A new album released by the Luther College Nordic Choir is now available for streaming. "Coming Home to the Light" features some of the best performances by the premier collegiate choral ensemble, ranging from 2017-21, all conducted by Andrew Last.
"It was a wonderful treat to spend some time reflecting on the music from the past four years," said Last. "During a year when making music was challenging, this was an opportunity to reflect on what choral music means to me, to my students and to Luther College. The title of the album, 'Coming Home to the Light,' is intentional. Not only is it the final lyric of the last song on the recording, but I found a special connection with the lyric as it also represents me returning to an ensemble that was formative for me in my development as a choral musician," said Last.
To create this album, Last asked Nordic Choir member Olivia Steffl '21 to put together a team of seniors to hand pick the songs that would be included.
"After putting together a team of four people, Dr. Last, Elizabeth Hand '21, David Gorman '21 and myself, we sat down and listened to every recording we had from the last four years," said Steffl. "As we were listening, we took notes on our favorite piece, the composers, the language of the text, the tempo and whether or not a piece was already on a streaming service or other album already produced."
From there, the team narrowed it down to 21 pieces including a variety of styles to appeal to listeners' musical preferences and emotions.
"We intentionally placed selections that encompass many composers, genres and time periods with all of them being tied together by a common thread - the joy and pride we feel when singing," said Last.
"I hope listeners will get a sense for what music at Luther College is all about. 70 to 80 voices coming together to make music as one. Making music for the joy of making music. Making music to share with the world. It was really fun to work on this and think about the other people who were singing in these ensembles over the last four years," said Steffl.
The album is only available in a digital format. Those who are interested can find "Coming Home to the Light" on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music.
Nordic Choir, founded in 1946, is Luther's principal touring choir and enjoys national and international recognition as one of the best collegiate choral ensembles in the United States. Acclaimed for the way it honors 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.
"As a member of Nordic Choir I have appreciated the unique characteristics everyone brings to the ensemble. Being part of this group has allowed me to get to know so many new people who have helped me grow as a person the last three years. Each year new members enter the choir bringing in a new set of skills that help everyone in the ensemble to broaden their horizons and learn from one another," said Steffl.
About Luther College Music
Luther is home to one of the largest collegiate music programs in the nation, with five choirs, three orchestras, two bands, two jazz bands and more than 600 student musicians. Luther students participate in large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. Nearly 175 music majors study music theory, ear training, history, education, composition, jazz, church music and performance. Learn more at luther.edu/music.