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Music faculty traveled around the world this summer

ICVT Conference

Dr. Michelle Crouch (left) and
Dr. Sangeetha Rayapati in Brisbane, Australia.

Many Augustana music department faculty members stayed busy during the summer months with international travel. As soon as finals and commencement were over, five Augustana faculty members traveled across the world to Australia, England and Africa to engage in activities and research related to their profession. Here are a few of their stories:


Vocal instructors Dr. Sangeetha Rayapati and Dr. Michelle Crouch traveled to Brisbane, Australia, to present sessions for the International Congress of Voice Teachers. This conference happens once every three years and includes presenters from across the globe covering topics such as pedagogy, performance, diction, literature and contemporary singing styles. Dr. Rayapati presented a session about teaching aging singers-a main focus of her recent research. Dr. Crouch presented a workshop about musical literacy and its relationship to cultivating good vocal technique and musicianship, a topic that will culminate in her forthcoming book. In Dr. Crouch's session, she worked with a local student from Brisbane to demonstrate what literacy pedagogy looks like.

Tanzania and Great Britain

Music faculty with Makumira class
Sonja Hurty, Dr. Jon Hurty and Dr. John Pfautz mixed in with a music class at Makumira

Dr. John Pfautz, Dr. Jon Hurty and Sonja Hurty traveled to Arusha, Tanzania, where they spent some time at Tumaini College Makumira (TUMA). TUMA is a Lutheran Church of Tanzania University of similar size to Augustana. The Augustana faculty members taught classes on western music, conducting and voice, while getting first-hand experience with East African music. The three also spent time scouting out opportunities for Augustana study-abroad programs, developing connections between TUMA and Augustana for future partnerships.

Dr. Jon Hurty was very excited about the trip. "The opportunity to travel to Africa this summer will benefit our students in a few important ways," he said. "First, we are in the process of planning a future travel experience for students. In addition, we were exposed to some African music that we can hopefully incorporate into our programming this year. Having the chance to work directly with the composers of the music will have a great positive impact on the performance of these works."

Later in the summer Dr. Pfautz traveled to Oxford, England, to present a paper on global congregational singing. Based on his research on the church music of West Africa, this paper focuses on the social, theological and phenomenological underpinnings of the surge in contemporary praise and worship songs that is the preferred congregational style in many denominations in West Africa.


From left, Cindy and Dr. James Lambrecht,
Jake Watson (Gateway Music Festivals)
and Sam Schlouch '10 in Osaka.

In August Dr. James Lambrecht, professor of music and director of bands, traveled to Japan to inspect the sites where Augustana Symphonic Band will perform during their February 2014 tour. Sam Schlouch '10, manager of arts events and communication, who is responsible for planning music ensemble tours, and Cindy Lambrecht, part-time instructor of music, also traveled to Japan in preparation for February. 

"Our goal with international tours is not only to provide students with opportunities to perform music in a variety of venues, we also seek to introduce students to new and varying cultures. One of the best ways to do this is through the international language of music," said Schlouch. The band will have exchange opportunities with a few different Japanese ensembles throughout their time in Japan. Current places on the itinerary include Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hakone. 

The Lambrechts have traveled to Japan several times where Dr. Lambrecht has conducted at the Musashino Academia Musicae.

-Jens Hurty '15