Bailey Connors ’22 collaborated with Andrew Last, conductor of the Nordic Choir, to study the 75-year history of the Luther College Nordic Choir. The student-faculty duo worked together over the summer in the archives of the Luther College Preus Library to sort through ancient images and documents and collect testimonials from former students who were part of the choir.
“We looked at pictures and newspaper articles trying to piece together some sort of narrative about the history of the choir,” Connors said. “The end goal was to create a timeline that people could refer to so that they could see the enormous depth of Nordic Choir history. Obviously we couldn’t put everything in there, so we prioritized things like tours, premieres – like the first time they traveled overseas or at home – conductor changes, and we interviewed Nordic Choir alumni and former conductors to get a more personal perspective. about what the choir means to all who have been a part of it.
See the video.
The research was originally scheduled to be conducted in 2020, which officially marked Nordic Choir’s 75th anniversary, but due to the pandemic it was postponed. As restrictions related to the pandemic decrease, Last is hoping the research can soon be shared with everyone.
“We will be producing a timeline that will be available for viewing online and in person in the Jenson-Noble Hall of Music, we will also be preparing a compilation of pieces performed by Nordic Choir over the years, and as we celebrate 75 years of touring. of shows, our spectators will be able to see a brief history of the Nordic Choir in the program. These are just a few of the ways people will benefit from the research we have done.
Connors, now a senior, feels an immense responsibility in taking charge of the project. As a student involved in Nordic Choir, the responsibility of sharing decades of stories is a task he does not take lightly.
“While doing this project, I realized that this choir has quite a legacy, leaving an impact on people here in Iowa but also in California, Norway, Russia and beyond. This choir is historic and it is certainly one of the gems of the Midwest, ”said Connors. “The privilege of sharing his story is one that I carry with great responsibility and I feel that this project is very important to me for this reason.”
About Luther College Music
Luther is home to one of the largest undergraduate music programs in the country, with five choirs, three orchestras, two groups, two jazz groups and more than 600 student musicians. Luther’s students participate in large ensembles, chamber groups led by professors, private lessons, and master classes. Nearly 175 music majors study music theory, hearing training, history, education, composition, jazz, church music, and performance. Learn more at luther.edu/music.
About Luther College
Luther College is home to more than 1,700 undergraduate students who explore big issues and take action for the benefit of people, communities and society. Our more than 60 academic programs, our experiential approach to learning, and our welcoming community inspire students to actively learn, live with purpose, and lead courageously for a life of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.