Julie 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. In addition, she was 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.
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.
Michael 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.
Region 1 President
Jeremy J. Bankson serves as the Director of Music at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Dublin, Ohio where he leads a dynamic and developing music ministry that includes several choirs and the Concerts at Prince of Peace Series. Past positions have included serving as the Associate Minister of Music at First-Plymouth Church in Lincoln, Nebraska, the organ instructor at Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska, the Associate Director of Music at Trinity English Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana and as the Director of Music at St. John Lutheran Church in Beatrice, Nebraska. Active as a composer and arranger, he has led workshops, clinics, and hymn festivals for the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, the American Guild of Organists, Augsburg Fortress and other churches and institutions around the country. His compositions can be found in the catalogs of MorningStar Music Publishers, Augsburg Fortress Press and Concordia Publishing House and have been heard on the nationally syndicated radio programs Sing for Joy, The Lutheran Hour, and With Heart and Voice.
Region 2 President
Ryan 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
Jim Hild retired January 1, 2018 from his position at All Saints Lutheran church after 28 years. During that time he was the organist, choir director for all the vocal, brass and handbell choirs, and coordinated all the worship services. Jim holds degrees from the University of Jamestown (ND) and the University of Minnesota. His organ teachers include Dr. Dean Billmeyer, Dr. Kathy Hanford and Harald Vogel (sabbatical study). Principal choral teachers have been Dr. Thomas Lancaster, Kathy Romey, and Helmuth Rilling. Jim has served ALCM as chair of the 2007 National conference in Houston. He has also served on the Twin Cities American Guild of Organists board of directors. He currently is a section leader in the Minnesota Chorale, and has previously occupied the same position with the National Lutheran choir.
Region 4 President
Tom Mueller is Assistant Professor of Church Music and University Organist at Concordia University in Irvine, California, where he teaches organ, jazz, and composition. Dr. Mueller maintains an active performance schedule and has performed throughout the United States and in Europe. A committed educator for musicians of all skill levels and backgrounds, he has presented numerous workshops, masterclasses, and lectures, and has served as a faculty member for the American Guild of Organist’s Pipe Organ Encounter (POE) program. He currently serves on the national Committee for Continuing Professional Education (CCPE) of the AGO. Mueller earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music as a student of David Higgs. He currently resides in Orange County with his wife Kristina and their two children.
Director at Large
Karen Foote is Music Director and Organist at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School in Munster, Indiana. She directs and teaches music classes of all ages in the church and school settings. Her role as worship planner includes all regular and special services of the congregation. She also directs most of the varied choral and instrumental ensembles. Karen has spent her career in music and elementary education in New York, Michigan, and Indiana children’s choral programs and music curricula.
Director at Large
Omaldo Perez is the Director of Music Ministries and Organist at Zoar Lutheran Church in Perrysburg, Ohio, where he supports the congregation from the organ console and directs the choirs and ensembles. As a church musician, interests dear to his heart are early baroque music and musical diversity in today’s church. Omaldo has served congregations in NY, NJ, AZ, WA, and OH. He has helped organize music for two Synod Conventions (Region 4) and was a guest core musician for the ELCA’s 2016 Churchwide Assembly held in New Orleans. For the last three years he has been a contributor for Sundays and Seasons, and more recently for In Tempo magazine. Omaldo has led and collaborated in workshops at Regional ALCM Conferences, and for the 2017 Minneapolis ALCM conference presented a workshop on creativity and faithful musicianship.