Nordic Choir homecoming concert Feb. 6

The Luther College Nordic Choir, one of the premier collegiate choral ensembles in the United States, will perform their homecoming concert at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 6, in the Center for Faith and Life’s Main Hall in Decorah.

The choir features Luther students Lily Smith, Ruby Langholz and Dylan Muhlbauer from Decorah. The event is free and open to the public. The full itinerary of the 2024 Midwest tour is available on Luther’s website.

“While the choir is blessed to travel across the United States, some of my favorite audiences are in the Upper Midwest,” said Andrew Last, director of Nordic Choir.  “This year’s tour will be an opportunity to connect with many friends, family and Luther alumni as we make stops in six different states.  The weather may be cold, but we anticipate many warm hearts in the audiences.”

During their performances across the Midwest this winter, Nordic Choir will feature choral classics such as Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Bogoroditse Devo” and Hans Leo Hassler’s “Verbum caro factum est,” premieres by composer Zach Moore, and excerpts from Craig Hella Johnson’s “Considering Matthew Shepard.”

 “Audiences will hear selections that celebrate arriving at home,” said Last. “Luther is the first college in the United States founded by Norwegian immigrants, and we chose this theme to honor the 200th anniversary of the first Norwegian immigrants to the United States.” That celebration will continue in May, when Last leads Nordic Choir on a tour of Norway.

Nordic Choir is Luther’s principal touring choir in a choral program that includes three upper-class touring choirs and two first-year choirs. Nordic Choir honors the Lutheran choral tradition while exploring new and innovative choral works that span styles and genres. Performances have been described as “thrilling,” “breathtaking” and “rock-solid in intonation and rhythmic clarity.”

The Luther College Nordic Choir was founded by Sigvart Steen and memorably conducted for 57 years by Weston Noble, class of 1943. Previous conductors include Craig Arnold and Allen Hightower. Since 2017, the choir has been under the direction of Last, associate professor of music and director of choral activities and graduate of the class of 1997. He earned a master’s degree in choral conducting from Northern Arizona University and a doctor of musical arts degree in choral conducting from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln School of Music.

Nordic Choir tours annually, performing in churches of all denominations, schools and concert halls, including Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Internationally, the choir has toured in Germany, Italy, England, Ireland, Scandinavia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Russia and Eastern Europe.

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