The music composition program at Luther College offers opportunities for students from across campus to learn about and practice the art of composition.
Most students begin composition instruction in their junior year, though some students begin in their first or second year. The first course students take is Music 238: Composition Workshop, a weekly seminar in which students explore a variety of musical ideas and create several small-scale compositions. This course is offered every fall. In subsequent semesters, students may elect to take private lessons (Music 338: Composition, Private Lesson) usually for 30 minutes per week.
A variety of upper-level elective courses round out the composition program: Electro-acoustic music, Modal Counterpoint, Orchestration, and Analytic Techniques. These courses are each offered every other year and are usually taken during students’ junior or senior years. Many composition students also elect to create a large-scale composition as their senior project.
At least one concert of student compositions is organized each semester. Many students also have their compositions performed on individual student recitals. Occasionally, student compositions are performed by one of the large ensembles on campus.
This semiannual concert series features contemporary music performed by Luther faculty, students, and guest artists. Typically, concerts feature works by living local and international composers as well as classic works from the 20th century.
At least once per semester, guest composers visit Luther to present their work to composition students; often, their music is featured on the Music in the Shape of a Pear concert series. Usually, guests are also available to meet individually with composition students.
For more information on the composition program at Luther, specifically for those students who wish to concentrate their studies in composition, visit the links provided in the sidebar menu.