Institute’s Schola Director (2019-2021)
Sally Messner is the Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church of South Lyon (Michigan) and is founding musical director of the Elm Ensemble, a liturgical project bringing together professional and amateur musicians with great sacred music to help keep the church in dialogue with diverse voices from Christian history. She earned a Bachelor of Music from Valparaiso University(’02) in Indiana and a Master of Sacred Music from Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Deaconess Valerie Webdell holds a degree in Piano and Music Education from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. Having directed both school and auditioned choirs, from 1995-2003 she was the Artistic Director of the Southlake Children’s Choir in Northwest Indiana. She is a published composer of several pieces of children’s choral literature. As a pianist, she enjoys playing for worship and theatrical productions. She had a private piano studio for children and adults from 2002-2018. Currently, Valerie serves as Co-Director of Education and Formation at the Lutheran Diaconal Association where she helps to train and form women and men as Lutheran Deaconesses and Deacons.