Andrew Last

Positions at Luther College

  • Assistant Professor of Music
  • Conducts the Collegiate Chorale and the first-year men’s ensemble Norsemen
  • Teaches private voice and conducting.

Professional Experience

  • Member of the music honor society Pi Kappa Lambda and the academic honor society of Phi Kappa Phi
  • Member of the American Choral Directors Association.
  • Served on the voice faculty of Concordia University (NE)
  • High school teaching experience at Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids and Tipton High School in Iowa

To paraphrase the great Robert Shaw, we sing too much for the “fun” of it and not nearly enough for the “must” of it. I’d like to sing in a choir that just can’t help it.

That has been my philosophy as a teacher/conductor since the start of my career. The singers that enter my rehearsal space don’t have to be career musicians (although many hope to be), they don’t have to music majors (although many are), and some have little to no singing experience prior to their arrival at Luther (although many have vast experience). What they do come to Luther with is the need to sing. I often speak of the “community” that develops within a choral ensemble. Some find their greatest friends and family through their choral experiences while others simply find an escape from the stresses that occur in other aspects of their lives. 

For whatever reason they come to sing, my responsibility is to provide life experiences: working with others on a common goal, tackling tough challenges, taking time for ourselves, savoring the final product, trusting others, and allowing ourselves to take down our barriers and become vulnerable to our fellow musicians. It is the reason I’ve returned to Luther College after being a student here. It’s my responsibility to pay it forward. It’s my responsibility to inspire others. It’s my responsibility to lead those ensembles that sing because they just can’t help it.