Raised in a musical family in Appleton, Wisconsin, Daniel Schwandt has established himself as a thoughtful and engaging voice in the field of church music through his work as an organist, composer, and leader of congregational song. He is an advocate for music that is both beautiful and useful; expressing through diverse musical languages an attentiveness to the evolving needs of Christian worship and the need for music of craft and substance. Schwandt has served as the Cantor of Lutheran congregations in Minneapolis and Chicago, and for twelve years was the Seminary Cantor of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He is currently University Organist and Lecturer of Music at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music and Associate Director of Music at Trinity English Lutheran Church of Fort Wayne, Indiana. He also teaches organ at Purdue University Fort Wayne. He continues to lead workshops and hymn festivals around the United States.
Dr. Schwandt holds degrees in organ and church music from St. Olaf College and the University of Notre Dame. His principal teachers have included George Damp, John Ferguson, Douglas Reed, and Craig Cramer in organ; Carolyn Jennings and John Liberatore in composition; Anton Armstrong and Carmen-Helena Téllez in conducting, and Maxwell Johnson in liturgy. His doctoral dissertation, "A Responsibility to God and Man: The Organ Works of David N. Johnson (1922-1987)" explores Johnson's life and his unique contributions to American church music.