Kent Gustavson received his Ph.D in classical composition in the spring of 2007 at Stony Brook University in New York. He has a BA in music and German from Middlebury College.
During college he began working with Seeds of Peace, an organization focused on the reconciliation of Israel and Palestine through simple co-existence in a summer camp in Maine. After college, he had the 'change the world' bug, as many young passionate folks tend to have, and decided to return to Jerusalem, where he had studied the conflict there for 6 months through Wesleyan University. He used his contacts, this time, to start an organization of his own, called Sound Peace. Gustavson wrote the curriculum based on sound as the foundation for friendship between enemies. After initial success, the program faltered due to exacerbated violence in the region, and Gustavson decided to return home.
Kent retreated into the mountains, to a small retreat center called Holden Village, in the Cascade mountains of Washington state. He took his banjo with him into the wilderness, and made much use of it during his years there. It was also there he met his fiance, Katharina.
Mountain Vespers, the evening liturgy that Kent wrote during his time at Holden, is still played frequently at Holden Village, and across the country. His other worship resources have been similarly received by congregations around the country, and he is a frequent leader of workshops using his music.
Kent has released over a dozen recordings, and is actively engaged in his first major release, “Troublin' Mind.”