Transforming and connecting lives through faith and music since 1981.


Lutheran Music Program transforms lives and connects people through faith and music. The three values which we embrace are musical excellence, Lutheran faith, and a nurturing community. Our vision is to see churches and communities renewed through music for the sake of the world.



Lutheran Music Program was founded in 1981 to celebrate and extend the rich musical heritage of the Lutheran church. Our founders believed that by providing high-quality training and performance opportunities to young musicians they could cultivate a lifelong love of classical and sacred music, thus preserving these art forms for generations to come.

In 1982, “Sounds of Summer” (as the Lutheran Summer Music Academy & Festival was initially called) was launched. Each summer since then students, faculty, staff, and conductors have gathered in intentional community to make and perform music and celebrate the Lutheran faith tradition. In the final Festival Week each summer, student performances serve as a fitting conclusion to this four-week immersion of accelerated learning and highlight inspiring progress to friends and family.

Lutheran Music Program also maintains a close relationship with Lutheran colleges across the country as host campuses for LSM and through our Collegiate Partnership. Augsburg College, Augustana College-Rock Island, Augustana College-Sioux Falls, Concordia College, Gustavus Adophus College, Luther College, Valparaiso University, St. Olaf College, and Wittenburg University have all served as the summer home for LSM. 

Since our founding, we have expanded our programming to reach musicians and music appreciators of all ages and faith traditions, but our work remains rooted in Lutheran music, worship, and liturgical traditions.



Founding Director Emeritus

Dr. Carlos Messerli (1927-2017)

Honorary Advisers

Phyllis Duesenberg

Dieter Nickel

Dr. Carl Schalk

Dr. Carlos Messerli Service Award 

In 2018, the Lutheran Music Program Board of Directors inaugurated the first annual Dr. Carlos Messerli Service Award. The award will be given each year to someone who follows Dr. Messerli's example of outstanding service to the mission of Lutheran Music Program. 

Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:18b-20


2019: Phyllis Duesenberg

2018: Dr. Carlos Messerli