Luther College's brass ensembles will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, in the Center for Faith and Life on Luther's campus.
The concert, open to the public with no charge for admission, includes several stylistic forms, including jazz improvisation.
Luther's brass ensembles include the Luther College Trumpet Ensemble, Trombone Choir, Tuba Euphonium Ensemble and the Horn Ensemble. These ensembles are directed by Luther faculty Rebecca Boehm Shaffer, John Cord and Michael Smith.
The Horn Ensemble is conducted by 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 with a secondary emphasis in music history from the University of Northern Colorado.
Cord, Luther assistant professor of music, conducts the Trumpet Ensemble. Cord has appeared with more than 30 professional symphony orchestras as well as with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's Circus Band over 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 Trombone Choir and Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble are conducted by Smith, Luther associate professor of music. He is currently in his 11th season as the bass trombonist with the Rochester Symphony Orchestra. Smith 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.
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 outstanding young professionals entering the music and education industries of today. Cord, Smith and Boehm Shaffer have grown and developed these brass studios to perform and compete at a level similar to those found in large universities 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 International Horn Society MidNorth Horn Workshop.
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 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.