10 Ways to Get Musical at Luther

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When you go to Luther, you’ll undoubtedly feel the love of music that the culture of the school exudes. With world class ensembles, faculty and students living and breathing music in all of its forms, the environment inspires everyone to get involved, music major and non-major alike. Luckily, opportunities practically surround you on campus.

1. Experience Christmas Magic

Christmas at Luther outdoes every other campus event by miles. The magic of the season, the sold out crowds and the hundreds of other students performing with you all come together. “[It gives people] the opportunity to feel joy, love, peace and harmony with 1,500 other people experiencing the same thing,” junior Marcella Meza said. Often nationally televised, the event generates life-changing experiences for everyone, audience and performers alike. Christmas at Luther embodies something larger than the school itself and taking part in it helps to truly understand its meaning.

2. Find Your Concert Ensemble

Whether you took lessons all your life or just sing alone in your dorm, you will fit in one of the campus ensembles. Concert Band, Jazz Band and Symphony Orchestra make up just some of the instrumental options, while choirs alone span across every class with six groups of varying levels of intensity, including the internationally renowned Nordic Choir. “Being a part of such a close-knit community where the expectation is to perform at our best day in and day out has fed into other areas of my life to raise the expectations I have for myself,” junior Grant Preheim said.

3. Take Private Lessons

Luther stands out from a lot of other schools because you don’t need to be a music major to take private lessons with faculty. If you love singing or playing an instrument, take private lessons with a faculty member at Luther to keep improving your craft. “It can also be a great break from constantly reading, researching and studying for papers and tests,” junior Karl Nycklemoe said. You get the instruction of someone expertly trained and, if it suits you, give a recital showcasing your work.

4. Support Your Friends at Their Recitals

Because so many people take private lessons, you can always find a student or faculty recital to attend. “Everyone we know is more unique and talented than we can imagine, but on most days this slips our minds,” junior Aidan Spencer said. “Attending a student recital is a way of reminding us of the originality, hard work, courage and passion of our classmates.” With great people and great music, supporting your classmate performers often makes for an impressive and moving experience.

5. Make a 24-Hour Musical

Get together with a bunch of people and literally throw together a musical in 24 hours. If that sounds like a good time, do it. With the script revealed the night before the show, you then practice virtually non-stop and put on the show the next evening. Unique, intense and short lived, challenge yourself and join the hottest mess on campus.

6. Live Pitch Perfect

Keep the student led a capella groups on campus on your radar. They sing both classical and contemporary pop literature. Jubilus sings a cappella chamber music, while Bromatic Progression, Undeclared and Beautiful Mess perform contemporary music. “Not only are the groups run entirely by students, but almost all of the music that they perform is composed or arranged by the students as well,” alumnus Will Heller said.

7. Help the Dorians

Dorian Festivals bring herds of high school students onto campus to make music in a college setting. It inspires and fosters passion, so instead of just complaining about how many of the participants hop in the caf line to get ice cream, help somehow. Host students, register them, chaperone the dance (witness all the awkward high-school music kids try to deal with their hormones) or help organize the events. Here you get the chance to inspire people who really look up to you to follow music as both passions and pastimes.

8. Accompany Your Friends

If you play piano proficiently, take this tip. So many students become involved in voice or instrumental lessons and they always need and pay people to accompany them. If you feel confident in your musical abilities, might as well practice, help others, and of course, make money. With your talents put to use, the music department will love you and the friends you play for will owe you.

9. Take Electives

Classes that you can take as electives give you an academic avenue to pursue your interest. The classes keep you academically involved without getting chained to the requirements of a major. On top of that, if you keep taking them and stay involved in music ensembles, you can earn a music minor. You can take one-credit courses like Music Composition Workshop and Electronic Music or more intense ones like three- and four-credit courses Music Theory, Instrumentation and Music History.

10. Go to Center Stage Series Concerts (Free with CAF!)

This concert series breaks up your weekly routine and gives you something to do. Lightwire Theatre, Philip Glass and the American Spiritual Ensemble all graced the stage in recent years and every one of them put on stellar shows. The Center Stage Series will expose you to new music—plus, it’s free with your campus CAF fee. Keep these concerts on your schedule and go to as many as possible.

Jeffrey is a junior at Luther College. He loves to read, run, fish, write, sing, and play basketball. He is energetic, optimistic, and idealistic. He has a corgi and trouble relaxing.

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