Last to begin new duties at the beginning of 2017 fall semester
Luther College announces the appointment of Andrew Last, Luther class of 1997 and assistant professor of music, as conductor of the college's Nordic Choir. Last will begin his new duties as director of choral activities at the beginning of the 2017 fall semester.
Created in 1946, the Luther College Nordic Choir gained international recognition for its musical excellence during the storied 57-year tenure of the late Weston Noble, who retired in 2005 and passed away Dec. 21, 2016. Last will succeed Allen Hightower, who served Luther from 2010-16 as professor of music, director of choral activities and conductor of Nordic Choir.
"Dr. Last's talents as a conductor, his gifts as an educator, and his love for Luther will enable him to build on the legacy of musical excellence that Weston Noble created for Nordic Choir," said Luther President Paula Carlson. "Andy's ability to encourage and inspire students and his warm and welcoming presence will mark his leadership of the choir. I look forward to Andy's service in this new role for him at Luther."
Professor Last conducting the 2016 Christmas at Luther performance of "O Come, All Ye Faithful".
Since 2012, Last has served as assistant professor of music at Luther, conducting Collegiate Chorale and the first-year men's ensemble Norsemen. He also teaches conducting and high school choral methods, and serves as camp director of Dorian Summer Music Camp. Under Last's direction, the Luther College Collegiate Chorale was selected to sing at the regional American Choral Directors Association convention and the national ACDA convention in 2017.
Last is a member of the honor societies Pi Kappa Lambda and Phi Kappa Phi, as well as the American Choral Directors Association.
After graduating from Luther in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in music education, Last went on to earn a master's degree in choral conducting from Northern Arizona University and the Doctor of Musical Arts in choral conducting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Music.
Last served as director of choral activities at Tipton High School in Tipton, Iowa, from 1997-2002. While studying at Northern Arizona University, Last was a graduate assistant and conducted the University Singers. He also served as assistant conductor of the Shrine of the Ages Choir and the NAU Vocal Jazz Ensemble.
From 2004-10, Last was the director of choral activities at Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he conducted the Xavier Chorale, Voce Chamber Ensemble, Singing Saints and Xhilaration. In addition he served as the camp director of the Xavier Show Choir Camp, the contest director for Xavier Xtravaganza and the event coordinator for the Metro Catholic Choral Festival.
During his graduate studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Last worked as the conductor of the Big Red Singers and the City Campus Choir in addition to his roles as assistant conductor of the University Singers, camp director for the Nebraska Show Choir Camp and contest director for the Midwest Cup.
From 2011-12, Last was on the voice faculty at Concordia University in Nebraska, instructing undergraduate majors and non-majors in applied voice.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,150, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.