Mark Potvin

Instructor in Music

    Mark Potvin is an Instructor in Music at Luther College. A native of Detroit Lakes, Minn., Mark graduated from Luther in 2001 and became the high school choir director at Princeton High School (PHS) in Princeton, Minn. At PHS, Mark served not only as the choir director, but also as the artistic director for the fall musical, madrigal dinner, All-City Choir festival, and K-8 summer drama camp. He was a teacher coach, department chair, and member of the building leadership team. Mr. Potvin earned a MM in Choral Conducting from St. Cloud State University in 2010, and served on the faculty there as assistant conductor of the Concert Choir as well as conductor of both the Chamber Singers and SCSU Men's Chorus. Mark served as artistic director of the East Central Minnesota Chorale (Cambridge, Minn.) from 2007-15 and in that role devised Unum Vox, a select honor choir representing Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine counties. Mr. Potvin is in the dissertation phase of his doctoral program in Music Education through Boston University. At Luther, he conducts Norsemen and Cathedral Choir, teaches conducting and high school choral methods, supervises student teachers, and is involved with musical theatre in various capacities.

    Karla Colahan '13

    Violinist, The OK Factor

      Karla Colahan, graduate of Luther College (2013), is the violinist for new-classical crossover duo, The OK Factor. She and duo partner, Olivia Diercks, perform concerts, workshops, and showcases around the Midwest, sharing original compositions and passion for their art with students, audiences, and music lovers of all ages. Additionally, over the last six years Karla has developed her educational artistry through faculty positions at MacPhail Center for Music, the Aspen Music Festival and School Beginning Strings program, Dorian Summer Music Festival, and private studios through Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Ovation Academy of Music, and Take Lessons. Karla's artistic nature has encouraged her to pursue side projects in graphic design and branding, creating brand identities for Midwest creatives such as The OK Factor and The OK Factor's education initiative, ATLAS, Kathleen Blake Design, and Matthew Hill Creative, among others. Born and raised in Georgia, Karla currently lives in Minneapolis with her husband and golden retriever puppy.

      Benjamin Cramer

      Composer and Conductor

        Benjamin Cramer is a composer and conductor committed to the creation and continued performance of new music. His music has been described as “modern new tonalism” and “a multicolored fractal sound pattern.” As a composer, Benjamin’s choral, orchestral, and concert band music has been performed internationally; mostly recently in Italy, London, Scotland, Wales, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America. In 2016, he was a runner-up in the London-based Fourth Choir’s International Shakespeare composition contest under the direction of Dominic Peckham.

        Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Benjamin became immersed in choral music, theatre and journalism. In 2009 he came to Luther College in Decorah, Iowa as a physics and music student where he sang in the Nordic Choir under the direction of Dr. Allen Hightower. Following graduation from Luther, Benjamin co-founded the Vox Nova Chorale, a mixture of young composers and conductors alongside professional singers dedicated to providing workshop and masterclass opportunities each summer. In 2014, Benjamin founded Painted Harmony, a choir of young professionals dedicated to the premiere and performance of new and alternative choral music. In 2016, Benjamin completed his Master’s Degree in Vocal Music with distinction, studying both conducting and composition at the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom with Royal Wedding composer Paul Mealor. He is currently serving as composer-in-residence with the King’s Philharmonic Wind Orchestra in Scotland.