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Schwartzhoff Selected for
Outstanding Church Musician Award

RELEASED: Jan. 16, 2007

Dr. Gary Schwartzhoff
Dr. Gary Schwartzhoff

EAU CLAIRE — Dr. Gary Schwartzhoff, professor of music and director of choral activities at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, has been selected for the Outstanding Church Musician Award by the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association. He received the award Jan. 12 in Madison at the organization's state convention.

Schwartzhoff has served four denominations in three states during his 30 years as a church musician. Since 1992, he has been director of music at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Eau Claire, where he oversees the music program and its staff of three musicians and conducts the Chancel Choir and Brass Ensemble. Under his leadership the Chancel Choir recently released a compact disc titled "Lord, You Have Been Our Dwelling Place" in honor of the church's 150th anniversary this year. In addition, the Chancel Choir annually commissions a choral work.

"It's an honor to be recognized by my peers for this award," Schwartzhoff said. "My lifelong work in church music has been a rewarding experience involving the four churches I have been privileged to serve as director of music."

Schwartzhoff said his interest in church music is a reflection of his background involving Gregorian Chant as a child in the Catholic Church.

At UW-Eau Claire, Schwartzhoff conducts the Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Singing Statesmen and teaches conducting.

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JW/JB

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