Music faculty

Luke Dahn, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Music
Department Chair

Ph.D., University of Iowa
M.M., Western Michigan University
B.M., Houston Baptist University

712-707-7063
ldahn@nwciowa.edu
DMH 107

Profile

An active composer, Dr. Dahn has written compositions heard throughout the United States and abroad, with recent performances given by groups and soloists such as the Moscow Conservatory Studio for New Music, the NODUS Ensemble, the NEXTET Ensemble, Composers Inc., the University of Iowa Center for New Music, and saxophonist Kenneth Tse. Venues have included Rachmaninoff Hall (Moscow), the Estonia Academy of Music (Tallinn), the Frankfurter KuenstlerKlub, the 14th International Saxophone Meeting (Slovenia), Harvard University’s Memorial Church, the Miami ISCM Festival Series and the N.E.O.N. (Nevada Encounters of New Music) Festival. Several of his works have been recorded on the Albany label, included his quintet "Penumbrae," winner of the 2010 League Composers/ISCM Composers Competition.

The 2011 recipient of Northwestern's Teaching Excellence Award, Dr. Dahn earned a doctorate in music composition from the University of Iowa, where he served as visiting assistant professor. He teaches music theory and composition courses at Northwestern.


Courses

  • Music Fundamentals

    Music Fundamentals

    (2 credits) This course provides training in basic musical skills including concepts of pitch, rhythm and time signatures, scales and key signatures, intervals, triads and seventh chords and rules for part writing. It also provides an introduction to aural skills and to understanding Christian approaches to music and music-making.
  • Music Theory I

    Music Theory I

    (2 credits) This course will teach the fundamentals necessary for performing, composing/arranging, teaching, directing, writing about, and recording/producing music. Related topics such as music history, performance practice and music technology are also explored and an in-depth study is made of the Christian perspective on music and music-making. Prerequisite for 111: MUS101 or passing score on diagnostic placement exam.
  • Music Theory II

    Music Theory II

    (4 credits) This course will teach the fundamentals necessary for performing, composing/arranging, teaching, directing, writing about, and recording/producing music. Related topics such as music history, performance practice and music technology are also explored and an in-depth study is made of the Christian perspective on music and music-making. Prerequisite for 112: MUS111 or passing score on diagnostic placement exam.
  • Orchestration

    Orchestration

    (2 credits, alternate years, consult department) This course provides the students with the principles of scoring for small string and wind ensembles, symphonic orchestra and symphonic band. The study of range, proper notation, transposition and the characteristics of orchestra and band instruments are included. Prerequisite: MUS112.
  • Composition Lessons

    Composition Lessons

    (1-2 credits) Private instruction is offered in keyboard, voice, brass, woodwind, percussion and string performance. Prerequisite: MUS112 or permission of instructor
  • Music Technology

    Music Technology

    (2 credits, alternate years, consult department) This course is designed to give students a basic understanding of some of the most common technologies in music, both digital and analog. The course is theoretical as well as practical. Hands-on experience and training will comprise a significant element in the class. Midi, digital technology, computers and analog sound amplification comprise broad subjects covered. Students will gain understanding and experience in each of these areas. Prerequisite: MUS111 or permission of instructor.
  • Music Theory III

    Music Theory III

    (4 credits) This course will teach the fundamentals necessary for performing, composing/arranging, teaching, directing, writing about, and recording/producing music. Related topics such as music history, performance practice and music technology are also explored and an in- depth study is made of the Christian perspective on music and music-making.
  • Music Theory IV

    Music Theory IV

    (4 credits, alternate years, consult department) This course will teach the fundamentals necessary for performing, composing/arranging, teaching, directing, writing about, and recording/producing music. Related topics such as music history, performance practice and music technology are also explored and an in- depth study is made of the Christian perspective on music and music-making.

Publications and presentations

  • Penumbrae: Albany label; entitled "Spirals: American Music in Moscow." Recorded by the Moscow Conservatory's Studio for New Music ensemble.
  • Downward Courses: Albany label; entitled "MAPP: Midwest American Piano Project." Recorded by pianist Stacey Barelos.
  • Edges: Albany label; entitled "Into the Future." Recorded May 2006 by the University of Iowa's Center for New Music for the production of a CD commemorating the CNM's 40th anniversary.
  • Prolepsis: performed by saxophonist Chris Anderson for a CD dedicated to saxophone music for distribution at the 2006 national North American Saxophone Alliance conference.
  • Two Pieces for Children: published by the Western Michigan University MTNA chapter and presented at the 2003 National MTNA conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Professional experience

  • Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Iowa
  • Assistant for the University of Iowa Center for New Music

Memberships

  • Society of Composers, Inc.
  • American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
  • The College Music Society
  • Pi Kappa Lambda (National Music Honor Society)

Honors

  • Penumbrae one of three pieces selected from 75 submitted for presentation at the New Music Miami ISCM Festival Series, May 2009
  • Grant from Northwestern College for recording project with the Moscow Conservatory, summer 2008
  • Acceptance of Downward Courses to the Society of Composers national conference in February 2008
  • Invitation to New Music Conference at Western Illinois University, March 2007