LSM Blog

Now Returning to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

June 23, 2015

As Gordon MacRae sang in 1955's Oklahoma, "Oh what a beautiful morning!" One would hardly believe we are looking at clear skies and a high of 78 today in the Decorah area when yesterday's booming thunder and crashing lighting delayed our official start to the LSM season. Staff transported instruments and students safely to Jenson-Noble Recital Hall for the first morning of announcements after the storm had passed where students had their first glimpse of "Luther's Morning Prayer." While this piece was only written in 2009, the significance of this work lies in its composer. Carl Schalk was one of Lutheran Summer Music's creators and a member of the team we refer to as the "founding fathers."  He, along with Paul Bouman and Carlos Messerli, first unpacked their music bags in 1981 and, as the saying goes, the rest was history. "Luther's Morning Prayer" is not only a reminder of our gratitude and trust in God's strength in our lives, but also a reminder about our roots. In starting our 34th summer together, there is excitement about new music and renewel in community that seems to pick up where we left off last July. 

Last night, students had a chance to "ooh" and "aah" over the talents of their faculty members at our first faculty recital. Heather Armstrong led with a 7-movement piece on oboe, musically painting a story between two birds. Hannah Leffler hypnotized her audience via flute in a beautiful duet with Cheryl Lemmons on piano. George Hogan created laughter in the audience with his robust rendition of "Jonah and the Whale," while Cole Burger played a modernized version of a Bach sonatina. Paul Morton, trumpet, and Bruce Atwell, horn, ended the evening with "Point/Counterpoint," which tested every musician in their ability to count rhythm. The talents of the faculty was nothing short of engaging, entertaining, and a wonderful ending to a gloomy, booming morning.

Today is the start of our regularly scheduled programming. Auditions are done. Small ensembles (smambles!) placements are assigned, and students are navigating gracefully around campus at a rapid rate. Giggles and building friendship can be observed throughout the residence halls and commuting between buildings and classes. The LSM 2015 family bonding has begun!

Photo Blast Monday: Registration Day!

June 22, 2015

Registration day was upon us yesterday and we are so thrilled all the students made it safely to campus. Blue skies, mild temperatures, and low humidity accompanied about half of our students from Minneapolis to Decorah while the others came trickling in hours before. After everyone had unpacked and settled into their rooms, students, faculty, staff, and our chaplain, Rev. Michael Costello, gathered in the Center for Faith and Life for the first evening prayer service of LSM 2015. A pick-up choir sang a solemn anthem while Rev. Costello delivered a warm message about the presence of God in the music we will create here at LSM. It was a powerful and heartfelt beginning of this year's summer; we are all thrilled and excited to see our students grow and thrive as individuals and musicians in the coming weeks. Check back to see what else we have in store for the week!

A Note from our Dean of Students Mark Tegtmeier

June 18th, 2015

LSM is almost here!  For those of you nervous about attending LSM for the first time, be excited!  For those of you returning, get ready for another fantastic summer.  I was once one of those nervous first-time campers, but quickly found myself among the most supportive people I ever met and we became family.  While you will be pushed to perform your best, I’m here to support your growth both musically and spiritually. 

I’m looking forward to getting to know each student through rehearsal times, worship, and dorm time. Our team of counselors have been cooking up some wonderful activities; there will be something for everyone!  So get ready to bring your best to camp, because we will be ready for you!

A Message from our Academy Director Peter Wessler

Tuesday, June 16, 2015:

It’s ZERO WEEK at Lutheran Summer Music – the week when staff members arrive on campus to get everything ready for our students. Staff members are currently setting up offices and preparing orientation materials, schedules and facilities.  Counselors will be gathering tomorrow to begin planning social and recreational activities. Interns and faculty members will be here later this week to make final preparations for our students’ arrival and registration on Sunday. There is a real buzz in the air; the feelings of anticipation and excitement are palpable, and each person, whether a veteran or a “newbie,” has his or her own reasons for feeling that anticipation and excitement for the coming month. 

My own love affair with LSM began about 15 years ago, when my wife and I sent our oldest son, Jonathan, to camp for the first time as a voice and piano student. Within two days, he was “hooked.” He subsequently returned three more times as a student and then twice again as an intern. It was his experience with Lutheran Summer Music that inspired him to begin taking organ lessons. He now holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music and works at St. Paul’s Church | Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Furthermore, a young lady he met as a fellow student during his second summer at LSM eventually became his wife! 

It was Jonathan’s life-changing experience at LSM that inspired me to inquire about a position on the summer staff. As a high school orchestra director, I was available in the summer, and using part of my vacation to give back to a program that had done so much for our family just seemed like the right thing to do. LSM happened to be looking for a summer academy director that year, and I joined the staff. That was in 2003.

I retired from my teaching job two years ago, but I have not retired from Lutheran Summer Music. Frankly, I cannot imagine a summer without LSM. What is it that keeps me coming back? It’s more than the great music and wonderful worship; it’s the people. I get to work with some absolutely amazing people, who do incredible things with some awesome young people – and it’s my job to be behind the scenes, putting the pieces together to help make those things happen. And this year, the added bonus is that Jonathan will be serving with us on the staff as our worship assistant! 

Students, we are getting everything ready for you right now, and we can’t wait for you all to get here! See you soon!


LSM Countown: 9 days until liftoff!

Greetings to you from Minneapolis, MN!

The LSM season is upon us and national staff is rapidly getting ready at headquarters before our move to Decorah. Staff could not be more excited about another year of faith, music, and community at Luther College. It has been a lot of fun getting ready for another year, and we are certain that all the hard work will pay off. The anticipation and excitement are almost too much to contain!

To get everyone all the more excited about this summer, here is a sneak peek at this year's t-shirt! LSMers are going to look sharp donning this year's colors.

2015 LSM Tee

It will be an incredible summer with new and returning students. Come back and see what we’ve been up to (with pictures to match) and feel free to check out our concert calendar to take in all the amazing music we’re making this summer!

If you would like to get in contact with us before students arrive, our number in Decorah will be: 888-635-6583. Or contact with any questions. 


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