Luther College’s Amy Nam selected by American Composers Orchestra for 2023 EarShot Readings

February 10, 2023

Amy Nam. Photo by Martin O’Connor.

Amy Nam, Luther College adjunct faculty in music, is one of nine composers selected by the American Composers Orchestra (ACO) for the 2023 EarShot Readings in New York. Nearly 400 composers across the country submitted pieces in hopes of securing this coveted opportunity in the contemporary music world.     

“This program supports new music creation and living composers,” said Nam. “This opportunity is especially helpful for those of us who have never had a professional orchestra play our music. You can’t get better at writing music unless you hear it performed by a large ensemble. I am so grateful that there are opportunities like this and that my music has been selected.” 

In June, Nam, a composer and harpist, will travel to New York where the American Composers Orchestra will workshop her written score. The full orchestra, along with their conductor and Nam, will work together to bring the piece to life; a piece that holds very special meaning to its composer. 

“When I was growing up, my grandmother, who I called Mimi, made up a song for me,'” said Nam. “Her song provided the foundation and inspiration for the score, so the piece is called ‘Mimi’s Song.’ I have many fond childhood memories of spending time with Mimi in her garden. I wanted to capture the feelings of timelessness, nostalgia, and joy that these memories evoke and convey a sense of the emotional depth of our relationship.”

ACO’s EarShot Readings will be conducted by Tito Muñoz, with mentor composers Derek Bermel, Mary Kouyoumdjian and Daniel Bernard Roumain. Two events will be open to the public including a working rehearsal on Thursday, June 1, and a public reading of the works on Friday, June 2, at the New School Tishman Auditorium on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Amy Nam is a faculty member at Luther College and teaches at Mt. Calvary Academy of Music in Excelsior, Minnesota, as well as Blessings Academy of Arts and Music in Hastings, Minnesota. As a soloist, she has appeared with the McGill Contemporary Ensemble, the Vanderbilt University Orchestra and the Sewannee Summer Festival Orchestra. Nam holds degrees from Vanderbilt University (B.M.), McGill University (M.M.) and the Eastman School of Music (M.M.). As an educator, Nam aids students in developing creative problem-solving abilities, musicality, critical listening skills, confidence, joy and curiosity.

The ACO is committed to the creation and development of new orchestra music, and to the next generation of composers. For over a generation, EarShot Readings have provided all-important career development and public exposure to the country’s most promising emerging composers. Readings alumni have won every major composition award, including the Pulitzer, Grammy, Grawemeyer, American Academy of Arts & Letters, and Rome Prizes.


About Luther College Music

Luther is home to one of the largest undergraduate music programs in the nation, with five choirs, three orchestras, two bands and two jazz bands. One-third of all Luther students participate in music, including large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. Nearly 175 music majors study music theory, ear training, history, education, composition, jazz, church music and performance. Learn more at