Luther’s J-term program to present a reflection concert on campus

February 2, 2018

J-term reflection program is 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at Luther

Recently returning from their January Term trip to Namibia and South Africa, 21 Luther College students who participated in the Music 245: “Choral Singing in Namibia and South Africa,” course will present a program at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, in the Noble Recital Hall of Jenson-Noble Hall of Music on the Luther campus.

The program, which included both music and spoken reflection, is open to the public with no charge for admission.

During the three-week trip, the music students traveled from Decorah to Chicago to Namibia, where they visited the cities of Windhoek amd Ondangwa, and Etosha National Park in Namibia and then traveled to Cape Town, South Africa, before returning to campus. During the course, students took music from Western cultures and taught it to local children. Luther students also taught and learned traditional Namibian and South African music in local languages, utilizing church services, concerts, schools, hospitals and informal settings to meet with natives. A highlight of the journey was a performance with the Youth Choir Namibia from the College of the Arts and Grace Notes Choir from the Inner City Lutheran Congregation while in Windhoek.

In addition, the students on the trip experienced the history of Namibia and were introduced to its fight for independence and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa through visits to important cultural and historical sites.

The trip was led by Gregory Peterson, professor of music and college organist, and Jennaya Robison, assistant professor of music. Peterson has spent more than 30 years focusing on church music and is an internationally acclaimed recitalist. Prior to joining the Luther faculty, he was the organist and minister of music at Old South Church in Boston, Massachusetts. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in music at Luther, a Master of Music degree from Yale University in the Institute of Sacred Music, and a Doctor of Music in organ performance and pedagogy from the University of Iowa.

Robison is a sought-after conductor, clinician and soprano. She has held leading roles in operas in Iowa and New Mexico, in addition to having held teaching positions at the University of Arizona, the University of New Mexico and Luther. Her primary area of research is vocal health within a choral ensemble. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in music from Luther, a Master of Music in conducting and voice from the University of New Mexico and a Doctora of Music in choral conducting and minor in voice performance from the University of Arizona.

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. More than 275 music majors study music theory, ear training, history, education, composition, jazz, church music and performance.