RiG 2019-2020/7 April 2020: We Get To Decide!

LSM Alumni
Reflecting in Gratitude Vol. 7
April 2020

WE GET TO DECIDE!

Corona threatens to silence us.
What’s next? Does it make sense to keep on going?
I am an oboist. Like me, most of you are not standalone players. You need your ensemble, your band, your orchestra, your choir.
I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know this:

You get to decide!

Read more

RiG 2019-2020/1 October 2019: An Invitation

Reflecting in Gratitude Series 2019-2020/1

 

Dear Fellow LSM Alum,

The prairie in June is remarkable in its wide-open mosquito-ey heaviness. It was 1989. I had turned sixteen that very month, no driver’s license yet, parents still married to each other. I was just beginning to sense that maybe my little brother Paul was not some bitter curse from God.

Setting my suitcase and oboe case down in the dorm of Augustana College was the symbolic start of the first month I would spend away from my family.

Traveling out of Arlington, Texas is easier than traveling into Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The long day left me alone with my own thoughts. What occupied my mind? Counting. Thirty of days of LSM. Seven, or maximum eight changes of clothes. There was no way around it.

At some point, I was going to have to wash clothes.

I realize now how fortunate I was. Of all the possible sources for worry that fateful day, my biggest concern was if I’d figure out how to use the washing machine.

I am grateful that my mother found the one-dose laundry detergent packets and tucked them into my suitcase. Half-way through LSM a couple of weeks later, I stood in the bowels of the dormitory with my handful of quarters before the rows of machines and thanks to the portioned packet of detergent, I had one less decision to make.

It is a little thing. But as you know, those little things add up. In fact, the gift in this story is not the laundry detergent (a little thing), but my willingness to share my worry with my mother as a teenage girl, and her ability to hear and respond. That’s HUGE!


LSM is embarking on a gratitude campaign and I will be prompting you over the next few months. Each email will include a link to a short survey asking you to share what you are grateful for. This is a discipline and I invite you to join me. I challenge you to avoid repetition. You’ll get beyond the standard answers quickly enough and that is where the magic happens. If you already have a gratitude practice you understand what happens when you walk through your day and through your memories with a heightened awareness of the abundance around you.

Please take a moment to recall your start at LSM. For what or for whom are you grateful?

Thanks to a collaborative effort with Tom Bandar, LSM Executive Director, plans are underwaye included. for an LSM alumni reunion during LSM 2020 Festival Weekend July 22-26. More information is forthcoming, and I would be so grateful if you would indicate a willingness and capacity to assist in the planning and execution.

You can get in touch with us at: alumni@lutheransummermusic.org.

Best wishes,

Jeanine Krause

Student: 1989-1991

Intern: 1992

Counselor: 1994

This is number 1 in the 2019-2020 Reflecting in Gratitude Campaign

“We, the LSM alumni remain connected through faith and music. We lived the experience that grew from the mission and vision of our revered founding fathers and mothers. The founders are now passing the torch to us, trusting us to preserve that which most transformed our lives, fold it into the challenges and advantages of our present day, and enable the enrichment of further generations of the LSM community.”

– Jeanine Krause, LSM ‘89-’91

LSM is embarking on a gratitude campaign. Alumni receive a monthly email containing a reflection from Jeanine Krause, alumni-related announcements, and a link inviting you to share your personal LSM stories and what you are most grateful for.

RiG 2019-2020/2 November 2019: Lifelong Friends

Reflecting in Gratitude Series 2019-2020/2

Please note: this post was written by my lifelong friend, Edward Obermueller.

So, what is formed at LSM? One of the numerous things is truly life-altering friendships.

Who is the friend you met at LSM who has accompanied you through more than one phase of your life, with whom you celebrate wins and mourn losses? Name this person and make and expression of gratitude for this friendship on this Reflecting in Gratitude Survey.

The other day I heard from a dear friend whom I met at LSM 30 years ago. As I am putting the finishing touches on my own summer camp, my mind is on the relationships that form at these special times. Lutheran Summer Music was my introduction to the wider world. Coming from Wyoming, I had no idea there were other people who liked to connect around music and faith.

Going away from home as a high school student to stay for a month on a college campus, to be challenged by an orchestra that was better than anything I had ever experienced before, to take private lessons and be in a quartet, to have theory and ear training classes, AND to have worship services every evening that highlighted the importance of music in worship—all of that radically changed the course of my life.

But the best part was the people I met. Looking back, some of the most important people in my life came from LSM.

In the case of my friend, it is truly an amazing thing to look back on all of the ways our lives have taken twists and turns over the years. We have both since married, divorced, married again, had children, moved, moved again, taught, performed, lived abroad, and started businesses. Through it all, our shared love of music kept us connected. Occasionally, we have reconnected artistically and played together, her oboe blending with my violin. What fun! And very fulfilling as the years go by.

Thank you to all who participated so vulnerably in the first gratitude survey last month, sharing the trepidations you had at the very start of your LSM journey and how with whom you navigated them. Close, life-long friendships, the ones that anchor you and aid you in the integration of your life experiences: this is the recurring theme and the prism through which light flows.

Please take a moment to fill out this Gratitude Survey (linked above) and reflect on a significant LSM friendship you have nurtured and been nurtured by. Be sure to then share your response and this email with that friend directly, allowing them to share in the joy of your thoughts and words. The months and years may stretch on, you may be separated by a state or by an ocean, and strangely neither time nor distance are particularly significant; rather, these relationships transcend these things.

Thanks to a collaborative effort with Tom Bandar, LSM Executive Director, plans are underway for an LSM alumni reunion during LSM 2020 Festival Weekend July 22-26. More information is forthcoming, and I would be so grateful if you would indicate a willingness and capacity to assist in the planning and execution. If you can’t do that, we would simply be grateful for your presence.

You can get in touch with us at: alumni@lutheransummermusic.org.

Best wishes,

Edward Obermueller

“I am grateful for the LSM community, established through traditions over the many years before I came to LSM. The community created an incredibly unique environment that enabled me to come out of my social shell and quickly make close, life-long friends.”

–Jami McLaren, LSM 1997

This is number 2 in the 2019-2020 Reflecting in Gratitude Campaign

“We, the LSM alumni remain connected through faith and music. We lived the experience that grew from the mission and vision of our revered founding fathers and mothers. The founders are now passing the torch to us, trusting us to preserve that which most transformed our lives, fold it into the challenges and advantages of our present day, and enable the enrichment of further generations of the LSM community.”

– Jeanine Krause, LSM ‘89-’91

LSM is embarking on a gratitude campaign. Alumni receive a monthly email containing a reflection from Jeanine Krause, alumni-related announcements, and a link inviting you to share your personal LSM stories and what you are most grateful for.

RiG 2019-2020/3 December 2019: Our High School Years

Reflecting in Gratitude Series 2019-2020/4
How did LSM impact you in high school?

LSM choir director, Craig Hella Johnson blew my mind. We were packed into the choir room on that summer morning at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, singing an A-flat in unison. He prompted us, the LSM festival choir, to sing incrementally to an A, the next half step up.

For some reason up until this moment, I thought there were only A-flats and A’s, and I suppose this is understandable because on a piano it LOOKS like there is nothing in between.

From that moment forward I grasped the infinity between two notes, whose sound for whatever arbitrary reason, we have agreed are called A-flat and A. We agree on a standard and yet we are still free, especially as a choir, to intonate in pure intervals which means finding the spaces and allowing the natural laws of physics to cause RESONANCE. Two in-tune notes will miraculously produce further perceivable frequencies: overtones or undertones or both. Thus, the result is greater than the sum of the parts!

I am so grateful because it was in my high school years that I began to understand that despite all appearances, there is space with infinite potential between everything.

In our LSM schedules packed with rehearsals, lessons, meals and practice sessions, we still found time to laugh and draw and make up silly skits. I now remember to look for the little gaps in my schedule that allow me to share in the joys and sorrows of my fellows, or just to breathe. Then returns the faith that I both care and am cared for, which comforts and strengthens me. In our adult lives shuttling between our work, our children’s lessons and the grocery store, there is space for a quick game of UNO, or to observe the grey December light dancing on the trees dropping their leaves, or to dance around the kitchen.

An A is an A because we agree it is. We are friends because we agree we care. LSM impacted me in high school because I began to understand that we work well when we agree on certain standards and then within this, we courageously explore the infinite possibilities and find the relationships that resonate.

Thank you to those who shared with us in the last gratitude survey. You demonstrate in your friendships that once we agree on the underlying standard that we care for one another, there is a result which overcomes both the passage of time and geographical distance. Inside this space, our relationships flourish.

Please take a moment to share with us how LSM impacted you in high school by filling out the Reflecting in Gratitude Survey (linked above). And while you are considering the standards and the infinite spaces in your own life, we would like to call your attention to an important anniversary coming up! Lutheran Summer Music will celebrate 40 years of transforming lives and connecting people through faith and music in 2021. In the survey we invite you to indicate an interest and willingness to become involved in this celebration in some capacity.

Be sure to make note of the LSM Alumni reunion dates this coming summer during Festival Weekend July 23-26th.

Blessings to you this Advent season. May you find and explore the glorious spaciousness in your life.

December 2019

“…the best of friendships aren’t always a 24/7 interactive – there’s a gentle ebb and flow, as with all things in life. The best friendships are ones that continue to nurture themselves, even when the individuals aren’t actively participating. Friendships nurtured at LSM have that ability.”

— Evelyn Yee, LSM 2011
January 2020

This is number 4 in the 2019-2020 Reflecting in Gratitude Campaign

“We, the LSM alumni remain connected through faith and music. We lived the experience that grew from the mission and vision of our revered founding fathers and mothers. The founders are now passing the torch to us, trusting us to preserve that which most transformed our lives, fold it into the challenges and advantages of our present day, and enable the enrichment of further generations of the LSM community.”

– Jeanine Krause, LSM ‘89-’91

LSM is embarking on a gratitude campaign. Alumni receive a monthly email containing a reflection from Jeanine Krause, alumni-related announcements, and a link inviting you to share your personal LSM stories and what you are most grateful for.

RiG 2019-2020/4 January 2020: College and Careers

Reflecting in Gratitude Series 2019-2020/4

How did LSM impact you in college or in your career?

Attending Lutheran Summer Music unburdened me from the college search. My path emerged clearly, and I enrolled at St. Olaf College, following those LSM teachers and professors, Steve Amundson (orchestra), A. Dwayne Wee (piano), Merilee Klemp (oboe) and others who touched and encouraged me both in my art and also personally. This was my way of thoroughly integrating music, faith and worship into the daily fabric of my life.

I entered college 2,000 miles from home, surrounded by a family of fellow LSM alumni. These are the people who, to this day, challenge me to faithfully share my gifts. These are also the people I proudly stand by, providing support as they share their gifts.

Together we fortify each other so that we can give of ourselves. LSM helped us find our gifts and at LSM we learned it is our joyful duty to share them with each other. We are bonded together in the culture of collaboration, encouragement, and support that is unique to LSM and sets it as a place apart.

For this reason, I am very pleased to be a part of the newly formed LSM advisory council. This new group primarily comprised of LSM alumni will be actively engaged in the the future of LSM, working together on strategic initiatives to improve the program to ensure that all manner of resources including time, awareness, creativity, money and artistry are continually nurtured and replenished. We eagerly anticipate sharing more soon after our inaugural meeting in mid-January.

When the dark clouds move in and doubts and insufficiency loom, we learned at LSM to encourage each other to refresh and strengthen body, mind and soul through music, faith and worship.

The culture of generosity happens at all levels of LSM. At the root of this is the willingness to nestle into the peacefulness of knowing that you dwell in abundance.

For those of you who go into 2020 with rejoicing: remember to celebrate with cries of gratitude, acknowledging your blessings.

For those of you who carry suffering and loss into the new year: remember to anchor yourself with gratitude for the smallest joys: running water, a cup of tea, a kind word, and the comfort of knowing that you have a gift to share.

January 2020

This is number 4 in the 2019-2020 Reflecting in Gratitude Campaign

“We, the LSM alumni remain connected through faith and music. We lived the experience that grew from the mission and vision of our revered founding fathers and mothers. The founders are now passing the torch to us, trusting us to preserve that which most transformed our lives, fold it into the challenges and advantages of our present day, and enable the enrichment of further generations of the LSM community.”

– Jeanine Krause, LSM ‘89-’91

LSM is embarking on a gratitude campaign. Alumni receive a monthly email containing a reflection from Jeanine Krause, alumni-related announcements, and a link inviting you to share your personal LSM stories and what you are most grateful for.

RiG 2019-2020/5 February 2020: The Present Day

Reflecting in Gratitude 2019-2020/5

What impact does Lutheran Summer Music have on you today?

What is so important to you that you would voluntarily drive hundreds of miles (uphill… both ways) in a snowstorm? Ask me this on any ordinary day and I will respond with a resounding NOTHING!

As this new year dawned, one of our fellow LSM alumni lost his wife to illness. In her mid-40’s, a mother, a talented musician, adored by her family and friends, it feels unreal and definitely out of the ordinary that she left this life.

A collective of LSM alumni made our way through blustery winter weather last month to celebrate the life of this beautiful woman, to embrace her husband and children, and to lift our voices and instruments collectively in song at a time when words alone cannot sufficiently express the strength and weakness of the human condition.

On an “ordinary” day it is easy to pretend we are self-sufficient. Faith, expression through music and community are a routine we practice more out of a sense of duty rather than as a matter of life and death.

Those of us who set up a dutiful practice of Faith, Music, and Community, however, are better equipped when days come that are out of the ordinary.

On such days, snow and miles of driving become merely puzzles to be solved on the way as we go about the business of living out our values; faith, music and community become essential. Nothing can bring back what is lost and yet, we are handed the joy of bearing burdens together.

LSM impacts my life because through my experiences there, the importance of faith, community and the healing and celebratory power of music took hold.

February 2020

This is number 5 in the 2019-2020 Reflecting in Gratitude Campaign

“We, the LSM alumni remain connected through faith and music. We lived the experience that grew from the mission and vision of our revered founding fathers and mothers. The founders are now passing the torch to us, trusting us to preserve that which most transformed our lives, fold it into the challenges and advantages of our present day, and enable the enrichment of further generations of the LSM community.”

– Jeanine Krause, LSM ‘89-’91

LSM is embarking on a gratitude campaign. Alumni receive a monthly email containing a reflection from Jeanine Krause, alumni-related announcements, and a link inviting you to share your personal LSM stories and what you are most grateful for.