Elsabé Kloppers (DTh, DMus) held a position as full Professor in Practical Theology at the University of South Africa (Unisa) and in 2021, became a Professor Extraordinaire, with focus on research. A rated researcher of the National Research Foundation (NRF), her current focus is on the role of hymns and religious songs in lived religion, and the cultural meaning of hymns. She was a regular presenter at the Summer School on Music and Religion, a joint project of the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik, Heidelberg, and the Faculty of Theology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany (2013–2018). She currently serves on the Executive Committee of two international hymnological societies and is a member of various other scholarly societies. Previously, she was the Coordinator of the Institute for Music Research at the NRF and a part of the Swedish-South African Research Network on Music and Identity (SSARN). She served on the various committees for the official hymnal in Afrikaans (Liedboek van die Kerk 2001) and through translations made a substantial contribution towards an ecumenical consciousness. The translation of hymns is an ongoing interest in her research.
Prof. Dr. Jochen Arnold was born in 1967 in Marbach/N (near Stuttgart) in Germany. He studied theology and church music in Tübingen, Rome and Stuttgart from 1989 to 1998. He was member of Stuttgart Chamber Choir as a singer and continuo player. After years as a church musician and vicar of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Württemberg in Reutlingen, he was ordained in 2002.
The subject of his PhD (dissertation) was about the relationship between theology and liturgy and published as the theology of the liturgy (Theologie des Gottesdienstes). He was promoted at the University of Tübingen in 2003. From 2002 to 2004, he taught homiletics, pastoral theology and liturgics for incoming pastors in Stuttgart.
Since 2004 up to now, he is director of Michaeliskloster Hildesheim, Centre for Worship and Music of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Hanover. He is teaching the theology of the liturgy, preaching, practical liturgics and conducting as well as he is responsible for the management of the institution. After his theological habilitation J.S. Bach’s Cantatas (God’s hiddenness and revelation) in 2008, Jochen Arnold has been teaching Systematic and Practical theology at the University of Lipsia (Leipzig) as well as practical theology and music (conducting) at the University of Hildesheim.
Jochen Arnold is conducting three Ensembles, the Orchestra Collegium Musicum Hildesheim, the Choir of the University Hildesheim and the Chamber Choir Gli Scarlattisti. With this Ensemble many Radio and CD recordings of vocal music, such as J.S. Bach’s Motets or Monteverdi’s Vespers of the Blessed Virgin Mary or other Baroque Music (cf. www.scarlattisti.de) were published.
Jochen Arnold is chairman of the German Protestant Liturgical Conference and Liturgical Advisor to the CPCE (GEKE) since 2013. He has published many articles and books on music and theology. He is editor of the theological book series gemeinsam gottesdienst gestalten by EVA (Leipzig) (actually, 32 books).
Sirkku Rintamäki is a versatile Finnish church musician, singer, pianist, composer and conductor. She has worked as a cantor of the Kannelmäki congregation in Helsinki since 1998 focussing mainly on children’s music, choir work and singing. Rintamäki is completing her artistic church music doctoral studies at the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki since 2014. Her subject is A voyage of discovery into the soul of the hymn – approaches to affect-based hymnal practice as a singer, instrumentalist and a composer of the future hymn. In her research, she has approached a creative hymn from different perspectives asking, for instance, following questions: How can the concept of the hymn be expanded by artistic practice-based research? How can we create a hymn together? How can the implementation and the concept of the hymn be enriched by the aspects of play, touching, embodiment, spatiality and intersubjectivity?
Rintamäki’s compositions consist mainly of hymns, songs, liturgical music and arrangements for different ensembles. As a part of her artistic doctoral project, she has composed new hymns that she calls wild hymns. She sings in the Helsinki Chamber Choir and has also worked as an early music singer in different ensembles during recent years. She teaches the children’s choir conducting and liturgical singing at the Sibelius Academy.
Among Rintamäki’s research interests are to find pathways to combine artistic research and the research of church music fruitfully, applying the concept of the play (lek, leikki) in the context of congregational musicking, especially hymnicking (see: Ragnhild Strauman 2021) and to explore possibilities to utilize different modes of creative writing in hymnological artistic research output.