Music Program

Director of Music and Organist

Brian Luckner (b. 1959) was appointed Director of Music and Organist at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph the Workman in July of 1988. In addition to his full-time position at the Cathedral, he is Director of Music and Organist at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe and director of the La Crosse Diocesan Chorale.

He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree and the Master of Music degree from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, and the Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. He participated in the “Accelerated Bachelor of Music Program for High School Students” at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

His organ teachers include Roberta Gary, Garth Peacock, Margaret Irwin-Brandon, and Philip Hodel; he studied harpsichord with William Porter and Lisa Crawford. Luckner has performed in master classes under David Craighead, Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, and Louis Robilliard. His choral conducting studies were with Daniel Moe.

Dr. Luckner’s compositions are published by CanticaNova Publications, Mark Foster, GIA Publications, MorningStar, Paraclete Press, and Trinitas. Compositions have been commissioned by the Cathedral of Saint Matthew in Washington, D.C.; Saint Louis Cathedral in St. Louis, Missouri; the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta, Georgia; and others.

Achievements during his tenure in La Crosse include choir performances in Rome (including the Basilica of St. Peter and the Basilica of Saint John Lateran) and Paris (including Notre Dame Cathedral and the Basilica of St. Clotilde), three choral recordings, and the installation of the Noack organ at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2008 and two Noack organs at the Cathedral in 2010.

Dr. Luckner currently serves, since early 2019, as head of the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians (United States and Canada), a position he also held from 1997 to 2002. Prior to his appointment in La Crosse, he was the Assistant in Liturgical Music at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Previous church positions include serving as music director and organist at the Church of the Guardian Angels in Cincinnati, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Cincinnati, and Christ Episcopal Church in Oberlin, Ohio. He earlier held assistant organist positions at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Canton, Ohio, and at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Massillon, Ohio.

Awards include election to the national honorary music society Pi Kappa Lambda while at Oberlin, the Selby Houston Memorial Award in Organ and Theory at Oberlin, and the University of Cincinnati Organ Playing Competition Strader Awards (first place in 1981, second place in 1983). He is listed in Who’s Who in America (2006–) and Who’s Who in the World (2007–).

Brian has two sons, George and Harry.

Choir Section Leaders, Cantors, Instrumentalists

The principal choir of the Cathedral, the Cathedral Gallery Singers, has four paid section leaders among its members. These fine musicians are highly trained and provide much assistance to the rest of the choir.

Cantors lead congregational singing at Sunday liturgies and major feasts. Drawn from the membership of the Cathedral Gallery Singers, cantors must pass a highly selective audition in which they demonstrate exceptional musical and vocal skills.

A variety of orchestral instruments play here every year, most often for major feasts. Instrumentalists play as soloists or in ensembles ranging from duets through chamber orchestra. Although the Cathedral does not maintain staff instrumentalists as such other than organists, many of the finest musicians from the area perform here regularly.