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corbin mcghee
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Corbin McGhee

Graduation year: 2013

Majors: Music, neuroscience

Activities: Phi Beta Kappa, Augustana Choir, Augustana Chamber Singers, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (national music fraternity)

Post-grad plans: K-12 music teacher in Teach For America Mississippi Corps

Why did you choose to attend Augustana?

I had a hard time choosing whether I wanted to attend a big school or a small school.  The moment, however, when I walked onto Augustana’s campus was the moment I decided. The feeling just felt extraordinary. Four years later, I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago? 

No, I am in an even better position. I came here with thoughts of being a music education major, but I had no real drive. It was Augustana that pushed me and challenged me to be better than I could imagine. 

Who helped you get to where you are now? 

Dr. Hurty, the conductor of the Augustana Choir, is one of the most influential people I have met in my time at Augustana. Through his teaching, and just talking one-on-one with me, I have really grown to be a better musician and person. But aside from my professors, I would not be where I am today without the support of my friends. I work every day to emulate their ability to love and to care. 

A peak experience?

This is a tough question! I don’t know if I could narrow it down to one. I would say some of my top experiences were with the Augustana Choir: performing at Carnegie Hall, singing the War Requiem in Germany, and just the experiences of singing Children of the Heavenly Father hand-in-hand with my friends.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used it to go to Germany with the Augustana Choir — such an awesome and life-changing trip!

What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you? 

I learned that I will achieve nothing if I don’t put in 110% in effort. Work hard for what you want, and the moment you get it will feel amazing. 

What will you miss the most?

The thing I will miss most is my friends. Some of my favorite memories at Augustana are as simple as a movie night in my living room with my best friends. Those moments, though simple, will always bring me joy.

"Corbin is the kind of student who not only excels in his coursework (the ‘doing’ of academic work), but also lives the life of a talented and engaged musician (the ‘behaving’ of an insatiably curious mind). Furthermore, he has a great deal of awareness of his own progress through his studies — he knows a great deal, is excited to learn that which he doesn’t yet know, and has the wisdom to tell the difference between the two."

- Dr. Rob Elfline Assistant Professor, Music