Brooke Joyce

Brooke Joyce, composition

Brooke Joyce’s music has been described as “vividly pictorial” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “exceptionally gripping” (Los Angeles Times) and 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 James Gilchrist. In addition to his concert music, Brooke 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.

A CD of his chamber music, Waves of Stone, was released on the Innova label in 2009, and according to MusicWeb International, features “dramatic pieces which are rhythmically energetic, with … a sense of underlying strength of will.”

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 ASCAP. 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.

Brooke is the Composer-in-Residence at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and serves as chair of the Iowa Composers Forum.

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Stefano Sacher,
Stefano Sacher
Stefano Sacher

composition and
festival coordinator

Stefano Sacher graduated from the conservatories G. Tartini of Trieste, G.B. Martini of Bologna, and from the faculty of arts at the University of Trieste, where he studied composition, voice, conducting, and jazz. He furthered his studies in composition with Antonio Bibalo, and in conducting with Samuil Vidas, Donato Renzetti.

Mr. Sacher begin his conducting career in 1985 as a choral conductor and later with the string ensemble Nova Sinfonietta, performing compositions from the Italian Baroque through the Twentieth Century. He has conducted choral and symphonic works, Italian operas, musicals, and jazz repertoire with ensembles such as the Academic Orchestra of Budapest, Mongolian Opera Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Grand Theatre of Havana, the Stradivarius Chamber Orchestra, the Serenade Ensemble, and the Gruppo Polifonico "Claudio Monteverdi" di Ruda, performing concerts in Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Germany, Czech Republic, Finland, Poland, Malta, Sweden, Mongolia, and Cuba.

Mr. Sacher has composed choral and instrumental music, songs, a ballet, music for radio, chamber operas, and musical plays. His compositions are published by Pizzicato, Taukaj, and Nomos Editions.

Since 2001, Mr. Sacher has served as the music teacher at the United World College of the Adriatic. He speaks fluent Italian, English, Slovenian, and German.

Steve Smith photo

Steve Smith, composition

Steve Smith teaches Composition and Electronic Music at Luther College. He holds a B.A. in Music from Luther College and an M.M. in Composition from the University of North Texas, where he studied with Maurice Monhardt and Cindy McTee respectively.

Steve is fluent as both an electronic and acoustic composer and is especially interested in incorporating his knowledge as a computer programmer with composition and real-time, live events.  A recent electronic collaboration, Drowning in Air, used a camera to capture a dancer’s movements which triggered musical events using Pure Data (a visual programming language).   

Steve’s commissions include
This is Just to Say with Variations (voice and piano), Windish (electronic score for dance performance), Silver (piano solo), Shorts for Trombone and Band (in progress), and Studies in Light (voice and electronics). Future plans include experiments with live coding in collaboration with live performers.

Active as a performer in his community, Steve plays guitar, bass, and ukulele; sings in various groups; and served as Music Director/guitarist for Luther’s production of Spring Awakening. Steve also works as a web programmer at Luther.