Past Guest Artists
John Pew is the founder and conductor of the Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra (TSO).
A fine musician in his own right, John performed the piano concertos of Grieg and Mendelssohn as a high school student and won a place in the piano studio of the famed Reid Nibley at Brigham Young University before choosing a more pragmatic path. He ultimately graduated with a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from San Jose State University and took a job with Ariba, Inc., in Sunnyvale, California. He has kept the job in Sunnyvale, to which he telecommutes from his home here in American Fork, and he has likewise kept music, if not for his vocation, then for his avocation.
In 1998 and 2000, while living in California, John directed the orchestra and chorus for the Oakland (LDS) Temple Pageant. In 2002, he accepted the baton of the (Oakland) Temple Hill Symphony Orchestra, then a struggling organization, and built for it a vibrant reputation that attracted great soloists such as Jenny Oaks Baker. After moving to American Fork in 2005, John kept his position with Temple Hill, scheduling rehearsals to coincide with visits to the work place.
In 2007, Pew became the first and founding chair of the Arts Council’s governing board. In his three years of service he accomplished much in building the arts. In 2010, he formed the Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra, a profound musical voice in the north county, where he continues to conduct today.
Christopher Luther has established himself as a uniquely gifted teacher through his diverse musical background and uncanny ability to reach and inspire youth. He received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in viola performance from the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas as the teaching assistant of Roger Myers. He received his Masters Degree from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California in violin performance studying with Eudice Shapiro and Martin Chalifour. Born in Denver, he began his performance career at the age of eight fiddling at the Colorado Renaissance Festival. He has continued his diverse musical training with an undergraduate degree in Violin Performance and Jazz Studies from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver. During the end of his undergraduate degree Luther produced his first CD entitled Personality, consisting of virtuosic bluegrass music supported by jazz concepts and original compositions. In Los Angeles Luther played in soundtracks with a few on-screen performances, most notably in The Soloist. He collaborated with artists including Burt Bacharach, Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole, Patti Austin, Ruben Studdard, James Moody, Jon Faddis, Nancy Wilson, Richard Green and many others, including a performance on the Jay Leno Show with Sarah Barrielles. Equally comfortable teaching and inspiring all ages and abilities, Luther held teaching positions at the Crossroads School for the Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles and Gustavo Dudamel’s Youth Orchestra LA where he has been a guest conductor for all three orchestras. Christopher co-founded, co-directs and teaches alternative styles at the Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp with his father and sister, now entering its 16th successful season. He has completed certification for the entire Suzuki violin method, along with the upcoming Volume 9 for viola through the Suzuki Association of the Americas.
Cosima Luther has been playing the violin since the young age of 5. She began performing only two years later at the Colorado Renaissance Festival which she continued doing for seven seasons. A versatile musician, Luther has intensely studied Scottish, Irish, Cape Breton, Shetland, Appalachian, Swing, Country and Bluegrass music from a young age in conjunction with her classical training. In addition to performing in the United States, Luther has performed in Canada, France and Germany.
Luther went to high school at the Denver School of the Arts where she was concertmistress of the DSA Orchestra. She also gave countless performances in other acclaimed orchestras including the Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Denver Young Artists Orchestra, and the Colorado Youth Sinfonia. During the summers of 2002 and 2003 she was a student at the Aspen Music Festival under the tutelage of Carol Cowan. In the summer of 2004, Luther studied abroad with the Pepperdine Chamber Music Program in Heidelberg, Germany.
In 1999, along with her father and brother, Luther founded Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp (RMFC), a popular summer music festival where students and artists are drawn from around the world. Luther continues to help in the management of RMFC, along with teaching there as well. RMFC is now entering its ninth successful season.
Luther studied violin with Mitchell Newman for her four years at Pepperdine. As an active performer at Pepperdine, Luther has been concertmistress of the Pepperdine Symphony Orchestra. She participated in other campus-wide organizations including the Student Government Association and the Pi Beta Phi sorority. She graduated in Spring 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in violin performance. She would like to thank her most influential music instructors at Pepperdine who are Mitchell Newman, Sara Banta, Lisa Dondlinger, and Tony Cason.
Luther is continuing her studies on the violin at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California accepted under the tutelage of Eudice Shapiro and currently studying with Suli Xue. Luther is also studying conducting at the Thornton School with Larry Livingston.