Spill Your Beans!

Spill Your Beans! was started in 2015 by flutist, composer and pianist Margaret Cornils Luke and is comprised of musicians from the Cedar Valley area. Originally designed with diversity of sound and song in mind but touched with the spice of levity, Spill Your Beans! is beginning to delight audiences from all over the Midwest with their new ideas and arrangements. Spill Your Beans! uses ingenuity to express their music. Read below to learn more about our members and our music.


Spill Your Beans! Albums:



SYB! Bios:

Cara Lockard, violin

Cedar Valley Strings coordinator

Cara Lockard began her early violin studies at the age of three as a University of Northern Iowa Suzuki student, training with teachers Becky Bailey, Mary Grey, Julie Fox-Henson, John Fetter, and Therese Fetter. She received a bachelor’s degree with a violin emphasis in 2008 from the University of Northern Iowa after studying under Professor Frederick Halgedahl. Cara has received extensive Suzuki teacher training through Suzuki violin book 6 with world-renown Suzuki pedagogues such as Edward Kreitman, Edmund Sprunger, Nancy Jackson, and Thomas Wermuth.

Cara currently teaches within her private Suzuki violin studio in Cedar Falls and in Waverly and is a first violinist with the Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, having been a member since 2002. She has also performed with Cedar Rapids’ Orchestra Iowa, the Des Moines Symphony, and the Wartburg Community Symphony, and has had the privilege to play on stage alongside classical greats Yo Yo Ma, Nadia Salerno Sonnenberg, Chris Thile, and Edgar Meyer, and other talented performers such as Mannheim Steamroller, Jim McDonough, Brandi Carlile, Dennis DeYoung of Styx, and The Texas Tenors. She also enjoys employing improvisational techniques with the worship team at Prairie Lakes Church in Cedar Falls.

Mrs. Lockard has been actively coordinating the musical aspect of weddings and other events since 2002 when she was first asked to assemble a group of string musicians as a junior in high school. Fast-forward more than a decade later, and Cara has organized and taken part in over 175 weddings in northeast Iowa and the surrounding states.

Amidst all the musical journeys, Cara’s true joy is with her family, which grew in July 2016 when she married the love of her life, Scott, a certified athletic trainer with Cedar Valley Medical Specialists. She has a son Joshua (five), two stepdaughters Chloe (nine) and Sadie (seven), and a cat named Oliver, and they enjoy long bike rides, playing board games, camping, playing “family band”, and making crafts. Cara also enjoys home decorating, trying out new crock-pot recipes, attending Christian music concerts, and working in their business as Advocare consultants.

Jesse Luke, cello

Manager, CedarLukeArts

Jesse Luke began studying the cello at the age of three in Iowa City at the Preucil School of Music. After bouncing around the U.S. and Germany in a military family, Jesse found his way back to the Preucil School at the age of fifteen, and completed his high school studies there.

In 2001, Jesse went on to study at the University of Northern Iowa with Dr. Jonathon Chenoweth and became a member of the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, which he still plays in today. While playing in the symphony, Jesse has worked with incredible performers such as Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, and Yo Yo Ma. In 2004, Jesse was selected to solo with the infamous and elite University of Northern Iowa Jazz I under the direction of Chris Merz.

Amalgamating all of his influences (classical, rock, jazz, fusion, reggae, etc.), Jesse joined a cosmic rock and roll group in 2008 called Daylight Savings Account and plays cello and bass in this group currently. The group had their first full-length LP release in March 2013 called ‘Safely Something.’

Jack Luke, MD, clarinet/saxophone

Director of Occupational Health, Allen Hospital

Jack Luke is a clarinetist, saxophonist, vocalist and conductor and is a product of the University of Iowa and Northwestern University Schools of Music. Pivotal teachers in Jack’s musical development have included Thomas Ayres, Himie Voxman, Clark Brody, Larry Combs, John Broman, Frank Piersol and John Paynter. Jack primarily performs on a Buffet R13 Bb clarinet with a Chesser barrel and Sayre mouthpiece, a Selmer Mazzeo Model A clarinet, and a Selmer Series III (limited ed.) soprano saxophone.

Receiving his undergraduate degree in music education in 1976, Jack worked through school as University of Iowa Band Manager and staff arranger.  His arrangements were performed and recorded by the Hawkeye Marching Band, University of Iowa Jazz 1, and Penn State University Marching Band. He also recorded on projects with Cherrywood Studios, the Karl King Foundation and Motown Records.

Jack entered the work world as a high school music instructor in suburban Chicago in 1976 and was involved in two large high schools and in regional music theater as Music Director of the “Before Broadway Players” before departing in 1983. Later, from 1995-2010, he was Music Director at the Grand Opera House in Dubuque, Iowa and conducted or played in 31 productions. He also worked as a church musician, cantor and choir master for 30 years, retiring from contracted responsibilities in 2011.

Jack was principal clarinet of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Lake Forrest, and the Northshore Concert Band of Wilmette. He met his wife, the flutist/composer Margaret Cornils Luke, while both were contracted to a backup orchestra for the Canadian singer Anne Murray. Jack was also Baritone voice soloist for the German-American Chorale in Vilseck, Germany while stationed there as an army physician from 1992-1995 and for the Loras College Choirs broadcast on Iowa Public Radio.

Taking a second run through the University of Iowa, Jack received his MD from the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 1991 and has worked in the specialty of occupational health since. He is currently Medical Director of UnityPoint Allen Hospital Occupational Health in Waterloo, Iowa.

The Lukes are presently residents of Cedar Falls, Iowa and members of the dissimilar quartet “Spill Your Beans!,” which has performed public school residencies for the Dubuque, Iowa Arts Council, most recently playing 21 concerts in 2016 for some 4,000 school children. SYB! is the outreach ensemble of CedarLukeArts, a new initiative in integrated arts in Cedar Falls, Iowa.”

Margaret Cornils Luke, flute/piano

Owner/founder, CedarLukeArts

“Pure Perfection”, said critic Barrett Cobb or the New York Concert Review, regarding Margaret Cornils Luke’s Carnegie Hall performance. “A Remarkable Success”, said Robert Matthew-Walker, music critic of the British Musical Opinion, regarding Luke’s downtown London Cadogan Hall debut. In addition to these positive reviews, Margaret Cornils Luke has never been known to follow the normal path of an artist. Beginning with piano at the age of five and flute at the age of seven, Cornils Luke has carved out her own original journey utilizing not only her flute skills, but her piano and compositional skills as well. Becoming a sought-after accompanist as well as a recorded and published composer has helped round out Margaret the flutist.

Margaret Cornils Luke has performed seven solo recitals at Carnegie Hall in New York City and in 2017 will be debuting at the Merkin Concert Hall in the Kaufman Music Center, also in New York City. She made her international debut at Cadogan Hall in London in October of 2015, and has performed at the National Flute Convention held annually by the National Flute Association. Margaret has also been asked to judge their International Young Artist Competition for several years, making her the youngest of their esteemed jurists. She has also soloed with many different orchestras and wind ensembles, including performing “Pandean Fable” by J. Clifton Williams, which was favorably reviewed by National Public Radio and others worldwide. In addition to performing multiple times on the National Public Radio program “Live From The Chazen”, Margaret has also been featured on National Public Radio via WXPN AM in Philadelphia, been a guest star of National Public Radio’s Garrison Keillor, and has performed on National Public Television.”


Upcoming Performance Dates

Hear Spill Your Beans! at the grand opening of CedarLukeArts on Sunday, March 26, 2017 from 1-5 p.m. at 115 East 4th St., Ste. 102 in Cedar Falls (across from Maid Rite).

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