mmaillette's blog

Where are our students? We can't wait to meet everyone!

We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first students on Registration Day Sunday. Student life has met to train and plan special activities for the students, our academy director and operations manager continually work to create a seamless experience for everyone on campus, and the worship team is actively making sure our hymnals are neatly placed in a row. We're ready! Now we just need everyone to get here safely so the music-making can begin. 

We are excited about our newest program, Sounds of Summer Institute, a 2-week program that gives students musical excellence in a supportive community but in a shortened experience. Not only will there be musicianship and workshops as part of their curriculum, but it means having an entire extra night of concerts for the LSM/SOSI community! 

Please check out our calendar of events! We encourage you to attend any and all of the concerts throughout the summer. They are free of charge and open to the public. Click here for our entire calendar. We will update as recitals are finalized. 

We raise a toast to another summer of fun, faith, and music! 

LSM 2015 has officially closed

July 19, 2015

Festival week has officially come to a close. Executive Director Bob Olsen removed his lanyard in a symbolic notion to send the 2015 LSM Community home. Friends have said their goodbyes for the year and faculty sent them on their way not only with more knowledge of their instrument, but more wisdom in their faith and hearts. As Dean of Students Mark Tegtmeier said, "Students meet their best friends for life here." We as a staff observe this to be true year after year. Returning students and new students find a bond at LSM that few academies and summer programs offer and to be part of that in any capacity is a blessing. 

Thank you to all parents, donors, and congregations for your support (in every sense) for students attending LSM this year. Without all your help, the quality of the students that arrived in late June just would not have been the same. We appreciate and are grateful for all of the musical gifts that were shared during our 4 weeks together and we are certain none of that would have been possible without help from each student's community. Thank you.

Please join us next year at LSM. We will be at Luther College from June 26 - July 24. Applications will be ready on the website late August.

A note to parents and others who weren't able to join us in Decorah: We have had the priviledge of having professional photographers present during a handful of the Festival Week concert nights. In the past, photos have been able to be posted more regularly on the blog. When we receive photos from our photographers, we will be sure to share as many as possible on our blog and also on Flickr. An announcement via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will be made in the very near future! 

 

Photo Blast Monday: A fun, social weekend!

July 13, 2015

The past weekend was filled with fun! Students participated in a college fair for an afternoon and were able to attend a couple of workshops of their choosing. They put on a talent show among their peers and actively supported each other no matter the act. The evening closed with a steady beat at Marty's, the campus dance floor. The uninhibited openness of the students dancing together inspired counselors and staff enough for them to join during the Macarena and Cotton Eye Joe. Without further ado, here is your Monday photo blast!

THE TALENT SHOW

 

 

 

THE DANCE

 

Week 3: What?!

July 7, 2015 After a relaxing 4th of July weekend, during which the students were able to see a production of The Music Man in Minneapolis, Week 3 has officially started. Students have been diligently practicing at the request(s) of their instructors and their ensembles are coming together gracefully. We are nothing short of ready for a fantastic festival week starting next Monday. 

Sunday and Monday night brought to the spotlight our faculty chamber ensembles. Movēre woodwind quintet painted a fun, light-hearted picture of the Tortouise and the Hare and Chialing Hsieh joined them for an incredible ending with a Sextet in B-flat Major. The unique instrumental combination was an inspirational start to a week of faculty chamber ensemble recitals.

Monday evening brought a 6-person choir of angels, whose voices ranged from low, low bass to coloratura soprano. Their classy dress and comprehensively beautiful repetoire were received with a standing ovation. It was clear by the end that students were awe-struck by the talent and capability of their teachers. This feeds directly back into their own practicing while they prepare to perform in a way that some never have. 

Tonight, the Omega String Quartet will be gracing us with their selections. Praetorius brass ensemble will be waiting in the wings to perform on Thursday. We are so blessed with an amazing crew of talented, supportive, and kind-spirited faculty. Many thanks to your presence for our students.

Photo Blast Monday: Mystery Weekend

July 6, 2015

Students and staff hopped on a charter bus to Minneapolis, MN this past weekend to see *drum roll please* The Music Man!!  Photography inside the theater was mostly prohibited, but there are plenty of photos below in our weekly photo blast of students having fun on the lawn before the show. Face painting and fresh air were the themes of their afternoon as they waited for lunch.

We hope to get more photos uploaded to various platforms in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Today's blog is brought to you by Hannah Tassler

July 3, 2015

My name is Hannah Tassler, a first year student at LSM, studying flute and tenor saxophone.

Some of my favorite things at LSM are the people, music, and environment. I am from Colorado, and coming to Decorah, Iowa has been a new experience that I've enjoyed. Events such as dorm devos and recitals have been different and exciting. Also, my music teachers at LSM have helped me become a better musician within the first week! I have been able to practice at least two hours every day which has improved my musical abilities, too. Along with practicing individual pieces, I have been able to work in an ensemble, the band, and the orchestra. There are so many opportunities at LSM to become a better musician and person. When I first arrived at LSM, I was immediately greeted by counselors and everyone made me feel welcome as if I was a returning student. The students and faculty at LSM have been kind, helpful, and fun. LSM is not just about the music; it is also about growing in faith through music. We have evening and morning prayer, and Sunday worship. Things are better than I expected at LSM, it's like my home, with more music!

Before the student concerto recital, many people told me that at LSM, everyone was hoping I did my best in the performance. Walking on stage was scary at first, but I spotted my friends in the audience smiling and cheering me on. LSM has been so fun this past week and I can't wait for the next few weeks to come.  

A Brief Interlude from Chaplain Michael D. Costello

July 2, 2015

Today’s ODJ post comes from our chaplain, Rev. Michael D. Costello. Michael is an alumnus of Lutheran Summer Music (93’, 94’, 95, 96’), was an intern (98’ and 00’), and previously served as chaplain (10’).

Question: What are some of the goals you hope to accomplish in the spiritual community at LSM this summer?

As chaplain I hope that I am proclaiming the Good News of God in Jesus Christ and that the students are hearing that proclamation clearly through hymn singing, morning and evening prayer liturgies, preaching, and the mutual discussion that takes place among peers in dorm devotions. I want students to realize that their first vocation is the one that was given them in Holy Baptism; that is, they are children of God, a calling that supersedes all other callings in life. I think that these students realize that everything they do, particularly with regard to their craft as musicians, is to God’s glory. And what better what to communicate the Gospel than through music?

Question: What are some of the challenges you face as a spiritual leader in an environment where people are from so many backgrounds?

Answer: While students worship in different ways in their home congregations, they form a unique community during these four weeks. Students serve in a variety of capacities, from crucifer and usher to assisting minister and lector. Everyone is invited to take ownership in our worship life. While it is certainly true that we have a student body from so many backgrounds, most of them are coming from churches from within the Lutheran tradition. Thus, the challenges are overcome by what we share in common: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Question: As chaplain, what is one of your favorite parts of LSM?

Without a doubt my favorite thing about LSM is when we gather for Evening Prayer. There is something about closing the day with chanting, praying, singing hymns, and hearing the Word of God that puts everything else into perspective.

Question: How has LSM changed from when you were a student?

I really cannot believe how little the schedule has changed over the years. The primary difference, I think, is that more of the bumps in the road seem to be ironed out. Students are given more intentional recreation time and are encouraged to take care of themselves. I am incredibly impressed with how well the staff at Lutheran Summer Music balances the three primary priorities of Lutheran Faith, Excellent Music, and Intentional Community. These three intersect beautifully at LSM. What a wonderful model for living the rest of our lives!

Week 2 is already here?

June 30, 2015

It seems that week one came in like a lion and out like a lamb. What started with thunderstorms and a temporary delay in our schedule soon ended with a group of connected students and incredibly blessed weather. Decorah is seeing steady 80s and sunshine this week with the occasional rain. As they say, the corn will be "knee high by the fourth of July!"

This past Sunday, students, faculty, and staff gathered for their first experience at a full LSM worship service. Traditionally during weekdays, we end with abendmusik and evening prayer. But during Sunday morning worship, we included traditional cantor and hymns. The chapel choir sang an anthem and the handbells rang beautifully throughout the CFL. What a beautiful first worship service. 

We have a week full of events for the LSM community. Tonight is students' first dorm devotion led by Rev. Michael Costello, preceeded by an evening of Musical Jeopardy and a Bach Cantata rehearsal. Faculty recitals, our first community "Hymn Sing" and the weekend mystery trip are all reasons students are antsy in their seats with excitement.  The LSM spirit is in full bloom! 

Stay tuned this week from student posts and a word from our chaplain!

Monday Photo Blast: Downtown Decorah Day!

June 30, 2015

Take a look at all the smiles we had from the past weekend of fun! Our group picture was taken, the students and staff spent an afternoon downtown Decorah visiting the local shops, and then headed home for pizza and "Into the Woods." Small ensembles (smembles) also met, and they are sounding GREAT with only a week under their belts. We are excited to see what they will unveil during festival week. 

First full weekend at LSM!

June 26, 2015

It has been a busy Week 1 at Luther College, and the weekend doesn't stop in the social, spiritual, and musical opportunities for both faculty and staff. Many of the students are scheduling their practice time, lesson time, and making their final decisions on which elective suits them best. Our program offers some wonderful additions to large ensembles including jazz improvisation, intro to pipe organ, handbells, and many more. There is something for every brand of student who attends!

Last night was the summer's first Lawn Chair Night, a downtown Decorah event that hosts local musicians. 

 Our Praetorius Brass ensemble delighted the crowds with Southern charm and jazz into the mid-evening. The weather was mild and perfect for an early summer concert. LSM and its community are blessed to have such fine musicians in their midst. You, dear reader, are welcome to join us for upcoming events on campus. Check out our calendar of events!

This weekend, students, faculty and staff will meet on the Luther campus hill for their group photo, meet with faculty for their electives and small ensembles (smambles!). They will also have a chance to explore downtown Decorah with the guidance of their counselors and other staff members. Not only will they get to experience the traditional Whippy Dip, but they will also have a chance to visit the local music shop, Kephart's, to pick out any curricular or extra-curricular related music.

Rest assured, this weekend will bring more laughs and friendship that have already been forming. See it for yourself when we post on Monday's photo blast!
 

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