In 1967, Luther College's Nordic Choir went on its first tour of Europe; Norway, West Germany and East Germany, led by Luther Professor Emeritus of Music Weston Noble. Fifty years later, Aidan Spencer, Luther College senior of Decorah, Iowa, is creating a documentary of the historic first tour for her summer research project at the college.
Spencer, the daughter of Matthew Spencer and Randi Berg, of Decorah, is a 2014 graduate of Decorah High School and Pleasant Valley Homeschoolers. She is majoring in music at Luther.
"This project has captured hundreds of stories from people both past and present, stories about what it was like to live in the 1960's for better or for worse, and stories of music, laughter and love. I have listened to the stories of this tour countless times and they still make me laugh and bring tears to my eyes," said Spencer.
Spencer is working with Jacqueline Wilkie, Luther professor of history, on her project "To This Day: Remembering Nordic Choir's First International Tour."
In the third summer of this research, Spencer and Wilkie are producing an hour-long documentary and a pamphlet to commemorate the tour. The documentary will be premiered at Luther's homecoming this fall. Spencer and Wilkie have conducted more than 25 interviews, gathered archival material and analyzed artifacts over the past two summers to help in creating a script for the documentary. Her interviews will help contribute to the Luther College Archive, and get a better understanding of student life, choir tours and study abroad programs from 50 years ago.
Spencer and Wilkie's collaboration is one of 26 summer student-faculty research projects funded through Luther's College Scholars Program and Dean's Office. The Student-Faculty Summer Research projects provide students an opportunity to research topics of interest alongside Luther faculty. This program is one of a wide selection of experiential learning opportunities at Luther intended to deepen the learning process and that are part of Luther's academic core.
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.