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Music Involvement at Luther for a Non-Music Major

This week we have our spring concert for Varsity Band. So, I thought I'd take the opportunity to talk about the music related things that I'm involved in at Luther. I take private saxophone lessons, and I also play alto saxophone in Varsity Band.

Most people in the saxophone studio take lessons with Professor Lynne Hart, as did I during my first year at Luther. This year though, I've taken lessons with her husband, Professor Pete Hart.

I have a 30 minute private lesson once a week, which I earn one credit a semester for. Some people choose to have an hour long lesson once a week, especially if they're preparing to give a recital.

In my lessons this year, I've worked a lot on ear training exercises and jazz/improv things. I've also put a lot of work into improving my tone. What I do in my lessons each week varies a lot, though! One week, I might be playing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" by ear in all 12 keys, and another week I might be sight-reading a jazz piece.

Besides going to lessons, there are many events for our studio that we are required to go to every semester. These include recitals given by fellow studio members, Monday night seminars, and more.

Now, on to band! I've been in Varsity Band, the non-auditioned band ensemble, since my first year at Luther. Usually, all the bands are conducted by Dr. Joan deAlbuquerque. This semester, though, we have a guest conductor—Jim Fritz. He used to be the band director at Decorah High School, until he retired.

Varsity Band rehearses twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30–4 p.m. So, it's not too big of a time commitment! I also find that it provides a much needed distraction from the many stresses and such in our busy lives as college students.

This semester, we're playing five pieces for our concert, but we usually only play four. We had our dress rehearsal in the CFL this past Thursday, and our concert is Wednesday, April 18, at 7 p.m. in the CFL. You can stream it live, here!

Amber Sorenson

Amber Sorenson

Amber is a sophomore from Newton, Iowa. She is majoring in communication studies and minoring in anthropology and Nordic Studies. Along with blogging for Luther admissions, she also works for Media Relations. She plays alto saxophone in Varsity Band and is the crew captain for Love Your Melon. One of her favorite things about Luther is the strong sense of community. Next year, she'll be studying in Nottingham, England!

Read more about Amber.

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This is the Sperati Band Room. All of the bands, including Varsity Band, have rehearsals here!
This is just a standard practice room in the Jenson-Noble Hall of Music, our music building. I think I took this on the first day of classes this school year.
This is where I have my saxophone lessons every week with Professor Pete...Jenson 191!

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