- Ph.D., Choral Conducting and Music Education, Florida State University
- M.A, Sacred Music, Luther Seminary with St. Olaf College
- B.A., Music, Luther College
Ryan Luhrs directs the A Cappella Choir, the university’s touring flagship choral ensemble. He also coordinates the sacred music program, mentors choral music education students, directs the College Singers and teaches a protest music course in the university’s core offerings.
Previously, Luhrs taught music at Andrew College in Cuthbert, Georgia, and in public schools in Iowa and Minnesota. He has served as a church choir director and/or organist for congregations in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Georgia and is currently music director and organist at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Hickory. Luhrs is also the artistic director and conductor for the Hickory Choral Society.
A proponent of using singing in groups to break down social barriers, Luhrs has organized choral festivals in rural Minnesota; southwestern Georgia; Tallahassee, Florida; and Hickory. His doctoral dissertation entitled, “Singing for Social Harmony: Choir Member Perceptions During Intergroup Contact,” investigated how choral music functions in settings where people of diverse backgrounds are present. Related research was the basis for an article in the February 2017 Choral Journal and presentations at regional and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and Chorus America.