Dr. Lisa Lutter is a music educator and choral director whose choirs have been featured throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, Japan, China, Mexico, the Philippines, Costa Rica and Guam. Vocal ensembles under her direction have performed with celebrated artists and Grammy award winners including Chanticleer, Eileen Ivers, the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and Judy Collins.
Under her leading ship during the past six years, the Ramapo College choral program has grown from a handful of students to include a collegiate chorale of 75 and three select vocal ensembles. In 2008, the Ramapo choirs were the only U.S. ensembles invited to participate in the International Festival of Academic Choirs in the Czech Republic. The three choirs won seven medals, including gold.
As Founder and Artistic Director of the Pacific Summer Music Festival presented each June, Dr. Lisa Lutter works with the Cantate Board of Directors to organize piano, band, orchestra and choral opportunities for musicians of all ages. Among the acclaimed guest artists that have appeared in the PSMF is distinguished choral conductor, Dr. Weston Noble, who has led the festival choirs since 2004.
As a soprano, Lisa Lutter has sung throughout Europe and the United States, including Manhattan’s most distinguished venues, Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall. The voice student and teaching assistant to the late Beverly Peck Johnson (Juilliard), Lisa Lutter has won scholarships and awards from the Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals, the Society of American Women Musicians and was a Regional Metropolitan Opera Finalist.
Lisa Lutter’s voice students have appeared on international stages, off-Broadway, on national tours and have attended leading graduate programs. As a scholar, her research centers on a holistic approach to vocal pedagogy that synthesizes kinesthetic, cognitive and perceptive learning. Dr. Lutter has presented papers, served as a clinician and given lecture-recitals at international conferences including the University of Birmingham (UK), Memorial University (New Foundland) and McGill University (Montreal). Next fall, she will will perform in Dublin, Ireland where she was recently heard on public radio.
Dr. Lutter is head of the music department at Ramapo College of New Jersey and also has served as faculty member at City University of New York, Briar Cliff University, Chicago Academy for the Arts, University of Guam and the Manhattan School of Music Summer Program. She completed her DMA at the Manhattan School of Music on fellowship, MM from Northwestern University as a recipient of the Chramer Opera Award and BA in Voice and Piano Performance and Music Education from Luther College. She has done postgraduate work at Westminster Choir College, San Jose State with Charlene Archibeque and with Miriam Burns, assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic.
The Ramapo choirs also performed concerts at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna and St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague. In 2010, the choir toured Costa Rica, presenting a feature concert at the Eugene O’Neill Theater. In 2009 and 2011, Ramapo choirs were featured at the Pacific Summer Music Festival on Guam.
Dr. Lutter is known for her innovative programming, often focused on contemporary music and raising awareness for global issues. In 2007, the Ramapo choir was featured in the New York Times Centers in Manhattan along with international dignitaries in a program, The Unkept Promise of Never Again: Remembering Genocides in Rwanda, Cambodia, Guatemala and Darfur. In 2008, the Ramapo Chorale presented Karl Jenkin’s acclaimed, Mass for Peace with orchestra and was the featured choir for William Paterson University’s all-Beethoven celebration. In May 2010, Ramapo vocal ensemble, CantaNOVA, presented a concert, Songs of Children, sponsored by the Czech Republic delegation of the United Nations.
For nearly twenty years, Dr. Lutter has served the island of Guam. She has received three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts to mount major productions and educations projects. As founder of the non-profit organizations Opera of the Pacific, the Guam Children’s Choir and Cantate, she has brought in artists from the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Vienna Stadtsoper, Boston Symphony and Broadway to the island. Major corporate sponsorship has included Continental Airlines, Citibank and Tiffany & Company. For her work, Dr. Lutter received the Woman of the Year award rom the Bureau of Women’s Affairs, commendations from the Guam Legislature and from the Lieutenant Governor.
While serving as a visiting professor at the University of Guam, Dr. Lutter organized annual international tours. Under her direction, the sixty students of the University Singers performed in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and throughout Japan. Originally formed as a student club, the vocal ensemble, Cantate, toured China under the auspices of World Projects International and the China Tourism Bureau. Cantate performed at the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Town Hall and won a Gold Medal at the International Choral Festival in Sydney. The ensemble has toured the east and west coasts of the United States and was featured at the New York and San Francisco Choral Festivals, appearing with the Grammy award winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and Chanticleer. A thriving non-profit organization, Cantate celebrates its 15th anniversary year.