Four Luther alumni and four current students compose Cantata
As a part of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Luther College Music Department will present a Reformation Commemoration Concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall on the Luther campus. It will feature a new multi-movement choral work with contributions from four Luther alumni and four current Luther students, as well as a newly-commissioned band piece.
Prior to the concert, the composers will be available for conversation at 6:30 p.m. in the Jenson-Noble Hall of Music choir room.
The concert features the Concert Band, directed by Joan de Albuquerque; Collegiate Chorale, directed by Jennaya Robison; and Cathedral Choir, directed by Mark Potvin.
Both events are open to the public with no admission.
The cantata features four choral movements and four instrumental interludes. The choral movements were composed by alumni Daniel Kallman, class of 1978; Sky Macklay, class of 2010; Mark Petering, class of 1995; and Daniel Raney, class of 1992. The interludes were composed by Pablo Gómez-Estévez, class of 2018; John Kuntz, class of 2019; Caleb Linville, class of 2019; and Hunter Prueger, class of 2018.
Soloists include Jonathan Struve, class of 2002, baritone; Beth Ray Westlund, class of 1989, mezzo-soprano; Nori Hadley, class of 1997, fiddle; Andrew Murray, class of 2018, guitar; and Andrea Beckendorf, class of 1993, double bass. David Judisch, emeritus professor of music, and Jonathan Kuehner, class of 2020, will appear in Daniel Raney's composition as actors.
The newly-commissioned work, "This is most certainly true," by Jim Stephenson, will be one of the first performances of the piece. The piece was commissioned for Luther's Concert Band along with bands from other Lutheran Colleges.
This concert was initiated by Brooke Joyce, Luther composer-in-residence. Funding was provided by the Marilyn Roverud Endowed Fellowship for Lutheran Studies.
The premiere of the Reformation Cantata is part of The Reformation of Everything Symposium Tuesday, Oct. 31, at Luther. A full schedule of events can be found at https://www.luther.edu/reformation-2017/
About the alumni composers
Daniel Kallman is a full-time composer, focusing on youth, school, college, church and community ensembles. His work is frequently performed throughout the United States, with several recent performances at Luther and in the Decorah community.
A native of Minnesota, Sky Macklay is a composer, oboist and installation artist. She currently is working toward a Doctor of Musical Arts at Columbia University. Her orchestra piece "Dissolving Bands" won the Leo Kaplan Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. "Many Many Cadences," a work for string quartet, also received an ASCAP award.
An award-winning orchestral composer, Mark Petering has had his music recorded by Frank Almond, owner of Stradivarius; Jason DePue of the Philadelphia Orchestra; the Czech National Symphony; and the Colburn Orchestra. His composition "Train and Tower" was cited as one of the Top-10 orchestra piece evoking railways by Gramophone Magazine, United Kingdom, in October 2008. His music is available on iTunes, Google Play and at imslp.org.
After earning a Bachelor of Arts in music at Luther, Daniel Raney went on to earn his Master of Music in composition from Florida State University. Raney's work has been performed by Celebration Iowa Singers and Jazz Band, the Luther Concert Band and Luther Jazz Orchestra. In his free time, he performs with several bands, brass quintets and a Civil War era ensemble.
About the student composers
Pablo Gómez-Estévez, a music major, hails from the Dominican Republic. His compositions have been performed at Luther, at Berklee College of Music, the Boston Conservatory and in his native country. He was the 2016 Presser Scholar Award recipient, which recognizes musical and academic excellence. Gómez-Estévez is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Kappa Lambda.
John Kuntz, a music major, was a showcase artist in Minnesota Public Radio's "Minnesota Varsity Competition." While at Luther, Kuntz has performed in composition workshops, presented original electro-acoustic music and collaborated on orchestration projects. Following graduation, he plans to attend graduate school for either composition or music therapy.
Caleb Linville studies music composition at Luther. Linville started taking piano lessons when he was seven and has shown a love for composing since he was a child.
Hunter Prueger is a music major focusing on composition. He has created works for Sō Percussion and the Luther Concert Band. He also received a Summer Research Grant from Luther that enabled him to create and score an original video game.
Luther is home to one of the largest collegiate music programs in the world with six choirs, three bands, three orchestras, 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, church music and performance.