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Riverside Singers

Nancy’s Reflections

When I met my first choir at Augsburg in January of 1994, I met a small group of young singers who saw themselves in the big shadow of the Augsburg Choir. They were called the Chapel Choir and mainly sang for chapel services. This was not unusual as historically women’s choirs have been on the bottom ladder rung of choral hierarchy. It was my great joy to show singers the value of their voices and abilities as they learned the musical and vocal skills to embrace great music to share with the world.

One of the first concerts given in 1994 was in conjunction with the University of Minnesota and my dear colleague, Kathy Romey, as we sought to empower these voices. Women have sung for centuries as they work and play, and composers are capturing that spirit and writing for these voices in great numbers. Choral musicians all over the world are embracing the importance and unique ability of soprano – alto choirs, and our 25-year old collaborative concert called WomanVoice celebrates this growth.

As the demographic of our Augsburg campus changed, we added to our sacred repertoire by exploring music of other cultures and music written by women composers. We wanted the singers to feel the validation and empowerment of singing in a soprano – alto choir and singing about issues and emotions that affect those who identity as women and those whose voices need to be heard. We strive to have every singer feel comfortable, safe, accepted and affirmed by singing unique music that unites and inspires.

Augsburg is poised to lift off into a new era of choral leadership with our dynamic new Director of Choral Activities, Kristina Boerger, and with some new recruitment initiatives from the Admissions Office. We are empowered by our Augsburg mission of service and inclusion, seeking to support it in our music-making. I will remain as Artistic Director of Advent Vespers for one final year to enjoy this exciting time, but I will pass the baton to a new conductor.

Thank you, Augsburg University and colleagues, for fueling MY growth as a teacher, conductor and composer.

Nancy Grundahl


The Riverside Singers, directed by Allyss Haecker, carry on the long tradition of treble choirs at Augsburg University. The singers participate with other Augsburg musical organizations in the annual Advent Vespers each Christmas season at Central Lutheran Church.

Another anticipated event is the annual WomanVoice concert in March when college women’s choirs from around the area join hearts and voices to sing music by, for and about women. Participating in chapel services several times during the year is an important part of the mission of the choir, as is hosting an invitational treble choir festival in the fall of the year.

2019-2020 Performances:

Saturday, September 28 at 10:30 a.m.
Homecoming Chapel: The Riverside Singers, Cedar Singers & Centennial Singers will all participate in morning worship!
Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center

Tuesday, October 22 at 7 p.m.
Choral Showcase: Including the Riverside Singers, Masterworks Chorale, Cedar Singers & The Augsburg Choir!
Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center

Advent Vespers
Friday, December 6 at 5 & 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 7 at 2 & 5 p.m.
Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis
Reservations Required (Available beginning in October, date & time to be posted here in fall)

WomanVoice
Date: TBD

Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 7 p.m.
Riverside & Cedar Singers Spring Concert
Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center