For the second year in a row, a Concordia University Wisconsin student has won the annual statewide Student Choral Composition Contest.


Nathanael Hahn, a senior at Concordia, received notification of his win this past week. Last year, David Schotte also received the honor for his piece, “Da pacem Domine” (Grant us peace, Lord).

Sponsored by the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association, the Student Choral Composition Competition invites student composers of any age to submit their 3-5 minute original arrangements. Entrants are judged in categories depending on their age. Winners of the WCDA competitions routinely represent the best and brightest of the discipline from throughout the state.

Hahn will be honored in January at the WCDA’s state conference, where a choral group may premiere his award-winning composition. His piece, “Love Bade Me Welcome,” is inspired by the George Herbert poem “Love (III),” where Christ is personified as love.

“My sister actually recommended the poem to me and as I read it I couldn’t help but think it would be really good set to music,” Hahn said. “The speaker in the poem keeps refusing the different things he’s offered, and finally love (Christ) commands the person sit and eat at his table. It illustrates how God’s personal love for us sinners endures because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us.”

Hahn, who will graduate in May 2020 with a degree in math and minor in Classical Pedagogy, has participated in other composition competitions but this is the first time he has won. He said he was motivated to participate because of his involvement in Concordia’s Kammerchor choir and at the recommendation of his professor, Dr. Alexa Doebele.

Hahn will perform as part of Concordia’s Kammerchor ensemble this Sunday, Nov. 17 during the university’s annual Christ the King celebration. The concert, which begins at 3:30 p.m., will also feature the Selah choir, and serves as a commemoration of the culmination of the liturgical year. Learn more about the concert here.

Concordia’s music department is a comprehensive Liberal Arts music experience which offers students the opportunity to study, perform, and travel (domestically and internationally) with departmental ensembles. Of the campus’ residential students, more than one third participate in music ensembles, applied instruction, and course study. More than half of the ensemble participants in the music department are non-music majors who wish to continue to perform and study music.

For those interested in pursuing a degree in music, however, Concordia offers some attractive options, including bachelor’s degrees in Liberal Arts music, music therapy equivalency, and parish music, as well as a master’s program in church music. Music scholarships are available.

Learn more about Concordia’s music department and program offerings here.

— Kali Thiel is director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at kali.thiel@cuw.edu or 262-243-2149.

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