Welcome to the Department of Music at Augustana. Music at Augustana is an active and vital program, committed to musical excellence within a small University environment. Whether you are interested in taking private lessons, joining an ensemble, fulfilling a General Education element or pursuing a major or minor in music, we have much to offer you.
Our program strives to provide every student at Augustana with a meaningful and enriching arts experience. With many music majors and one-quarter of the undergraduates at Augustana participating in music study and performances annually, we have an extensive program, which welcomes everyone. Our talented faculty, drawn from the nation's finest conservatories and universities, work to develop the whole person in the context of a caring community. The beautiful Humanities building supports and enriches our endeavors. The National Association of Schools of Music accredits the Augustana Music Program and the program’s graduates go on to distinguished and satisfying careers in teaching and performing.
Welcome! We are glad that you are here, and we look forward to a great year of music making together. If we can be of help to you in any way, please let us know.
Dr. Lisa Grevlos
Chair, Department of Music
Full-time and part-time faculty members in the Music Department are grouped according to the following categories. To read about each faculty member, click the appropriate specialty area.
Flute Choir Instructor
Emily Anderson is the director of the Augustana Flute Choir. In addition to her teaching commitments at Augustana, Anderson maintains an active private flute studio and performance schedule. She has been a member of the Sioux Falls Municipal Band for 12 years, where she is currently the principal flutist. She has performed with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and the Dakota Wind Ensemble. She is a member of the National Flute Association and the South Dakota Bandmasters Association. She received a B.A. in music education from Augustana, and has over ten years of experience in secondary education.
Michael Andersen, a native of Miller, South Dakota, is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Music Education Degree, and a Master’s Degree in Tuba Performance from the University of South Dakota. He taught band for nine years at Clark, South Dakota, 5th and 6th grade band, high school jazz band and general music classes for eleven years at Canton, South Dakota, and currently teaches middle school band and jazz bands at Worthington Middle School in Worthington, MN. Andersen has played tuba with the South Dakota Symphony since 1993. He is also Principal Tuba and bass guitarist with the Sioux City Symphony. He is adjunct instructor of tuba at Augustana and maintains a private tuba and bass guitar studio. As a freelance electric bassist, Andersen has played with many area jazz/rock bands, including the South Dakota Jazz Orchestra and the R&B band Life Before Color. He is a member of International Tuba and Euphonium Conference (ITEC), National Association for Music Education (MAfME), Minnesota Educators Association (MEA), Minnesota Band Directors Association (MBDA) and Phi Beta Mu.
Andrea Carlson graduated from Augustana with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Nursing and works part-time as an RN with Sanford Acute Care. Andrea is Augustana's horn instructor. She plays fourth horn with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra as well as being Principal Horn with the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra. She is also the coach of the Augustana Brass Quintet. Carlson enjoys teaching private horn lessons to middle school through college-age horn students at her home studio. She has studied horn with Herb Winslow of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Michael Thompson of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and Sarah Cyrus and Nathan Pawelek. Outside of her dedication to music and nursing, she is a licensed Kindermusik instructor as well as the mellophone technician for the Lincoln High School marching band. Carlson and her husband Kevin have three young children: Mikayla, Zac and Kyan.
Saxophone, Northlanders Jazz
Dr. Hanegan is the Director of Jazz Studies and Assistant Professor of Music. He directs the Northlanders Jazz Ensemble and Northlanders Jazz Combo, and teaches jazz improvisation, woodwind methods, studio saxophone, and the history of Jazz, Blues, and Rock. In addition, he coordinates the annual Jazz on the Upper Great Plains Festival.
In 2017, Hanegan completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in saxophone performance at North Dakota State University. At NDSU, he studied with Dr. Matthew Patnode and assisted in teaching the Gold Star Marching Band, Jazz Lab Band, jazz improvisation, saxophone quartets, and the saxophone studio. In addition, Hanegan graduated from the University of South Dakota, where he studied with Dr. Christopher Kocher and earned a Master of Music degree (with specialization) in saxophone performance and assisted in teaching jazz improvisation, Jazz Lab Band, and the saxophone studio. Hanegan also graduated from Northern State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, where he studied with Frederic Hemke. During his time at NSU, he was a regional finalist in the MTNA Young Artist Competition (2007-08), NSU Concerto Competition winner (2008), and received an Award of Musical Distinction for outstanding musical achievement and contribution (2008).
He began his professional career as the saxophonist for a summer revue show at Valleyfair Amusement Park in Minneapolis (2006-08). Prior to beginning his graduate studies, Hanegan worked for Carnival Cruise Lines as a multiple-woodwind artist in a seven-piece show orchestra. With Carnival, Hanegan performed nightly alongside musicians from all over the world and served as musical director of the Carnival Elation in 2012. Hanegan taught saxophone and clarinet in 2013, as an artist faculty member at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. He has performed with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra and is actively performing across the Midwest with his band Goodroad and several other jazz projects.
Christopher Hill teaches applied clarinet and is the principal clarinetist of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (SDSO). He has performed throughout the United States and Europe with ensembles such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Omaha Symphony, New Sousa Band, Carousel National Tour, Evita World Tour, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Binghamton Symphony, and the Rome Festival Orchestra. He performed the world premiere of Nathan Pawelek’s Concertino in 2001. He and SDSO pianist John Walker performed at the international clarinet festival, ClarinetFest 2005, in Tokyo, Japan.
Hill is also the conductor of the Sioux Falls Municipal Band. He has been an active clinician nationally. A noted mouthpiece craftsman, he is a designer of the Chadash-Hill mouthpiece, which is used in many of the world’s finest orchestras and music schools. He is a Rico Grand Concert artist. He holds bachelor and master of music degrees from Temple University, where he was a student of Anthony Gigliotti.
Angela Larson teaches applied clarinet. She returned to the Sioux Falls area in 2004 and has maintained a successful private clarinet studio since then. She has taught clarinet at the University of Sioux Falls since 2005 and at Augustana since 2006. She is an active musician in community ensembles, including the Dakota Wind Ensemble and the Sioux Falls Municipal Band. She is also employed at South Dakota Achieve as a support professional. She holds a B.A. in instrumental music education from Augustana and a master of music in clarinet performance degree from Kent State University, Ohio.
Kevin Linder is a retired teacher of music from the Sioux City (IA) public schools and now enjoys life as a prolific free-lance trumpet performer and private trumpet instructor.
Patricia Masek is flute and woodwind pedagogy instructor. She has been a member of the South Dakota Symphony for 45 years, 24 of which as Principal Flute. She has served as the symphony performance librarian for 35 years. Other performing experiences are 37 years as Principal Flute with the Sioux Falls Municipal Band, solo appearances with the South Dakota Symphony, Sioux Falls Municipal Band, Augustana Band and Chamber Orchestra. She recently retired from 30 years as an instrument repair technician and maintains a private studio of approximately 20 to 25 students. She received a bachelor of science in music education from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in music from the University of Kentucky.
Jeff Paul, principal oboist with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, grew up in Southern California where he gained experience and expertise in various forms of performing arts. He was an aspiring concert pianist by the age of ten, and was awarded opportunities to perform piano concerti with the Conejo Youth Symphony and the Pepperdine University Orchestra. Paul attended the Eastman School of Music (BM with performer’s certificate, 1999) and the University of Southern California (MM, 2003) for oboe performance. His primary teachers include Richard Killmer, David Weiss, and Allan Vogel. He has performed as a soloist with the New West Symphony, Heidelberg Castle Festival Orchestra, Conejo Concerto Orchestra and the South Dakota Symphony, and has substituted with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and San Diego Symphony.
One of Paul’s primary interests has been traditional folk music of various cultures. He enjoys working closely with The New Pine Ridge Singers, and improvisng alongside Lebanese oud player Simon Shaheen.
In composition, Paul has received awards from the Young Composer’s Guild of the Music Teachers Association of California, resulting in several premiers of his chamber and orchestral music. He has also received commissions from various organizations, including the South Dakota Symphony and the Young Artists Ensemble theater group in California, and composes regularly for the Dakota Wind Quintet.
Paul has recorded for various projects, including a Warner Bros. film scoring session, a hip-hop orchestra, aspiring jazz/rock/fusion bands, and a spattering of independent short films.
Dr. John Pennington (on leave fall semester 2018-19)
Percussion Instructor global music/composition and arranging
John Pennington is an educator, composer, performer, author, producer and conductor. Dr. Pennington is professor of the Music and serves as the Artistic Director of the Animas Music Festival in Durango, Colorado. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Arizona, and Arizona State. As an orchestral performer, Dr. Pennington is currently the Principal Percussionist and Associate Principal Timpanist with the South Dakota Symphony and Principal Timpanist with the Music in the Mountains Summer Music Festival Orchestra in Durango, Colorado. Dr. Pennington is currently a Cultural Envoy for the State Department in the Middle East (most recently Lebanon) where he presents concerts, clinics and masterclasses.
With performances on four continents and over twenty-five states he has performed on A Prairie Home Companion and been a featured performer at six Percussive Arts Society International Conventions. With over thirty recordings to date he has recorded for Ensemble 21, Summit, Cristo, OCP, and Equilibrium labels. Recent recording releases include: Gitanjali, for Voice, American Gamelan, Harmonium, and Guitar (composed & produced-2014), Song of God Among Us, Advent Music for Choir, Guitar and Percussion (percussion-2016- 17), Brasileirinho, South American Music for Guitar and Percussion (co-produced composed and arranged-2010), Steps (co-produced composed and arranged-2008), Music for Trumpet and Percussion with Stephen Dunn, Lou Harrison, American Gamelan (produced, conducted and performed 2007), Compassionate and Wise (co-produced, composed and performed-2006- Equilibrium Press). Active as a composer and arranger he has over thirty compositions for soloist, duo, chamber, musical/theatrical, and films and dozens of arrangements for numerous instrumental and vocal combinations. Extensive studies in world music have included experience in African, Middle Eastern, Indonesian, Cuban and the South Indian Karnatak tradition. Currently, Dr. Pennington continues his study and teaching of the Northern Hindustani tradition of music in North India and the Javanese and Balinese traditions of Indonesia. Please visit JohnPennington.com for more information.
Dr. Larry Petersen
Assistant Director of Bands and Music Education
Dr. Larry Petersen is assistant director of bands and music education. Petersen directs the Blue & Gold Band and the Athletic Bands, as well as leads the coordination of the Augustana music teacher education program. He joined AU in the fall of 2017. Petersen served as director of bands at Huron High School in Huron, South Dakota. During his tenure there, he built a large and successful program with the philosophy that music is a vehicle for preparing students for musical achievement and individual success in their lives. Petersen earned his bachelor's degree from South Dakota State University where he majored in music education. He holds a master's of music degree in conducting from the University of Manitoba, and a doctor of musical arts in conducting from the University of Iowa. He is the current president of the South Dakota Bandmasters Association and the South Dakota Chapter of Phi Beta Mu (international bandmasters fraternity). Dr. Petersen was named Huron High School’s Teacher of the Year both in 2000 and 2008. His research interests include the use of technology for assessment within music ensembles, vocal transcriptions for winds, and music for voice and winds.
Jason Roseth joined Augustana as our Trombone instructor in 2017. A 2012 graduate of Augustana, Jason studied trombone performance with Vance Shoemaker and went on to receive his Master of Music in Performance (trombone) at Arizona State University in Tempe. While at ASU, he studied with the incomparable Douglas Yeo who retired from the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Jason is a sub with the South Dakota Symphony has been the recipient of many undergrad and graduate scholarships for his musical excellence.
John Tomkins is bassoon instructor. He serves as principal bassoon of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and Dakota Wind Quintet. He has attended many summer music festivals, including the Conductors Retreat at Medomak, Kent/Blossom Summer Music, the Festival-Institute at Round Top, the National Orchestral Institute, and the Tanglewood Music Center. Ensembles he has performed with include the Sioux Falls Municipal Band, the Cleveland Pops, and the Cleveland Orchestra. He has appeared as a soloist with the Sioux Falls Municipal Band, South Dakota Chamber Orchestra, and the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra. He was the soloist for the world premiere of Jeffrey Paul’s Bassoon Concerto with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra. He holds a bachelor of music degree summa cum laude from the Ohio State University, and his master of music degree is from the Cleveland Institute of Music. His primary teachers were Christopher Weait, Ronald Phillips and John Clouser.
Dr. Christopher Unger
Director of Bands, Brass Choir, conducting
Dr. Christopher Unger was named the 5th conductor of the Augustana Band and began his tenure at the university in September 2015. Previously, Unger was the Interim Director of Bands at the University of British Columbia. Prior to his appointment at U.B.C., Dr. Unger served as the Assistant Conductor of both the Eastman Wind Orchestra and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. At Eastman, Dr. Unger was honoured with the Frederick Fennell Fellowship for Advanced Conducting Study, the Evan Whallon Conducting Award, and the prestigious Walter Hagen Conducting Prize. His role at Eastman provided him with the opportunity to act as a producer on the Eastman Wind Ensemble’s 2013 release on Avie Records titled Stravinsky-Octet/L’Histoire du Soldat. In addition to conducting the wind ensembles, Dr. Unger worked with the Brass Guild, the Trumpet Ensemble, and the Graduate Chamber Orchestra. He also was chosen to conduct a featured performance of Imis, by Massimo Luaricella, the 2011/2012 OSSIA International Composition Competition winner, with the Ossia New Music Ensemble.
Prior to his graduate studies, Dr. Unger was the Instrumental Music Teacher at G.P. Vanier Secondary School in Courtenay, British Columbia. Under his baton, the instrumental ensembles at Vanier participated in regional and national festivals and received national recognition for their performances at Musicfest Canada. Recently, Dr. Unger won the American Prize in Conducting in the Wind Ensemble Division (2013).
Dr. Unger’s principal conducting teachers were Dr. Mark Scatterday and Dr. Colleen Richardson. He has attended a number of influential conducting symposiums where he worked with master wind conductors such as Donald Hunsberger, Frank Battisti, Charles Peltz, Michael Haithcock, Allan McMurray, Craig Kirchhoff, Michael Votta, Gary Hill, and Rodney Winther. He maintains professional affiliations with the College Band Directors National Association, the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and the Conductor’s Guild.
Dr. Unger received his D.M.A in conducting from the Eastman School of Music in 2013. Additionally, he holds degrees from the University of Western Ontario and the University of British Columbia.
Dr. Monty Barnard
Dr. Monty Barnard recently retired as a full-time professor of music after 39 years at Augustana. He continues to teach applied voice for the department. His solo roles in several oratorios and operas include Messiah, Elijah, Bach Christmas Oratorio, Mozart Requiem, Brahms Requiem, Fauré Requiem, Puccini Madame Butterfly, Puccini La Bohême, and Verdi La Traviata. He has performed numerous faculty recitals, a Carnegie Recital Hall debut recital, and was a touring artist with the Goldovsky Opera Theatre. He serves as director of music and baritone soloist at Calvary Cathedral (Episcopal) and Mt. Zion Synagogue, Sioux Falls.
Natalie Campbell holds a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance from the University of South Dakota, where she studied with Dr. Brandon Hendrickson. While at USD, she was the winner of the university’s annual concerto competition and performed the roles of Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and Monica in Menotti’s The Medium. She also received a B.M. in Piano and Vocal Music Education from Houghton College in New York, and has pursued graduate studies in Piano and Chamber Music at Rice University in Houston, TX. As an educator, Natalie has taught elementary and middle school vocal music, has served as associate director for the Tucson Girl’s Chorus, and maintains a private piano and voice studio. As a vocalist, she recently performed as soloist for the Vivaldi Gloria and Fauré Requiem as part of the Sacred Arts Series at St. Joseph’s Cathedral. Upcoming engagements include the role of Adina in Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love with Sounds of South Dakota, and soprano soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana with Mount Marty College in Yankton.
Dr. Lisa Grevlos Chair, Department of Music
Director of Vocal Studies, Opera Theatre and Angelus
Dr. Lisa Grevlos is Chair of the Department of Music. She is also professor of music and director of vocal studies at Augustana University. She directs the Augustana Opera Workshop Theatre program, conducts Angelus, and teaches in the areas of applied voice, vocal pedagogy, singer’s diction, and choral music education. Dr. Grevlos performs frequently as a soloist in the region for recitals, operas, oratorios, and musical theatre. She has been a guest soloist with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra in “A Night at the Opera,” the Brahms Requiem, and was the featured soprano vocalist with the Sioux Falls Municipal Band for 15 years. Recent engagements have included various roles in Sounds of South Dakota, Inc. concerts and opera productions and soprano soloist in the Augustana Choir and Orchestra's performance of the Brahms Requiem at the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science. She has been a regional finalist and scholarship recipient in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions and was a semi-finalist in the Denver Lyric Opera Guild Auditions.
Along with her duties at Augustana University, she is artistic chair and past-president of Sounds of South Dakota, Inc. a non-profit organization whose mission is to connect South Dakota professional vocal artists in opera, recital, and musical theatre performance with regional audiences. In September 2012, she served as stage director for the Sounds of South Dakota, Inc. production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute," starring internationally acclaimed bass-baritone, Samuel Ramey, accompanied by the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra with Maestro Delta David Gier in the Mary Sommervold Hall of the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science. This production was awarded second prize in the National Opera Association’s 2012-13 Professional Opera Production Competition. Dr. Grevlos also serves as a frequent adjudicator and clinician throughout the Midwest. She is a member of Music Teachers National Association, American Choral Directors Association, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She has served as the high school and collegiate vocal competition chair for South Dakota Music Teachers' Association and currently serves as the soprano adjudicator for South Dakota American Choral Directors Association Honor Choir. She received the Doctorate of Arts degree in voice performance and opera stage directing from the University of Northern Colorado. She holds master of music degrees from Northwestern University, Evanston, in voice performance and choral conducting, and she completed her undergraduate degree in music education at Augustana University.
Dr. Paul Nesheim
Director of Choral Activities, Professor of Music
Director of The Augustana Choir and Chamber Choir
Dr. Paul Nesheim is the Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music. He conducts the Augustana Choir and Chamber Choir, and teaches courses in choral conducting, choral methods, voice, and church music. He also serves as the director of the Adult Choir and Women’s Choir at First Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. Prior to his appointment at Augustana, Dr. Nesheim taught on the faculties of Minnesota State University Moorhead, Concordia College in Moorhead, Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton,Wisconsin, and Northern State University in Aberdeen,South Dakota.He has held positions conducting high school, church, and community choirs in South Dakota, Minnesota, California, Iowa,Wisconsin,Arizona, and North Dakota.
Dr. Nesheim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education from St.Olaf College, a Master of Music degree in choral music from Arizona State University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Arizona. He is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and served a term as president of South Dakota ACDA. He is a frequent adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor for contests, professional conferences, and all-state festival, and honor choirs. He has conducted in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, and Slovakia, and at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis and on two occasions at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Dr. Nesheim is a published composer and the author of Building Beautiful Voices, a book of vocalization methods and materials published by the Roger Dean Publishing Company.
Judith E. Schreck is a vocal instructor. She has been featured soloist with the South Dakota and Black Hills Symphonies as well as the Reading Symphony in Reading, Pennsylvania; the Tri-Cities Opera Company, the Harper College Alumni Singers and the Tri-Cities Orchestra in Binghamton, New York; and the Allentown Opera in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She performed at the Poor Richard Club in Philadelphia and for the Philadelphia Historical Society. She also did several live concerts on New York Cable television. A few of her roles include Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Letitia and Miss Pinkerton in The Old Maid and the Thief, Nettie Fowler in Carousel, Laurie in Oklahoma, Tuptim and Lady Tiang in The King and I, and Yenta in Fiddler on the Roof. She has also performed as soloist in Carmina Burana and The Lord Nelson Mass. She graduated from Augustana University with a bachelor of arts degree in voice.
Vocal Instructor/Choral Director
Russell Svenningsen is Associate Professor of Music at Augustana University where he teaches applied voice, music theory and conducts the University Chorale. He holds a D.M.A. in Music Education from Boston University, an M.M. in Choral Conducting from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music and a B.M., Music Education, from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn.
Dr. Svenningsen is an active conductor, performer and clinician. Most recently he has performed Benjamin Britten’s The Holy Sonnets of John Donne as part of a collaboration with Dr. Mitchell Harris at Augustana and appeared with both the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and the Northwestern Iowa Symphony Orchestra; he is also a member of the acclaimed South Dakota Chorale. He has appeared as guest artist and clinician with ensembles around the country, most recently at the Roxbury High School Choral Invitational, a competition featuring some of the finest high school ensembles from the east coast.
Dr. Svenningsen is a proud member of the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, National Collegiate Choral Organization and National Association of Teachers of Singing. He serves on the executive board of the Sounds of South Dakota Opera Company, the South Dakota Arts Council Music Panel and the executive board of the South Dakota Chorale.
Russell and his wife, Sarah, are the parents of two children, Anders and Annika. He is an avid woodworker and a terrible golfer.
Dr. Rick Andrews
Keyboard and Theory
Rick Andrews is an award-winning teacher and performer whose distinguished career spans more than three decades. He is currently Professor of Music at Augustana, where he is Director of the keyboard area and teaches music theory, applied piano, piano literature and piano pedagogy. In 2015, Andrews earned the Augustana Student Association (ASA) Faculty Recognition Award, which recognizes outstanding teaching and contributions to the Augustana Community by a faculty member.
Known for his innovative performances and lectures, Andrews remains active as a performer of solo, chamber, and concerto repertoire throughout the upper Midwest region. He has won high honors at major competitions and festivals including the Greater Southwest Music Festival, the Mountain View Concerto Competition, the Dallas Civic Symphony Concerto Competition, the Tuesday Musical Club Solo Competition, the Sawhill Piano Competition, and the International Beethoven Sonata Competition. He has also been named a Gold Medalist in the International Piano Recording Competition.
Andrews has appeared as a piano soloist with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, the Arkansas Symphony Chamber Orchestra, the Dallas Civic Symphony Orchestra, and the Milledgeville Chamber Orchestra. He has previously taught on the faculties of Georgia College, Arkansas College, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and the Interlochen National Music Camp, the Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony Piano Camp, and the famed Piano Preparatory Program at Southern Methodist University.
Andrews began his college training as a student of Pierrette Mouledous at Eastfield College of the Dallas County Community College District. Later, his principal studies in performance were with Alfred Mouledous at Southern Methodist University where he earned the bachelor and master of music degrees in piano performance and piano pedagogy. Pedagogy studies were under the tutelage of Louise Bianchi and David Karp. Andrews continued performance studies at the University of Colorado under the guidance of Peter Amstutz and Paul Parmelee and received a doctor of musical arts in piano performance.
Dr. Shu Li
Shu Li serves as a member of the piano faculty at Augustana University and Artist-Faculty at the Omaha Conservatory of Music. She received a Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance from The University of Kanas and Master of Music degree in piano performance from Illinois State University, both with distinction.
Dr. Li founded International Music Exchange Association (IMEA) in 2010 and worked as the president until 2015. IMEA organized many large international music and culture exchange-related activities, such as “Gulangyu 2011 Fall American Music Week,” “KU International Music Exchange Fall 2012 China Tour,” “2015 Shanghai Spring International Music Festival,” and other musical outreach programs.
Dr. Li also has been an active performer of solo and chamber music throughout the United States, China, and Europe. World premiers include famous composer David Maslanka‘s. David’s Book, A Carl Sandburg Reader. Some remarkable pieces were recorded by Albany Inc. in 2007- 2008 and released worldwide. Other premiere performances include A Concert of Premieres, Presidents’ Concert, etc. for various operas, choirs, and symphonies. Dr. Li has won many honors and prize awards in piano competitions such as 2007s Aria Concerto competition, and the Frist Prize winner of 2009s Kansas Music Teachers Association Collegiate Artist Competition.
Marilyn Schempp '79
Organ, Piano Instructor
Marilyn Schempp is an organ and beginning class piano instructor and chapel organist, while also maintaining a private piano studio in her home. As an adjudicator, she has judged for area Piano Guild auditions, the National Federation of Piano, Music Teachers National Association, and local festivals. Marilyn has served as a church musician for 38 years, directing handbells, youth and adult choirs, and playing organ. Schempp is an active member of the American Guild of Organists, where she has served as dean of the South Dakota chapter and director of their Organ Academy. From 2012-2018 she was elected to serve on the national council of the American Guild of Organists as the North Central Region Councillor, an eight-state region. She served as president of the local Music Teacher’s National Organization and as the competition chair for the state of South Dakota. For two years, she served as the regional secretary-treasurer for the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. Marilyn has performed on oboe, harpsichord, piano and organ with the South Dakota Symphony, has played oboe with the Sioux Falls Municipal Band, and accompanies high school and college students in competitions, juries and recitals. She received her bachelor of arts degree from Augustana University in both vocal and instrumental music, and her master of music degree in organ performance (with additional coursework in piano and harpsichord) from the University of South Dakota. Schempp accompanies the three Augustana choirs when requested to do so and serves on the planning committee for the annual Christmas Vespers programs. In 2017, Marilyn accompanied the Augustana Choir on their European Tour to Germany and Rome.
John Casey is a bass instructor at Augustana who started playing bass in high school in his hometown of Owatonna, Minnesota. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota, where he studied with Minnesota Orchestra bassist James Clute, and his master's degree in double bass performance from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., where he studied with Warren Benfield of the Chicago Symphony. After leaving school, he spent five seasons as assistant principal bass of the Phoenix Symphony, with three of the summers as an orchestral fellow at the Aspen Music School. He is now a member of the South Dakota Symphony, associate principal bass of the Sioux City Symphony, and principal bass of the Northwest Iowa Symphony.
Dr. Peter Folliard
Director of Orchestras
Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Dr. Peter J. Folliard holds undergraduate degrees in music education and instrumental performance from the University of North Texas; master’s degrees in instrumental performance and conducting from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University; and a doctor of musical arts degree in orchestral conducting from the Eastman School of Music. Dr. Folliard has held professional conducting positions with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, The United States Air Force Band and Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., and taught at the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam,where he served as interim director of orchestras.
In addition to his conducting career, Dr. Folliard maintains an active teaching and producing career. As a frequent guest instructor at Juilliard's Pre-College Division, he continues to coach bright young conductors and chamber musicians from all over the world. As a producer, Dr. Folliard has released over twenty audio and multimedia products, and has collaborated with outstanding artists, the most notable of which is the internationally-renowned soprano Renée Fleming.
Throughout his career Folliard has been recognized as an outstanding leader, performer and educator. The University of North Texas selected Folliard as its “Outstanding Member” and “Bandsman of the Year.” The military recognized Folliard for his “leadership, integrity, professionalism, team contribution and fellowship.” Eastman awarded him its prestigious Graduate Teaching Assistant Prize.
Dr. Folliard resides in Sioux Falls, SD with his wife, Jenn, their daughter, Mackenzie, and their little dog, Bella.
Geoff Gunderson is a guitar instructor at Augustana who began playing guitar when he was 10 years old and began playing professionally at age 14. During and after high-school he toured with Wakefield, a popular 1980’s rock band which was inducted into the SD Rock and Roll Music Association Hall of Fame in 2017.
Gunderson began the study of classical guitar in high school and eventually studied guitar at Augustana University and USD, from which he graduated in 1989. Gunderson has attended master classes and clinics by notable guitarists including the L.A. Guitar Quartet, Eliot Fisk, Pepe Romero, and others. In 1995,Gunderson underwent Suzuki training at t he South Carolina Suzuki Institute in Spartanburg, South Carolina, to specialize in teaching young children. In 2009 Gunderson traveled to Austin, Texas, for training and licensing in the Childbloom Guitar Program with Kevin Taylor, founder of the program. Gunderson is now the director of the Childbloom Guitar Program of Sioux Falls, designed for children age 5 and older which has earned him national awards.
Geoff has performed with the South Dakota Symphony, the Sioux City Symphony, the Sioux City “Rockestra” is the guitarist for the authenticbig band “Kickin’ Brass” and can frequently be found playing solo guitar at local venues. He teaches classical and contemporary guitar at Augustana University and Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. A lifelong resident of Sioux Falls, Gunderson lives with his wife, Erin, and has two grown daughters.
A native of Taipei, Taiwan, violinist, violist, and pianist Yi-Chun Lin has served as concertmaster of orchestras in New York, Taiwan, and music festivals worldwide. She has performed as soloist with the Texas Music Festival Orchestra, the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan, and the Akademische Orchester at the Gewanhaus concert hall in Leipzig. As the Associate Principal Second Violin at the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, she is also a passionate music educator and chamber musician.
Along with her quartets in the past, she has performed on WQXR radio station in New York, won the bronze medal at Fischoff competition, and received chamber music residency from various programs, such as the Banff Music Festival. Ms. Lin received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in violin performance from the Manhattan School of Music and the Mannes College in New York. In 2015, she received her doctorate from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Among the musicians who are important to her life, violinist Lucie Robert and Aaron Berofsky were mentors to her musical and inspirational journey. With a curious mind, Ms. Lin constantly looks for new dimensions in music through different types of musical and art projects.
Magdalena Modzelewska was born in Krakow, Poland, and started playing the violin at the age of six. After attending music schools designed for gifted, career-oriented musicians, she went to the Music Academy in Wroclaw, Poland where she got her Master’s Degree in violin performance in the class of Russian virtuoso Victor Kuzniecov. She also studied with Wanda Wilkomirska and Roman Lasocki. Modzelewska has extensive chamber music performance experience. She performed frequently at the 1998 European Mozart Academy, a seven week intensive chamber music program. In the years 1995 – 1998 she was a soloist with the Pressburger Kammersolisten, a touring chamber ensemble that gives performances in France, Germany and Switzerland throughout the year. She has also performed with Polish chamber orchestras, Wratislavia in Warsaw, and Ricordanza in Wroclaw, both of which are Poland’s premier chamber orchestras.
In 1994 Modzelewska participated in a special Polish-German Orchestral Project in Weimar, Germany. She has attended various summer music festivals in Europe, including the International Music Festival in Lancut, Poland and the Sevenoaks Summer Festival in England. Modzelewska has been a member of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and the Dakota String Quartet since 1998, she also taught violin at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, maintains a private teaching studio and is a certified Suzuki instructor. In 2002 she created a musical project Flower and Flame with the purpose of joining her artistic experiences from all over the world. She also enjoys playing Irish fiddle in “Maggie in the Meantime”, a group that she co-founded.
Maria Peters is a viola instructor who was born and raised in Poland, where she studied music and got her master's degree in performing and instrumental pedagogy from the Academy of Music in Wroclaw. After graduating, she spent over two years in Paris, France studying language and art. After returning to Poland, Peters started to work as a violin teacher in the State Music School in Olesnica. During this time, she was also studying management in Music and Culture Institutions. During this time, one of Peters’s students won the National Violin Award in the Janina Garcia Polish National Violin Competition. She was also an active member of European String Teachers Association and chairwoman for Solidarnosc (Solidarity).
Peters moved to Sioux Falls in 2001 and started to work primarily as a private violin and viola teacher, but also as an individual instrument instructor for the University of Sioux Falls (2002 - present) and Augustana University (2002 - 2007, 2012 - present). Maria teaches over 50 violin and viola students, many are involved in the South Dakota Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Dakota Academy for the Performing Arts.
She is married to Douglas Peters, and has one son, Maximilian.
Dr. Karren Melik-Stepanov
Cello Instructor/Chamber String Ensemble
Karren Melik-Stepanov is a cello instructor and directs the Chamber String Ensemble. He has appeared as a recitalist, a soloist and a chamber musician in America, Southern Europe, North Africa, the Baltic Republics and the Caucasian republics. In addition to playing with the leading chamber groups and being a principal of several orchestras in Russia, he was professor of music at the National Conservatory of Music in Baku (former USSR). Many of his former students are now pursuing musical careers in the USA, Spain, Germany, Russia, Mexico, Finland, the Baltic Republics, Israel and Armenia.
Melik-Stepanov earned his bachelor and master of music degrees with honors and also an artist’s diploma in cello performance. He later earned his D.M.A. degrees in cello performance and chamber music from Yerevan National Conservatory of Music, and he counts one of the greatest cellists in cello performance history, Mstislav Rostropovich, as his principal cello teacher.
Harp Instructor/Non-Western Music Instructor
Anna Vorhes teaches harp, non-western music and music appreciation. She has performed with civic symphonies of Aberdeen, Huron, Watertown, Rapid City, Brookings, Fargo and the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra. She is the principal harpist with the Sioux City Symphony and is a member of the South Dakota Symphony, serving as interim principal and currently as second harpist. She has performed with numerous community, college and secondary school choirs throughout the region.
Vorhes spent more than a decade as a South Dakota Arts Council touring artist. She is a member of the American Harp Society, a permanently nationally-certified teacher of music with the Music Teachers National Association, and has served various positions in the local, state and national organization. She organizes a harp ensemble concert every other year, with 25 to 40 harpists participating. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., with majors in music and psychology and a master of music degree in harp performance from the University of Arizona.
Director of Vocal Studies, Opera Theatre and Angelus
Dr. Lisa Grevlos is professor of music and director of vocal studies at Augustana University. She directs the Augustana Opera Workshop Theatre program, conducts the Augustana Women’s Choir — Angelus, and teaches in the areas of applied voice, vocal pedagogy, singer’s diction, and choral music education. Dr. Grevlos performs frequently as a soloist in the region for recitals, operas, oratorios, and musical theatre. She has been a guest soloist with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra in “A Night at the Opera,” the Brahms Requiem, and was the featured soprano vocalist with the Sioux Falls Municipal Band for 15 years. Recent engagements have included various roles in Sounds of South Dakota, Inc. concerts and opera productions and soprano soloist in the Augustana Choir and Orchestra's performance of the Brahms Requiem at the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science. She has been a regional finalist and scholarship recipient in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions and was a semi-finalist in the Denver Lyric Opera Guild Auditions.
Along with her duties at Augustana University, she is artistic director and past-president of Sounds of South Dakota, Inc. a non-profit organization whose mission is to connect South Dakota professional vocal artists in opera, recital, and musical theatre performance with regional audiences. In September 2012, she served as stage director for the Sounds of South Dakota, Inc. production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute," starring internationally acclaimed bass-baritone, Samuel Ramey, accompanied by the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra with Maestro Delta David Gier in the Mary Sommervold Hall of the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science. This production was awarded second prize in the National Opera Association’s 2012-13 Professional Opera Production Competition. Dr. Grevlos also serves as a frequent adjudicator and clinician throughout the Midwest. She is a member of Music Teachers National Association, American Choral Directors Association, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She has served as the high school and collegiate vocal competition chair for South Dakota Music Teachers' Association and currently serves as the soprano adjudicator for South Dakota American Choral Directors Association Honor Choir. She received the Doctorate of Arts degree in voice performance and opera stage directing from the University of Northern Colorado. She holds master of music degrees from Northwestern University, Evanston, in voice performance and choral conducting, and she completed her undergraduate degree in music education at Augustana.
Dr. John Pennington
Percussion Instructor/Global Music/Composition and Arranging
John Pennington is an educator, composer, performer, author, producer and conductor. Pennington is currently a professor of music at Augustana and is the artistic director of the Animas Music Festival (Durango, Colo.) He holds degrees from the University of Michigan, University of Arizona, and Arizona State. Pennington is an orchestral percussionist, who currently performs with the South Dakota Symphony and the Music in the Mountains Music Festival Orchestra. Pennington is currently a cultural envoy for the State Department in the Middle East (most recently Lebanon), where he presents concerts, clinics and masterclasses.
With over thirty recordings to date he has recorded for the Ensemble 21, Summit, Cristo, OCP, and Equilibrium labels. Recent recording releases include: Brasileirinho, South American Music for Guitar and Percussion (co-produced composed and arranged, 2010), Steps (co-produced composed and arranged, 2008), Music for Trumpet and Percussion with Stephen Dunn, Lou Harrison, American Gamelan (produced, conducted and performed, 2007), Compassionate and Wise (co-produced, composed and performed, 2006, Equilibrium Press). With performances on four continents and over 25 states he has performed on Prairie Home Companion and been a featured performer at three Percussive Arts Society International Conventions.
Active as a composer and arranger he has over 25 compositions for soloist, duo, chamber and films and dozens of arrangements for numerous instrumental and vocal combinations. Extensive studies in world music have included experience in African, Middle Eastern, Indonesian, Cuban and the South Indian Karnatak tradition. Recently, Pennington studied the Northern Hindustani tradition of music in Haridwar and Delhi, India and the Javanese and Balinese traditions of Indonesia.