In the News: Augustana Choirs Raise Breast Cancer Awareness

Augustana music department pink ribbon tee

Augustana's choral ensembles worked together to raise awareness for breast cancer while two conductors' wives battled the disease.

Near the start of classes last fall, breast cancer that was once in remission returned to Sarah Svenningsen and Martha Nesheim, wives of Collegiate Chorale conductor Dr. Russell Svenningsen and Augustana Choir conductor Dr. Paul Nesheim. Paul Nesheim missed the Augustana Christmas Vespers performances in December to take care of his wife. Afterward, his students brought the concert to his house, singing Christmas carols outside.

Unfortunately, Martha passed away in January.

In memory of Martha and in honor of Sarah, former Collegiate Chorale member and December 2014 graduate Ali Ramsley designed a t-shirt with a pink breast cancer ribbon made out of musical notes, which the music department sold to students, faculty and staff. Now the shirts are available online, with proceeds going to Susan G. Komen South Dakota. The nonprofit organization highlighted the fundraising effort this week on its blog. Read the full story.

Watch the KSFY story about the Augustana Choir singing at the Nesheims' home: