Luther College senior Charles Craig was presented the 2017 Hemp Family Prize, at Luther's Homecoming concert, Sunday, Oct. 8. The Hemp Family Prize was one of four awards announced during the concert.
Craig, the son of Alan and Jolene Craig of Maquoketa, Iowa, is a 2014 graduate of Maquoketa Community High School.
The Richard C. and Joann M. Hemp Family Prize for Orchestra Performance is given annually to a senior member of the Luther College Symphony Orchestra. The $6,000 scholarship is funded through an endowment established from Richard '64 and Joann (Harr) Hemp '65. Richard is a regent emeritus, former chair of the Luther Board of Regents and former Interim President of Luther.
Selection of recipients is made through an audition process. The prize awards students of exceptional performance, talent, musicianship and leadership.
A native of Clackamas, Oregon, Craig grew up in Maquoketa. After seeing a Cedar Rapids Symphony performance when he was 10, Craig began clarinet lessons. In high school, Craig was a three-year participant in the Iowa All-State Music Festival, with two years in band and one in orchestra. He was the principal clarinet of the Dubuque Youth Symphony and took first prize in the Dubuque Symphony Concerto Competition. He also garnered a plethora of first place awards at solo and ensemble competitions.
Craig continued his musical journey at Luther. A student of Michael Chesher, he attended masterclasses with Robert Spring, Steve Cohen, Howard Klug, Eric Mandat and David Bell. He is the principal clarinet of the Luther College Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the Norse Wind, a woodwind quintet. He won the Torgerson Concertmaster Chair in the Concert Band for the third consecutive year this fall.
Craig was a finalist in the Luther College Concerto Competition in 2017. In addition, he has performed as a soloist with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra and served as a substitute with the Northeast Iowa School of Music Chamber Fest Orchestra and Tri-State Wind Symphony.
When he's not playing music, he enjoys being outside, working on the farm and reading. Following graduation in spring 2018, Craig plans to attend graduate school to pursue an advanced degree in orchestral clarinet. He'd like to perform as a member of a professional orchestra or in a military band.
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 more than 800 student musicians. Luther students participate in large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. Nearly 275 music majors study music theory, ear training, history, education, composition, jazz, church music and performance.