Love and Music

Husband and wife music teachers and Onondaga alums Erik and Kari Lutters visit the Recital Hall in Onondaga’s Academic II building.

Husband and wife music teachers and Onondaga alums Erik and Kari Lutters visit the Recital Hall in Onondaga’s Academic II building.

Kari and Erik Lutters’ story reads like a fairy tale. They met in OCC’s Music Department, fell in love, got married, and today teach music in the same school district.

Both are from Central New York – Erik is a 2005 graduate of East Syracuse Minoa High School, and Kari graduated from Solvay High School in 2006. They met when Erik was a freshman at Onondaga and Kari a high school senior. She was studying privately with Department Chair Rob Bridge, D.M.A., and joined OCC’s indoor drum line and Latin Band while still in high school. Both fondly recall their time at the College. “All of us in the percussion studio were very close-knit,” said Kari. “We would always practice and talk together, and today we all stay in touch.”

After OCC both continued college in the Rochester area, Erik at the Eastman School of Music and Kari at Nazareth College. In a sign of things to come, both student-taught at the same time in the suburban Victor School District.

On their wedding day in June 2012, they received an unexpected phone call. The Huevelton School District in St. Lawrence County asked both to come in to interview for music teacher positions. “We cancelled our honeymoon to go to our job interviews,” said Erik. Kari added, “But we knew the possibility of getting jobs together was a good enough wedding present. We were worried about getting jobs in the same state, let alone the same school district.”

Today they teach in Huevelton, a one-building school district in which the Lutters’ are its music department. Kari teaches general music and chorus, Erik teaches general music and band. They also direct marching band, jazz band, select chorus, and school musicals.

In early 2014 the Lutters’ visited OCC’s Academic II building which is anchored by the Music Department. They took the Recital Hall stage for a reunion of the Percussion Suite. “Playing in the new building was amazing,” said Erik. “It’s well deserved for the Music Department because they work so hard,” said Kari.

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