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More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Evan Sammons

Graduation year: 2020

High school: Geneseo High School

Hometown: Geneseo, Ill.

Majors: Communication studies, music performance (saxophone)

Activities: Augustana Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Saxophone Quartet, Campus Ministries

Internship: Photo/video internship with the Quad City Symphony

Post-grad plans: Looking for jobs in the Quad Cities

Why Augustana?    

I was enticed by all of the great opportunities in the music department and the saxophone studio. These have been formative in my development as a musician and my interest in non-profit work. I've had the opportunity to serve as communications director of the Shockingly Modern Saxophone Festival on campus, play a concerto with the Augustana Symphony, play in a student-faculty Saxophone Quartet and play with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra.

Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?  

No, so much has changed! When I first came to campus, I thought I would be pursuing saxophone at the graduate level. However, after I interned at the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and worked in the Office of Advancement on campus, I realized that I wanted to pursue nonprofit work.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

My saxophone professors Dr. Hall and Dr. Cummins were so instrumental (no pun intended) in forming my identity as a person and saxophonist. They challenged me to grow as a musician, and were both a wealth of knowledge and a great support system!

My music history professor and Senior Inquiry advisor, Dr. Ehrlich, and my communication studies professor, Dr. Kunde, both fostered a love of learning and challenged me to develop more nuanced critical thinking.

Peak experience?  

Playing my senior recital was definitely the peak experience of my time at Augie. I loved sharing the culmination of hours of practice with all of my friends and family.

What surprised you? 

I was surprised by how many experiences related to my field of study were available. I was able to serve as communications director for our annual saxophone festival, attend saxophone conferences and take photos for the music department. These experiences were as influential as my classes and lessons.

How did you use your Augie Choice?    

I was a photo/video intern with the Quad City Symphony in Davenport, Iowa.

What will you miss the most? 

I will miss the rich academic environment that encourages creativity and critical thinking.

Advice for the Class of 2024?    

Don't be afraid of investing in your education and working hard! Take advantage of all the resources available to you—go to professors' office hours, use the Reading/Writing Center and use the quiet floor of the library (it's the best!).

"During his time at Augustana, Evan distinguished himself in the classroom, the studio and on stage. He accumulated more honors and experiences than I thought possible for an undergraduate student. In addition to his artistry as a musician, he has a real talent for generating and implementing ideas, and he understands how art interfaces with society. It will be exciting to see what’s next for him."

– Dr. Randall Hall, professor, music