Luther College brass ensembles to perform concert Nov. 8

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Luther College's brass ensembles will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall on the Luther campus.

The concert is open to the public with no charge for admission and features a performance of Michael Smith's composition "Out of the Depths, I Cry to Thee." This work was composed for the Commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and premiered during the Commemoration Service: Martin Luther's Penitential Hymn on Oct. 31. The piece features both the Luther College brass faculty and student performers.

Luther's brass ensembles include the Brass Choir, Horn Choir, Trumpet Ensemble, Trombone Choir, Trombone Ensemble, and Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble. The brass division of the Luther College Music Department is home to some of the finest brass performers and faculty in the country. With several opportunities to perform and learn, these studios are producing young professionals entering the music and education industries of today. Professors John Cord, Michael Smith and Rebecca Boehm Shaffer have grown and developed these brass studios to perform and compete at a level similar to those found in large university and music conservatories throughout the country. Brass students have attended several national conferences and competitions such as the National Trumpet Competition, the International Trombone Festival and the Northeast Horn Workshop.

The Trumpet Ensemble is conducted by John Cord, Luther assistant professor of music. Cord has appeared with more than 30 professional symphony orchestras over the course of his diverse performing career.

He holds a bachelor's degree in trumpet performance from the University of Iowa, a master's degree from the Yale University School of Music and a doctoral degree in trumpet performance and jazz studies from the University of North Texas.

The Horn Ensemble is conducted by Rebecca Boehm Shaffer, Luther adjunct professor of music. Boehm Shaffer has performed as a soloist and with numerous musical acts and ensembles across the country, including Tony Bennett, Ray Charles and Metallica.

             She holds a bachelor's degree in horn performance from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, a master's degree in horn performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a doctoral degree in horn performance and pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado.

The Trombone Choir and Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble are conducted by Michael Smith, Luther associate professor of music.

Smith has served as the principal trombonist with the University of Illinois Wind Symphony, touring Great Britain with the ensemble. He has performed with symphonies and orchestras from Texas to the Midwest.

Smith holds a bachelor's degree from Stephen F. Austin State University, a master's degree from McNesse State University and a doctoral degree in trombone performance and literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Luther is home to one of the largest collegiate music programs in the nation with six choirs, three orchestras, three bands, two jazz bands and nearly 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.