It is with great sadness that we announce that Scott Weidler died January 23rd after a lengthy battle with cancer. In addition to the position he held for many years as a member of the ELCA worship staff, Scott is well-known to many for his leadership roles in ALCM, Lutheran Summer Music, the Leadership Program for Musicians, and Music that Makes Community. His commitment to lifting up assembly song in worship will have an effect on the life of the church for generations to come. He will be greatly missed. A longer biography appears below.
“All of us go down to the dust, yet even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia!” Rest in peace, dear Scott, and rise with us in glory.
Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, Scott completed degrees in elementary education from Concordia University, Nebraska; in sacred music from Wittenberg University; and in liturgy from the University of Notre Dame. He served several congregations as cantor including Good Shepherd Lutheran (Lancaster, PA) and Immanuel Lutheran (Chicago), and was an integral part of the Leadership Program for Musicians, a partnership between The Episcopal Church and the ELCA.
Scott was also a familiar presence during the early years of the Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival. Between 1984 and 1995, he served as counselor, assistant summer program director, summer program director, and was one of the featured organists for the 1988 hymn festival.
At the Institute of Liturgical studies, Scott recently served as musician (2008, 2014), workshop leader (2011, 2014), and seminar leader (2012). His involvement in the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians included presentations at national and regional conferences, assembling choirs for worship, and planning and developing resources for programs such as “The Church’s Journey in Art and Song,” which was presented at the combined ALCM biennial conference and ELCA worship jubilee held in Atlanta in 2015. He also contributed several articles to CrossAccent since the journal’s founding in 1993. Worship leaders currently planning Holy Week liturgies would do well to consult his “The Three Days: Singing Salvation History” in the journal’s summer 2014 issue.
Scott’s tenure as Program Director for Worship and Music for the ELCA was not only integral for the Renewing Worship project and subsequent development of Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), but also for helping shape and bring to fruition the growing family of publications that now surround and enrich this “core” resource. These include Musicians Guide to Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2007); Worship Guidebook for Lent and the Three Days (2009); the Music Sourcebook series; In These or Similar Words: Crafting Language for Worship (2015); and Singing in Community: Paperless Music for Worship (2017). In addition to these resources, Scott was also attentive to the needs of smaller parish choirs, and commissioned O Lord of Light: Nine Two-Part Mixed Anthems for the Church Year (2013) which, in his words, were fashioned for “those times we regularly need either learn something very quickly” or “sing with limited forces because of holiday schedules.”