Jeffrey K. Lauritzen
Jeffrey K. Lauritzen, a versatile musician, singer, and trumpet and double bass player, directed the vocal/choral program at Collegedale Academy in Tennessee for 27 years and is under appointment to direct the choirs and teach Bible classes at Fresno Adventist Academy in California beginning in the fall of 2013. In addition to his leadership of the choirs at CA, he also taught Bible classes and, for fourteen years, from 1986 to 2000, directed choirs at nearby A. W. Spalding Elementary School.
The older of two sons born to Adrian and Evelyn Sorensen Lauritzen, he was raised in a home in which both parents were professional musicians. He attended Maplewood Academy during his junior and senior years, where he was inspired by the musical leadership of Klaus Leukert to pursue a career in music.
He completed a music education degree at Union College in 1974. During his senior year, he was chosen by the college to be listed in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities.
Lauritzen then taught at Cedar Vale Junior Academy in Kansas City, Missouri; Wisconsin Academy; and Clara E. Rogers Elementary School in College Place, Washington, before going to CA. He completed a masterís degree in music at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1986.
He has toured extensively with his choirs throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. He traveled to Canada in 1990 and has been to Europe numerous times as well as to the Caribbean, Central America, and the South Pacific. His groups have been widely praised for their ensemble and quality of their singing. In 1993 they were invited to perform during the Columbia Union Music Festival as a demonstration choir and Lauritzen gave a workshop for the choral directors during that event.
The choir program at CA included the Madrigal Singers, now known as Opus, a select group of 35-38 voices; a ladiesí chorus, La Vie; and a beginnerís group, Cantala. Whenever large choral works are done, the choirs are combined, usually making a group of over ninety singers. Additionally, Lauritzen conducted a handbell ensemble, the Cantabile Ringers, for a short while. These CA ensembles performed Evensong concerts frequently in the Collegdale Church. They also performed at three different General Conference Sessions, including multiple performances at the most recent one in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2010.
Performances by the large choir and academy orchestra at CA included the Faure Requiem, the Vivaldi Gloria, Schubert Mass in No.2 in G Major, the Beethoven Choral Fantasy, and the Christmas section of the Messiah three times.† A secular concert is given each spring that includes a variety of music, including numbers from opera and Broadway. Four Broadway shows have been produced, including The Music Man, the Sound of Music, The King and I, and Fiddler on the Roof.
Lauritzen has also taught a music appreciation class at SAU for several years and will teach it as an extension class for SAU at FAA as he assumes teaching responsibilities there this fall.††
In 2004 Lauritzen was chosen as one of fifteen SDA teachers nationwide to receive an Excellence in Teaching Award for his choral work and Bible teaching. Recipients are chosen through a nominating process and the writing of an essay on "Why I Teach in Adventist Schools." The program, which includes a $1,000 award, is sponsored by the NAD Alumni Awards Foundation.
Sources: Conversations with Jeffrey Lauritzen over many years, most recently in March 2013; Conversations with Evelyn Lauritzen, 2004 to 2009; personal knowledge.