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Volume II, No. 3 – April 1, 2019

Dear Alumni, Parents, and Friends of Augsburg,

As I write, the promise of spring is in the air. Here at Augsburg Music, that means a flurry of activity during the last half of our semester. This edition of Occasional Updates apprises you of a few events; and you will find a complete listing on our website. Please consider supporting our students and program by attending concerts, recitals, and other events as you are able. Our wonderful students value the support you provide through your attendance at these events.

On April 11-12, Augsburg will host in residence the amazing Spektral Quartet out of Chicago. If you’ve not seen or heard of Spektral, you will find them an amazing quartet of inspired young artists dedicated to new music and music for diverse audiences. In collaboration with MacPhail Center for Music, they will perform in Antonello Hall on Thursday evening, April 11. This is a not to be missed event! 

After classes, from May 16-19, Augsburg is honored to host the conference of the International Society for Improvisation in Music. We are expecting sessions and performances by 200 participants from around the world!

Much more information is available on the website (see links below). As we contemplate now the renewal and vibrancy that springtime brings after the dark days of winter, we are reminded of how significant music is in our life and being — touching the deepest reaches of our humanity and tying us spiritually together through art that transcends the limits of language. We are fortunate that Augsburg has a legacy of significant music making, and that music remains an important part of the college’s mission and profile. Many of our alumni and friends have stepped forward to offer operational and scholarship support that is so vital to the education of tomorrow’s musicians. We invite you to consider a gift to one of our existing funds or to speak with our Institutional Advancement office about the possibility of a current or future gift to music.

Thank you for your interest in Music at Augsburg. We value your comments about our programs, and we do hope to see you at events if you are in the area.


David E. Myers, Ph.D.
Consulting Head for Music Programs


Below are just a few highlights of many upcoming concerts & events at Augsburg. For a full listing, check out our Events Calendar.

Image of Spektral QuartetApril 11 – Spektral Quartet Performance: Haydn, The Seven Last Words of Christ, Op. 51
7:30 p.m., Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music
Address: 501 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis
Tickets Required: $20, general; Free to Augsburg students; MacPhail students & family. Reserve at: 612-767-5250
Full Residency Schedule (link deactivated)

Image of Masterworks ChoraleApril 13 – Masterworks Chorale
2 p.m., Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center

Will present a concert featuring diverse styles focusing on music written for Holy Week including choral movements from J. S. Bach’s Cantata No. 182 (for Palm Sunday) “Himmelskönig, sei willkommen”

Image for beer choir event, cans singingApril 16 – Augsburg Auggie Event – Beer Choir!
7 p.m., Boom Island Brewing Company and Taproom, Minneapolis
Open to all Augsburg Alumni – RSVP now

Image of the Augsburg Choir: WaterMusic flyerApril 23 – The Augsburg Choir presents: WaterMusic
7 p.m., Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center

A performative and interdisciplinary community event highlighting the centrality of water in our musical, spiritual, and civic lives. Presented in collaboration with Comparative Religion students of Rev, Karin Craven, Ph.D. and organizers from Minneapolis’s Ecumenical Water Initiative

Dr. Roberta Kagin, founding director of Music Therapy at Augsburg UniversityApril 24 – Donor Appreciation Recital (RSVP by April 12)
4:30 p.m., Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center

Reception to follow celebrating Dr. Roberta Kagin’s 45 years of distinguished service to the Augsburg Music Therapy Program. (Reflections from Dr. Kagin, link disabled)

Image of Nancy Grundahl, conductor of the Riverside SingersApril 27 – Riverside Singers & Cedar Singers Spring Concert
7 p.m., Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center

Please join us for a reception to follow celebrating Nancy Grundahl’s final concert after 25 years of conducting this much loved treble choir.

Logo for ISIM ConferenceMay 16-19, 2019 – 11th ISIM Festival and Conference
Hosted at Augsburg University

The International Society for Improvised Music (ISIM) will combine festival and conference components and bring together musicians, teachers, scholars, promoters, and listeners who are interested in exploring the many facets of spontaneous musical creativity. We invite you to seize this opportunity to create connections and share knowledge with world-class devotees of the art of improvisation from all around the globe.

Image of young students playing band instrumentsJune 24-27, 2019 – Professional Development Week for Educators

Come to Augsburg University for a week of music-specific professional development on current topics. Participate in fun, engaging, hands-on sessions, and take home resources and develop materials to use in your classroom in the fall! (Complete schedule and registration details, link disabled)


On February 28, The Augsburg Choir performed at Harding High School in Saint Paul with choral students of Natalia Romero. The highlight of the event was the world premiere of “My Dad the Mekong/Love Forever,” a dual-language (English/Hmong) composition commissioned of L.A.-based composer Elliot Z. Levine for the singers of both schools and featuring texts by Twin Cities poets Lee Her and Peter Yang.

Have you heard about the Sesquicentennial? Of course you have! But do you know about all of the exciting ways that the Augsburg Music Department is celebrating Augsburg’s 150th? We’ve started a webpage to help you keep track – There is a new musical, opera, cataloguing projects, music commissions, and many more compelling performances and events. Check back frequently for new announcements and event details.

Five Augsburg Concert Band students participated in the annual Minnesota Intercollegiate Honor Band this February at the MMEA Winter Clinic. Participants included Gregory Lundberg, Kiah Norby, Pearl Lockwood, Jacob Henry, and Evan Sanden. Students from several Minnesota colleges and universities played under the direction of this year’s honor band conductor Colonel (retired) Timothy Holton, U.S. Army.

Augsburg was well represented by Master of Music Therapy faculty and students at the Great Lakes Regional Conference of the American Music Therapy Association in Cincinnati, Ohio this spring.

• Music therapy methods in mental health: Practical suggestions for session planning. Jennifer Hicks, MTBC, E-RYT, MMT Student
• Developing and utilizing reflective practice to foster critical thinking skills and engaging in reflexive practice. Annie Heiderscheit, Ph.D., MT-BC, LMFT, Director of Music Therapy, Lindsay Rossmiller, MT-BC, MMT student, Erin Fox, MA, MMT, MT-BC, MMT alum, Stephanie Morris, MT-BC, MMT student, Melanie Wiseheart, MT-BC, MMT student
• Practicing reflexivity in clinical decision-making. Annie Heiderscheit, Ph.D., MT-BC, LMFT, Director of Music Therapy & Nancy Jackson, Ph.D., MT-BC, MMT adjunct faculty
• Music therapy methods in mental health: Practice suggestions for session planning. Jennifer Hicks, MTBC, E-RYT, MMT Student
• Music meets medicine: An introduction to medical music therapy foundations. Debbie Bates, Ph.D., MT-BC, MMT adjunct faculty, Laura McFee, MT-BC, MMT student, Stephanie Morris, MT-BC, MMT student & colleagues
• Anything I can do, you can do better: The impact of imposter syndrome on the therapeutic process. Stephanie Morris, MT-BC, MMT student & colleague
• Practicing well-being and identifying misconceptions of self-care in music therapy. Hannah Hamrick, MT-BC, MMT student and colleague
• Creative Arts Therapies Week: Envisioning, Proposing, and Facilitating an Agency-Wide Community Initiative. Lindsay Rossmiller, MT-BC, MMT student

Image of Karen Reed, music therapy alumKaren J. Reed ’90, music therapy, was selected by her peers as the Western Region chapter of the 
American Music Therapy Association (WRAMTA) 2019 Betty Isern Howery Award winner! The Betty Isern Howery Award is the top award given each year at our WRAMTA regional conference.

Additionally, Karen received the Department of State Hospital’s VIP Award, a department-wide Annual Award Program, which recognizes employees and teams for work that embodies and promotes the values of the DSH. Karen’s accomplishments are being recognized in the VIP Award Category of Innovator of the Year for her efforts as a member of the MDO Reward Program Team.


Daniel Albert (music, human development, and learning) presented a session on 21st century secondary general music teaching and learning practices for music educators at the Minnesota Music Educators Association’s Midwinter Clinic in February. He also served as a guest lecturer at Indiana University South Bend in late March. In late April, Daniel will present his research studies on music classroom cultures and mentoring strategies of first-time cooperating teachers at the 11th biennial International Research in Music Education conference at Bath Spa University in Bath, England.

In January J. Anthony Allen was a speaker at the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) conference in Los Angeles, California. Allen’s lecture was titled Entrepreneurship as a Career for Musicians. He will be presenting on this topic again in April at the annual Music Biz conference in Nashville.

In January Kristina Boerger was featured on the concert series at the Page Theater in Winona, where she conducted KT Nelson’s A Path of Miracles, a work based on the eponymous score by Joby Talbot and performed by seventeen chamber singers and the San Francisco-based company ODC Dance.

In February, Boerger was featured on as the author of “Embedded and Embodied: Learning Black South African Choral Music from the Source.” Based in her experience leading Midwestern choral students in study and performance in South Africa, this article makes the argument for the on-location study of cultural specifics in music as the real path toward understanding what is universal among disparate peoples.

In mid-March Boerger was a featured soloist in Number Mania: Hidden Structures in Medieval Polyphony, a concert at Saint Bartholomew’s Church in Manhattan sung by Pomerium and presented by Gotham Early Music Scene (GEMS). Later in the month she appeared as a soprano with Saint Paul’s The Rose Ensemble in their east-coast tour of American Roots.

Congratulations to Erin Fox, MA, MMT, MT-BC, music therapy faculty in the undergraduate music therapy program. Erin was recently awarded the American Music Therapy Association Clinician-Based Grant for her proposal “Music Therapy Assessment of Imminently Dying Hospice Patients: A Grounded Theory Analysis of Clinical Practice.”

Nancy Grundahl, who will be retiring from the Augsburg music faculty at the end of this semester, has finished two commissioned works for treble choirs this spring. Go! Love! was sung by several college choirs and performed at WomanVoice in March, and Walking into Art will be premiered by the Minnesota Valley Women’s Chorale in April. In addition, her arrangement of a canon on the Praetorius chorale Lo, How a Rose was published by Hal Leonard Music Publishers earlier this winter.

The Riverside Singers and Cedar Singers will give their final spring concert on Saturday, April 27 at 7 p.m. in Hoversten Chapel. This will be Nancy Grundahl’s final concert after 25 years of conducting this much-loved treble choir.

Annie Heiderscheit, Director of Music Therapy, recently published an article co-authored with Kaylie Johnson, MT-BC (Augsburg Alumni) in the Journal of Music Therapy. The article entitled, A survey of music therapy methods and practices on adolescent mental health units, was based on Kaylie’s URGO project completed in her undergraduate music therapy training.

Dr. Heiderscheit has been invited to speak at the 2nd International Traditional and Complementary Medicine Congress in Istanbul, Turkey April 24-27. She will be presenting on her clinical work and research on music therapy in eating disorder treatment. HealthRhythmsTM Empowerment Drumming training is being held at Augsburg University, March 30 and 31. This training is supported through Remo, Inc., the largest manufacturer of drums in the world.

Dr. Heiderscheit continues to collaborate on a randomized controlled trial with colleagues from Mayo Clinic and Indiana University on the use of music listening to decrease delirium with mechanically ventilated patients. This interdisciplinary research team is also finalizing a grant application for a R01 grant through the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Roberta Kagin presented in March at the Great Lakes Regional Conference in Cincinnati on “The History of Music Therapy in Minnesota.” This has been funded by a Special Project Grant from the Great Lakes Region. Music student Sabrina Shaw ‘20 has helped to compile this history.

Emma Moonier, MS, LPCC, MT-BC, music therapy faculty and Clinical Practicum Coordinator, is currently serving on a clinical research team of creative arts therapists in the Trauma-Informed Education Initiative which received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on March 6. This funding will provide resources to employ 5 full-time creative arts therapies positions for local students in Level 5 school placements.

David Schmalenberger played drumset with the Steeles vocal group, trumpeter Charles Lazarus, and the Minnesota Orchestra for the “Common Chord” program at North High School in Minneapolis on January 26th; and with the Charles Lazarus quartet for the concert series at Zion Lutheran Church in Anoka and St. Joan of Arc Church in Minneapolis. He served as a clinician and adjudicator for jazz festivals in Stillwater (St. Croix Jazz Festival), Edina (Southview Jazz Festival), and Lakeville (SCMBDA Region Jazz Honor Band). He also performed with vocal cabaret icon Marilyn Maye (90 years young!) at Crooners in late March; and presented a series of lectures for the Selim Center at St. Thomas entitled “Soundscapes: the Musics of our World.” Dave was a guest artist with the Apollo Club vocal group, the St. Paul Academy jazz ensembles, and the MSUMankato jazz ensemble; and performed for a CD release event at Jazz Central with vocalist Vicky Mountain.

Erika Svanoe has held several clinics with regional high school bands on her composition “Steampunk Suite.” She also recently acted as music director for a production of “How to Succeed in Business” produced by the Menomonie Theater Guild, a community volunteer organization in Menomonie, WI.