The UGC Spring Concert will take place on Friday, May 10th, 7:30 pm, at Bethesda Lutheran Church, 450 Whitney Avenue, in New Haven.
Lars Gjerde, from Aure, Norway, is a doctoral candidate in organ performance with Prof. David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he has earned a masterís degree and the Sacred Music Diploma.
At Eastman, Lars has studied organ literature with Dr. Hans Davidsson, conducting with Dr. William Weinert, harpsichord and improvisation with Dr. William Porter, and jazz piano with Prof. Tony Caramia. Lars taught secondary organ lessons at Eastman and sang alto with the Christ Church Schola Cantorum under Stephen Kennedy.
Lars received degrees in music and German from Augustana College of Liberal Arts (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) and the Edvard Grieg Academy of Music (Bergen, Norway). At Augustana College, Lars served as the Chapel Organist, sang with the concert and chamber choirs, and accompanied choral and opera ensembles. He was Organist and Choir Director at First Methodist Church in Bergen, where he also sang with the distinguished Bergen Domkantori under Magnar Mangersnes.
Lars was a Second National Winner in the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Organ Competition, and he earned Honorable Mention in the Reuter/Augustana Arts National Undergraduate Organ Competition. He has won numerous music and academic scholarships.
Lars has participated in academies and performed around America and Europe, and he has played on the National Public Radio show Pipedreams! Since 2010, Lars has been Director of Music at Bethesda Lutheran Church in New Haven, Connecticut. He is a freelance concert artist and teacher through Encore Music Creations.