Luther College Nordic Choir and Symphony Orchestra

The Luther College Nordic Choir and Symphony Orchestra will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 23, in the Main Hall of the Center for Faith and Life on the Luther campus.

Allen Hightower, Luther director of choral activities and professor of music, directs the Nordic Choir and Daniel Baldwin, Luther professor of music, directs the Symphony Orchestra.

Nordic Choir will perform "Haec Dies" by William Byrd; "Der Abend" by Johannes Brahms; "In the Bleak Midwinter" by Gustav Holst, arranged by Abbie Betinis; "I thank You God for most this amazing day" by Eric Whitacre, lyrics from the e.e. Cummings poem with the same title; "Song for Athene" by John Tavener; "Cool of the Day" by John Ratledge; "O Day, Full of Grace" arranged by F. Melius Christiansen; "O Lord God" by Paul Chesnokov and "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" arranged by Gilbert Martin.

The Symphony Orchestra will perform Danźon No. 2 by Arturo Márquez and Russian Easter Overture, Op. 36 by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Nordic Choir, founded in 1946, enjoys national and international acclaim as a premier collegiate choral ensemble in the United States. This group tours extensively throughout the United States and internationally and records at least one CD per year. 

Following the 57-year tenure of Weston Noble, Nordic Choir is under the direction of Allen Hightower, named director of choral activities and professor of music at Luther in 2010. He holds a bachelor's degree in music education from Sam Houston State University, a Master of Music degree in choral conducting from the Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from Baylor University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of California.

Symphony Orchestra, Luther's largest and oldest orchestral ensemble, is one of Luther's four main touring ensembles with an annual tour schedule including a three-week residency in Vienna every four years. More than 80 student musicians, representing a variety of academic majors, perform with the orchestra with many also involved in chamber music, choir, band, or a jazz ensemble.

Daniel Baldwin has served as director of orchestral activities at Luther since 1997. In addition to his work as conductor of the Luther College Symphony and Chamber Orchestras and the Opera Workshop, he teaches courses in conducting. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in cello from Furman University and a Master of Music degree in cello and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in instrumental conducting from the University of Texas at Austin. Baldwin maintains an active schedule as clinician, guest conductor, and the musical and artistic director of the Lake Chelan Bachfest in Chelan, Wash. 

Luther is home to one of the largest collegiate music programs in the nation with six choirs, three orchestras, three bands, two jazz bands and nearly 1,000 student musicians. Luther students participate in large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. More than 350 music majors study music theory, ear training, history, education, composition, church music and performance.