Lynn L. Petersen is a composer, arranger, pianist, organist and music educator. Petersen earned a Ph.D. in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Minnesota, a Master of Church Music degree from Concordia College-River Forest, and a B.S. in Elementary Education from Dr. Martin Luther College. During her sabbatical in Fall 2009 she studied jazz arranging and improvisation at Washington State University. Her composition teachers have included Dominick Argento, Paul Fetler, Richard Hillert, Carl Schalk, and Gregory Yasinitsky (jazz). She studied piano with Alexander Braginsky and John Bloomfield, organ with Bruce Backer and Dean Billmeyer, violin with Edward Burckart, and voice with Jane Jensen.
Dr. Petersen has composed and arranged music for orchestra, band, jazz ensemble, chamber ensembles, choir, voice, piano, organ, and music for liturgy and worship. In 1985 she was the first recipient of the Richard Hillert Award in Composition for Sonata for Trumpet and Piano. Her Four Songs for soprano and violoncello, based on poetry by Ed Noonan, was commissioned by Diagenesis in 2011 and performed in Helena, St. Paul, Chicago and Boston. She was commissioned by Carroll College to compose Patterned for Thee, a song cycle based on the poems of the late Sister Annette Moran. The work was premiered for the college's Centennial in 2009 in collaboration with Artisan Dance. Petersen received a commission from the American Guild of Organists to compose Starry Crown Suite, which was premiered at the 2007 Region VIII Convention in Portland, Oregon. In 2006 she was commissioned by the Montana State Music Teachers Association (MTNA) to compose a song cycle entitled Mary Dyer, Martyr, based on poems by Helen Marie Casey. She was awarded a Myrna Loy Center Grant-to-Artists to compose Whirlwind Duo for flute and organ, which was premiered in Helena in 2004. She received a commission from the American Guild of Organists to compose an organ prelude on "Amazing Grace," which was premiered at the 2003 Regional Convention in Salt Lake City. Other grants and commissions include the Yavapai College Symphony Orchestra, the University of Minnesota and Jerome Foundation, the Margaret Fairbank Jory Copying Assistance Program, the faculty brass quintet at Gustavus Adolphus College and Mankato State University, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, and University of Montana organist Dr. Nancy Cooper. Her original works and arrangements are published by Augsburg Fortress Publishers, Concordia Publishing House, GIA Publications, Northwestern Publishing House, and Pelican Music Publishers.
Dr. Petersen currently holds the position of Associate Professor of Music at Carroll College in Helena, Montana, where she has taught since 1999 and served as Chair of the Fine Arts Department 2008-2011. She has also taught at St. Olaf College, the University of Minnesota, and St. Cloud State University, and she has held church music positions in the Twin Cities and Colorado Springs. She has over thirty years of experience teaching and performing and frequently serves as an adjudicator at music festivals. She has remained active as a pianist and organist, and has sung in school, church, and community choral groups for many years. In Winter 2011 she performed as pianist on a recital featuring Schubert's Winterreise, given at MSU-Bozeman and at Helena's Myrna Loy Center.