John W. Becker, composer, conductor, and organist is the founding director of the Pittsburgh Compline Choir, which sings Choral Compline every Sunday evening of the academic year in Heinz Memorial Chapel on the University of Pittsburgh, Oakland Campus, Pittsburgh. His retirement was celebrated in 2002.
For fourteen years prior to coming to Pittsburgh he was on the national staff of the Lutheran Church in America in Philadelphia as Secretary for Church Music. He served as convener and faculty of the Lutheran Summer Church Music Workshops held in the Virgin Islands and on college campuses for many years throughout the U.S. and Canada. He also made presentations at conventions of the Hymn Society of America and the AGO. He has been presented in organ concerts in Germany, the U.S., and Canada, and has been heard on American Public Media's Pipedreams, playing the new Reuter Organ in Heinz Memorial Chapel at the University of Pittsburgh.
Mr. Becker was Director of Music and Organist for the Biennial Conventions of the LCA in Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Louisville, Toronto, Milwaukee, and Columbus. In 1987 he was the Director of Music and Conductor in Columbus for the Constituting Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He was an active staff participant in the preparation, review, and introduction of Lutheran Book of Worship.
A recipient of the Master of Sacred Music degree from Union Theological Seminary, School of Sacred Music, New York City, he did further organ study with Helmut Walcha at the Hochschule fur Musik, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. During the years he served as Director of Music at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Buffalo, New York, he founded and directed the Lutheran Chorale of Buffalo, which presented The Bach Hour Series of Bach Cantata Concerts with members of the Buffalo Youth Symphony and eminent guest organists.
A Past Dean of the Buffalo Chapter, American Guild of Organists, Mr. Becker was the General Chairman of the National Convention of the AGO in Buffalo in 1970. His music is published by MorningStar Music, Augsburg Fortress, GIA, and Classical Vocal Reprints. His wife, The Rev. Ruth Bosch Becker, retired, was Lutheran Campus Pastor in Pittsburgh. They have three grown children: Frederick, Susan, and Margaret.
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