborator Margo Garrett. His disc of Fanny Mendelssohn Lieder, with soprano Julianne Baird, was released by Newport Classics in January of 1999. He played the Texas and Midwest premieres of Ned Rorems’ concert-length song-cycle for four singers and piano, “Evidence of Things Not Seen.” Keith also hosted four week-long residencies with the Marilyn Horne Foundation, presenting and collaborating with their artists. He also works on the music staff of the Houston Grand Opera, on a contract basis, including four of the recent world-premiere productions of the East+West series. As a Recording Producer, Keith has dozens of discs in wide release on major labels; including three for Ars Lyrica Houston in addition to many release quality demo CD’s for talented young singers under his own label, GSI. His second recording for Ars Lyrica Houston received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Opera Recording of 2010, the only American recording so honored in that category that year. His work with Houston audio engineers Ryan Edwards and Shannon Smith is known world-wide for its warmth, clarity, musical depth and attention to detail.

Keith produced the premiere performances of Conrad Susa’s church opera, The Wise Women, for the AGO National Convention in Dallas is1994.

From August of 1988 until the fall of 2002, Keith was Director of Music at Christ Episcopal Church, Tyler, TX, where he established a full Music Ministry, including the founding of the Grace Note Music Series, a year-round festival of chamber, vocal, choral and keyboard music. He served as Chair of the Music Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, through which he directed the Leadership Program for Musicians, is Past Dean of the East Texas Chapter, American Guild of Organists, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Tyler Civic Chorale. He held a similar full-time Music Ministry positions at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church in Atlanta, GA, and at St. Philip Presbyterian Church in Houston. As an organist, Keith won the Dora Poteet Barclay Award (Outstanding Undergraduate, SMU), the Roy and Sue Johnson Award (Outstanding Senior, SMU), the 1982 B’nai B’rith Music Scholarship, the Ninth Annual Organ Competition of the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation, the 1991 Region VII National Young Artists’ Playing Competition of the American Guild of Organists, was named finalist of the 1992 Spivey International Organ Competition and is widely known for his engaging organ recital programming. He served as Interim Organist at The Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas, TX. As a pianist, Keith made his formal orchestral debut in 1997 with The East Texas Symphony Orchestra, Kate Tamarkin, conducting, and as keyboardist-of-all-kinds is a frequent guest artist with Ars Lyrica Houston, Mercury Baroque, Musiqa, Cantare, The Victoria Bach Festival and the International Festival-Institute at Round Top, TX. Keith was named keyboardist of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra for the 2002-2003 season.

Keith also had a successful career as a banker in the 1980’s serving the Lion Funding Corporation in Dallas as Vice President of Secondary Marketing.

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