“Summon the Heroes” to Luther College’s Commencement Weekend Concerts

Luther College Concert Band

On May 20, 2017 I attended Luther College’s Music Showcase II, part of Commencement weekend at the campus in northeast Iowa. This program featured the Concert Band followed by the Jazz Orchestra. (Note: Videotaping by the audience was not allowed, so I have included music and videos from alternate sources. The college did videotape the concert which can be found here, and it is well worth watching, but be advised that the music doesn’t start until about 13 minutes into the recording). Conductor Joan de Albuquerque explained that the Concert  Band would be playing for the Commencement ceremony the next day … Read more

Buzzing around Decorah, named Iowa’s “Best Hippie Town”

Main Street Decorah Iowa

I’ve made the trek to the northeastern Iowa city of Decorah (pop. 8,000) many times in the last few years, but it was only recently that I realized I was visiting the hippie mecca of the state, at least according to the website Thrillist. The hipster gurus at this website said their determination was based on these factors: the city’s widespread beekeeping, the Oneota Community Food Cooperative, its two breweries—Toppling Goliath and Pulpit Rock—and Luther College, the local private college with a strong arts program. Having spent many hours in Decorah due to two sons attending college at Luther, I can attest to … Read more

7 Things the Jack Daniel Distillery Doesn’t Do

Jack Daniel Distillery Tennessee Whiskey tasting

The Jack Daniel Distillery, located in Lynchburg, Tennessee, only 46 miles (74 km) from Huntsville, Alabama and 74 miles (119 km) from Nashville, is the oldest registered distillery in the United States. On its hilly tree-covered grounds—in a dry county, no less, which prohibits most sales of alcohol—you’ll find an informative museum where you can sign up for tours that take you through the entire Tennessee whiskey making process, ending with an opportunity to sample variations of the smooth whiskey itself. As maker of the top-selling whiskey in the world—Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Black Label Tennessee Whiskey—the distillery uses … Read more