Philip Spencer

Founding Conductor

Philip Spencer conceived of the idea for a pan-Lutheran youth choir drawing participants from throughout North America. His proposal, embraced by the leadership of Faith Lutheran Church, now springs to life as the choir gathers each summer to tour domestically and abroad.

Uniquely qualified to serve as the choir’s conductor, Mr. Spencer has more than two decades of experience conducting choirs of all ages in college, church and community settings throughout the Midwest. He is currently Professor of Music and Director of Choral and Vocal Music in the Fine Arts Department of Joliet Junior College.

Previously, Mr. Spencer served in full-time music ministry in large Lutheran churches in Ohio and Minnesota, and in the largest ELCA congregation in Illinois. In each parish position, he worked effectively with high-school-age singers and instrumentalists, enabling them to share their musical gifts to the glory of God.

From 1990 to 1994, Mr. Spencer chaired the Music Department and was Director of Choral Studies at Grand View College, a four-year Lutheran liberal arts college in Des Moines, Iowa. There, he rebuilt a defunct choral program and toured with the choirs to Texas, Colorado, and the Chicago area. In addition, he has founded community choirs in the Minneapolis and Chicago areas, and he has conducted existing community choirs in Iowa and Ohio. He has composed a number of choral works for his choirs and is published by Augsburg Fortress Publishers and Choristers Guild.

Mr. Spencer holds a bachelor’s degree in church music from Wittenberg University, and the Master of Music degree from the Yale University School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music. He has done doctoral study in choral conducting at the University of Iowa and has completed one academic year of study in choral music, organ, and composition at the Berlin School of Church Music, Berlin, Germany. His conducting teachers include Martin Behrmann in Berlin; William Harwood and Jon Bailey at Yale; and Don V Moses, William Hatcher, Harold Decker, Bruce Browne, and Sandra Willetts at Iowa.

Mr. Spencer lives in Naperville, Illinois, with his wife Pamela.