50 Years of Alumni: Luther Ranheim

College(s)/University attended:
I attended Lawrence University in Appleton, WI

What years were you in GTCYS?
I joined GTCYS 1984 or 85 and was in GTCYS until I graduated from High School (Minneapolis South) in 1992. I also returned as an Alum to join Symphony on their 1994 Tour of Malaysia.

What skills or lessons did you learn in GTCYS that you still use today?
Some of the basic skills that I learned in GTCYS that are still helpful today include timeliness. Showing up to rehearsals and concerts on time is a habit that has helped throughout my career. Always show up early, don’t be late. I also learned the power of working together to create something powerful, whether performance of incredible works of music in GTCYS to working with colleagues throughout my career, working together is a foundational habit that has helped me immensely. Through my opportunities to tour with Symphony while in GTCYS, I developed a deep appreciation for other cultures. This appreciation and curiosity has stayed with me my entire life as I seek to bridge divides, build community and interact with my fellow citizens.

Why do you think GTCYS is important for students now?
I think that GTCYS is more important than ever for students seeking to find an outlet for their musical skills. With increasing cuts to school music, GTCYS is needed more than ever. Students who have an interest in music but no options in their schools will rely on what GTCYS offers more and more.

How does music still play a part in your life?
While I don’t play my French Horn anymore, music has remained a big part of my life since GTCYS. Earlier in my career, I worked in Symphony Orchestra Management, including time at the Aspen Music Festival, Seattle Symphony and L.A. Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. More recently, I came back to the orchestra world as Major Gifts Officer at the Minnesota Orchestra. Today, I work in the philanthropy sector at the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation where I help those who are charitable set up funds to support causes they care about, including the Arts. Outside of work, I enjoy serving on the Board of the American Composers Forum after previous board roles with The Singers and MN Boychoir. I also love attending concerts and listening to music all the time.

What is your favorite composer or piece of music?
Being a member of the brass section, I have always admired Bruckner and my favorite piece is Bruckner 8 because of great brass writing.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?
Because of GTCYS, I got to play on stage at the world-famous Sydney Opera House!

What do you hope to see from GTCYS in the next 50 years?
Over the next 50 years, I hope to see GTCYS continue to grow and to serve more and more young musicians. Additionally, I hope to see GTCYS continue investing in BIPOC Communities and opening doors to musical opportunities to a more diverse group of students. I would also love to see a GTCYS building to house all offices and multiple rehearsal venues. Most importantly, I would love to see GTCYS continue building on the incredible legacy of the first 50 years!

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