On Friday, Sept. 29, Luke Spehar and his band performed a small concert in the St. Joseph’s Auditorium for the Loras community.
Spehar is a Catholic musician from a small town north of Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. Inspired by the natural beauty of the outdoors and personal experiences, he began writing and composing music at the age of 16. His first album, “Be Still,” consists of songs written during his high school years. During college he considered joining the priesthood, but felt God call him to another lifestyle that involved using his gift of music. Spehar composed the songs on his second album, “No Other Way,” during this time. He recorded and released the two albums in 2010 and 2011.
After college, Spehar dedicated his time to writing and recording more songs. Now Spehar tours the country performing before a wide range of audiences for a variety of events, such as concerts, retreats, memorials, clubs, youth groups, U.S. military events, and colleges. Spehar currently has three albums out. Co-produced by Ben Harper and Sheldon Gomber, Spehar’s most recent album, “All is Gift,” was released in 2014.
After realizing God was not calling him to be a priest, he met his wife Elizabeth, and they were married in 2015. They currently have one daughter, Jane, and another child is on the way. When possible, they try to travel as a family when Spehar has performances.
Spehar was invited to campus by the Loras FOCUS missionaries.
“I first heard Luke at the Our Lady of Fatima Dinner last year in Dubuque,” said Hunter Beggs, a FOCUS missionary. “My friend Krystal (a past FOCUS missionary) really loved his music because his music continually brought conversion into her life, and I wanted Loras students to experience good, wholesome music that would be both fun to listen to and life changing.”
Proficient at the six-stringed and 12-stringed guitar as well as the harmonica, Spehar often performs by himself. However, two other musicians help make up his band. Brothers Nathaniel and Reese Kling accompanied Spehar on bass guitar, double bass, and drums.
Early in the performance, the band encouraged the audience to join them in singing “1000 Reasons,” a popular Christian song by Matt Redman. The song was followed by “The Champion,” a song from “Be Still” that was inspired by his experience as an athlete and the idea of using God’s strength when he had none left.
Throughout the night, Spehar mixed songs with his story of faith and music. This included humorous stories about meeting his wife and their first year of marriage.
“I told her I wanted to buy a van and travel America,” Spehar said. “When she didn’t run away, I knew she was the one.”
While Spehar uses some of his songs to tell stories, others provide opportunities for reflection. With his songs “Be Still” and “The Farmer,” Spehar encouraged the audience to let God work in the silence of their hearts.
“Silence comes as a threat. But silence is the way to let what’s in your heart rise up and let God talk to you. Let God bring rest to you. Don’t try to take rest for yourself.”
“I think Luke really speaks to the journey of the human person in this world, and how living with trust in God brings you joy and purpose and courage,” said Beggs.
Some of the songs will debut on his upcoming album that is set to release in 2018. For more information about Spehar, visit his website.