Stephen Schnurr has served as Director of Music for Saint Paul Catholic Church, Valparaiso, Indiana, since 1990. At Saint Paul, he has led the adult choir on concert tours of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Another tour is planned for June 2014. He has led the Junior Choir on tour with the young people’s choirs of Grace Episcopal Church, Oak Park, Illinois, to Saint Louis and Minneapolis. The next tour for these groups will occur in April of 2013, with a visit to Louisville.
Schnurr holds the Master of Music, Master of Musical Arts, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music/School of Music, and the Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Latin from Duke University. His organ teachers have included Thomas Murray, Charles Krigbaum, Gerre Hancock, Peter Williams, Robert Parkins, and Melvin Dickinson. He studied choral conducting with Rodney Wynkoop and Marguerite Brooks.
As a recitalist, Dr. Schnurr has performed throughout the United States as well as in Germany, Poland, England, and Northern Ireland. He was the only American to perform for the International Organ Festival at Bielsko-Biala, Poland, in 1999. In July of 2012, he presented his tenth recital for a National Convention of the Organ Historical Society. His recital work is repeatedly featured on OHS Productions releases.
Schnurr is a frequently-published authority on the history of the American pipe organ, particularly in the Great Lakes region. His articles have appeared in journals such as The Tracker, The American Organist, and The Stopt Diapason. In 2009, he finished Pipe Organs of Chicago, Volume II, from Chauncey Park Press (with Dennis Northway). The critically-acclaimed Volume I of Pipe Organs of Chicago, released in 2005, is the largest-selling organ atlas to be published in the United States.
Active with the Organ Historical Society, he was Secretary of the National Council from 2000 until 2011 and Chair of the Historic Organ Citations Committee from 2003 until 2012. He has served on OHS convention committees for Chicago (2002, for which he was committee chair), Buffalo (2004), Central Indiana (2007), Cleveland (2009), and Chicago (2012). He was President of the Chicago-Midwest Chapter from 1995 through 2001, and is editor of that chapter’s journal, The Stopt Diapason. He is frequently consulted for historic organ restorations in the Chicago metropolitan region.