The Kennedy Center

Eileen Guenther


Dr. Eileen Guenther is Professor of Church Music at Wesley Theological Seminary, where she teaches music and worship courses and is Director of Chapel Music. Her role as teacher extends to churches and musical and denominational organizations, where she leads workshops on music and social justice, global music, Spirituals, and clergy-music relations. Her book on the latter topic, Rivals or a Team? Clergy-Musician Relationships in the 21st Century, was published in 2012 by MorningStar Music Publishers. It has received a great deal of media attention, and interviews with Eileen have been published in a variety of venues from blogs and denominational newsletters to The Huffington Post and Christian Century. Her book on The Power of Spirituals is in progress and will be published by MorningStar in the near future.

Eileen is in her third term as National President of the American Guild of Organists; she is the third woman to lead this organization since its founding in 1896. The AGO is made up of over 17,000 members and serves organists and choral musicians around the world. As an organ recitalist Eileen has performed around the US as well as in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. She is featured on several record labels and for many years was the host of her own award-winning radio program, The Royal Instrument, broadcast on Washington’s only full-time classical music station at the time.

Dr. Guenther is currently Director of Music at First Congregational UCC in Washington, D.C. Previously she served as Minister of Music and Liturgy at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington. Under her leadership the Foundry Choir appeared at United Methodist General Conference events and was invited to sing at the White House numerous times. Described in a review by The Washington Post as "one of Washington’s best choruses," the choir presented an annual Concert for Life. Under Eileen’s direction, these concerts raised more than $600,000 for organizations serving those living with HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa and in the Washington area. She was recently honored for her leadership at the 20th annual Concert for Life on the occasion of the cumulative contributions topping $1 million.

Watch Past Performances

Video 10/30/2013: Eileen Guenther

The President of the American Guild of Organists and Professor of Church Music at D.C.’s Wesley Theological Seminary brings her talents to the Rubenstein Family Organ.

Eileen Guenther