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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. Continue reading “Occasional Updates from the Music Department, Dec. 2020”


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Volume III, No. 2 – April 2020

To our Augsburg Music community,

Welcome, once again, to our Occasional Updates for Augsburg University Music! Despite the frequent priority of solo work as a hallmark of musical achievement, most of us experience music-making as a social event. Meaningful music learning and experience derive from the shared act of preparing and executing performances.

Thus, the coronavirus has had an enormous impact on the “normal” work of the Department of Music and required us to think in creative ways about keeping our students engaged in active learning while practicing social distance and isolation. The typical final weeks of the semester, marked with concerts and recitals, preparation for commencement, juries, final exams, grading, and other rituals that mark academic transitions, have given way to exploring how today’s technology can be leveraged to support continuation of student learning. What we have learned, of course, is that technology has two dimensions. On the one hand, it provides avenues of staying in touch from our places of “distance” that can help us feel connected; on the other, it is a weak substitute for the necessity of face to face, real-time, feelingful interaction with others.


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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”


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Volume II, No. 2 – January 18, 2019

It is a pleasure to share with you an update on the excellent work and many events occurring in Augsburg’s Music Department. This is a big year for the department, as we will undergo our 10-year review by the National Association of Schools of Music from March 31 to April 2. Preparation includes an extensive self-study and documentation as well as a site visit by two music department leaders from other universities. Given the advances at Augsburg, we expect to have our accreditation renewed.

Our faculty are exceptionally busy teaching, recruiting, and maintaining important professional development – all of which you can read about below. You will find more information on what we’ve been up to including:

• Important curricular initiatives in music, human development, and learning, including a community teaching track that we believe is unique in the nation.
• Changes to the music therapy curriculum. We are fortunate to be conducting a national search for our third, full-time music therapy faculty member this year.
• Several faculty have taken leadership in developing updated performance standards to help our students better understand progress expectations in their performing mediums.
• The usual round of concerts, shared community performances, and side-by-side events with local high schools.
• A major initiative led by Professor Rodriguez to connect Augsburg’s music students, faculty, and programs with several programs in Latin America, which portends enhanced cultural richness for the department.

As always, we hope that you will peruse our recital, concert, and event schedule and join us as you have opportunity. Continue reading “OCCASIONAL UPDATES FROM THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT, JANUARY 2019”


Volume I, Number 3 – May 24, 2018


Augsburg University and the Department of Music are pleased to announce that Kristina Boerger, DMA, has been appointed the inaugural John N. Schwartz Professor of Choral Leadership and Conducting. The search generated nearly 100 applicants nationally and internationally, and a 10-person committee of music faculty, community members, and university representatives, along with Provost Kaivola and President Pribbenow, made the final selection.

Kristina holds degrees in music education and conducting from the University of Illinois, has worked in public school, collegiate, and professional settings, and spent many years working in New York City, where her work received very favorable reviews in the New York Times. In addition to conducting, she is an excellent singer as well, having performed with numerous outstanding groups as a chorister and soloist. She has founded choirs and is deeply committed to the values of inclusion, access, and equity, music of diverse cultures, and commissioning original works. She has collaborated with leading composers and with artists in other art forms in creatively advancing the field of choral study and performance.

We are grateful to alumni and community members who attended Kristina’s public presentation on campus, to those who offered advice and feedback on the search, and to all those who have invested so generously in this professorship, particularly John N. Schwartz, ’67, whose name it reflects.


Occasional Updates from the Music Department, March 2018

Volume I, Number 2 – March 1, 2018

Dear Music Alumni and Friends,

It is a busy season of recitals, concerts, guest artist and speaker visits, and, of course, ongoing classes in the Music Department. As I write, we are moving toward finalizing our national search for the Schwartz Choral Leadership position and the Music, Media, and Management position. Rafael Rodriguez (orchestra and jazz) has hosted guest artists from Latin America as well as a festival for high school students; Brian Lukasavitz (music business) is bringing Dessa and the New Standards to campus; we experienced our first “jazz brunch” during a chapel in January; we held two Music Exploration days for prospective students. More items of interest are included in this edition of Updates.

We are grateful for your interest, support, and enthusiasm for the work of the Music Department, and hope you can arrange to attend events (see our website calendar). As always, we value your recommendation to prospective students to consider Augsburg for music studies and participation.

With best wishes,
David Myers
Consulting chair for music studies Continue reading “Occasional Updates from the Music Department, March 2018”

Occasional Updates from the Music Department, November 2017

Volume I, No. 1 – November 2017 

A Warm Welcome

It is an exciting time for Augsburg University’s Department of Music. Welcome to this first Occasional Updates email that will help keep you informed about music at Augsburg. You are receiving this because you are a graduate, former student, faculty member, or friend of music at Augsburg. Should you wish not to receive these occasional updates, please unsubscribe using the button at the bottom of this email.

Our goal is to highlight happenings and people in the department and to guide you toward further information regarding performances and other opportunities to engage with Augsburg’s music faculty and students. Please know that we are delighted to hear from alumni and community members any time and we invite you to attend any and all music events that fit into your schedule. Continue reading “Occasional Updates from the Music Department, November 2017”