Martin Dicke

Dr. Martin Dicke is a Musical specialist with the Office of International Mission of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Prior to accepting that position in May 2016, he was the Cantor at Trinity Lutheran Church, Peoria, Illinois for 14 years. Having served in various capacities as a church musician over the course of his career, Martin is now returning to Papua New Guinea, the place of his birth, to serve as a musical educator and adviser to the people of the Gutnius (Good News) Lutheran Church, a church LCMS missionaries helped establish in the early 1960s. Martin's parents Edward and Phyllis served as missionaries in the Enga Province of PNG for 20 years and his uncle and aunt Rev. Dr. Willard and Elinor Burce served in PNG for 40 years. After attending Concordia University, St. Paul, Martin served churches in both Minnesota and Iowa, taught at a Lutheran high school for fifteen years, founded and directed a select choir in St. Paul/Minneapolis for ten years, and conducted the Chamber Singers of Iowa City for three. For several years Martin served as the Dean of the Peoria Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. He has a masters and doctorate in choral conducting (University of Minnesota and Iowa respectively). While at Trinity he helped establish the Trinity Concert Series ( and the Peoria Bach Festival ( held annually during the first week of June. At the same time, having grown up on the mission field he has a heart for songs of the global Church that proclaim Christ. His recent composition - Fanfare, Fugue, and Chorale on CRUCIFER for brass choir - was premiered at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in October 2014 in connection with the opening of the Concordia Historical Institute's Exhibit "Bringing Christ to the Highlands: Painting a Portrait of Early Lutheran Mission Work in Papua New Guinea." Sound samples of his music are available at

Author Archives: Martin Dicke

A New Hymn Text – “My Emmaus Road”

There is a great fear of death here in Papua New Guinea as there was for many hundreds of years of Christianity, even after Jesus rose from the dead. Even today, some Christians fear death. One of the great gifts of the Reformation and the Lutheran theology that followed is the emphasis their songs placed on the victory that Christians have over death and that it is therefore nothing to… Read More »

“Now No Condemnation”

On July 28, 1750 the great man of faith and church musician Johann Sebastian Bach entered eternal glory. His music reveals to us that he was not afraid of death, but rather welcomed it because he knew it was the door to eternal life with his Savior, Jesus Christ. The Lutheran church pauses on July 28 to commemorate his life, music, and faith. In case you missed it, here is… Read More »

The Passion According to St. Matthew

Observe Good Friday this year by watching the Peoria Bach Festival 2010 performance of the St. Matthew Passion. You can find it on the Peoria Bach Festival YouTube page by clicking here or following the link below. Although the performance is in German, English subtitles are provided making the story easy to understand and follow. The translation is a literal one so that the original meaning of the German is as… Read More »

I0: Psalm 90 – “Lord, Thou Hast Been Our Refuge” (Vaughan Williams)

As we leave one year and enter a new one, it is a good time to pray and meditate upon Psalm 90, that wonderful Psalm of Moses that considers the timeless nature of our God. Below you will find a link to “Lord, Thou Has Been Our Refuge,” a setting of Psalm 90 by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958). In this setting Vaughan Williams combines an original setting of Psalm 90… Read More »

Thoughts on “Silent Night”

Did you know that the beloved Christmas carol “Silent Night” originally had six stanzas and not three? We know this from an original manuscript submitted by the composer Franz Gruber (1787-1863) when an official investigation was held in 1854 on the origins of the carol. Other autographs have been discovered over the years, the most recent being by the author of the text, Father Joseph Mohr (1792-1848). When comparing the English translation… Read More »

I5: Psalm 95 – “O Come, Let Us Sing Unto the Lord” (Handel)

Psalm 95 is an exhortation to sing and praise God for all He is and all that He does. Here is a setting of selected verses of this psalm by Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759). The text is below the recording link or can be downloaded by clicking here. Find 30 minutes today to relax, listen to this psalm, and meditate on all that God has done for you, especially by redeeming… Read More »

L1: Psalm 121 – “I Will Lift up Mine Eyes” (Walford Davies)

Having grown up in the mountains of Papua New Guinea, Psalm 121 has always been a favorite: “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills.” We were literally surrounded by mountains. In the distance on either end of the valley the mountains cascaded over each other in infinite shades of blue and green. As we looked southeast towards Mt. Hagen, we could see the rugged mountain range over which the… Read More »

C2: Psalm 32 – “You Are a Hiding Place for Me” (Wadsworth)

Psalm 32 is the second of the seven Penitential Psalms. This intense setting by American composer Zachary Wadsworth (b. 1983) alternates the English text with the Latin. It begins with verse 3 which relates to us the consequences of remaining silent and keeping our sins to ourselves. While I held my tongue, my bones withered away because of my groaning all day long. (Psalm 32:3) Wadsworth then alternates setting the… Read More »

E1: Psalm 51 – “Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God” (Handel)

Psalm 51, the appointed psalm for Ash Wednesday, is arguably one of the most significant for Christians in that it provides for us an example of deep and heartfelt repentance. The story involves a king who after having an adulterous affair and getting a woman pregnant, gets wrapped up in an elaborate cover-up that leads to deceit, treachery, murder, and despair. The full story is told in 2 Samuel 11-12.… Read More »

Celebrate Christmas with the Peoria Bach Festival

Celebrate Christmas this year by watching the Peoria Bach Festival 2012 performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. You can find it on the Peoria Bach Festival YouTube page by clicking here or following the video links below. Although the performance is in German, English subtitles are provided making the story easy to understand and follow. The translation is a literal one so that the original meaning of the German is as accurate… Read More »