Chris Schroeder’s devotion to music as ministry makes the entire music program at Grace so relevant. His knowledge base and attention to each musical element in worship create an experience so much deeper than what we might perceive through spoken words alone.
Chris became Grace Church’s Minister of Music and Organist in November of 2013, continuing the great music ministry established by his predecessor and friend, Mr. Bruce Eicher. Chris had previously been at Towson Presbyterian Church, his first church job in the state of Maryland. Before moving to Baltimore, Chris spent his prior years in Indiana, his home state. Chris grew up in a very musical family on a dairy farm in Rushville, Indiana when he remembers hearing his Dad’s booming bass voice singing at weddings and funerals. Throughout his childhood, Chris watched his Mother play organ for the weekly Mass at our local Catholic Church. After beginning piano lessons in 3rd grade, Chris began to play organ for church services, both Catholic and Protestant, during his high school years and took organ lessons at Earlham College in Richmond, IN. In adulthood, Chris always maintained a weekend church job while working during the week in various professions, including work as a social worker for the State of Indiana and later as an accountant for the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library. In 2001, Chris began work on a Masters Degree in Church Music and Organ Performance at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. His intention with this degree was to find full time employment as a church musician. While at Indiana University, Chris studied with some phenomenal musicians, including his organ teacher, Dr. Marilyn Keiser, a world-renowned organist and church musician. Upon completion of his degree, Chris began searching for full time employment, which eventually lead him to Baltimore. Chris appreciates being on the East Coast where he has made some great friends and colleagues and has found many opportunities to play and perform. Though he misses his large extended family and Indiana friends, Chris was able to be with his family this past July, where three generations of Schroeder’s gathered to visit once again. Chris loves his work at Grace Church, supported by talented soloists, choir members and church members, and collaborating with clergy and staff on meaningful worship experiences. Chris also appreciates the diversity and openness to all that Grace Church expresses throughout each of its ministry. When not working on musical things, Chris enjoys a good run or a long bike ride through the great trails around the DC area, a quick trip to see the ocean at Rehoboth Beach, playing cards (Euchre, Double Pinocle) online or in-person with friends and appreciates good company with friends over a shared meal.