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Racialized Musical (His)tories

Dr. Philip Ewell
Dr. Philip Ewell

Guest Lecture by Dr. Philip Ewell on Thursday, 3/21, 2-3:30pm, Sateren Auditorium

In certain languages the words for “history” and “story” are the same, as in French (histoire) or Russian (история). “History” usually implies an accurate account of past events, while “story” usually refers to events that may or may not accurately reflect on the past, embellished as necessary by a “storyteller.” But in this distinction, race is rarely mentioned. Anyone, irrespective of race, can write histories or tell stories, yet with remarkable consistency in the academic study of music in the U.S., our histories have been written by white persons, usually men, passing from generation to generation with little divergence from narratives of “great works” of the “western canon.” And when a nonwhite voice challenges the white narrative, efforts to stifle that voice are swift and severe. In this talk I’ll expand on music’s histories and stories, and explain why the common American music curriculum is still segregated along racial lines. I’ll then suggest that we need to desegregate it and foreground race in our discussions so that all racial musics, and musical races, have a seat at the table and a voice in the conversation.


9th–12th Grade Augsburg Honor Orchestra

Thank you to students and directors for participating in this year’s honor orchestra festival. Check out the concert recordings and we hope to see you next year!

Welcome students, parents, and directors! We are looking forward to an exciting day of music-making featuring string students from across the state. This year, we welcome guest conductor Dr. Jean Gómez, director of orchestral activities and mariachi director at the University of Texas Permian Basin.

About The Festival

Date: Saturday, April 1, 2023
Location: Hoversten Chapel in Foss Center
Cost: $25 per selected student
Students: Festival includes rehearsals, lunch, and an afternoon concert
Parents: Join for the free concert in Hoversten Chapel at 3:15 p.m.
Directors: Sit in on rehearsals, join for lunch, and attend your students’ concert

Overview & Important Dates

***We are extending our registration deadlines. See new dates below.***

Current high school students who play an orchestral string instrument (violin, viola, cello, double bass) are eligible to be nominated for the festival by their director. Directors must complete and submit the Director Nomination Form by March 8. Once nominations are reviewed, Augsburg will notify directors of selected participants and send digital copies of music and additional information about the festival.


  • March 8 — Nominations due
  • March 17 — Notifications sent to directors


8:00 a.m. — Check-in, Foss Center Atrium
8:30 a.m. — Rehearsal, Hoversten Chapel
10:00 a.m. — Break
10:30 a.m. — Rehearsal, Hoversten Chapel
12:00 p.m. — Lunch (provided), The Commons in Christensen Center
1:00 p.m. — Rehearsal, Hoversten Chapel
3:00 p.m. — Break and prepare for the concert
3:15 p.m. — Concert, Hoversten Chapel

Guest Conductor

Jean Gómez is known for his energy and passion as a conductor and performer and his devotion to music education. From his early steps at the Escuela Munici pal de Música de Paraíso and the Sistema Nacional de Educación Musical in his native Costa Rica, he developed an interest in learning different instruments, playing in various ensembles, and teaching private lessons. These opportunities shaped his love for conducting and took him to the U.S. in 2015 to pursue his master’s degree in conducting and viola performance at Truman State University in Missouri and continue with his doctoral degree in conducting with a piano minor from theUniversity of Georgia.

As a conductor, he has been honored to work with Diego Piedra, Sam McClure, Mark Cedel, Carl St. Clair, Robert Gifford, Mario Lamberto, Vittorio Parisi, Paulo Ferrara, Osmo Vänskä, Benjamin Zander and others. He won first place in the International Conductors Workshop and Competition in Atlanta, GA, in 2019. In 2020 and 2021, he was appointed a finalist for the American Prize Award in Orchestral Conducting, college division.

Dr. Gómez serves as the director of orchestral activities and mariachi director at the University of Texas Permian Basin and performs actively with orchestras and ensembles around Texas as the West Texas Symphony Orchestra and the Big Spring Symphony Orchestra. Music has brought him to step on stages in Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Italy, and the United States.


Do you need to be vaccinated to participate or attend this event?
No, vaccination is not a requirement for this event.

Do I need a permit to park on campus?
There is ample street parking located around campus. Please follow the posted signs and note that street parking is monitored by the City of Minneapolis. Additionally, permits are not required for campus Lots D or L on weekends.


Festival Host and Director:
Rafael Rodriguez, DMA, Orchestra Director | 612-330-1099

Festival Coordinator:
Ryan Borden, Fine Arts Coordinator | 612-330-1279


9th-12th Grade Augsburg Honor Orchestra

Image of an Augsburg Student Cello performerAbout the Festival

Welcome students, parents and directors! We are looking forward to an exciting day of music making featuring string students from across the state.

Overview & Important Dates

Date: Saturday, April 9, 2022 – Augsburg University
Cost: $20 per selected student
Students: festival includes rehearsals, lunch and late afternoon concert
Parents: join us for the free concert at 3:15 p.m. in Hoversten Chapel
Directors: sit in on rehearsals, attend sectionals, join us for lunch


  • Nominations due, February 25
  • Notifications & music sent, week of March 7

Nominate any current 9-12th grade musician who has skill in performing on a string instrument (violin, viola, cello, or double bass). Directors must complete and send the Director Nomination Form by February 25. After nomination forms are reviewed, Augsburg faculty will notify directors, and selected participants will receive music and additional information about the festival.

Festival Host/Director:
Rafael Rodriguez, DMA

Festival Schedule (estimated)

Saturday, April 9, 2022

8:00 a.m., Check in at Foss Center Atrium (entrance on 22nd Ave. S)
8:30 a.m., Rehearsal
10:00 a.m., Break
10:30 a.m.,Rehearsal
12 p.m., Lunch (provided) – Christensen Center Commons
1 p.m., Rehearsal
3 p.m., Break/Prep for concert
3:15 p.m., Concert Begins, Hoversten Chapel in the Foss Center

Festival Repertoire

To be announced soon!


2nd Annual Bassoon All-State Workshop at Augsburg University

Update: Event postponed

This event has been postponed until May 2022, due to COVID19. Additional details will be posted once the date if finalized.


Welcome students, parents and directors! We are looking forward to an exciting day of music making for bassoon students from the surrounding area. Continue reading “2nd Annual Bassoon All-State Workshop at Augsburg University”

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”


Image of email header titled Occasional Updates from the Music Department

Volume III, No. 1 – December 2019

To our Augsburg Music community,

It is a privilege to share with you, once again, the many exciting activities and events occurring in the Department of Music at Augsburg University. As I write this message, we have just completed our 40th year of Advent Vespers; and, as always, we have ushered in this most anticipated time of the year with hymns, anthems, orchestral works, and readings holding great meaning. Planning for next year’s Vespers begins almost immediately, giving you some idea of the time and effort the department gives to this signature occasion in the life of the university.

Reunion Choir, 2019 GalaIn the links that follow (I hope you will peruse all of them), you will learn about many initiatives in the department. As you likely know, this is Augsburg’s sesquicentennial year, and the music department was active not only in the kickoff gala but also in a collage concert in Hoversten Chapel the next day. It was a marvelous portrait of the work our ensembles are doing, and our directors and students showed exemplary effort in performing so well so early in the semester! Our new departmental advisory council met for the first time on October 30. We have a wonderful group of friends, alumni, and colleagues who will provide invaluable feedback, encouragement, and advice on our work. Continue reading “OCCASIONAL UPDATES FROM THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT, DECEMBER 2019”


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!  Continue reading “OCCASIONAL UPDATES FROM THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT, APRIL 2019”