Luke Birtzer ’15
Right after his commencement ceremony, Luke Birtzer ’15 went to the recording studio to continue working on a new project for his band, The Sawtooth Brothers. Since that time he has devoted his energy into finishing the recording, designing, red tape, promotion, and release of their debut original album. He also put his Digital Media Arts skills to work in designing a new band website from scratch, and keeping up with poster production, and social media management.
All that hasn't stopped him from also starting a health and wellness business with his family, maintaining its website and blog, performing at many metro area gigs, and climbing some mountains now and then.
How has Hamline had an impact on your personal or professional life?
Hamline changed my life. Being able to participate in the community of a relatively small college, helped me gain so many important friendships, experiences, and connections.
What advice do you have for current Hamline students?
If your schedule gets too busy, take a few minutes between classes to play the piano in Bridgman Hall. It's also a great place to meditate. That's what kept me sane.
Who was your favorite Hamline professor, and why?
Mark Berkson is my favorite Hamline professor. After taking Intro to Religion with him, I was hooked, so I took his Death and Dying class which really changed my life for the better. His ability to articulate and foster meaningful and useful class discussion is uncanny.
How did the Sawtooth Brothers form?
My stepdad plays mandolin in an internationally known touring bluegrass band, Monroe Crossing. About a decade ago, he introduced my brothers and me to one of his students, Jesse, and we started jamming. Next thing you know, we were a band. I was 12. Later Jesse's brother, Ethan, saw how much fun we were having and joined in on bass. So now we're two sets of brothers.
What are you hopes for the future of the band?
I'd like to see us tour nationally, or at least expand our current ground. We've been getting some really exciting reviews from national press, so I'm rather stoked to see where this goes.
What should we expect from your set at The Big Bash?
We're going to showcase our original material from our new CD. These songs are really special to me, and even though the album came out after I graduated, I wrote almost all my fiddle parts in the Drew Fine Arts practice rooms.