FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Artist in Residence, Kurt Sprenger, will travel to Japan May 17 to perform recitals in Tokyo and to teach masters violin classes at Tokyo Baptist Church. Sprenger said the recitals are a continuation of tsunami relief efforts he participated in, in the states.

“We did some benefit recitals here in the Metroplex as a benefit for the tsunami victims,” Sprenger said. “What we are doing is some of the people that have played in those recitals in the United States are going over to do some of them in Japan.”

During the 13-day trip, Sprenger will perform three to four recitals, will play in six church services and will offer several master violin classes. Dean of the School of Church Music Stephen Johnson said Southwestern is proud to have Sprenger serve as an ambassador of the school and of Christ as he travels to Japan to share musically with the people there.

“Dr. Sprenger is a key example of how Christians can combine the art and craft of music and engagement in the local church,” Johnson said. “He does that here in Fort Worth and will engage both the concert hall and local church music ministry on this trip to Japan.”

Sprenger says he expects the trip will be a benefit to both him and those he will minister to in Japan.

“For me, it gives me a chance to see what’s happening on the other side of the world, as far as the Baptist church and their music. That can only help me as a teacher, to know how I can be a better teacher to address those things that I'll see over there,” Sprenger said. “For them, it gives them an exposure to a Western teacher/performer and gives them a glimpse of how things are going in the United States and what is typical over here.”

Sprenger said he hopes to make connections during his time in Tokyo that would lead to the continuation of these recitals and the potential to include students in Japan performances, as well. He said he also hopes his time in the recitals and at Tokyo Baptist Church will afford him the opportunity to invite several Japanese musicians to come and study at Southwestern.

Johnson said Sprenger’s skills as a conductor and a performer provide a vibrant addition to the School of Church Music.

“We are excited to have Dr. Sprenger teaching and performing with us because he brings to Southwestern many accomplishments as a conductor and violinist,” Johnson said. “He has a passion for musical excellence and authenticity in performance practice and wants to bring his contribution to our students as they are looking for the best place to get their education.”