Tom Trenney shares his passion as pastoral musician, composer, and teacher in worship with his home congregation, in the college classroom, and in performances, hymn festivals, choral and organ workshops and master classes all around the country. Since 2009, he has been blessed to serve as Minister of Music to First-Plymouth Church (United Church of Christ) in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he shepherds three adult choirs, accompanies the congregation on the Schoenstein organ, preaches sermons, and guides the Abendmusik at First-Plymouth Concert Series. In 2015-16, three of First-Plymouth’s choirs were honored to perform at conventions of the Nebraska Choral Directors Association, the Nebraska Music Educators Association, and the North Central American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). In March 2017, First-Plymouth’s chamber choir, Cantorei, sang two worship services at the national ACDA convention in Minneapolis. In 2019, the Plymouth Choir was selected as a semi-finalist for the American Prize for Choral Performance.
Tom has been appointed Visiting Assistant Professor of Music and Choir Director at Nebraska Wesleyan University for the 2019-20 season. In this role, he will conduct the University Choir and Chamber Singers and teach a conducting class. In Fall 2018, Tom served as visiting conductor of the Wartburg Choir and Ritterchor Men's Chorus at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. His semester in residence included leadership of the annual Christmas With Wartburg festival. In Spring 2019, Tom served as visiting conductor of the Doane Choir at Doane University in Crete, Nebraska, preparing the choir to sing in a performance of Brahms' A German Requiem which he conducted with the Abendmusik Chorus and Nebraska Wesleyan University Choir in April 2019.
In addition to his ministry at First-Plymouth, Tom is Music Director of sounding light — a chamber choir which he founded in southeastern Michigan in 2003. sounding light was honored with the invitation to perform at the national convention of the ACDA in March 2017. In spring 2019, sounding light offered the Michigan and Ohio premieres of John Muehleisen's moving and meaningful Pietà. The ensemble has been honored as a national semi-finalist for the American Prize Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music, professional ensemble division.
Tom’s choral compositions have been published by Augsburg Fortress, Beckenhorst, E.C. Schirmer/Galaxy, Morningstar, MusicSpoke, Pavane, and G. Schirmer. His music has been sung in churches and colleges around the country. Tom’s CD recordings with First-Plymouth and sounding light have been featured on national public radio’s Pipedreams, With Heart and Voice, and Sing for Joy.
Most notably, Tom has been blessed to perform and teach at regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists (AGO), the ACDA, the Organ Historical Society, the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, the Sewanee Church Music Conference, the Calvin Institute of Worship, Choristers Guild, and the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts. In July 2020, he will lead a choral and spiritual retreat on the Isle of Iona in Scotland.
A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Eastman School of Music, Tom is grateful for the inspiration of his teachers and mentors – especially Anton Armstrong, David Davidson, Craig Hella Johnson, (Mister) Fred Rogers, William Weinert, Anne Wilson and Todd Wilson.