David FienenEmeriti

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Emeritus Professor of Music in Music

David Fienen is Emeritus Professor of Music at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. He retired in 2011 after 38 years as Cantor at Christ Chapel and Professor of Music. Most recently, he served for two years as Provost and Dean of the College, having previously been Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs (2000-2001), Associate Dean of the College from (1993-1996), and Director of General Education ( 2002- 2007). He also served the College as Chair of the Faculty Senate as well as chair or member of several other standing committees of the faculty.

He was chair of the Music Department (1983-1986 and 2005-2009) and was the Edgar F. and Ethel Johnson Professor of Fine Arts (2003-2009). He received degrees from Indiana University, Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, and the University of Minnesota. He continues his active performance career in the United States and Europe. In addition to a solo recital tour through North Germany and Berlin, he has toured Central Europe with both the Gustavus Brass Ensembles (1989) and the Gustavus Wind Orchestra (1994, 2006, 2010, and 2014). In June 1990, he was an artist/fellow with the Bach Aria Festival and Institute at Stony Brook, N.Y. Since 1988 he has been the keyboardist and occasional soloist with the Mankato Symphony Orchestra, was Assistant Conductor of the Mankato-based choral group Musicorum during fall 1999, and for several years has been the accompanist for Musicorum, Minnesota Valley Chorale, and occasionally for the St. Peter Choral Society. In July 2004, he played an Orgelvesper at St. Jacobi in Lübeck, Germany, and an organ recital at the Schlosskirche in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Germany.

Dr. Fienen was secretary/treasurer of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (2001-2005), having previously served as founding president of Region III from (1986-1988), and as treasurer for the ALCM 1993, 1995, and 2017 biennial conferences. From 1983-1986 and 2016-2019, he was on the executive board of the Twin Cities chapter of the American Guild of Organists, is treasurer for the 2023 North Central Regional Convention of the AGO, and 1995-1997 he was on the board of directors and chair of the finance committee of The Collaboration for the Advancement of College Teaching and Learning.

He has recorded Hymns and Fanfares (with Gustavus Brass Ensembles) and Let Us Adore Him; Favorite Swedish Hymns; and Favorite Norwegian Hymns (with the Gustavus Choir), which are available from the Book Mark at Gustavus Adolphus College. He also appears as organ or harpsichord soloist and accompanist on three CDs produced by Musicorum. His current research is focused on the life and works of Jan Bender. He edited five volumes of organ works by Bender for Concordia Publishing House, published as a Commemorative Edition in 2005.

Recent publications:

"Jan Bender; Church Musician of the 20th Century," published in Perspectives on Organ Playing and Musical Interpretation; A Festschrift for Heinrich Fleischer at 90 (available from the Organ Historical Society).

The Master Organ Works of Jan Bender; A Commemorative Edition, 5 volumes, edited by David Fienen. St. Louis, Concordia Publishing House, 2005.

"Charles Hendrickson: Profile of a Minnesota Organbuilder," published in THE DIAPASON, June, 2017, pp. 20-22.


B.Mus. Indiana University; M.A.Rel. Concordia Seminary (St. Louis); D.M.A. University of Minnesota


music, reading, and travel

Courses Taught

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
MUS-220 Organ 30 2008/SP, 2007/FA, 2007/SP, 2006/FA, 2006/SP, 2005/FA, 2005/SP, 2004/FA, 2004/SP, 2003/SP, 2002/FA, 2002/SP, 2001/FA, 2000/FA, 2000/SP, 1999/FA, and 1999/SP
MUS-178 Handbell Choir 10 2003/SP, 2002/SP, 2001/FA, 2000/SP, and 1999/FA
MUS-224 Harpsichord 7 2006/SP, 2005/SP, 2004/SP, 2003/SP, 2000/SP, 1999/FA, and 1999/SP
MUS-390 Senior Music Capstone 6 2009/SP, 2008/FA, 2008/SP, 2007/FA, 2007/SP, and 2006/SP
MUS-345 Organ 5 2009/FA, 2009/SP, and 2008/FA
MUS-395 Honors in Performance 4 2009/SP, 2008/FA, 2008/SP, and 2007/FA
MUS-111 Music Theory I 4 2004/FA, 2002/FA, 2001/FA, and 1999/FA
MUS-112 Music Theory II 3 2005/SP, 2003/SP, and 2000/SP
MUS-165 Orchestra in E Europe 2 2014/JN and 2006/JN
MUS-245 Organ 2 2009/SP and 2008/FA
MUS-156 Gustavus Choir 2 2007/FA
MUS-397 Honors Project in History Literature 1 2007/FA
MUS-301 Church Music, Liturgics 1 2002/SP
MUS-268 Career Exploration 1 2000/JN
Courses prior to Spring semester 1999 are not displayed.