Weston Noble '43

Born in 1922 on a farm near Riceville, Iowa, Noble attended Luther College and majored in music. During his senior year, he was assistant conductor of the men’s chorus and directed rehearsals of Handel’s “Messiah.”

In 1943, he was called to active duty in the U.S. Army in World War II. Despite the interruption of his college career, he received the bachelor of arts degree, magna cum laude. Noble trained as a tank driver and was deployed with his tank company in Europe in September 1944. His unit was engaged in the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944, was involved in the U.S. Army’s drive into central Germany in the spring of 1945, and had advanced to the Elbe River when the war ended on May 8, 1945. They were the first American troops to enter Berlin on July 5.

When he returned to the United States, he took a teaching job at LuVerne (Iowa) High School. In 1948, Luther recruited Noble to take a one-year position on the college’s music faculty while the school conducted a search for a “permanent” conductor. After his first year of service, the college suspended the search and awarded him the faculty position.

Weston Noble is a highly accomplished and honored American music educator and conductor. Now the Johnson Professor Emeritus of Music, Mr. Noble had a fifty-seven year tenure as a conductor and teacher at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He has received acclaim from across the country and the world as the conductor of the Luther College Nordic Choir from 1948 to 2005, the Luther College Concert Band from 1948 to 1973, and as guest director for over 900 All-State bands, orchestras, choirs, and festivals across four continents.

Mr. Noble holds five honorary doctorate degrees: Augustana College (South Dakota), St. Olaf College, Westminster Choir College of Rider University, Carthage College and Wartburg College. He was awarded the St. Olav’s Medal from King Harald V of Norway for his contributions to Norwegian-American relations.

Following his guest year residencies at Carthage College, Wartburg College, and Augustana College (Sioux Falls), Mr. Noble is working in the Development Office at Luther College. 

Veterans included in this article: