Willard Thomen has been serving as Director of Music at St. Luke since 2005, conducting the Chancel Choir (adults), the Youth Choir (grades 6-12) and the Carol Choir (grades 3-5). He works in close consultation with our pastor, Lesley Weir, the Worship Committee, and our organist, Bonnie Johansen-Werner, to provide a dynamic and creative music ministry that coordinates with the liturgy and themes of the weekly services. Each year, the adult and youth choirs present two special music services and the children present a musical on Mother's Day.
Will has been conducting church choirs throughout the Chicago area for thirty-six years. Following his graduation from the School of Sacred Music, Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he received his Masters in Sacred Music, Will began his career in music ministry at the Roseland Presbyterian Church in Chicago. He also served as Director of Music for Southminster Presbyterian Church in Arlington Heights and The First Presbyterian Church of LaGrange. For seventeen years he directed and coordinated the music program at Community United Methodist Church in Naperville, where he conducted eighteen "Sing-Along" Messiahs. Other orchestral choral works he has conducted include several Fauré Requiems, Vivaldi's Gloria, Rutter's Requiem, Mozart's Solemn Vespers and Schubert's Mass in G.
As a professional tenor, Will has sung with numerous organizations throughout Chicago, including the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Music of the Baroque, and the Chicago Baroque ensemble. He has appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestral presentations by university and community ensembles. Will teaches private voice and classes in music appreciation and art appreciation as well as courses in vocal pedagogy and French and German diction at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, and conducts the University of St. Francis Concert Chorale, a community/student/faculty-staff ensemble. He also teaches private and class voice at Concordia University in River Forest.