Dr. Paul Nesheim Named Director of The Augustana Choir


Augustana College today announced that Dr. Paul Nesheim has been named associate professor of music and director of The Augustana Choir, the fifth in the Choir’s 90-year history.

He succeeds Dr. James Johnson, who was named principal conductor of Choral and Instrumental Ensembles for First Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls in summer 2011. For the 2011-12 academic year, Dr. Weston Noble, former long-time conductor of the Luther College Nordic Choir, has served as interim Choir director.

Dr. Nesheim most recently served as associate professor of music and director of choral activities at Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he conducted three choirs and taught choral conducting. He also served as artistic director of the Fargo-Moorhead Chamber Chorale and the conductor of the Senior Choir at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Moorhead.

“Dr. Nesheim brings rich experience and accomplishment, but what really impressed the search committee was the way he worked with faculty colleagues and with students. Colleagues appreciated his creativity and commitment to collaborative work. Students were impressed with his passionate energy, his commitment to precision, and his deep understanding of the mission of The Augustana Choir to bring a “sermon in song” to every audience member. I think we have found a gem,” said Dr. Richard Swanson, chair of the Humanities Division and professor of Religion/ Philosophy/Classics.

Dr. Nesheim has served on the faculties of Concordia College in Moorhead and Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. He has held positions conducting high school, church, and community choirs in Minnesota, California, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Arizona.

He 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 has studied conducting with Maurice Skones, Douglas McEwen, Kenneth Jennings and Miles Johnson. Nesheim is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, and is a frequent clinician and guest conductor for high school festivals and honor choirs.

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.