Luther College has named Bruce Tammen '71 of Chicago, the 2012 recipient of the Weston Noble Choral Award for distinguished achievement in the field of vocal music. Tammen was recognized for his work as an outstanding conductor, scholar and performer.
Named for Weston Noble, Luther professor of music and conductor of the Nordic Choir from 1948-2004, the award honors music educators who continue the legacy of Noble, a teacher, clinician and director who influenced vocal music education in America and around the world.
Tammen graduated from Luther College in l971, magna cum laude. A music education major and a voice student of David Greedy, Tammen was a member of Nordic Choir for three years.
Tammen received the Master of Arts degree in l974 from the prestigious University of Chicago, specializing in English language and literature. He returned to Luther to serve as adjunct faculty in the choral department from 1977-80.
An exceptional student, Tammen earned another master's degree in 1981 from Northwestern University, specializing in vocal performance and pedagogy. During his time at Northwestern he received the Chramer Award for excellence in opera.
In l984 Tammen returned to the University of Chicago as senior lecturer in the department of music, conductor of University Chorus, and conductor of Chapel Choir at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. Their performance of Haydn's "Seven Last Words" in l995 was named Critic's Choice by the Chicago Reader.
Tammen formed the Chicago Chorale in 2001, a community-based choral ensemble. He was also the founder and conductor of the University of Chicago men's glee club. The Chicago Chorale is recognized for its distinguished literature, and has assumed broad recognition for its choral excellence. The chorale has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival twice and will return in the 2013 season.
As a chorister he has appeared for 11 seasons with the Sixth World Symposium on
Choral Music under the direction of the world renowned Helmuth Rilling, conductor of the Oregon Bach Festival. For 14 seasons Bruce has returned as a professional chorister to perform at Carnegie Hall under the tutelage of the famed Robert Shaw.
For three summers he also appeared with the Robert Shaw Choral Institute in Souillac, France, being the baritone soloist on the Telarc recording of Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes and in the Telarc recording of 20th Century Choral Masterworks Appear and Inspire.