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New music faculty eager to see students grow

New music faculty at Augustana this year may teach in different areas, or come into contact with students in conducting or accompanying, but their common goal is seeing their students grow.

"I love working with college students," said Dr. Patrick McNally, new director of opera. "They are engaged, but still at that stage where they're transitioning from just absorbing knowledge into becoming their own teachers."

"I want to support the great infrastructure at Augustana that already exists for a great music program, but build on it," he added.

He's looking forward to the college's production of "Cabaret" Nov. 17-20.

"It's a wonderful musical that I think is really vital right now," Dr. McNally said. "It's going to be an incredible show, not only because the students are fantastic, but because we've just put something together that hits right when it needs to hit."

Dr. Yana Yan, assistant professor of music and flute, came to Augustana because she wants to share all of her experience and education with her students.

"I encourage students to try different styles of music that they have never tried before, which gives them a lot of opportunities to try different things," she said. "I can tell the students are talented, and they are eager to learn something."

Dr. Amanda Sherrill is an assistant professor of music and the professional faculty accompanist, which is a new position at Augustana. She looks at her job as one of collaboration.

"I firmly believe that we can do so much more in the world in whatever endeavor we're pursuing when we work together as a team than we can as individuals," she said.

"When I first got on campus, I knew there was something different about this community already — the way I was received by students and other faculty members," she said. "I hadn't been in a place where people were so overwhelmingly warm and welcoming and curious to get to know me and and then also share about their own environment."

Dr. Ernesto Estigarribia is the director of orchestral activities and conductor of the Augustana Symphony Orchestra.

"I always feel that college students wear their hearts on their sleeves, and there's something so wonderful about making music with people of this age, people who are deeply invested into the artistic product of the orchestra," he said.

Dr. Estigarribia grew up in Paraguay and plays the viola. He came to the United States for his college studies.

He also is the assistant conductor of the Quad City Symphony.

Dr. Elizabeth Matera, assistant professor of music/clarinet, said that her vision is that students she works with enjoy being musicians, and enjoy finding ways that they can share that music with others.

"And also, for those that are music education students, that they can bring that to their students and that it is just this continuum of people who love music and get to experience what I have throughout my life," she said.

Dr. Matera grew up in a musical family. She began her musical career in the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and as a middle school band director in Maquoketa, Iowa. In 1990, she won a position in the clarinet section of the U.S. Marine Band, “The President’s Own.” She performed with the Marine Band for nearly 27 years in Washington, D.C., and throughout the U.S.

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