Students and Faculty Collaborate on Album "Happy Together"

Augustana String Quartet

The Augustana String Quartet, a performance group of undergraduate students, debuted a new album of contemporary/pop string quartet music titled "Happy Together." The album is available on Spotify, Google Play, Apple Music/iTunes, Amazon Music and more.

It's not a regular occurrence for undergraduate students to record an album and even more unique for their work to reach a global audience. Accounting master's major and violinist Emily Stjernholm said, "One of the reasons I've loved my time playing with the quartet is that even though I'm not a music major, the quartet allowed me to pursue making music in a way that I would otherwise not been able to do. Recording the album was a really exciting and intense experience. It was an awesome affirmation of all the hard work we put in throughout the year."

Recorded in Augustana's Studio 47, the album was made possible due to the facilities and equipment funded by a grant from the Oliver Innovation Fund, which was established following the retirement of former Augustana President Rob Oliver.

"The Oliver Innovation Fund is a unique opportunity for Augustana staff to pursue creative projects to enhance the learning experience of our students," said AU President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. "In turn, we hope these unique experiences inspire students to make meaningful impacts across the globe."

The Augustana String Quartet's album, "Happy Together," features arrangements by student violinist James Schrag and conductor Dr. Peter J. Folliard. The album was recorded, edited, mixed and mastered by Folliard. Student performers included James Schrag and Emily Stjernholm on the violins, Nathan Johnson on viola, and Annabelle Lecy on the cello. Instructor and organist Marilyn Schempp lent her talents on one track, as well.

Reflecting on his inspiration to record the album, Dr. Folliard shared, "I believe recording is essential to building a legacy at Augustana. A legacy is important to build attraction to our programs when we show the world what the possibilities are at Augustana. We are here in Sioux Falls but now the world can hear us on platforms available across the globe."

The Augustana String Quartet will perform (as part of the Augustana Chamber Orchestra) at the Viking Days Worship service on Sunday, Oct. 13, at 10 a.m. at AU's Chapel of Reconciliation. The service is open to the public.

About Peter J. Folliard

An award-winning conductor and educator, Dr. Peter J. Folliard has held conducting positions with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and The United States Air Force Band and Symphony Orchestra, and taught at prestigious institutions including the Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, and Crane School of Music.

Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Dr. 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.

As the director of orchestras at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Dr. Folliard leads the Augustana Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra in the full spectrum of the orchestral repertoire.

For more information about Dr. Folliard, visit his website at