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COVID-19: Updates and Plans ›

Augsburg Student Compositions Final Performance

image of a music notePlease join us for a virtual event featuring new compositions by our Augsburg student composers. The members of the Fifth House Ensemble have been in residence at Augsburg University this spring and they collaborated with students on a series of works that have technology at their core. Some of the music is intended to be performed over Zoom and take into account the lag, others are recorded separately and edited together. The ensemble worked closely with the students over a period of months and the pieces will be a great representation of this process. In addition to these pieces, we will also be sharing some other works written collaboratively among the band students.

Join us Friday, April 30th at 6:30 pm for a live premiere on the Fifth House Ensemble’s youtube channel:
YouTube Link

After the youtube premiere, please join us in a conversation over Zoom with the student composers, members of the Fifth House Ensemble and Augsburg faculty and friends.

You must register for the meeting in order to attend. Please do so by clicking the link below:

Thank you so much and we look forward to seeing you on Friday!


Performance, Augsburg/Twin Cities Global Harmony Choir

The Augsburg/Twin Cities Global Harmony Choir invites you to our year-end concert

A virtual event
Thursday, April 29
3 p.m. (CST)

Featuring Student and Community Member Performances of Vocal Harmony from:

Republic of Georgia
South Africa

Event Link:

Please email Kristina Boerger,, directly for the event link and password


Upcoming LGBTQIA+ Music Education Panel

Flyer for LGBTQIA+ education panel, April 2021My name is Mallory Alekna and I am the new professor of music, human development, and learning at Augsburg University. Music education students at Augsburg have asked for more opportunities to interact with and learn from educators from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Based on student requests, my colleague Sarah Minette and I are helping to coordinate a panel of LGBTQIA+ music educators.

On April 24, seven panelists will be sharing their insights about being an LGBTQIA+ music educator. The intent of this panel is to offer guidance to preservice educators who may identify as LGBTQAI+. Additionally, allies are welcome to attend. The focus will be given to those preservice teachers (as well as inservice music educators) for whom mentorship and role modeling may be lacking in their preparation programs and institutions.

The cost is free and is open to all music educators. We also welcome teacher educators to attend so we can all learn to better support our students and our colleagues.

Please see the attached flyer for event details and registration link.

We are making every effort to ensure the safety of all participants. Please make sure to register for the event. Please feel free to reach out to Mallory Alekna ( or Sarah Minette ( if you have any questions.

We are looking forward to this event and thank you to our students who helped generate and make this event possible.

“We Are Good” Performance

Title text in image, "We Are Good"

Deep Listening Jam Session:

The 5th House Ensemble residency culminates in a Deep Listening Jam, which includes the creative work and dialogue captured throughout the 5 “We Are Good” sessions. Join us!

Here is a short description about Deep Listening:

First pioneered by composer Pauline Oliveros after an inspiring trip to a cistern with a 40-second reverb near Seattle, Deep Listening is a practice with a number of community and education intersections motivated by the idea that making and experiencing music is everyone’s birthright. Through an array of activities including active listening walks, rhythmic machines, improvised text scores, and movement exercises, Deep Listening provides an astonishing array of tools for communal music-making. Strategies for guiding improvised compositions as well as designing musical experiences for participants of all backgrounds will be explored, as we experience how Deep Listening’s emphasis on mindfulness and play can transform people’s sense of agency and bring about new ways of relating to one’s environment.

Learn more about the ensemble and full residency details here!

Student Recital, Molly Tengwall

Image of Molly TengwallMolly Tengwall, Senior Recital

Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 2 p.m.
Facebook Live Event

What music did you choose for this recital – and tell us more about why you picked certain pieces?

My repertoire for this recital is pretty varied! I start in the Baroque period before moving quickly to French Art Song, 20th-century Argentine song, and concluding with musical theater. I chose the songs I did to round out my classical wheelhouse (Handel and Faure) while also exploring newer repertoire that excites me (songs of Latin America and Broadway). The set of Argentinian songs is by Carlos Guastavino, a man I chose to study for a course final whose music was so marvelous I decided I had to sing it. As for musical theater, I chose songs that I’ve dreamt of performing for years. People who attend my recital virtually should expect to hear music they’ve never heard before; hopefully, they’ll leave with some of those songs stuck in their head.

How has your time at Augsburg prepared you for this moment?

So much time and work have led to this final performance at Augsburg. Every voice lesson (over 80 with my Augsburg instructor), class, rehearsal, test, and more have gotten me to this point. To try and quantify what has brought me to my final recital is nearly impossible.

Tell us more about why you’re having a recital?

I’m having a recital because I want to show what I am capable of after four years of study. I’m excited to have the opportunity to put my accumulated skills to work in one evening. This event feels both like the end of my time at Augsburg and also the beginning of the rest of my musical career. No pressure, right? I also know that I have many people who want to see and hear how far I have come; it would be unfair to deprive them of the chance to support me at the end of my undergraduate career. What’s maybe most important to me is that this recital will likely be the last time I perform on one of my favorite stages, a fact that I simultaneously cherish and dread.

Sharing the Recital:

The recital on Sunday, February 28 will be a Facebook Live event, and Molly hopes to post a YouTube video afterward as well.

– post compiled by Ian Heseltine ’21

Augsburg Faculty Shine at MMEA!

The Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA) serves Minnesota’s music educators through professional development events, school music students through honors ensembles and festivals, and the music community through advocacy for supportive education policies at the state and local level. The Annual Midwinter Clinic held each February hosts students, educators and leading music industry vendors each year.

The Augsburg Music Department is proud of the achievements and fantastic work by Erika Svanoe & Rafael Rodriguez at this year’s conference.

Dr. Erika Svanoe, 2021 MMEA All-State Symphonic Band Conductor

Erika Svanoe, conducting the All-State Band at MMEA, zoom photo

Continue reading “Augsburg Faculty Shine at MMEA!”

Fifth House Ensemble in Residence

Collage image of 5th House Ensemble members


In collaboration with MACPHAIL CENTER FOR MUSIC and AUGSBURG CAMPUS MINISTRY invites you to share virtually with the FIFTH HOUSE ENSEMBLE, in residence during the Spring 2021 Semester. National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest Logos

This engagement is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from Minnesota State Arts Board and the Crane Group.

Additional information about the ensemble, scheduled events, and registration & links are included below. Continue reading “Fifth House Ensemble in Residence”

Occasional Updates from the Music Department, Dec. 2020

Volume IV, No. 1 – December 2020


Dear Students, Parents, Alumni, and Friends,
This year has been like no other in the challenges we have faced for our beloved art form of music!  Yet, many organizations have found energy and purpose using technology to our advantage.  Of course, this is not the same as “live” music, but we can be grateful for the ingenuity we have witnessed.

I am pleased to say that Augsburg’s music faculty and students have risen beautifully to the challenge of ensuring continued rich learning and music making.  Continue reading “Occasional Updates from the Music Department, Dec. 2020”


Image of the 2020 Advent Vespers theme artwork - Come Now, Breath of GodEach year for the past four decades, Augsburg University has hosted Advent Vespers to mark the Advent and Christmas seasons. This year’s celebration includes virtual devotions leading up to the virtual 41st Annual Advent Vespers at 7 p.m Friday, December 4, 2020.

Olivia House ’20, who earned a degree in graphic design at Augsburg, created the artwork for this year’s theme, “Come Now, Breath of God.”

Read our Q&A with Olivia about her perspective and work as an artist, the piece she created for Advent Vespers, and what she hopes people experience through this theme art. Continue reading “ADVENT VESPERS THEME ART BY OLIVIA HOUSE ’20”