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Volume I, Number 3 – May 24, 2018


Augsburg University and the Department of Music are pleased to announce that Kristina Boerger, DMA, has been appointed the inaugural John N. Schwartz Professor of Choral Leadership and Conducting. The search generated nearly 100 applicants nationally and internationally, and a 10-person committee of music faculty, community members, and university representatives, along with Provost Kaivola and President Pribbenow, made the final selection.

Kristina holds degrees in music education and conducting from the University of Illinois, has worked in public school, collegiate, and professional settings, and spent many years working in New York City, where her work received very favorable reviews in the New York Times. In addition to conducting, she is an excellent singer as well, having performed with numerous outstanding groups as a chorister and soloist. She has founded choirs and is deeply committed to the values of inclusion, access, and equity, music of diverse cultures, and commissioning original works. She has collaborated with leading composers and with artists in other art forms in creatively advancing the field of choral study and performance.

We are grateful to alumni and community members who attended Kristina’s public presentation on campus, to those who offered advice and feedback on the search, and to all those who have invested so generously in this professorship, particularly John N. Schwartz, ’67, whose name it reflects.


This is an exciting time for the choral music program at Augsburg. As we prepare to welcome Dr. Kristina Boerger, John N. Schwartz Professor of Choral Leadership and Conducting, a group of choral alumni have created a Choral Music Fund to support the continued excellence and the future vision of the choral music program.

This fund will be used for:

• Recruiting students
• Performances at national and international events
• Tours to important alumni locations
• New commissions from exciting composers
• Collaborations with diverse music organizations and a host of opportunities that will assure Augsburg’s distinctive choral program.

Please join us in making an immediate investment. To make a gift go to, choose “Music Department” as the designation.

Questions: Donna McLean;, 612-330-1556


The department is profoundly indebted to Mark Sedio, ’76, who has served as interim conductor of the Augsburg Choir for two years while we have searched for a permanent director. Mark has given tirelessly of his time and energy and has inspired our students through his artistry, leadership, and knowledge of music. Mark served on the search committee for the Schwartz Professorship and had this to say about Kristina’s appointment to the Augsburg faculty: “Kristina Boerger is a remarkable musician, singer, conductor, colleague, and leader who made a major and lasting impression during her interview. Her proven success in choral music and her qualities as a person bode well for a renaissance of choral excellence at Augsburg and for a program that emerges from Augsburg’s rich legacy while reflecting the Augsburg of today and tomorrow. I could not be more excited about her appointment, and I look forward to working with her as a leading choral colleague.” We wish Mark our very best as he returns to giving his full energies to his role as cantor at Central Lutheran in Minneapolis.

We also express sincere appreciation to Jon Campbell, who has led the Cedar Singers and the Masterworks Chorale since 2015. Jon also stepped in to shepherd the Augsburg Choir on tour on very short notice in the Spring of 2016. Jon has accepted an appointment as Director of Music for Claremont United Church of Christ in California. We shall miss him, and we wish him well in this next phase of his career.


J. Anthony Allen, PhD, has been appointed assistant professor of music, media, and management. Taking responsibility for the music business program, J will bring extensive knowledge and skill not only in business aspects of music, but in assuring that Augsburg graduates understand the integration of making and creating music with areas such as production, promotion, recording, music technology, and legal issues. J holds degrees in composition from Peabody (Johns Hopkins) and the University of Minnesota and has worked previously with the MacPhail Center for Music, McNally Smith College of Music, and St. Thomas University. He also founded the Slam Academy in Minneapolis, and his compositions cover a wide variety of styles and genres. The department expresses gratitude to Brian Lukasavitz, JD, who has overseen the music business program this past academic year.


There’s still time to register for Augsburg’s Professional Development Week for school and community music educators (June 25-29, 2018, 9 AM – 3 PM)! This will be a terrific week of learning on topics of vital interest to the profession with outstanding clinicians:

• Daniel Albert, Augsburg University – Technology in Music Education
• Tim Buzza, Augsburg University and Thomas Edison High School (Minneapolis Public Schools) – Creativity in Music Education
• Adrian Davis, Roosevelt High School (Minneapolis Public Schools) – Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
• Sarah Minette, South High School (Minneapolis Public Schools) – Social Justice and Equity in Music Education
• Emma Moonier, Augsburg University – Working with Special Needs Students in Music Education Settings

Workshops will be applicable to ALL music educators and for ALL music learning contexts! Each day will include fun, engaging, hands-on sessions and participants will take home resources and develop materials to use in their classrooms. Take home resources and develop materials to use in your classroom in the fall!

Two options: 25 clock hours certificate for educator licensure renewal OR 2 Augsburg graduate credits. Be sure to register soon — regular registration rates have been extended to Friday, June 15! 


Daniel Albert (music, human development, and learning) recently presented a research study on first-time cooperating teachers’ mentoring practices at the National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference in Atlanta. Additionally, Daniel was an artistin-residence working with middle and high school musicians in several schools in New England. He will present sessions on student teaching and 21st Century classroom music spaces at the October 2018 Wisconsin State Music Conference and continues to serve on the Advisory Committee of Music Educators Journal, the most widely distributed journal in the field of music education.

Roberta Kagin, music therapy, received a grant from the Great Lakes Regional Music Therapy Association to write a history of music therapy in Minnesota which will be presented at a future GLR Convention.

David Myers, consulting head for music studies, recently published a chapter on pluralistic research methods for an upcoming book on qualitative research in music. He delivered recent presentations at Yale University and the national convention of the National Association for Music Education, in Atlanta. In May, he will deliver a presentation at Columbia University on community music settings as forums for lifespan research on positive plasticity through music, and in July he will present for an international conference in Prague on issues of lifespan learning as content for teacher education programs. In February, he served on the scientific committee and presented a session on diversity in professional and community music organizations for an international conference at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He continues on the boards of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Vocalessence, the MacPhail Center for Music, and the American Composers Forum.

Erika Svanoe conducted the premiere of a new composition commissioned by Olentangy Middle Schools near Columbus, Ohio. The piece is entitled Band of Heroes and features a choose your own adventure narrative where audience members are polled during the performance to decide which path the story and the piece will go next. Svanoe has also given several clinics on around the Twin Cities on her piece Springtime Ride which was commissioned by the Minnesota Band Directors Association and area partner schools.

The Riverside Wind Quintet (faculty members Trudi Anderson, flute; Merilee Klemp, oboe; Jennifer Gerth, clarinet; Chuck Hogdson, horn; Laurie Hatcher Merz, bassoon) were selected to be Class Notes Artists for 2017-2018 for Minnesota Public Radio this year. They presented programs in a dozen or so Twin Cities schools. Julie Amacher interviewed bassoonist Laurie Hatcher Merz and oboist Merilee Klemp about their school program aired which on March 25, 2018. The Riverside Wind Quintet also performed Libby Larsen’s, The Settling Years and Bruce Adolphe’s, Consider Love with the Masterworks Chorale on April 24, 2018.

The new recording (on the American Composers Forum label Innova), “The Lyrical Pickpocket: Chamber Music of Eric Stokes,” featuring Augsburg University faculty members Trudi Anderson, Merilee Klemp, Jennifer Gerth, Matt Wilson, Laurie Hatcher Merz, Kathy Kienzle, Jim Jacobson, Sonja Thompson, and guest soprano Maria Jette has received great reviews! (“All artists are “lyrical pickpockets,” picking bits they like and re-arrang(ing) them into something new. Eric Stokes was a master picker, and Klemp has done an invaluable service by picking and presenting his music so well.”) Recording and reviews. The Riverside Winds were selected to present this recording (Quintet No. 2 by Eric Stokes) at the 45th National Flute Association Convention (held in Mpls) last August as part of a program, “Wind Quintet Potpourri.”

Professor Merilee Klemp has been appointed to a three-year term to serve on the National Screening Committee (NSC) for the Fulbright U.S Student Program to review and nominate candidates for study in the field of Wind Instruments. The Fulbright Program offers funding to qualified U.S. graduate students wishing to pursue study, research or professional training abroad under the Fulbright-Hays Program sponsored by the United States Department of State. Additional award program details for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Adjunct faculty flutist Trudi Anderson performed on several recitals during the National Flute Association’s Annual Convention, held in Minneapolis last August. In addition to playing with Augsburg faculty members Merilee Klemp, oboe; Jennifer Gerth, clarinet; Chuck Hogdson, horn; Laurie Hatcher Merz, bassoon, in the Riverside Wind Quintet, she also performed Egil Hovland’s Lamento per Flauto Solo from Langfredag and, joining forces with flutists from the Minnesota Orchestra and the freelance community, played repertoire written by two members of Augsburg’s Music Department: Reynaldo Moya’s Breathe for flute octet and Jon Campbell’s Dakota Summer – Scenes from the Prairie. Anderson is currently Past President of the Upper Midwest Flute Association, which commissioned Moya to write Breathe in 2015.

Erin Fox (MT adjunct) presented her masters thesis research at the Great Lakes Region of AMTA spring conference in Ypsilanti, MI, titled A Phenomenological Investigation of Music Therapists’ Experiences when Working with Actively Dying Hospice Patients: An Analysis of Words, Mandalas, and Music. Jessica De Villers (MT adjunct) also presented as Great Lakes Regional Representative of the Professional Advocacy Committee, titled From Misrepresentation to Outstanding Opportunity: Growth Mindset and the Advocacy Champion. When Jess and Erin’s flights were canceled due to the snow storm they rented a car and drove back to Minnesota together! Lindsay Markworth (MT adjunct) also presented via video conference call along with MMT students Jennifer Hicks, Anna Brudzinski and Taylor Baloga, titled The Process, Pitfalls, and Perks of Creating a Joint Internship Site.


The 2018-2019 Named Scholarship recipients for the Augsburg Music Department were honored at the Donor Appreciation Recital and Reception on April 17. Below is a full listing:

2018-19 Named Scholarship recipients:

Elizabeth Whalen… Orville and Gertrude Hognander Scholarship
Kiah Norby … Orville and Gertrude Hognander Scholarship
Elizabeth Whalen (2015-19) … Arthur Carl Mammen Scholarship
Alexa Anderson (2015-19) … Dorothy Lijsing Kleven President’s Scholarship in Choral Music, Mabeth Saure Gyllstrom Scholarship
Lex Dorfman (2015-19 ) … Mabeth Saure Gyllstrom Scholarship
Erika Karjalahti (2015-19) … Marolyn Sortland Halverson String Scholarship
Laurel Milkkelson … Presser Foundation Scholarship
Ben Adler … Susan H. and Dean C. Kopperud Scholarship, David Gronner Scholarship
Zach Sands … Jerome & Winifred Formo Scholarship
Megan Hietala … Rev. Clement A. Gisselquist Church Music Scholarship
Matthew Zyla … Kay Halverson Scholarship, Henry P. Opseth Scholarship, Robert Ellingrod Scholarship, Mayo Savold Memorial Scholarship, Leonard and Sylvia Kuschel Scholarship
Molly Tengwall … Leland B. Sateren Choral Music Scholarship, Catha Jones Scholarship
Tatum Kline … Jeroy C. and Lorraine M. Carlson Scholarship, Kenneth O. LowerNordkap Scholarship Pearl Lockwood … Edwin W. and Edith B. Norberg Scholarship
Jake Pernsteiner … Professor Roberta Stewart Kagin Scholarship, Hanwick Thanksgiving Scholarship
Grace Lindgren. .. Centennial Singers Scholarship, Leonard and Anabelle Dalberg Scholarship, Marilyn Solberg Voice Scholarship, O. I. Hertsgaard Scholarship
Kathleen Downham … Max David Bassinson Music Scholarship, David R. Winsor Scholarship
Emily Erhardt … Grace Carlsen Nelson Scholarship, Ruth Krohn Kislingbury Choral Music Scholarship
Tessa Waite … John and Vera Thut Scholarship
Randi Berg … Albert and Solveig Birkeland Scholarship
Sabrina Shaw … Pastor Red Nelson Scholarship
Will Valeri … Lois Oberhamer Nye Scholarship
Nadia Sandstrom … St. John’s Lutheran Church – John Norris Memorial Scholarship
Erika Parvi … Robert Karlén Chamber Music Scholarship
Marissa Kirchoff … Curtis and Marian Sampson Music Scholarship
Lauren Capps … Sam Coltvet Memorial Choral Music Scholarship
Kristina Krasnokutski … Marjorie and James R. Gronseth Jr. Memorial Music Scholarship
Pauls Svalbe … Bernice Kolden Hoversten Memorial Choral Scholarship
Jacob Henry … Nicholas Lenz Memorial Scholarship

In October, eleven Augsburg alumni flutists performed during the Homecoming 2017 worship service and for an Auggie Talk afternoon recital. Participants included Leah Abdella ‘76 (flute), Abby Hilbelin Berry ‘13 (flute/piccolo), Rebecca Hartwig ‘15 (flute), Signe Ilstrup ‘79 (flute), Julie Johnson ‘98 (bass flute), Shersten Johnson ‘81 (flute), Tammy Smith Johnson ‘08 (alto flute), Kou Lee ‘11 (contrabass flute), Bonnie Schwendeman Maffitt ‘78 (flute), Katie Barg Stockman ‘05 (alto flute), Sheryl Lium Wilhelm ‘76 (flute). The flute ensemble was directed by faculty member Trudi Anderson.