Meet the Artistic Director

Michael D. Costello was appointed Artistic Director of Chicago Choral Artists in 2014. Costello is a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina, and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina. Since 2008 Costello has served as Cantor at Grace Lutheran Church and School in River Forest, Illinois, where he directs choirs, serves as principal organist, and directs Grace’s Bach Cantata Vespers series. Besides conducting scores of Bach’s cantatas while at Grace, Costello has also conducted Bach’s St. Matthew and St. John Passions, Mass in B Minor, and Christmas Oratorio. He has led the Bach Cantata Vespers chorus abroad several times, performing with Baroque orchestras in the famous Thomaskirche of Leipzig, Germany.


An accomplished organist, Costello appeared as part of WFMT’s Bach Organ Project, performing a full program of Bach’s organ works. He is a composer of music for both choir and organ. Many of his choral pieces and organ collections are published by MorningStar Music Publishers. Other pieces are published by Augsburg Fortress and Concordia Publishing House.


Before moving to Chicago in 2008, Costello was Director of Music Ministries and Assistant Pastor at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Columbia, South Carolina. He also served on the adjunct faculty in music and liturgy at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. Costello is an active member of the American Guild of Organists, the American Choral Directors Association, and the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians.


He serves on the Board of Directors of Lutheran Music Program, home of the Lutheran Summer Music Academy & Festival.