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 continues to lead workshops and hymn festivals around the United States.
Schwandt received his Bachelor of Music from St. Olaf College and a Master of Sacred Music from the University of Notre Dame. His principle 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 research is focused on the mid-20th Century organist, composer, and teacher David N. Johnson and his contributions to American church music.