David Cherwien

Carey Cannon


David Cherwien is currently serving as Cantor at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, Mn. and in 2002 was appointed Music Director for the National Lutheran Choir, also based in the Twin Cities. He has also held full time parish music positions in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, Chicago, Seattle, and Berlin. During the 2000-2001 academic year he served as Organist/Cantor of Christ Chapel and Visiting Instructor of Music at Gustavus College, St. Peter, MN. While in Chicago, he served as Teaching Associate in Service Playing and improvisation at Elmhurst College. He completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance, and the Master of Arts degree in Theory and composition, both from the University of Minnesota.

His undergraduate work was in organ performance and music education at Augsburg College, Mpls., where he was honored as distinguished alumni in the fall of 2000. Following his undergraduate work he studied for two years at the Berlin Church Music School in Berlin, Germany. There he studied improvisation with Renate Zimmermann, organ Literature with Karl Hochreither, and composition with the late Ernst Pepping. He has also studied organ with Christian Baude in Aix-en-Provence, France, and with Paul Manz, Heinrich Fleisher and Earl Barr in this country, and is a Fellow with Melodious Accord, studying composition with Alice Parker.

2016 Breakout Sessions

Helping Congregations Sing: The Basics
Simple ways the organist can encourage (or inadvertantly discourage) robust singing. The basics include pulse, breathing, reliable downbeat, and finding the "right" tempo.
Improvisation: Getting Started
For many improvisation feels out of reach, yet everyone is capable! Where to begin, and how to gradually (and slowly) build this ability. We will be starting from absolute scratch! Specific things will be changing ONE chord, improvising one line to go with a hymn melody and going from there.
Creative Registration for Congregational Song
The organ is an instrument full of a variety of colors, uniquely able to evoke a wide range of expression in the singing. Ideas for keeping registration fresh and interesting will be presented, including unusual combinations. Think, "Orchestration". Working with small and not-so rich instruments will also be discussed.
Improvisation: Ideas for Creative Hymn Introductions
A list of quick and simple ideas other than playing the first and last line, with which hymns can be introduced will be presented. These are things that one could make use of immediately!
Variety in Traditional Hymnody
Hymns have come to us from a large variety of times and places, which gives us the opportunity to bring out this variety! How? Topics will include tempo, articulation, introductions - all tools to encourage singing in a variety of ways. How is a British hymn sung differently from a French tune, Shape-note hymn, Gospel hymn? The list is vast, and fun to explore!
New Literature for the Church Organist
New releases of organ music will be presented, from a variety of publishers including Morningstar Music, AugsburgFortress, Lorenz, and others.
Master Class: Hymn Playing
Students will lead an entire hymn: introduction and multiple stanzas. We will discuss singing, and ways to encourage better singing will be discussed. Also ideas for improvisation can be built upon as we go. No experience necessary!