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The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

ACDA Members to Conduct at Milestone Program: Plans Set for 30th Annual Lutheran Summer Music

Location: California, USA
(Minneapolis, MN) Dr. Allen Hightower and Zebulon Highben, members of the ACDA, will return as conductors for the 30th annual Lutheran Summer Music Academy & Festival (LSM) from June 26 to July 24 on the campus of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.  Hightower, the newly appointed conductor of Nordic Choir and director of choral activities at Luther College, will serve as the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Concert Choir Chair. Highben, doctoral candidate at Michigan State University, celebrated church musician, and composer, will serve as the Paul Bouman Chapel Choir Conductor.
Prior to joining the faculty at Luther, Dr. Hightower served as professor of music and director of choral activities at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) in Huntsville, Texas.  During his tenure, the SHSU Chorale performed for the 2007 National Convention of the ACDA, the 2010 Southwestern Division of ACDA, and the 2003, 2006, and 2010 conventions of the Texas Music Educators Association. 
Highben is currently director of music at First Presbyterian Church of Lansing. Previously he served Lutheran congregations in Minnesota and Ohio, and taught on the faculties of Luther Seminary and the University of Wisconsin River Falls. A published author and reviewer, his choral and liturgical music is published by Augsburg Fortress, Boosey & Hawkes, GIA Publications, and MorningStar Music.
LSM fosters musical excellence in a caring community for high school band, orchestra, choir, piano, and organ students of all faith backgrounds. More than 160 high school students from across the country will attend the four-week residential training and performance program. Open to students of all faiths, but centered in Lutheran music and liturgical traditions, LSM encourages students to use music as a catalyst for the exploration of personal faith and creativity.  Once selected through an application and audition process, LSM students engage in a comprehensive and diverse program that includes individual instrument lessons; chamber ensembles; jazz and early music ensembles; musicianship classes; orchestra, choir, and/or band; electives ranging from church music history to handbell choir and conducting; and a culminating Festival of performances.
In recent years, enrollment and interest in Lutheran Summer Music has been renewed. In 2010, 148 high school students and 11 college student interns attended the program, making it the largest LSM student body since 2005. Enrollment for this anniversary year is expected to exceed that pace.
LSM 2011 Leadership
The cornerstone of LSM’s musical excellence is its faculty artists. More than 30 renowned collegiate music faculty and professional performers comprise the LSM artistic team. Joining Hightower and Highben are:
Dr. Jeffrey Doebler will serve as band conductor for the third consecutive year. He is director of music education and bands at Valparaiso University in Indiana.
Dr. David Upham, director of the orchestra program at the University of New Hampshire, returns as orchestra conductor.
Dr. Catherine Rodland, faculty member at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, returns for her second year as the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Endowed Organist.
Upcoming Highlights for LSM 2011
·   More than 50 recitals and concerts featuring faculty artists and students will be offered during LSM — all are free and open to the public.
·   A new elective to promote church musicianship — Introduction to Pipe Organ — demonstrates how the pipe organ works for non-organ students.
·   A popular tradition at LSM, the Hymn Festival will take place Wednesday, July 20 during the program’s final Festival Week.
·   Rev. Wayne Weissenbuehler, retired bishop of the Rocky Mountain Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, will serve as chaplain, a post he last held in 2009.  
·   A specially-commissioned musicianship curriculum will teach music theory and composition using Lutheran hymns and liturgical settings as foundational tools.
·   Brooke Joyce will return as composer in residence and a new work of his will receive its world premiere during LSM.
·   A celebratory 30th anniversary dinner will be held Friday, July 22 for friends and alumni.
Commitment to Access
This unique program is committed to making LSM accessible to all interested, qualified students.  In 2010, more than 80% of students received some form of fee reduction including need-based financial assistance, merit-based scholarships, match and transportation grants, and early enrollment discounts.  Students are accepted on a rolling basis, so interested youth are encouraged to apply online soon.
For more information on the 30th annual Lutheran Summer Music Academy & Festival, visit or contact the organization’s national offices in Minneapolis at 888-635-6583 or