If you’ve been reading this blog during my trip to Germany, you have no doubt seen many references to my amazing host, Pastor Kurt Oberschäfer. Although he has recently retired, he was for many years the Protestant Chaplain for the Germany military in the USA and Canada, as well as a pastor at several Lutheran churches in Germany. In addition to his work ethic, kindness, and generosity, he is also known for being “The Pastor with the Trumpet.” Wherever he was working, he would always play his trumpet during services and share his love for music with his flock. Today he still practices over an hour every day in his home studio.
On one of our days off from concerts, Kurt invited me to his lovely home in Paderborn for a delightful afternoon of gracious hospitality with his wife, Rosemarie. He also showed me a map in his home studio that plots all of the places he has visited in the U.S. and Germany. Very impressive!
All of the work that Kurt has done to organize the tour with Reinhard Ehritt, the Detmold Hochschule, sponsorships, rehearsals, venues, ticket sales, and logistics is incredible, and has been over a year in the making. If I live to be 100, I could never thank him enough!
Elisa Koehler is Professor of Music and Chair of the Music Department at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Formerly the Director of the Center for Dance, Music, and Theatre at Goucher College and the Music Director and Conductor of the Frederick Symphony Orchestra, she is a professional conductor, trumpeter, and author. Dr. Koehler has performed on both modern and period instruments with the Bach Sinfonia, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Handel Choir of Baltimore, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Washington Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, Baltimore’s Bach Concert Series, and as the leader of Newberry's Victorian Cornet Band. Her publications include two books: Fanfares and Finesse: A Performer’s Guide to Trumpet History and Literature (Indiana University Press) and A Dictionary for the Modern Trumpet Player (Rowman & Littlefield), numerous articles on historic brass for the ITG Journal, and new performing editions of the Haydn and Hummel trumpet concerti for Carl Fischer Music. She was named a Distinguished Alumna by the University of Tennessee in 2009 and elected to the Board of Directors of the International Trumpet Guild in 2017. In 2014 Dr. Koehler received Goucher College's highest faculty honor, the Caroline Doebler Bruckerl Award, which recognizes an exemplary faculty member in the areas of scholarship, teaching, and service. She earned a doctorate in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Conservatory, a master’s degree in trumpet performance from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and bachelor’s degrees in both music education and performance from Peabody.
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One thought on “The Pastor with the Trumpet”
Thanks, Elisa, for your many kind words about Kurt. He has been so dedicated to planning and bringing this concert tour into reality. Each of the concerts is a remarkable accomplishment for him — and of course for you even more so. Bravo for you and him and all the musicians.