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Music

The Augustana Jazz Ensemble.

  • Careers/internships
  • About the program
  • What students say

Music students prepare for their careers through carefully planned coursework in a strong liberal arts curriculum, individual advising, career internships, public performances and other professional experience.

Music education students gain teaching and conducting experience in their coursework and in area schools with cooperating teachers. Many students teach at the SBC Music and Arts Academy, a local program offering reduced-price lessons to promising students.

Recent music graduates have entered graduate programs at the Boston Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, Cincinnati Conservatory, Northwestern, and the universities of Michigan and Southern California.

Augustana has several options for music majors and minors:

• Major in music
• Major in music performance (instrumental, piano, voice)
• Major in music composition
• Major in music education (instrumental or vocal)
• Minor in music
• Minor in composition
• Minor in jazz

The department also offers a pre-music therapy program, which prepares students for a completion program in music therapy after graduation. Students of any major — including non-music majors — may audition and apply for music scholarships ranging from $500–$5,000 annually.

The 40+ music faculty represents all instrumental areas, including harp. All students, including non-music majors, can take lessons and participate in one of 12 ensembles—from opera to a symphony orchestra to jazz combos. Nearly a quarter of Augustana’s students perform in ensembles.

The department is fully accredited by The National Association of Schools of Music.

The music program has a strong tradition of touring ensembles. Since the early 1880s, annual tours have taken the Symphonic Band to 32 states and many countries, most recently Italy. The Augustana Choir traveled through Germany, Denmark and Sweden in 2015.

Augustana has four concert halls, including the 1,600-seat Centennial Hall and the more intimate, acoustically excellent Wallenberg Hall. After a renovation in 2016, Bergendoff Hall of Fine Arts will house all of the music department’s classrooms and offices, practice rooms and ensemble spaces.

Augustana has active student-run chapters of Collegiate Music Educators, National Band Director Association, American String Teachers Association and American Choral Directors Association. Augustana also has chapters of Phi Mu Alpha and Sigma Alpha Iota, music service fraternities in which students assume leadership roles in service and professional projects.

Timothy Koll ’10, music education major; now choral music educator, Conant High School, Hoffman Estates, Ill.

"My time in the Augustana music department was formative, challenging and inspiring. Augie didn’t just teach me how to be a music educator, but what music education could look and sound like in my classroom.

"I truly believe what sets Augie apart is the understanding and development of individuals. There is something amazing about the fact that when conversation with friends, phone calls home to Mom and Dad, and personal reflection weren’t enough, the time and attention of my music education advisor was. That in itself probably sets Augie apart. But beyond that, my adivisor Dr. Zemek and Augustana took the time to understand me AND make me better."

Justin Lebo '15, music education major; now K-5 elementary music specialist, Moline (Ill.) School District

"Augie Choice allowed me to travel to Germany, Denmark and Sweden with the Augustana Choir for the 2015 tour. It was an incredible capstone to my college experience, and helped me further define who I am in the world as a musician and lifelong learner. I will never forget performing with such an esteemed ensemble in the world's most beautiful venues.

"The faculty in the music department puts an emphasis on developing both our musical knowledge and our outlook on the world, using music as the tool to shape these values. Each music professor has influenced the way I interact with my craft and my colleagues, molding me into an insightful musician with skills to succeed after graduation."

Silvia Ramirez-Bertolasi '15, music education and vocal performance major; now music teacher, grades 3-12, Aquinas American School in Pozuelo de Alarcón, Spain

"I actually chose Augustana twice — once when I was finishing high school and again after my sophomore year when my parents decided to move to Spain. I had the opportunity to attend university in Madrid, but I knew I would not get an education nearly as thorough as what I had at Augustana, so I chose to stay in the Quad Cities to finish my degree. Upon coming back to Spain, I received several job offers because of the outstanding résumé I had developed during my time in Augie's music education program."

Kyle Amati '13, music education and jazz major; now director of bands, Beckman Catholic High School, Dyersville, Iowa

"Augustana's music professors are the most knowledgeable people I know. Not only did they teach me about music, but also everyday life skills. Music is my life, and it is hard to choose the best of the many good moments in my career at Augustana. I performed at Orchestra Hall in Chicago as well as concert halls in Italy. After becoming a high school band director, eventually I wish to continue my education and receive a master's and doctorate in wind conducting, and pursue a career in collegiate wind conducting."

Lauryn Dick '11 Deets, music education major; now orchestra director in the Pleasant Valley (Iowa) School District

My Augustana experience has meant everything to me. My student-teaching experience directly led me to my career as an orchestra director, and Augustana also gave me the opportunity to develop the interpersonal skills I have today."

Bancks composition 'Into the Wild' going to Argentina

A new composition by Augustana's Jacob Bancks will be performed in Argentina this summer by the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies on tour. Bancks wrote the two-movement piece, "Into the Wild," especially for the youth symphony, based in Minneapolis-St. Paul. His talents were requested by Mark Russell Smith, artistic director of the youth symphony and also conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra.

New Brunner Theatre Center to open in August

Tranforming Augustana's College Center into the Kim and Donna Brunner Theatre Center is on schedule, and the venue should be ready for the beginning of the 2016-17 academic year.

Culver farewell concert with orchestra April 30

Augustana will celebrate Dr. Daniel Culver's impact on thousands of students with a spring concert and reception. The concert is free and the public is welcome to join the celebration at 8 p.m. April 30 in Centennial Hall. He is retiring after 42 years at the college.
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