Composition is firmly entrenched in the musical DNA of Dr. R. Christopher Teichler.
In the last 12 months, Tabor College audiences have heard Teichler’s talents on stage and across multimedia.
Teichler wrote “13,” a song based on Psalm 13 and performed by the Tabor Concert Choir. A music video was filmed, produced, and released on Oct. 1, 2021, by Austin Calam (g’18), owner of Kairos Studios. The video starred Mallory Ediger (cs). The Inauguration of President David Janzen featured “Sun, Rain, and Wind,” which Teichler wrote from a poem by Jean Janzen for the Sept. 24, 2021, event.
Audiences were also treated to “The Good Samaritan” on Mother’s Day. Teichler wrote and produced the cantata in 2016. The performance told the story of the parable found in Luke 10:25-37.
Teichler told Dr. Greg Zielke, director of music, of the cantata when he arrived in Hillsboro in fall 2019, and he recalls it striking Zielke’s attention. During the 2020-21 school year, Zielke told Teichler he wanted to perform the cantata in spring 2022.
“Hearing these groups perform my writing inspires me to want to do more,” Teichler said. “I feel I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”
As he began writing the cantata six years ago, Teichler said he was struck by a piece that had four Psalms interwoven with stories of four people who lived in Jerusalem at the time.
In his composition, Teichler chose to add Old Testament text through breaks in the parable.
“Rather than just saying, ‘Here’s the text with some music to it,’ it’s putting the story and other scripture into perspective and contemplating who we are as Christians,” he said.
Teichler’s career in music has taken him to four different universities in the Chicago area, including Wheaton, Trinity, Northwestern, and DePaul. He is also the Composer in Residence for the MidCities Chamber Singers, a choral group that performs in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, metroplex.
He has taught composition, conducting, aural skills, trumpet, and piano through more than 30 years in music. He directs the Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, and Bluejay Band at Tabor.
As he prepares for his fourth year at Tabor College, Teichler said he hopes his passion for the arts continues to inspire future generations of musicians.
“I want to help each student craft their vision for their future and do what I can to get them there,” he said. “I hope I can fill in some gaps along the way to benefit them in the short and long term. It’s truly a collaborative process, and I aspire to see them become as well-rounded as possible.”