Nebraska Youth Attends Lutheran Summer Music Academy & Festival
October 14, 2022
The 2022 Lutheran Summer Music Academy & Festival (LSM), a four-week residential program for high school musicians, was held at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana from June 26 to July 24. Along with 100+ students from 30 states, local student Emily Reimers was chosen to participate.
A senior at Grand Island Senior High School, Reimers is active as a singer and percussionist in her school’s performing and creative arts ensembles, including Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz, Varsity Show Choir and Madrigal Singers. She also is involved in the GISH theatre department, acting and performing in plays and musicals.
Her musical passions and involvement also extend to her home congregation, St. Pauls Lutheran Church, which supported her attendance to LSM. Reimers regularly sings and plays for worship services on the church’s Praise Team. Pastor Bill Pavuk from St. Pauls shared, “Emily has been such a faithful leader of our worship and a leader among our youth at church for a long time now. When our church’s scholarship committee received the invite for the church to assist her in this experience, we were very eager to lend support to this talented person who has been so dedicated to our community.”
Founded in 1981, LSM’s mission is to transform lives and connect people through faith and music. By offering programs for young people that teach and celebrate the extraordinary musical heritage of the Lutheran church, LSM trains and inspires the next generation of musicians for the church. Music and worship are at the center of LSM’s intentional, supportive community. For Reimers and other young musicians who are passionate about music and exploring the use of music in a church setting, LSM provides a welcoming environment to study and grow.
During her time at LSM, Reimers experienced a variety of musical opportunities. As a percussionist, she studied several instruments – including marimba, snare drum, timpani – with faculty member Dr. Christopher Wilson of Washington State University. She played in the percussion section of the LSM Festival Orchestra and Band ensembles, under the batons of ensemble directors from two Lutheran colleges: Dr. Kevin Sütterlin of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and Dr. Jeffrey Doebler of Valparaiso University. She also flexed her skills as a singer: she was accepted into a Musical Theatre Intensive course lead by Daniel Greco.
Of her time at LSM, Reimers said, “Lutheran Summer Music pushed my music skills to the next level from working with amazing directors and faculty. In four weeks, I also made some of the best friends that I will cherish for my lifetime. I am so thankful for the scholarship support and grateful for the LSM opportunity. I can’t wait to use all my new music knowledge in my own community.”
Since its first program 40 years ago, more than 4,000 students have attended Lutheran Summer Music. Hundreds of these alumni have pursued careers in music education, church music, and music performance. LSM 2023 will be held June 25 to July 23 on the campus of Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, IN.