Voices of Hope founder Amanda Weber honored with Young Alumni Award
Luther College 2008 graduate Amanda Weber, founder of the Voices of Hope choirs, received the college’s 2023 Young Alumni Award. The announcement was made during the commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 21.
The Young Alumni Award is given to a Luther alumnus in the spring of each year for notable personal accomplishments, leadership qualities and service to Luther or society. The recipient must be a graduate from the last 15 years who best represents the college’s mission to serve society.
“Receiving this award and attending commencement at Luther with my family has me reflecting on so many ways in which my college experience shaped me,” Weber said. “I am so grateful for the memories—the mentoring from faculty who continue to inspire me, the challenging new ideas, the opportunities for leadership and of course the lasting friendships. It was an honor to accept the Young Alumni Award and even more moving to see this year’s graduates and sense their collective enthusiasm for all that awaits them. I am proud to be a part of this community. Go Norse!”
After graduating from Luther with a double major in music and art, Weber has pursued her calling as a musician while working in service to her community. She is the founder and artistic director of Voices of Hope, a choral organization providing singing opportunities in Minnesota state prisons. Weber also serves as director of worship and the arts at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis.
Early in her career, Weber spent a year in Washington, D.C., with the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. She was assigned to a church that had a women’s homeless shelter. When her supervisor suggested she get to know the women at the shelter a little better, she decided to start a choir. She directed Bethany’s Women of Praise for three years.
While working on her doctorate in choral conducting at the University of Minnesota, Weber started the Voices of Hope choir at the women’s prison in Shakopee, Minnesota. Voices of Hope has expanded to include a second choir—for men—at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater.
Singing in a choir provides people who are incarcerated the opportunity to feel free, heal from trauma and build community. One Voices of Hope singer said, “We are given many tools at Shakopee, but none have healed me like music.”
About Luther College
At Luther College in beautiful Decorah, Iowa, students explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.