'Revolutionary: An Etude of African-American Classical Music Composers'

Luther alumni guest lecturer Evan Mitchell to speak March 20

In a time when major orchestras, opera houses and art organizations are facing financial struggles, the classical music genre is also struggling to remain relevant with the current generation.

Luther alumni guest lecturer Evan Mitchell, class of 2014, will re-examine some of the hidden gems of classical music during his lecture at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, in the Dahl Centennial Union Mott Room on the Luther College campus.

The lecture, "Revolutionary: An Etude of African-American Classical Music Composers," is open to the public with no charge for admission.

Mitchell's lecture introduces the audience to some under recognized classical composers in an attempt to prove the genre isn't dated. Mozart, Purcell and Puccini often come to mind when thinking of classical music. However, Mitchell aims to show that classical music came from composers from a much more diverse background. In an attempt to revive the genre, the lecture will look at the lives and careers of Harry Thacker Burleigh, Florence Beatrice Price and William Grant Still, discussing their importance in American classical music and providing student performances of their compositions.  

Mitchell was a section leader and member of the Luther College Nordic Choir from 2011-14 and was a four-time finalist for the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competitions from 2010-14. In 2014, he was the receipient of the Alan R. and Sally J. Brudos Family Opera Prize and was a Graduate Excellence Award recipient in 2014-15.

Mitchell earned his bachelor's degree in music from Luther in 2014. He received his Master of Music in vocal performance from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in 2016.

This lecture is sponsored by the Luther College Diversity Center.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, 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.