The National Lutheran Choir (= NLCR), founded by Dr. Larry L. Fleming in 1986, is comprised of professional choral musicians who perform literature from the entire spectrum of sacred choral works, with and without instrumental accompaniment. This is reflected in the choir's rich and diverse repertoire: from early chant to contemporary "chance" music; from small verse anthems to large works with orchestra; and from complex masterworks to simple folk settings. Selected by auditions held each May, the singers are drawn from a 200-mile radius of Minneapolis/St. Paul for weekly rehearsals. They represent the various Lutheran Church bodies whose many colleges and universities have provided their undergraduate education. All have received advanced training and most are professionally active in various areas of music.
Dr. Larry L. Fleming retired from active conducting in 1999 and served as Senior Advisor to the choir until his death in 2003. An extensive international search was conducted to select a new Music Director. Dr. David Cherwien has been named the permanent music director beginning in the 2002-2003 seasons. During the interim, the choir has been under the direction of many distinguished guest conductors including René Clausen of Concordia College in Moorhead, MN; Karle Erickson, founder and director of World Voices; Paul Brandvik, formerly of Bemidji State University in Bemidji, MN; Sigrid Johnson, of St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN; Martin Neary, formerly of Westminster Abbey in London; and Kenneth Hodgson of the University of Minnesota Morris. By traveling thousands of miles to present a wide range of choral works in concert and worship settings, by conducting workshops in choral techniques, hymnody and liturgy, by commissioning new compositions and through radio, television and recordings, the National Lutheran Choir gives unprecedented expression and new impetus to the fine tradition of sacred choral music.