Class of 1962 Spring 2017 Letter

Greetings, Class of 1962,

By now most of you have heard the news about the passing of Weston Noble ’43. At his advanced age the news was not met so much with grief or immense sadness, but, as it was for me, with a flood of memories and sense of gratitude that such a person intersected with my life. There were some that bring back memories–Qualley, Jenson, Forde, and Nelson–all loaded me up with academic skill and power, but Noble changed my life and made me a better teacher.

He did not spend much time telling us what he did not want, but what he wanted. I cannot think I ever came out of a rehearsal with a feeling such as “I am bad or I am incompetent.” Rather I wanted to work on this so it is up to the level of what LCCB is capable of doing. And there were his word pictures–some nutty, but they worked. “Start this sound not like hitting an anvil, but like a balloon hit by a sledge hammer and it flies off.” (!!) For me it was never a case of thinking, “This guy is nuts,” but rather “he knows where he is going and I’m going to work to get there too.”

During high school I studied with Kermit Hendrickson ’48 so I would have a chance of getting into the band–and I did. I remember to this day my first rehearsal–there was nothing like it anywhere. We started by working on Jenkins American Overture. It begins with an “allegero holiday” for the French horn section, and then the trombones (me) pick it up. Like much of what the band did it was high velocity. That’s how we started our concerts–it was an air of great excitement and immediately took the audience hostage. And we never let them go–from the opening number to the Stars and Stripes at the end–and they were ours. And the Minneapolis and the Chicago Tribunes said so. You “betcha” we were good. Noble told us we were, and we had that inner sense that we were part of a precision group. For five years, I was bass trombone in the University of Chicago Symphony and the Chamber Brass. We were good.

I have played under a number of conductors over the years. Many were competent, some not, and some were full of depression which they sadistically passed along to the group. But I have never sat under a conductor who was as uniformly trustworthy as Noble, and none whom I wanted to please more. This guy could get music out of a rock.  

One of my most proud possessions is a disc that Chuck Mahnke made of the tour homecoming concert a few weeks before we left for our 1961 European tour. When I play it now I am amazed. Were we that good then? (Certainly better than anything around here now.)

Sic semper,

John Helgeland
[email protected]

A personal note from the Reverend Jon and Stefani (Monson) Lee:

With praise and remembrances of Weston flooding in from all parts of world, John asked if Stefani and I would write a personal note about our experience singing in Nordic Choir.

My first exposure to Weston was singing under his amazing choral directing at a Dorian Festival while still in high school. From that moment on it became a dream that someday I might sing in his Nordic Choir.

As freshman, after two or three tryout sessions, we still remember running toward the bulletin board frantically searching for our name on the final posting. It was a dream come true and yet more than a dream. Being chosen to sing under Noble’s direction was nothing less than an awesome gift, as there were many others with wonderful voices whose names were not included.

Even after four years of daily rehearsals, we both continued to look forward to 4:00 p.m. each day, when we’d gather under Weston’s enchantment. The worries or frustrations of the day were soon forgotten as we were swept up by the passion, joy, and uplifting encouragement of Noble’s directing.

Directing with his expressive hands was second only to all he conveyed through his eyes. Hope, joy, excitement, peace, and longing—all expressed in his bright eyes, a smile, or a lifted eye brow. We soon came to understand that music was as much caught as taught. Singing with Weston was simply an experience of joy. Whether he’d call us by our given name or by our hometown, we knew he cared about us. The day we received notice that Weston had died, Stef and I had received a letter from him thanking us for our Christmas letter and note.

A concert by Nordic Choir was never simply a concert; it was a glorious witness to the faith we shared, an experience of praise and sheer joy, and often an experience of oneness when Weston directed only with his face. It’s no surprise we concluded every concert singing Chesnokov’s O LORD GOD—I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.


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WITH SINCERE GRATITUDE

This list includes all gifts received January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016. Making a gift each and every year is an investment in the lives of Luther students and a show of support for the Luther College community. Thank you for your support of Luther College through your giving.

Joel Aarsvold
Arlan Abel
Carol (Odegard) Adams
Beverly (Leonard) Anderson
Gerald Anderson
Glenn Austad
Karen (Swain) Austad
Mary Lou (Greenheck) Baryenbruch
Lois (Stole) Berg
Harland Bjugan
John Bronner
Kathryn (Roble) Budzak
Peter Bungum
Stephen Bungum
Anne (Marking) Christopherson
Durwood Clauson
Marc Dahlquist
C. Michael Dahly
Judith (Ream) Davis
William Davis
Glen Denner
Marietta (Moe) Dennstedt
Michael Dotseth
J. Kent Dougherty
Shirley (Frette) Dubansky
Russell Duffner
Carol (Everson) Duit Brader
Bonnie (Ring) Enke
Duane Everson
Larry Fogdall
James Forde
Eleanor Froiland Andrews
John Gard
Laurel (Ness) Gate
Davis Gilbertson
Julie (Risdal) Gilbertson
Bruce Glasrud
J Bruce Goetsch
Mary (Orke) Gorden
Janice (Engle) Gray
James Griffin
Dennis Hammerstrom
Beverly (Sime) Harang
Gerald Haugen
Lola (Pederson) Haugen
Roger Hegland
Karen (Lunde) Heimer
John Helgeland
Paul Heltne
Bert Henderson
Nancy (Hass) Hendrickson
Darrell Henning
James Huffman
Stanley Iverson
Thomas Jacobson
John Jersild
Ellen (Nelson) Johnson
Rolfe Johnstad
Louise (Benston) Kjosa
Ronald Klipping
Kenneth Knutson
Janice (Nokleby) Kunze
Earl Lackey
Gary Lee
Jon Lee
Karen (Swenson) Lee
Ronald Lee
Stefani (Monson) Lee
Roger Lembke
Lois (Aaker) Lerum
Dorothea (Nybroten) Lind
Jerrold Lokensgard
Charles Lunde
†Mary Ann Lunde
Cheryl (Erickson) Mahaffay
Charles Mahnke
Nancy (Hansen) Mahon
Diane (Sundahl) Malmin
Martin Malmin
Karan (Evans) Mathison
Sara McGah
Karen (Johnson) McGarigle
Donald Mills
Edward Mosbo
Carolyn (Nuttall) Nelson
Gerald Nelson
Ronald Nybroten
Miriam (Strum) Odden
Thomas Odegaard
Charles Peterson
Janice (Mathews) Peterson
Judith (Miller) Ranheim
Lila (Drews) Revie
Gretchen (Ingersoll) Richardson
Dori (Amundson) Ritland
Kathleen (Jahnke) Rosedahl
Connie (Wilham) Ryks
Ann (Peterson) Sansgaard
Richard Sansgaard
Caryl Sharp
LaVonne Sharp
Sonja Sola
Terry Sorom
Cheryl (Martinson) Spear
Mary (Frost) Steen
Barbara Steidl
Dorothy (Erickson) Stoskopf
Carl Sunde
Gary John Thompson
Paul Twedt
Leonard Upham
Thomas Vaaler
Caroline (Hjerleid) Weis
Jerry Wiebusch
Rosalie (Abraham) Wiebusch
Don Wolding

Every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of this list. If an error has been made, please accept our apology and contact the Luther Development Office at 800-225-8664, or email [email protected]. (deceased)