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Board Bios

President

Julie GrindleJulie Grindle, B.M., M.M., is a lifelong church musician, working as an organist, choir director, and music clinician. She studied organ and church music at both Valparaiso University (Bachelor of Music with Dr. Martin Jean) and the Indiana University Jacob’s School of Music (Master of Music with Dr. Marilyn Keiser). She has served Lutheran and Catholic parishes in Virginia Beach, VA, Atlanta, GA and Bloomington, IN, as well as being the Chapel organist and Instructor at Valparaiso University (1997-98), before coming to Baldwinsville, NY, in 2010; there, she served as organist at First Presbyterian before moving to St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran (ELCA) in January of 2012, where she currently serves as Director of Music Ministries. Julie served as the conference chair for the 2013 ALCM Biennial Conference, “God Is Here: Worship in a Wireless World.” She is on the Advisory Board for the Institute of Liturgical Studies, based at Valparaiso University, and the board of the Leadership Program for Musicians. She is an active vocalist in the Syracuse Vocal Ensemble, and occasionally writes for the blog “Prelude Music Planner.” She lives in Baldwinsville, New York with her husband, David, and children Will and Tom.

 Past-President

Anne Krentz Organ headshot 07-15Anne Krentz-Organ serves as the Director of Music Ministries at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Park Ridge, IL. Her responsibilities include worship planning, service playing, and the direction of the choral and instrumental music program which includes adult, youth, and children's choirs, handbell choirs, and a variety of instrumental ensembles. Anne holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Valparaiso University, a Master of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy from the University of Illinois, and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Church Music from Concordia University at River Forest, IL. Her compositions are published by Abingdon Press, Augsburg Fortress, Choristers Guild, and Concordia Publishing House. Anne has served ALCM as President of Region 3 in 2000-2002 and 2002-2004; served on the worship planning teams for biennial conferences in 1996-1997 (Valparaiso) and 2008-2009 (Milwaukee); served on the program planning team for the biennial conference in 2000-2001 (Kansas City); chaired the task force on member benefits, 2010-2011; and served as co-chair of the worship planning team for the 2013 biennial conference.

Secretary/Treasurer

Kevin Barger has served as the Director of Music Ministry at Epiphany Evangelical Lutheran Church in Richmond, Virginia since 1997. At Epiphany, he has responsibility for serving as the church's organist as well as leading adult and children's vocal choirs, adult handbells, brass and wind/string ensembles as well as youth music activities. In addition to his work at Epiphany, Kevin is involved in the Virginia Leadership Program for Musicians (LPM) as a board and faculty member. He serves as the assistant accompanist for the Richmond Symphony Chorus as well as singing tenor with the group.  Kevin serves on the worship committee for the Virginia Synod, and he has served as an instructor for the Synod's Power in the Spirit on several occasions. He served on the state's introductory team for the Evangelical Lutheran Worship resource in 2006. He has served 2 terms as ALCM Region 2 Secretary/Treasurer in addition to being the conference registrar, serving on the conference planning team and a workshop leader at regional conferences. Kevin received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Thiel College and a Master of Business Administration degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. He enjoys running and spending time with his wife and three children and engaging them in the work of the church.

Region 1 President

Jennifer Baker-TrinityJennifer Baker-Trinity is a church musician who enjoys working at the intersections of theology, liturgy and music. She completed her studies at Valparaiso University (B.M. Church Music) and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (MAR, STM). As a church musician, she has served congregations in Illinois, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. She is active in the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, currently serving as Vice President for Region 1 and Conference Chair for the Region 1 2016 conference. Jennifer has been writer/teacher/coordinator in the Leadership Program for Musicians, and served on the Advisory Council for the Institute of Liturgical Studies, based at Valparaiso University (2006-2010). She has authored or contributed to Sundays and Seasons, Worship Matters, Leading Worship Matters, Soli Deo Gloria: Choir Devotions for Year B, Grace and Peace: Devotions for Lent 2015, and In These Or Similar Words (all published by Augsburg Fortress). She currently serves as Cantor to Beaver Lutheran Church in Beaver Springs, Pennsylvania. Jennifer lives in Middleburg, PA with her family.

Region 2 President

HostlerRyan K. Hostler currently serves as Minister of Word and Service for Worship at Our Savior Lutheran Church, Vero Beach, FL. At Our Savior he oversees a growing and dynamic music program for all ages, directs ensembles of all ages, plans all worship services and is the main Cantor for each service. He also oversees and directs the annual Worship and Fine Arts series and performs regularly in the community. Ryan graduated with honors from the University of South Florida where he studied voice, keyboard, conducting and elementary music education. He also earned a Masters of Arts in Church Music from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio. Ryan credits his love and respect of church music to his many years as a student of Lutheran Summer Music Program where he also served as a counselor and summer staff member, as well as his upbringing in the Lutheran church and parochial school setting. Ryan has been a part of leading and designing worship services for synod assemblies, bishop installations, conferences on ministry, pan-Lutheran gatherings and Association of Lutheran Older Adults events. He is also a published composer and contributor to the Augsburg Fortress Prelude Music Planner resource.

Region 3 President

Linda Martin head shotLinda Martin graduated with a BME degree from BethanyCollege, Lindsborg, Kansas.  She has a long teaching career in the music classroom in Kansas, Alabama and Iowa.  Mrs. Martin was Director of Youth Choirs for 15 years at BethesdaLutheranChurch (Ames, IA) where she also established a choir school.  At IowaStateUniversity she served as piano accompanist and music coach.  She has written articles on hymns and psalms for The Chorister, Choristers Guild resource magazine.  Linda taught voice at Music/Arts Institute in Independence, MO and has appeared as soprano soloist for Immanuel Lutheran Church Bach Vespers Series (K.C., MO).  She has presented workshops at the Choristers Guild National Summer Session and served on the local Choristers Guild Board of Directors. Mrs. Martin launched Alleluia Worship and Arts, a program of worship education for the Immanuel children in 1994, where she has directed adult and children’s choirs and served on the Worship and Arts Board.

Region 4 President

William F. Kuhn teaches at Concordia University – Portland where he came in 2008 after serving over thirty years in the teaching ministries of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod in Chicago, Hong Kong, and at Concordia University, Nebraska. Kuhn received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Concordia University – Chicago where he studied with such notable Lutheran musicians as Paul Bunjes, Richard Hillert, Carl Schalk, and Thomas Gieschen. His MM is from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and his EdD in music education is from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Kuhn is a member of a number of professional organizations including the National Association for Music Education and the American Guild of Organists where he is completing a two-year tenure as Dean of the Portland chapter. In addition to his work at Concordia, Kuhn is also Cantor at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Portland.

Director at Large

Blersch-Jeffrey-1980px-IMG_2928-pipesJeffrey Blersch is Professor of Music and University Organist at Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska, where he teaches organ, courses in music theory and arranging, and is conductor of the Concordia Women’s Chorale. Best known for his creative hymn interpretations, he regularly performs recitals and hymn festivals across the United States. Many of his is compositions are published by Concordia Publishing House, and four of his hymn tunes are included in Lutheran Service Book. Blersch has been an active Lutheran church musician since being appointed organist of Peace Lutheran Church, Cincinnati, Ohio, at age eight.  He holds degrees in organ performance and music education from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr. Blersch has also served as Cantor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Peoria, Ill., Associate Professor of Music at Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich., and as an elementary music specialist in the Brunswick City Schools, Brunswick, Ohio. He serves as organist and choir director at his family congregation, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in rural Staplehurst, Nebraska. Jeff and his wife Carla, also an organist, have three children, Aaron, Ryan, and Jenna.

Director at Large

Michael KrentzMichael Krentz is a Lecturer and Director of Music Ministries/Seminary Cantor at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia; he is an Associate in Ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He also serves as Director of Music/Organist at Christ Lutheran Church in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He received Bachelor, Master, and Doctor of Music degrees from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. Dr. Krentz is currently Dean of the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, a member of the Worship Team of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA, and has served in the leadership of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, including as chairperson of ALCM’s 1997 national conference, president of Region 1, and national Secretary-Treasurer.