Faculty Artist Series: Luther's 'Music in the Shape of a Pear' Concert Series features Music by Brooke Joyce

Luther College's "Music in the Shape of a Pear" event features works by Luther's composer-in-residence, Brooke Joyce, at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Decorah.

The performance is open to the public with no charge for admission and features solo, chamber and orchestral music composed by Joyce for his Luther colleagues. Works to be performed include "Laudate eum in cordis," for string trio; "Sticks and Stones," for woodwind trio; "Four Luther Chorales," for viola and organ; "The Artsy Harpsichordiste," for harpsichord; and "Une Cité Moderne," for oboe and chamber orchestra. Each work will be performed by the musicians for whom the music was originally composed, including Tarn Travers, violin; Spencer Martin, viola; Eric Kutz, cello; Carol Hester, flute; Heather Armstrong, oboe; Michael Chesher, clarinet; Brooke Joyce, organ; and Kathryn Reed, harpsichord. An ensemble of student and faculty musicians will perform the oboe concerto.

Joyce's music, described as "vividly pictorial," by the San Francisco Chronicle, and "exceptionally gripping," by the Los Angeles Times, has been performed by soloists and ensembles around the world, including the Indianapolis Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, the Brentano Quartet, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Nash Ensemble, and tenor James Gilchrist. In addition to his concert music, Joyce collaborated on several musical theater works with playwright Frederick Gaines, including "Unbekannt," a musical based on the life of the famous Anastasia pretender Anna Anderson, and "An Imaginary Line," based on the book, "Into the Wild," by Jon Krakauer.

Brooke is the recipient of the Joseph Bearns Prize, the Wayne Peterson Prize, the Darius Milhaud Award and many citations from the National Federation of Music Clubs and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. He earned degrees in composition from Princeton University, the Cleveland Institute of Music and Lawrence University, and attended summer courses with Joan Tower, Magnus Lindberg and Alun Hoddinott.

In addition to his position at Luther, Joyce is a faculty member at the International Music Festival of the Adriatic, a teaching artist with the non-profit organization Avivo, and director of music at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Decorah.

"Music in the Shape of a Pear" is a semi-annual concert series dedicated to the performance of new music. Performances include collaborations between Luther faculty, staff and students, local musicians and guest recitalists. This year marks the 10th anniversary of this concert series.

            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 nearly 1,000 student musicians.       

Luther students participate in large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. More than 300 music majors study music theory, ear training, history, education, composition, jazz, church music and performance.

Brooke Joyce