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Volume II, Number 1 – September, 2018

Greetings to our alumni, friends, and donors!

As I write this, Augsburg is in the first weeks of classes and the campus is abuzz with activity. In the music department, we are piloting some new efforts this year to welcome students and make sure they are placed at appropriate levels for their performance, theory, and piano class studies. Our first-year theory classes are full, and there is a sense of anticipation in the air.

We are pleased to welcome two new full-time faculty:

• Kristina Boerger, Schwartz Professor of Choral Leadership
• J. Anthony Allen, Professor of Music, Media and Management
• In addition we are pleased to have a number of new studio artist faculty. Relevant information is on our faculty page.

As the new academic year begins, we are again excited about upcoming performances, new collaborations in Latin America as well as locally, visiting artists, and emerging new curriculum and learning opportunities for our students. Please check out our upcoming events below and our full calendar of events. We’d love to see you and catch up at any of our public events this year.

We are very excited to have a large role in Homecoming 2018. I hope you will come back to campus to support and enjoy performances from the Augsburg Jazz as well as all four choirs (Riverside Singers, Cedar Singers, Masterworks Chorale and the Augsburg Choir) at the Choral Showcase.

As Ray Charles is said to have once noted, “I was born with music inside me.” Our faculty, staff, and students at Augsburg live out Charles’s quote throughout every day and often well into the nighttime hours. Music is their passion and their motivation. Please join us as you are able to experience the meaningful work they are doing!

David Myers
Consulting Head for Music Studies


Reinaldo Moya Teaching in a music classroomThe Augsburg Podcast features voices of Augsburg University faculty and staff and is one way you can get to know the people who educate our students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. Two episodes feature Music Faculty!

Episode 2 Reinaldo Moya: Composing the Future Reinaldo Moya, Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition, empowers his students to trust in their own creative potential and dig deep into musical discovery.

Episode 10 Merilee Klemp: The Power of Improvisation Augsburg has a long history of attracting talented entrepreneurs and self-starters—no small number of whom gravitate to the music department. Professor of Music Merilee Klemp ’75 tells the stories of some of Augsburg’s most musical (and motivated) alumni.


(Faculty Listing)

Daniel Albert (music, human development, and learning) presented a day-long workshop on technology in music education to school and community-based music educators at the inaugural annual Augsburg University Professional Development Week for Music Educators in late June. Daniel and Tim Buzza (adjunct instructor in music, human development, and learning) organized the Professional Development Week so that critical issues in music education, including culturally relevant pedagogy, social justice and equity, working with special learners, and creativity, could be examined in depth. Later this year, Daniel will be presenting sessions on student teaching, 21st Century classroom music spaces, and technology in music education to in-service music educators at the October 2018 Wisconsin State Music Conference, the November 2018 Iowa Music Educators Association’s In-Service Conference, and the January 2019 Florida Music Educators Association’s In-Service Conference. Additionally, Daniel was recently appointed to serve a four-year term on the Editorial Committee of Music Educators Journal, the world’s most widely distributed peer reviewed music education periodical, and will represent Augsburg as a panelist at the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies’ (GTCYS) College Planning Workshop.

Kristina Boerger, Schwartz Professor of Choral Leadership, spent three weeks of her summer touring Bosnia with Village Harmony and the Center for Peace Building, based in Sanski Most. The focus of the group’s study and performing was the sharing of traditional musics (sevdalinka lullabies, Sufi illahijas) as instruments of post-war, inter-ethnic healing. In August she directed the Summer Workshop of the Syracuse Schola Cantorum, coaching participants in a program of motets by Cristobal de Morales.

Annie Heiderscheit, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Music Therapy, in June presented at the 5th International Conference of International Association of Music and Medicine in Barcelona, Spain on a collaborative research study published in Critical Care Medicine entitled, Economic evaluation of patient directed music intervention compared to usual care on costs in ICU patients receiving mechanical ventilatory support. She provided the keynote address at the Music and Health Exchange: Crossroads of Music and Medicine at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. In July, she traveled to China with 15 students for a transcultural music therapy study abroad course that included providing music therapy sessions for a week at a pediatric burn camp. Dr. Heiderscheit also published a book chapter in Profiles of Creativity, edited by John Mahoney. This chapter is a reflection of the role of creativity in her development as a professional. She co-authored a chapter entitled, Music Interventions with Dr. Linda Chlan (Dean of Nursing Research at May) in the 8th edition of Complementary & Alternative Therapies in Nursing.

Front Cover image of bookShe also co-authored a new text with Dr. Nancy Jackson (Purdue University – Fort Wayne) entitled, Introduction to Music Therapy Practice published through Barcelona Publishers at . In September 2018, she will be presenting at the European Association of Music and Imagery in Dublin, Ireland on her research utilizing guided imagery and music with adults in addiction treatment.

Roberta Kagin, Professor of Music, received a grant from the Great Lakes Region of the American Music Therapy Association for a Special Project to write a history of Music Therapy in Minnesota.

Reinaldo Moya, Assistant Professor of Composition, had two large ensemble works premiered in Costa Rica this summer, under the baton of Augsburg University faculty, Rafael Rodriguez. His large scale cycle for solo piano The Way North is now available on Matthew McCright’s new album titled What We Left Behind distributed by the Proper Canary Label. He is hard at work on his new chamber opera commissioned by the Schubert Club to be premiered in May 2019. The opera, called Tienda tells the story of Luis Garzón, a Mexican musician who immigrated to Minnesota in 1886 and opened a small Mexican grocery store, or tienda, in St. Paul in the 1920s. While Luis had married an American woman and was fully integrated into Minnesotan society, his store served as a community hub for the newest arrivals from Mexico, many of whom had fled the Mexican Revolution and now toiled in the sugar beet farms of rural Minnesota. Tienda explores the immigrant experience: what must be left behind—and what cannot be forgotten—on the journey to a new home. Reinaldo is now a board member of the American Composers Forum as of September 2018.

Augsburg Orchestra students in Costa Rica, 2018Augsburg Orchestra members following their finale performance in Costa Rica, Summer 2018

Rafael Antonio Rodriguez, Director of Orchestra & Jazz, returned to Minneapolis at the end of August after four months of giving concerts and master classes in Colombia, Peru, and Costa Rica. His conducting work included sessions with the National Conservatory Orchestra and with the Navy Band in Peru, the Costa Rican Youth Chamber Orchestra and the National Bands of Costa Rica, and with ensembles from universities in all three countries. Rafael is spear-heading an intentional program of internationalization within our instrumental ensembles through a new initiative called ¡ALMA! America Latina Música Augsburg, or, “Augsburg Music in Latin America,” seeks to connect our students with musicians throughout these rich and diverse American cultures. We plan on hosting students from Peru, Costa Rica, and Bolivia this year for performances with our instrumental ensembles, and have invitations to take students to Peru and Bolivia next summer. This builds on the recent travel by Augsburg Orchestra students to Costa Rica which happened last July. Stay tuned for more updates and info in the months to come!

Erika Svanoe, Augsburg Concert Band Director, visited several schools in the Minneapolis area last May working with students on her piece for young band Springtime Ride. She is currently working on a commission for Fergus Falls Schools in Minnesota themed around the former Fergus Fall Regional Treatment Center, referred to as the Kirkbride. The piece will center around the large building and its impact on people who lived and worked there. She will also be guest conducting her piece Steampunk Suite at the University of Northern Iowa in late September.

Sonja Thompson, Asst. Prof. of Music and University Organist, has been awarded a University Grant to create a new work of Music-Theater about the Augsburg community, past and present, to be performed in the Fall of 2019 in celebration of the Sesquicentennial. Together with theater artists Aaron Gabriel (Augsburg Alumnus and Ivey-award-winning Resident Composer at Interact Theater) and Leah Cooper (Wonderlust Productions) our vision is to create a piece that tells authentic and diverse stories about what Augsburg means to us, and what it means to be a part of the “Augsburg Family.” We invite participation from the Augsburg community in every step of the process, from creating material, to performing in the production, and everything in between.

Anyone who is a part of the Augsburg community is invited to participate in any of these ways:

• Attend a Story Circle and share your experience.
• Send us your story in writing.
• Tell other Auggies about this opportunity.
• Once the play is written, audition to perform in it as an actor, singer or instrumentalist
• Help with the show: working backstage, on sets, lights, costumes or as an usher

Our first public story circles are coming up soon. Please join us for one of the following dates:

Friday, September 21 at 7:00pm, Anderson Music Hall, MUE 3 (choir room)
Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 6:30pm, Foss Center Room 21 B (lower level)
Friday, October 12, 2018 at 11:30am, Green Room, Foss Center
Monday, November 12 at 7:00pm, Green Room, Foss Center

Please send questions, comments, requests for further information and RSVP’s for Story Circles to: Sonja Thompson at


Janet Elliott ‘18 (music, human development, and learning) was recently hired to teach elementary strings in the White Bear Lake Area Schools (ISD 624).

Joe Hognander will be receiving the Spirit of Augsburg Award on Friday Oct. 12, 5:30 p.m at this year’s Homecoming Alumni Convocation. Robert Stacke, Ph.D ‘71, professor emeritus & past Spirit of Augsburg Award winner, is coordinating a musical presentation to be performed at this convocation with past Hognander Scholarship recipients, including Krista Costin ‘08, Aaron Gabriel ‘00, Emily Gerard ‘03, Kou Lee ‘11, Jaime McCollum ‘00, Nick Mordal ‘16 Andy Peterson ’05, Laura Schmidt ’11.

Kou Lee ‘11 (current MAE student; music, human development, and learning) was recently hired to teach high school orchestra at St. Louis Park High School.

Kristen Moon (current MAE student; music, human development, and learning) is teaching high school orchestra at Hastings High School, Hastings. UPCOMING EVENTS: For a complete list of events, check out our calendar. October 1 – Pavia Winds Recital 7:30 p.m., Sateren Auditorium October 9 – Homecoming Happy Hour, featuring Augsburg Jazz 4-6 p.m., Hoversten Chapel October 13 – Homecoming, Choral Showcase Concert 4 p.m., Hoversten Chapel (featuring The Augsburg Choir, Riverside Singers, Cedar Singers, and The Masterworks Chorale) October 18 – Music Exploration Day Do you know someone that might be interested in music at Augsburg? Come check us out! (Registration to be posted here soon!) October 19 – Advent Vespers Online Reservations available at 12 p.m. TODAY! October 26-29 – Augsburg Concert Band Fall Tour


For a complete list of events, check out our calendar.

October 1 – Pavia Winds Recital, 7:30 p.m., Sateren Auditorium

October 9 – Homecoming Happy Hour, featuring Augsburg Jazz, 4-6 p.m., Hoversten Chapel

October 13 – Homecoming, Choral Showcase Concert 4 p.m., Hoversten Chapel (featuring The Augsburg Choir, Riverside Singers, Cedar Singers, and The Masterworks Chorale)

October 18 – Music Exploration Day
Do you know someone that might be interested in music at Augsburg? Come check us out! (Registration to be posted here soon!)

October 19 – Advent Vespers, Online Reservations available at 12 p.m. TODAY!

October 26-29 – Augsburg Concert Band Fall Tour