Meet Ron Klusmeier — He composes hymns, songs & anthems for worship

ron-klusmeier-composer-christian-hymns-songs-anthemsRon Klusmeier lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. He composes, arranges, and edits new music for worship and serves as a resource consultant for churches throughout Canada and the U.S. Ron provides leadership at churches, conferences, and special events throughout North America each year.

He has worked in music and arts as a full-time ministry since 1971 as a composer, editor, and arranger. Ron’s freelance work includes leading workshops, seminars, concerts, and worship celebrations. He has worked with nearly 2,000 churches in every Canadian province and almost every U.S. state.

Learn More About Ron Klusmeier

Musiklus Team Members

  • Christina Bogucki

    Christina Bogucki

    Christina specializes in graphic arts and projection technology, creating stunning visual images to complement musical and dramatic presentations.

    Born and raised in Montreal, Christina completed post-secondary studies at York University in Toronto. She majored in Fine Arts with a minor in English, graduating with a B.Ed. and a B.F.A. (honours).

    Christina taught at Southwood Secondary School in Cambridge, Ontario from 1980 to 1996. In the summer of 1996, she and Ron moved to Vancouver Island where she co-founded Musiklus. In addition to her work in graphic arts and computer projection, Christina guides the administrative track of Musiklus.

     

  • Clay & Lorraine Thompson

    Clay & Lorraine Thompson

    Ron & Christina’s longtime friends, Clay & Lorraine Thompson, are accompanying them on this “Tour of a Lifetime”. Lorraine & Clay will be offering support through a variety of administrative and technical tasks. They will provide the leadership for local volunteers at each venue who will be helping to set up the spaces for workshops and concert, organizing front-of-house teams for ticket-taking and greeting, setting up the CD/Book, Foodgrains and Observer displays, and coordinating financial matters.

     

  • Lonnie Moddle

    Lonnie Moddle

    Lonnie was born and raised in Burnaby, British Columbia. She received her teaching certificate at Simon Fraser University, and earned a post-graduate Diploma in Kodaly Music Education at the University of Calgary. She has recently retired from her role as a classroom music specialist in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

    Lonnie has always enjoyed a musical life, starting with studying ballet for 11 years. Admiring two pianists in her life (her grandmother and the pianist for her ballet lessons), she began piano lessons and completed R.C.M. Gr. 10. She enjoyed singing in school and church choirs since a teen. As a teacher, Lonnie has directed many elementary school choirs. She has been directing church choirs for 30 years, and has also led a number of children’s choirs.

    Lonnie has assisted Ron Klusmeier as choir director for both senior and junior choirs; conducted massed ecumenical choirs for two Christmas CD’s, and various joint choir collaborations for cantatas and visiting authors.

     

  • Peter Peters

    Peter Peters

    Peter, my dear friend and colleague, died in April 2009. He was an important part of the Musiklus team for many years. His work as a meticulous proof-reader saw him devote countless hours to carefully examining every arrangement and version of hundreds of selections. Pete was “always there” for me - always ready on a moment’s notice to offer help setting up, tearing down, lugging equipment, and on and on and on.

    Peter loved fishing and anything to do with the ocean. Christina and I were the beneficiaries on many occasions when he would show up at the door with fresh oysters, crab, salmon, etc. He even taught us how to do crabbing on our own.

    Pete was raised on a farm in southern Manitoba and moved to Winnipeg upon completing high school. After several short term jobs he went to work for the City of Winnipeg where he remained until retirement in 1995. Shortly thereafter, he and his wife Wendy moved to Qualicum Beach.

    Singing always played an important role in Peter’s life. Since we met in 1998, he sang tenor with the Knox United Church Choir in Parksville where I served as Minister of Music for 13 years. If the choir was to gather at 9:15, Peter was ready to sing at 9:10. Whether practicing anthems on his own at home or having private piano and sax jam sessions with me, his passion for music was a gift for all of us.

    I will always remember his laugh, his love of life, and his incredible dedication to my music and ministry. I miss him very, very much.

    —RK

     

  • Phyllis Thompson

    Phyllis Thompson

    Phyllis wears many hats with Musiklus. She assists with proofreading the material in Ron’s web-based anthology and works regularly in the areas of promotion, publicity, and editing. Her new focus area will see her serving as the primary contact person for anthology subscribers. Because of her thoroughness and attention to detail, we know that subscribers will be able to count on prompt and efficient responses to their questions and special requests.

    Originally from the U.S., Phyllis moved to Canada in 1970 and became a Canadian citizen in 1975. She taught English at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon for sixteen years. For the next six years, Phyllis taught English and served as campus minister at an affiliated Benedictine college. In 1998 she took early retirement and moved to Nanaimo, BC. A background in Theology has permitted Phyllis to do volunteer pastoral care at nursing homes - first in Saskatoon, now in Nanaimo - for more than two decades.

    Phyllis’ interest in music, especially singing, goes back to her childhood. Membership in high school and college glee clubs was followed by more than a decade in the University of Saskatchewan’s choral society which often performed with the local symphony. Phyllis sang in the choir under Ron’s leadership at Knox United Church in Parksville where he served as Minister of Music for thirteen years. Since the early 1980s Phyllis has continued to have regular contact with the Benedictines, an Order which takes great care in how music (both instrumental and vocal) is incorporated into worship.

     

  • Wendy Punter

    Wendy Punter

    Wendy was born and raised in a small town on the outskirts of Liverpool, England. In establishing her career, she trod many tortuous paths from an insignificant 15 year old clerk, to finally owning her own accounting and tax services company in Canada, many years later. She says of all the jobs she had, being a payroll clerk at seventeen was the worst! Imagine trying to figure .6 of an hour in pounds, shillings and pence (12 pence to the shilling, 20 shillings to the pound) for a worker who was paid 10 shillings and sixpence per hour - and all without a calculator! Plus in those days everyone was paid cash, once a week!

    Wendy and her husband had decided to retire and move to Van Island in 2008. She had been very lucky to sell a busy and thriving practice in Cochrane, Alberta. By one of those strange chances that happen in life she and Ron and Christina were put into contact with each other. They were looking for a bookkeeper and Wendy was bored with retirement already. (You can’t keep a good bookkeeper down). So now she takes care of their accounting and keeps them on the straight and narrow for all the tax bean counters.

    Despite her straight-laced accounting aptitude, Wendy also harbours a strong creative spirit, having been involved with amateur theatre since she left school. While living in Cochrane she started a community theatre group with the help of friends. Wendy was the artistic director for many successful productions. This duality of character is probably the reason Wendy feels so happy and comfortable working with Ron and Christina. She says their sense of humour is right in line with hers - quirky; and she is in awe of Ron’s tremendous musical and keyboard talents. Wendy would love to be able to play the piano but blew it at eleven years of age when she wouldn’t practice! She says: “There you go, that is why some people do accounting and taxes and others tinkle the ivories!”

     

Authors Slideshow

  • Brian Wren

    Brian Wren

    Brian Wren is a hymnwriter whose work appears in hymnals from many denominations and traditions throughout the English-speaking world. Born in London in 1936, he studied at Oxford, taking degrees in Modern Languages and Theology, including a D. Phil for work on the Hebrew prophets.

    Brian is an ordained minister of the United Reformed Church of Great Britain and an internationally published hymn writer. After taking degrees in Modern Languages and Theology at Oxford and completing his doctoral work there, he served in parish ministry, then as a campaigner and adult education consultant on world poverty issues.

    Since 1983, Brian has followed a freelance ministry, helping worshippers, ministers, educators and musicians to improve skills and deepen spirituality. Now living in the USA, Brian is on the United Reformed Church roll of ministers as serving overseas.

    Susan Heafield is Brian’s partner in marriage and in ministry. She is an ordained minister with the United Methodist Church, as well as a composer, singer, pianist, and guitarist. Together, Susan and Brian write songs for worship in a contemporary “gospel-folk” style. They co-lead workshops and courses when their respective commitments permit.

     

  • Fred Kaan

    Fred Kaan

    On October 4, 2009 we received the painful news of the death of my colleague and dear friend, Fred Kaan. He was frequently referred to as “the English-speaking Christian world’s poet laureate.” Our hearts continue to ache because of this loss.

    —RK

    Fred Kaan was born in a terraced house in Voorhelmstraat, a treeless street in the North Holland city of Haarlem on 27 July 1929. The years of early adolescence coincided with the Nazi occupation of Holland. His father was a member of the Dutch Resistance, and for two years the Kaans sheltered a Jewish woman in their home, and later gave refuge to an escaped political prisoner.

    In 1952, having offered himself for the Congregational ministry, he left Holland and entered the Western College, Bristol, graduating at Bristol University in 1954. After a postgraduate year which included sociology and pastoral studies, Fred was called to be minister of Windsor Road Congregational Church in Barry, South Wales and ordained in 1955.

    Moving to Pilgrim Church in Plymouth in 1963, Fred began work on a homemade hymn supplement entitled Pilgrim Praise. Fred’s hymn writing was born of necessity, out of the frustration of not finding what he wanted in the established hymnbook for next Sunday’s worship, and out of eagerness to put into words those things which were close to his heart and conscience.

    Fred received the call to office of the Minister-Secretary of the International Congregational Council in Geneva in 1968, a post he held until 1970 when he became an executive secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. His period in Geneva involved many other roles including staff member of the World Council of Churches working on Cantate Domino - the international and ecumenical hymnal.

    A decade of work based in Switzerland ended in 1978 when Fred was appointed as Moderator of the West Midlands Province of the United Reformed Church. Characteristically refusing to renew this appointment in 1985, as a gesture against ‘hierarchical thinking’ within the Church, he subsequently became team minister of the Central (Ecumenical) Church, Swindon, and minister of Penhill United Reformed Church.

    From 1993 to 1997, Fred combined his busy life of travel and public speaking with the role of Secretary of the Churches’ Human Rights Forum. The internationalism that has been so central to Dr Kaan’s ministry over the years has also characterised his family life. His first wife, Elly Steller (1928-93), was born in Indonesia of German and Dutch missionary parents. His elder son is married to a Swede; his younger son to a Hungarian; and his daughter to an Englishman.

    Fred and his wife Anthea Cooke, retired to the Lake District. ’ The view from the lounge and study is stunning, with mountains all around’, writes Fred on his faithful typewriter. Prior to her retirement, Anthea was a physician, her first appointment being at a Church of South India hospital in Madras. Between them the Kaans have a command of nine different languages (not counting Latin, Greek and Hebrew).

     

  • John Oldham

    John Oldham

    John served as a United Church minister for many years in Manitoba, including 14 years at Donnelly United Church in Winnipeg. While there, he developed a deep respect and affinity for native spirituality and how it relates to the Christian tradition. It is out of this experience that the text for the Oldham/Klusmeier collaboration SWEETGRASS AND CANDLE emerged.

    Another Oldham/Klusmeier piece, DEEP IN OUR HEARTS, has become an unofficial ‘anthem’ of United Church of Canada congregations from coast to coast.

    John and his spouse Marlene live in Winnipeg, Manitoba where they enjoy being close to family.

     

  • Lorne Robson

    Lorne Robson

    Lorne is a rancher and lover of creation. He lives in southern Manitoba.

    I first met this gentle, sensitive man at the Prairie Christian Training Centre in Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan. He had come to be a part of a hymnwriting course which was being offered by Walter Farquarson and me. Those interested in creating hymn texts worked with Walter; those who wished to work at music composition worked with me. At the end of the week, we attempted wedding the words and music that had been created over the previous five days. I found myself deeply moved by Lorne’s work and set one of his texts to music myself on that last day of the event. This was the beginning of a long-distance friendship which we both treasure.

    Our friendship was enriched by our common association with Gertrude Jasper of Hartney, Manitoba who lived to celebrate her 100th birthday. Gertrude is a legend in southern Manitoba, not only for her decades of musical contributions, but for her work in agriculture as well. It was Gertrude who insisted that Lorne should go to PCTC. Without her, we might never have known each other.

    RK

     

  • Ruth Duck

    Ruth Duck

    Ruth Duck is Professor of Worship at Garrett-Evangelical Seminary in Evanston, Ill., and author of several books about worship. Her hymn texts are published in Baptist, United Methodist, United Church of Christ, and United Church of Canada hymnals.

    Prior to arriving at Garrett in 1989, she served as pastor at United Church of Christ parishes in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts. Her undergraduate work was done at Southwestern-at-Memphis University, which is now called Rhodes College.

    Ruth holds two masters degrees- one from Chicago Theological Seminary and one from the University of Notre Dame. Her doctorate in theology was earned at Boston University. Her academic credentials are weighty ones and balance beautifully with her pastoral experience dealing with the everyday tasks as the spiritual leader of a parish community.

    Ruth’s powerful texts have emerged as the major part of the cutting edge of language that speaks of God in universal terms and in poetry that is as poignant as it is stoic.

     

  • Sheelah Megill

    Sheelah Megill

    Sheelah is a vibrant singer-song leader who also writes and performs dramatic monologues which interpret and present Scripture in a powerful and innovative style. Her creative ministry gives new life to biblical stories, bringing them into the present and inspiring listeners (and readers) to revisit and contemplate these stories with a new perspective.

    Sheelah is an award winning actor with numerous television and film credits. She has performed in live theatre throughout western Canada (including the Globe Theatre, Regina; Citadel Theatre, Edmonton; Theatre Calgary; and Arts Club Theatre in Vancouver).

    She has worked extensively in the film industry with roles in nearly 30 movies including “The Journey of Natty Gann,” “We’re No Angels,” and “Bingo.” Her numerous television appearances include “DaVinci’s Inquest,” “Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy,” “Sliders,” “Bye, Bye, Birdie,” and “Cold Squad.”

    Sheelah has recorded and toured with Ron, offering concerts and workshops featuring his music wedded with the words of Ruth Duck, Walter Farquharson, Fred Kaan, Shirley Murray, John Oldham, and Brian Wren.

    “Your Faith Has Made You Whole,” a worship and small group resource (book and CD)- the first in a series of Sheelah’s work- was released in October 2001. This was followed in 2003 by “My Great Grandmother’s House”, a collection of five original dramatic monologues, each drawn from a specific biblical text. Sheelah’s most recent project is in the same style as “My Great Grandmother’s House”. Titled “You’ll Know What To Say When You Get There”, it was released in August 2006.

     

  • Shirley Erena Murray

    Shirley Erena Murray

    Shirley Erena Murray (b. 1931) was born in Invercargill, New Zealand. She is a hymn text writer and hymnal editor, now living in Raumati Beach, New Zealand. Her Church traditions are Methodist, Presbyterian and ecumenical. Her work appears in over 50 collections worldwide, and her hymns have been set by more than 30 contemporary composers, notably Colin Gibson and Jillian Bray (NZ), Jane Marshall, Carlton Young and Jim Strathdee (USA), I-to Loh (Taiwan), Per Harling (Sweden), and Ron Klusmeier (Canada).

    Shirley’s themes range from the Church Year and the sacraments to inclusiveness, personal faith, non-violence and ecology. She was the Erik Routley Fellow in 1996, and has twice addressed The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. She has worked as teacher, Parliamentary researcher and producer of radio hymn programs. Her major collections are IN EVERY CORNER SING (Hope, 1992), EVERY DAY IN YOUR SPIRIT (Hope, 1996), FAITH MAKES THE SONG (Hope, 2003) and TOUCH THE EARTH LIGHTLY (Hope, 2008).

    All of Shirley’s hymns are represented by The Hope Publishing Company worldwide (except for Asia, Australia and New Zealand). In 2001 Shirley was honoured on the Queen’s birthday, being made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) “for services to the community as a writer of hymns.” She is the first New Zealand hymnwriter ever so honoured.

     

  • Walter Farquharson

    Walter Farquharson

    The Very Rev. Walter Farquharson was elected Moderator of The United Church of Canada in 1990, at the 33rd General Council. Born in Rosetown, SK, he was settled at the Saltcoats-Bredenbury Pastoral Charge in Saskatchewan Conference in 1961 and remained in pastoral ministry there until his retirement.

    Walter is the author of hundreds of hymn texts. He contributed 13 selections to Voices United (hymnbook of the United Church of Canada), including the Farquharson/Klusmeier collaboration “Walls That Divide” which is sung at worship in churches throughout the world. Walter’s gifts to the ministry of the church are deep and his vision is a loving one: “We need to recover a sense of being a spiritually based people who care for one another.”

    Walter and Joan Farquharson live in Saltcoats, Saskatchewan (Canada). They are the proud parents of four adult children, each with children of their own who are showered with love from Grandma & Grandpa Farquharson!