Juan Tony Guzmán, Luther College class of 1990 and current professor of music, is the 2018 recipient of the Dr. Carlo A. Sperati award.
Guzmán will be presented the award at the Homecoming concert, 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall. The Concert Band, Nordic Choir and Symphony Orchestra will perform at the concert, and the four music awards will be presented.
Carlo Sperati is credited with creating the Luther Concert Band, which he conducted for 38 years until his retirement in 1943. In 1907, he directed the first Decorah community performance of Handel's Messiah, which became one of Luther's most famous annual traditions. Presented annually to one outstanding music educator, the first Sperati award was presented in 1961 to Weston Noble.
Guzmán is the director of the jazz orchestra and leads the jazz program at Luther College. In 2017, he was named the Weston Noble Endowed Chair in Music. Established by Ervin and Phyllis Johnson, the award, named for Luther's Weston Noble, class of 1943 and conductor for more than 50 years, recognizes the value of Christian higher education and the quality of the academic and music programs provided at Luther.
A sought-after conductor of all-state and honor choirs, concert bands, jazz bands and symphony orchestras, Guzmán travels the world as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator. In addition to being a guest at festivals across North America, Central and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Guzmán recently has given clinics and presentations for the Singapore American School, The Choral Music Experience, Association for Music in International Schools, Universidade Federal da Paraíba and the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil, World Chorals Symposium, the Scottish Association for Music Education and the Festival 500 in Canada.
Guzmán earned a Bachelor of Arts in music and education from Luther in 1990. He also holds a degree in electromechanical engineering from the Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in Santiago, Dominican Republic. He earned a certificate in pedagogy of music theory and a master's degree in music education from Florida State University.
Luther is home to one of the largest collegiate music programs in the nation, with five choirs, three orchestras, three bands, 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, jazz, church music and performance.