Musical Guests

Pre-worship Service Music


Renewed is a Christian rock band with the goal of “Renewing lives one song at a time.” This is accomplished through music and lyrics that touch the hearts of listeners worldwide.

Check out samples of Renewed’s music here.

Fr. Michael J. Nicosia

Father Michael J. Nicosia is the Vicar of the Presiding Bishop to the Rocky Mountain Region of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion, and Pastor of Pax Christi Ecumenical Catholic Church in Denver, Colorado. He is nn accomplished artist, singer and musician with a flair for the theatrical. He will perform a spirit song on a flute to prepare us for worship.

Worship Service Music

Jessica Nilles, a native of Webster City, Iowa, is a doctoral candidate pursuing a degree in piano performance at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is currently on faculty at Wartburg College, her alma mater, where she teaches applied piano and works as a collaborative pianist. Known for her passion for solo and collaborative performances, as well as teaching, Nilles has been actively involved in all three facets throughout her career. She has performed as a solo and collaborative pianist in many venues, including the White House, the Esterházy Palace in Austria and Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. Nilles also holds degrees in piano performance and pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma and in piano performance from Wartburg College.

Brian Pfaltzgraff is an associate professor of voice at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.  While completing the Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Michigan, Dr. Pfaltzgraff was on the faculties of Ohio Northern University, and Concordia University, Ann Arbor. He received his Master of Arts in German Literature and his Master of Music from Bowling Green State University, and his Bachelor of Music Education and German from Simpson College. Dr. Pfaltzgraff has performed over 30 leading operatic roles and an even wider range of concert works.  In demand as a soloist in Germany and the United States, he has appeared with Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis, and has also appeared in productions with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the St. Louis Masterworks Chorale, the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, Metropolitan Chorale, Toledo Opera, the Rochester Symphony, the Choral Arts Ensemble, Toledo Symphony, the Detroit Symphony (Civic), Canton Civic Opera, Mansfield Symphony, the Ann Arbor Festival of Song, the Rochester (NY) Chamber Orchestra, the Oak Ridge (TN) Civic Music Association, and the Des Moines Metro Opera.



Dr. Jacob Tews is Visiting Assistant Professor of Violin/Viola and Conductor of the Wartburg Community Symphony Orchestra at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. He earned a DMA in viola performance, with a secondary emphasis in music theory, from the University of Minnesota. As a violist and violinist, his recital appearances have featured works both standard and new, including one of his own compositions, vapor, which he premiered at the Primrose International Viola Festival in 2014. Currently, Tews performs with several regional orchestras and as the violist of his newly-formed—with violinist Erik Rohde—contemporary music duo, sonic apricity. As an educator, Tews has enjoyed opportunities to teach at Wartburg College, Southern Illinois University (SIU), and the University of Minnesota. As a composer, he has had his works played throughout the country, with well-received performances in venues from California to South Carolina. When not teaching, rehearsing, performing, or composing music, Tews enjoys spending time with his family, just completed his second marathon, plays tennis well and golf poorly, and continues his pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee. He currently lives in Waverly with his wife, Leith, and their five young children, Eliana, Quinton, Micaiah, Milo, and Orli.


Dr. Suzanne Torkelson is Professor of Piano at Wartburg College, as well as Director of the Tower School of Music, a program of pre-college students studying with Wartburg’s student teachers. As past president of the Iowa Music Teachers Association (IMTA) and Repertoire Chairperson for the state of Iowa, she is actively involved in the professional field of piano and piano pedagogy. She is a frequent speaker in the areas of piano performance and pedagogy and has received the Master Teacher Award from both MTNA and IMTA.  During her many years as Iowa’s Repertoire Chair, she published five editions of the IMTA Syllabus Repertoire List, as well as reviews of new music in the Iowa Music Teachers Magazine.  Dr. Torkelson spent the 2016-2017 academic year on sabbatical, finishing the last of the eight levels of Etudes with Technique© series for FJH Music, and working in London at the Royal Academy and Royal College of Music.  She has served MTNA at all levels, most recently as West Central Division Director and on the national board of directors.