LYNDA R. HASSELER, D.M.A., assumed the directorship of the renowned Capital University Chapel Choir in July, 1990, making her the first woman to head a choral program at a Lutheran college or university. Now celebrating her 28th year, she loves her role as Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities in the Conservatory of Music at Capital University, in Columbus, Ohio, where she directs the Chapel Choir, Choral Union, and a cappella ensemble, Philomel; and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting at Capital and Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Born and raised in Platte, South Dakota, (yes, people are from there!) she graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and received her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in conducting from Michigan State University.
Nurturing Capital University’s rich choral legacy, the choirs under her direction have received numerous invitations to perform for multiple music regional and national conferences and festivals, have been awarded gold medals in world choral competitions and have toured nationally and internationally. Dr. Hasseler is passionate about dynamic programming, creating concerts that “tell a story.” Her theme-based concerts feature classic and contemporary a cappella sacred and secular choral literature. Reflective of her commitment to perform music from a global perspective, performances under her feature diverse programming, staging, and a range of choral tone colors unified by a narrative theme. In partnership with Craig Courtney, she is co-editor of the Capital University Choral Series published by Beckenhorst Press and is a member of the Ohio Choral Directors Association board of directors. As a member of the Music for All National Artistic Advisory Committee, she is actively engaged with making music with young high school musicians.
On Leap Day, February 29, 2016, Dr. Hasseler made her conducting debut on Carnegie Hall stage, in performances of Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Ēriks Ešenvalds’ Trinity Te Deum. As a clinician and guest conductor, she performs regionally, nationally and internationally. She serves on juries for international competitions including most recently the 14th Concorso Corale Internazionale Choir Festival and Competition in Riva del Garde, Italy and in July, 2018 on the jurors panel for Sing Berlin! International Festival.
As a singer, Dr. Hasseler has performed, toured and recorded nationally and internationally with professional choral ensembles including the Robert Shaw Festival Chorus and the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus. She toured France with the Shaw Festival Chorus and appeared as a soloist. In addition to the concerts presented in France, she also has performed several works in Carnegie Hall with both ensembles. She shares Grammy honors with the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus and Orchestra, which, under Helmuth Rilling’s direction, were awarded a Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance for their recording of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Credo.
Most recently, she, along with the Chapel Choir and Choral Union, and composer Jake Runestad, was awarded the 2017-18 American Prize, Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music. She recently had the honor of conducting the Chapel Choir in the premiere performance of the Brock Commission “A Silence Haunts Me” by Jake Runestad at the 2019 ACDA National Conference in Kansas City. In March, 2019 she shared the podium with guest conductor and composer Eric Whitacre on Mees Hall stage in a Gala concert celebration of 100 Years of Music at Capital University. In June, 2019, she will conduct the Chapel Choir in festival concerts in the Netherlands and Belgium featuring the music of Jake Runestad.
Above all, Dr. Hasseler loves making music with the students and community members in the ensembles she directs. A firm believer in the power of choral singing to open minds, soften hearts, and transform lives, she will tell you that making music in an engaged choral rehearsal, crafting an expressive phrase, and shaping beautiful choral tone with the “best students in the world” are some of the most meaningful moments life has to offer. None of those things can compete, however, with the joy of being a mom to twenty-one-year-old Hannah, the “best daughter in the world.”