Dave Blumer began playing organ while in high school and was taking lessons from his piano teacher who was also the organist at his church. He moved to Ames in 1983 and began playing at St. Paul Lutheran Church. He also served at the First Evangelical Church for approximately twelve years. He has been the associate organist at Memorial Lutheran Church in Nevada for the past 6 years. He has been a member of the Central Iowa AGO Chapter for 12 years and has served as the chapter secretary for the past four years. He has enjoyed my time serving as secretary.
Miriam Zach, Ph.D. is a musicologist, author, organist, harpsichordist, Iowa native, and since 2016 the Charles and Mary Sukup Endowed Artist in Organ at Iowa State University, and Director of Music/Organist at St. John’s By the Campus Episcopal Church in Ames, Iowa stjohns-ames.org She can be heard on National Public Radio recorded in Princeton University Chapel. After completing degrees at Northwestern University and University of Chicago she taught music in Germany at the Universität Bielefeld, and served as organist for the Church of England. In 1990 she studied Olivier Messiaen’s organ music in Paris, and has performed most of his organ works in Europe and the United States. For 20 years (1996-2016) she taught music history, and Honors music and health at the University of Florida. She is past Dean of the Gainesville, Florida Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and University of Florida Professor of the Year 2000-2001. She continues to research architecture and music with her husband Dr. Mikesch Muecke, teach music and health, organize annual international festivals of women composers (iwclib.org), and enjoy playing Baroque chamber music (alachuaconsort.com).
Mark Koskamp spends his weekends at Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Indianola, Iowa, where he serves as organist and directs the adult choir. He studied math and music at Central College in Pella, Iowa and now works at the Principal Financial Group in Des Moines. He has served as treasurer and dean of the Central Iowa Chapter of the AGO and was on the steering committee of Des Pipes, Des Pedals, Des Moines, the ten-state regional AGO convention held in 2011. Mark was inspired to study music by his grandmother, herself a church organist. His keyboard teachers have included Norma Faust, Max Daehler, Julia Amada and Davis Folkerts.
Beverley Duffy has been organist of Faith Lutheran Church since August 2002. During a career as a newspaper writer and editor in Cedar Rapids, she was active as a vocal soloist and accompanist in her church and community. She holds a degree in music, with emphasis on organ and sacred music, from Central College.
Michael Elsbernd is Director of Worship and Music at St. John’s Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Des Moines, Iowa, where he conducts the Cathedral Choir, String Scholars, and serves as principal organist. He is also a member of the adjunct faculty of Grand View University, where he teaches organ. A graduate of Luther College, Elsbernd earned a Master of Music Degree from Westminster Choir College of Rider University and completed his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at the University of Michigan. He was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda (National Music Honor Society) in 1999 and was awarded a grant from the Theodore Presser Foundation in 2001, upon the recommendation of the Faculty Council for Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan. The Presser Foundation grant funded Elsbernd’s dissertation project on the music of Jan Adam Reincken. His principal teachers include William Kuhlman, Eugene Roan, James Kibbie, and Marilyn Mason. Additional studies were completed with Harald Vogel at the North German Organ Academy.
Elsbernd has served terms as Repertoire and Standards Chair for the South Dakota ACDA, District Convener and Chapter Dean for the South Dakota Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO), and is currently the Repertoire and Resources Chair for Iowa Choral Directors Association (ICDA). He has made concert appearances with Boston Brass, Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir, Michigan Sinfonietta Orchestra, and the choirs of South Dakota State University. He has three hymn-based compositions published by Alliance Publications, Inc. Elsbernd resides in Waukee, Iowa, with his wife, Nichole Colsch, and their two children, Ethan and Abigail.
Piano studies thirteen years, organ studies for five years with Dr. Carl Staplin, Karen Ulstad, and Doris Allman Held organist, choir accompanist positions for 30 years in north Iowa, twin cities and Ames since fall 2016. Have been self-employed business owner for 16 years as a program administrator and training specialist. Earned a Masters in Health Care Administration from DM University, thereafter started studying music through the Drake courses for church musicians (1999-2004); currently a substitute organist and choir accompanist; member, Ames Chamber Artists, Bethesda Lutheran Choir, Ames Area Running club. Since 1996 active in AGO chapters-- North Iowa AGO and Twin Cities AGO. Served on Board of Directors for both chapters, served on hospitality committee or as chair, program committee and others. In 2002 helped to establish an Organ Scholarship program for teens and young adults in north Iowa region, with private funds, awareness fund-raising events and support from community college foundation. As member at large on behalf of our chapter, I intend to get acquainted with as many members as possible and discover ways we can keep our chapter growing, and vital to you.
Zach Hastings has served as Director of Worship and Music at St. Stephen since 2016. Zach plans and organizes worship, serves as the organist, and directs the adult choir. Faith has always guided Zach to live with honesty and to value the learning potential of lived experiences. He currently studies organ with Dr. Miriam Zach after completing a Bachelor of Arts in Music at Iowa State University. Zach is a native of Ankeny, IA.
Christopher Ellerston, a native of Fort Dodge, IA, graduated from Central College in Pella, Iowa, with degrees in vocal music education and German studies as well as minoring in instrumental music. While at Central, Christopher pursued his interest of organ and church music under Mark Babcock. Upon graduation, he began teaching choral music for the Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont Community School District as well as continuing as choral and handbell director at First Baptist Church, where he directed as a student. He joined St. Mark Lutheran Church (West Des Moines, IA) in June 2014 as organist/choirmaster and artistic director of the St. Mark Fine Arts series. In his spare time he enjoys foreign travel, continuing to learn German, and spending time at Ten Mile Lake, where his family vacations in the summer.