Music here can take a beginner on any instrument to being a great performer within four years.
Concordia Nebraska junior Thomas Schulteis has been playing the organ in churches since he was in 7th grade. A church music major, he has studied organ for 13 years and is also in the university’s A Cappella Choir, Concordia Handbell Choir and Bulldogs for Life. His long-time love of church music has only grown since he began attending the university.
“The opportunities we have in the music department to go to various churches around the area and participate in worship are seemingly endless,” he said. “And with ensemble tours, there is always a focus on where we will be for church on Sunday morning. Music here can take a beginner on any instrument to being a great performer within four years.”
Schulteis first visited Concordia’s campus soon after 8th grade, and he developed a relationship with many of the university’s music professors during his high school years. Those relationships and the encouragement of some of his high school teachers – many of whom were Concordia Nebraska alumni – solidified his decision to attend Concordia Nebraska.
“The professors here really want to get to know you,” he explained. “You are not just another number or statistic, but valued highly by all the professors. Being at a school where Christ is confessed openly and is not hidden for fear of pushback against religion really is a blessing. This cannot be found at state colleges in the same way it is here, where we have daily chapel, various Bible studies, and a campus pastor.”
Schulteis said his professors have helped him take the things he has learned and put them into practice when he serves as a substitute organist in area churches or serves in other ways.
“I appreciate the opportunities that I have been granted to make music and build friendships while making good music,” he said. “I also appreciate the opportunity to learn new things in music and other subjects from my professors. This experience has given me many ideas to help prepare for church work, especially all of the things that happen outside of the worship service on a Sunday morning. I understand more about what the role of the church musician may look like.”
Schulteis seeks to serve as a church director of music upon graduation. In addition to honing and expanding his skills, Schulteis said Concordia Nebraska has also help him to develop his faith.
“My chosen major is church work, so I will be taking some additional theology courses aside from the courses everyone takes,” he explained. “I have seen through all of my classes how Concordia really values the development of faith. All of my professors have talked about the Bible and Jesus being crucified for all people. They really want to help develop students' faith.”