A native of Connecticut where he grew up on a farm, Keith Shafer was educated at the Hartt College of Music at the University of Hartford; the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati; and the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas where he was an organ student of Richard Fowler, John Holtz, and the renowned American organists Gerre Hancock and Robert Anderson. A finalist in all of the major American organ playing competitions, Mr. Shafer has appeared in concert throughout the country.
Since 1983, he has been Director of Music and Organist of historic Saint Paul's Church in Augusta, Georgia, where the music program is recognized as one of the most innovative in the Episcopal Church. Mr. Shafer is the Artistic Director of Tuesday's Music Live, the largest noontime concert series in America. He also directs The Riverwalk Series, Inc. which presents the sold-out Independence Day concert preceding downtown Augusta’s annual fireworks display. During Mr. Shafer’s tenure at Saint Paul's Church the choir has sung services in England at the cathedrals in Salisbury, Wells, Durham, York Minster, Saint Paul's Cathedral, London, and Canterbury Cathedral. The choir sang the Evensong for the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in Quebec’s Anglican cathedral and at the Anglican cathedral in Hamilton, Bermuda in 2005.
Mr. Shafer has spent residencies in a number of British cathedrals, including Worcester, York Minster, St. Mary's Cathedral (Edinburgh), and St. Paul's Cathedral, London. He has been Georgia Convenor of the American Guild of Organists and was Dean and Treasurer of the Augusta Chapter. He has been a member of the faculty of the Sewanee Church Music Conference held annually at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, has served numerous terms as Director, and is a member of the Conference Board of Trustees. He has been a member of the Liturgical Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, and has made a number of recordings that have been heard throughout the country on National Public Radio's Pipedreams, Georgia Public Radio's Performance Showcase, and South Carolina Public Radio. In 2004 he established a company, Church Music Services, Inc., to organize his consulting work and the sales of Psalms Made Singable, his new, six-volume edition of the psalms that is being used throughout the country.