Singing Praise for a Legend

Fiscal year 2021 marked the departure of music professor and director of the CSB/SJU Chamber Choir (as well as the SJU Men’s Chorus) Axel Theimer – after over 50 years in our community.
“He’s been here longer than all of us,” observes CSB/SJU Music Department Chair David Arnott. “In fact, three tenured members of our department weren’t even born yet when he started teaching here.”
“I went into teaching music and he was a vital part of that process,” says Elizabeth Schmitz Gust ’07, a CSB alum who taught music in public schools for 11 years and still serves as director of the Twin Cities Girls Choir.
“I knew I could always go to him to ask questions and he was always available to work with my students in different capacities over the years.”
For his part, Theimer is proud of the tradition he’s built. But true to his nature, he’s quick to share credit with the many students he’s worked with over the years.
“People say I had a positive influence in their lives, and I’m always thrilled when I hear that, but truly I just consider myself lucky I had the opportunity to be here this long,” he says. “I’m grateful to have had the chance to help so many people participate in it over the years.”