The Luther College Symphony Orchestra and Nordic Choir will present their annual spring showcase concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 24, in the Main Hall of Luther's Center for Faith and Life. The Friday and Saturday showcase concerts are part of the 2019 Commencement weekend celebrations.
The concert is open to the public with no charge for admission. Those unable to attend may view the concert live online at stream.luther.edu/music.
The Symphony Orchestra is performing Johannes Brahms' "Tragic Overture" and Edward Elgar's "Enigma Variations."
Diego Piedra, visiting assistant professor of music, will conduct the 82-member Symphony Orchestra. At Luther, Piedra has also conducted the Chamber Orchestra and taught violin studio classes. Before coming to Luther, Piedra conducted the Spectrum Orchestra in Detroit, Michigan. As a professional violinist, he has been a member of the New World Symphony in Miami, the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica and Orquesta de Cámara de Costa Rica. He earned his bachelor's degree from Baylor University and master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Michigan.
The Luther College Symphony Orchestra, Luther’s largest and oldest orchestral ensemble. In addition to regular concerts featuring masterworks of orchestral literature, the ensemble takes great pride in performing new music on a regular basis. Symphony Orchestra toured internationally this January Term, maintaining a three-week residency in Vienna, Austria, with a final performance at the Musikverein.
Nordic Choir is performing a variety of songs including "Verbum Caro Factum Est" by Hans Leo Hassler, "Little Man in a Hurry" by Eric Whitacre, "Sweet Rivers" by Shawn Kirchner and the world premiere of "I am Here" by Craig Carnahan.
The 71-member Nordic Choir is conducted by Andrew Last, associate professor of music, director of choral activities and Luther alumnus from the class of 1997. Last earned a master's degree in choral conducting from Northern Arizona University and a doctorate in choral conducting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Music. Last is preceded by Allen Hightower, Craig Arnold and the 57-year tenure of Weston Noble.
Nordic Choir is Luther's flagship choir in a choral program that is comprised of three upper-class mixed touring choirs and two first-year choirs. Acclaimed for honoring the Lutheran choral tradition while also featuring new and innovative choral works, Nordic Choir showcases versatility, artistry and technical mastery across many genres of music.
Luther is home to one of the largest collegiate music programs in the world with five choirs, three bands, three orchestras, two jazz bands and numerous chamber ensembles, totaling more than 800 student musicians. Luther students participate in large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. More than 250 music majors study music theory/ear training, history, education, composition, jazz, church music and performance.