Richard Fischer, DMA

Distinguished Professor of Music

Fred and Jane Wittlinger Endowed Chair for Music Performance

College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Fischer is the conductor of the Wind Symphony (60 players) and University Band (75 players) at Concordia-Chicago. He teaches basic and advanced conducting and applied conducting. Heavily involved in the University, Dr. Fischer supervises instrumental music student teachers, assists in recruitment of new students and helps current students on their musical conducting projects. He joined Concordia University Chicago's faculty in 1974.

In March 2013, Dr. Fischer was the recipient of Concordia University Chicago's first ever Endowed Chair marking an exceptional milestone for the 150 year-old university. The Fred and Jane Wittlinger Endowed Chair for Music Performance will allow Dr. Fischer to continue sharing his passion for music through teaching and conducting while also serving as a resource to the wider church and international community.


  • DMA, Conducting - Michigan State University; East Lansing, MI
  • M.M., Music Education - DePaul University; Chicago, IL
  • BME, Education-  DePaul University; Chicago, IL 
  • Illinois, Type 10, K-12 Music Specialist Certificate 

Academic and Professional Highlights

Performances with Concordia University Chicago Wind groups:

  • Conducted Pit Orchestra for musical productions 20 years
  • Toured to 43 states and 3 provinces of Canada
  • Overseas tour to Germany, The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, 2001
  • Overseas tour to China, 2005, 2009, 2013
  • Performed at Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Ill., Fall 1995
  • Performed at Carnegie Hall, New York City, New York, March 2014
  • Produced Compact Discs:
    • "Festive Adorations" (released 9/1/93)          
    • "Sinfonia Voci" (released 8/1/95)
    • "Holsinger II" (released 9/1/95)
    • "Watchman, Tell Us of the Night" (1997)
    • “Rejouissance” (1999)
    • “What Child is This?” (2000)
    • "Expressions of Faith” (2001)
    • “Be Thou My Vision” (2003)
    • “Who Puts His Trust in God Most Just” (2005)
    • “Light of My Soul” (2007)
    • “If Thou Be Near” (2009)
    • “With Heart and Voice” (2011)
    • “Let the Amen Sound” (2013)
    • “Banners of Concord” (2015)
  • Performed at the 1987 national conference of College Band Directors National Association held at Northwestern University
  • Recorded demonstration discs for TRN Music Publishing, Kjos Publishing, and Larry Daehn Music Publishing 
  • Selected to perform at the Illinois State Music Convention, February 2003

Highlighted Guest Conducting Performances: 

  • The Symphony of Oak Park & River Forest (assistant conductor), 1977-1994
  • Michigan State University Wind Symphony, Symphony and Repertoire Band, 1984-1985
    • And guest conducting on all Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band Concerts
  • Music Director for Ballet Le Gere's Production of the Nutcracker, 1989-2011
  • Art of Music, Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Ill., 1990-2009
  • District Honor Band in Virginia, 1996
  • University of Wisconsin Summer Music Camps, 1996-2010
  • International Summer Music Camp in North Dakota (1996)
  • University of Minnesota - Morris, Minn., 1996
    • (HS Honor Band & University Wind Ensemble)
  • University of Nebraska Honor Band, Omaha, Neb., 1998
  • Alaska Honor Band, Four times during 1999-2015
  • Illinois District 7 High School Honor Band, 2000
  • University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA, 2000 and 2008
  • Honor Band at Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC, 2001
  • Music director of the renowned Northshore Concert Band, 2003-2005
  • Optimist Club Festival St. John, New Foundland, May 2003 and 2007
  • National High School Youth Gathering Wind Symphony (Orlando 2004 & 2007; New Orleans 2010 & 2016; San Antonio 2013) 
  • Illinois District 7 HS Honor Band, 2005
  • Illinois District 1 and 7 Middle School Honor Bands, 2005 
  • California State University Northridge Guest conductor, Northridge, Ca., 2006
  • Ohio University Guest Conductor, Athens, Ohio, Summer 2006
  • Music festival in Winnipeg, Canada, 2006
  • Illinois All-State Band, 2012
  • Dorian Festival at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, 2012
  • University of Iowa High School Band Camp, Iowa City, Iowa, 2012
  • Illinois District 1 High School Honor Band, 2014
  • Iowa District High School Honor Band, 2014
  • Ohio District High School Honor Band, 2014
  • Illinois District 3 High School Honor Band, 2015
  • Numerous Lutheran and other private schools etc. (clinics, festivals)
  • Make Music Chicago (Sousapalooza conductor) at Daley Center, Chicago, Ill., 2010-present                        


  • Illinois Music Educators Association, Peoria, Ill., January 1993
  • Atlanta International Band & Orchestra Clinic, Atlanta, Ga., April 1996
  • Calgary Teachers Convention, 1998 (also, clinician) MusicFest, Halifax, EdmontonToronto, Canada
  • WELS Convention, 2006
  • Private High Schools Conference, Grand Rapids, Mich., 2006
  • Indiana Lutheran Schools, 2007                  
  • Lutheran Education Association Conferences, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2011 and Milwaukee, Wis., 2013
  • Music Education Presentation in Hilton, South Africa, August 2012
  • Lutheran Summer Music, July 2013
  • Lutheran Education Association of Australia, September 2013
  • Southern Africa Lutheran Education Conference in Pretoria, Vryheid and Durban South Africa, August 2014, and in Wittenburg, Germany, 2015


  • Canadian Band Journal (6 page article) Fall, 1994. "Musical Expression"
  • Canadian Band Journal (6 page article) Fall, 1996. "Connect"
  • Co-contributor for a book entitled Teaching Techniques and Insights by Dr. Joseph Casey (Published by GIA)

Awards and Honors:

  • Named to the "A Team" of University Professors by the Chicago Tribune, 1994
  • Named Fred and Jane Wittlinger Endowed Chair in Music Performance at Concordia-Chicago, 2013


  • College Band Directors National Association 
  • World Association for Symphonic Band and Ensembles 
  • Director of Communications (1993-95)
  • Planning committee for 1995 conference in Hamamatsu, Japan
  • British Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles
  • National Band Association 
  • National Association for Music Education 
  • Illinois Music Educators Association 
  • Christian Instrumental Directors Association
  • Lutheran Collegiate Music Association - Served as President and Treasurer