Graduation year: 2018
Major: Music performance (instrumental–viola)
Activities: Augustana Symphony Orchestra, a string quartet, Clogustana, Sigma Alpha Iota, Mortar Board, Kali Yuga (improvisation music group)
Post-grad plans: Attend grad school at Roosevelt University to continue studying instrumental performance
I chose Augustana mostly because of Dr. Dakin, my private viola lessons teacher. I knew I needed a teacher who would simultaneously support me and push me to become a better musician, to never be satisfied with where I am in my development as a musician, and I knew Dr. Dakin could provide me with that type of instruction.
I also chose Augustana because of the small class sizes; I like having a professor who knows and cares about his or her students, and I got this at Augustana. In every class, if I needed help, the teacher was more than willing to answer any questions that I had. In most classes, it was evident that the teacher cared about the success of his or her students, and this is one of the things I love about Augustana.
Are you where you thought you would be when you first came to campus?
I knew I would progress as a musician, but I never thought my playing would be at the level it is now. I have progressed so much both technically and musically as a musician, and it is exciting to be able to play some pieces now which used to be almost impossible for me to play just a few years ago.
I had no idea that I would not only learn to play piano, but also play piano pieces composed by Haydn, Chopin and Beethoven. I am ecstatic that I have finally learned how to play this beautiful instrument.
I also never imagined that I would be part of an improvisation group and grow to love it. Kali Yuga makes me think about and listen to music in a different way, and this group has been a highlight of my college career.
Who helped you get to where you are today?
Dr. Dakin gave me the tools and guidance necessary to make me the musician I am today. I truly enjoyed every lesson I had with her. Dr. Schmidt introduced me to the piano with such excitement and kindness; it was his evident love of this instrument that helped foster my love for the piano as well.
Dr. Elfline, my private piano teacher, has helped me become not only a better pianist but also a better musician in general. He makes learning the piano fun, and I always look forward to my weekly lessons with him. I am also grateful to Dr. Chetel for continually expecting more out of the orchestra; this has further motivated me to become better as an individual and an ensemble player.
A peak experience was going on tour with the Augustana Symphonic Orchestra. I was able to play the same concert multiple times in different venues with my friends. Being able to replay the same program multiple times allowed the orchestra to develop these pieces even more, and being able to hear the evolution of the way we played at each concert was truly exciting.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss my lessons with Dr. Dakin and Dr. Elfine, and I will miss having orchestra with my friends every Monday and Thursday night.
Advice for the Class of 2022?
When you join a new group, try to meet new people. You may have friends in this group, but do your best to learn more about people you do not know. If you don’t, you will miss out on meeting some wonderful and interesting people.
“Kathryn has made every minute count during her time here. She steadily challenged herself in every area of her music major. Recently, her work has paid off with playing a fine solo recital, leading the Augustana Symphony viola section in its spring concerts, her acceptance to a national summer music program, and being awarded an assistantship to a prestigious graduate music program. Congratulations, Kathryn!”