Long-time Bethany College music professor and renowned Lindsborg musician Dr. Walter L. Pelz will be honored by the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (ALCM) at its national convention in Atlanta on July 21, 2015.
Dr. Pelz will receive the association’s Faithful Servant Award, an honor given to those who demonstrate a life-time of shared faith and dedication to the expression of worship and music in the Church and who have served with distinction in Association of Lutheran Church Music roles of leadership.
His career at Bethany College began in 1969 where he taught theory, composition, piano, organ, directed choirs and was the college organist. He was named the Billue-Burnett Distinguished Professor of Music, a position he held until he took early retirement in 1989 to devote more time to composing and performing. Dr. Pelz regularly performs recitals, in festivals and appears as a clinician for organ and choral workshops throughout the United States.
Dr. Pelz has composed several hundred works and is affiliated with nine publishers. His compositions are included in recent hymnal supplements and his work was featured on a CD for the ALCM.
His many recognitions include Kansas Composer of the Year by the Kansas Federation of Music Clubs, and in 2001 was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois, for his “outstanding contribution to Christian Education through scholarly research and publications which are widely recognized and appreciated in the church and nation.” He is a charter member of the ALCM and the American Guild of Organists where he holds the Choirmaster Certificate. In 2012 he received the Artist’s Lifetime Achievement Award from the Lindsborg Arts Council “in recognition of his outstanding work with Bethany College music students and various choirs as well as for his composing and performance skills in organ music.”
The ALCM is a service and professional organization dedicated to strengthening the ministry of worship and music in the Lutheran church.