Allen R. Hightower named conductor of Luther’s Nordic Choir

May 19, 2010

Luther College announces the appointment of Allen R. Hightower, D.M.A, as the college’s director of choral activities, conductor of Nordic Choir  and professor of music. Hightower will begin his duties at Luther in August.

Hightower currently serves as professor of music and director of choral studies at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, where he oversees a program that includes four choirs and a master’s degree program in choral conducting. 

In addition to his work at Sam Houston, Hightower serves as conductor and music director of the Houston Masterworks Chorus, which specializes in performing major works with orchestra. He is also minister of music at Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston.

Having begun his teaching career in Texas high school choral music, Hightower is strongly committed to preparing future choral music teachers. He frequently serves as a clinician, instructor and adjudicator with high school choral clinics and festivals across the country in addition to his work as a music educator at the collegiate level. 

As a lifelong church musician, Hightower has served congregations in a number of denominations, including churches of the Presbyterian, Methodist, Congregational and Baptist traditions. In 2007 he served as choral director for the Lutheran Summer Music Academy.

Hightower holds the doctoral degree in conducting from the University of California, Los Angeles; the master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Baylor University; the master’s degree in choral conducting from Eastman School of Music; and the bachelor’s degree in music education from Sam Houston State University.

Luther College President Richard Torgerson said Luther is pleased that Professor Hightower will join the college’s music faculty, continuing Luther’s150-year tradition of excellence in music performance and education.

“Professor Hightower brings to Luther College his dedication to music education, exceptional musicianship, a deep admiration for the Lutheran choral tradition and a strong commitment to Luther’s faith and learning mission,” President Torgerson said. “The college is delighted he has accepted the invitation to lead its internationally acclaimed choral program.”

Hightower will succeed Craig Arnold, who served Luther from 2005-10 as professor of music, director of choral activities and conductor of Nordic Choir.  Arnold will leave his position at Luther in May to resume his leadership of Manhattan Concert Productions with plans to conduct the Manhattan Concert Chorale and Chamber Orchestra. 

Created in 1946, the Luther College Nordic Choir gained international recognition for its musical excellence during storied 57-year tenure of conductor Weston Noble, who retired in 2005.