Band Concert to Feature Music by American Composers

Augustana Band to perform on Thursday, April 20, 2017.

Event Details

Date: April 20, 2017

Times: 7:30 p.m. | A reception for Dr. Bruce Ammann and Vance Shoemaker, both retiring from the Augustana music department, will follow the concert in the lobby of the Washington Pavilion

Location: Washington Pavillion, 301 S. Main in downtown Sioux Falls

Ticket Info: Tickets range in price from $15-$20 and are free for students K-12 and those with a valid Augie ID.

Reserve tickets at

Augustana Performing and Visual Arts proudly presents the Augustana Band and the Blue & Gold Band in an “All American” concert at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 20,  in the Mary Sommervold Hall at the Washington Pavilion.

The concert will feature more than 150 musicians and a special salute to Dr. Bruce Ammann, former director of bands, and Vance Shoemaker, adjunct trombone professor — both retiring from the Augustana music department at the end of the academic year.

Together, Ammann and Shoemaker have served the University for more than 56 years.

Tickets range in price from $15-$20 and are free for students K-12 and those with a valid Augie ID. Tickets are available at

The Blue & Gold Band, now in its 28th year, is led by Bob Goheen. Previously known as the College & Commnity Band, the group was founded by Ammann in 1989, the year he joined the Augustana faculty. The Blue & Gold Band will inspire the audience with:

  • "To Challenge the Sky" and "Heavens Above" by Robert W. Smith
  • "American Salute" by Morton Gould
  • “When the Stars Begin to Fall" by Robert Sheldon
  • "The Cowboys" by John Williams
  • "The Thunderer" by John Phillip Sousa, conducted by Dr. Bruce Ammann

The Augustana Band, conducted by Dr. Christopher Unger, recently appeared before the South Dakota Bandmaster’s Convention in Brookings, South Dakota.

The Band will perform additional selections including:

  • "California" by David Maslanka
  • "Bugler’s Holiday" by Leroy Anderson
  • "Old Home Days" by Charles Ives
  • "Foundry" by John Mackey, featuring 12 percussionists
  • "Hounds of Spring," conducted by Dr. Bruce Ammann, in honor of the first number he conducted on stage with the Augustana Band in 1989

Following the concert, a reception in honor of Ammann and Shoemaker will be held in the lobby of the Washington Pavilion. All are invited to attend.

About the Conductors

Dr. Bruce Ammann

Bruce AmmannAmmann served as director of the Augustana Band and is now a full-time professor of music. He teaches advanced conducting, woodwind pedagogy and applied saxophone. He is an active adjudicator and clinician throughout the country. He has directed all-state bands in Minnesota, Arizona, Colorado and Rhode Island. He has presented clinics at several state music educators’ conventions, along with presenting clinic sessions at a College Band Directors National Association Regional Conference, a Music Educators National Conference and at the Mid-West Band Clinic. He has directed festival bands in Europe and has led the Augustana Band on three successful tours of Asia (1999, 2003, 2007) and Egypt in 2011.

Ammann served on the faculties of Arizona State University and the University of Florida and taught for eight years in the public schools of Arizona. Ammann holds a doctor of musical arts degree in instrumental conducting from Arizona State University, a master of music degree in saxophone performance, and a bachelor of music education degree from the University of Arizona.

Vance Shoemaker

Vance ShoemakerShoemaker is trombone and euphonium instructor and director the trombone choir. He is principal trombonist with the South Dakota Symphony and principal trombonist with the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra. He performs with the Sioux City Symphony, Sioux City and LeMars Municipal Bands and spent six summers with the Kansas Lyric Opera Company summer series. He participates in the Brass Section, a professional brass quintet that performs throughout the region.

Shoemaker has been a member of the backup bands for the following artists: Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Bob Dylan, Liberace, Victor Borge, The Carpenters, Hal Lynden, Chet Atkins, Glen Campbell, Bobby Vinton, Mel Torme, Myron Floren, and Buddy Morrow. He is founder of the Siouxland Trombone Festival, which has featured such well known trombonists as Joseph Alessi, principal trombonist with the New York Philharmonic. He is a graduate of Morningside College (Sioux City, Iowa).

Dr. Christopher Unger

Dr. Christopher UngerUnger was named the fifth 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, 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, 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, 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, Unger won the American Prize in Conducting in the Wind Ensemble Division (2013).

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.

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.

Bob Goheen

For 28 years Goheen served as the director of bands at Brandon Valley High School in Brandon, South Dakota. Under his direction the concert bands, jazz bands, and marching band consistently received awards and superior ratings at music competitions in the tri-state area. Under his guidance the Brandon Valley High School marching band performed and competed in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Kansas City, Missouri, Orlando, Florida, Portland, Oregon, Hollywood, California, Washington, D.C., and NewYork City at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. The Brandon Valley Symphonic Band was invited to perform at the South Dakota Bandmasters Conference four times under his direction.

Educated at Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota, Goheen received his Bachelor of Science degree in music education (1972) and his Master of Music degree in percussion performance (1976). Before coming to Brandon Valley he taught for 10 years in Minnesota in the Granada-Huntley, Westbrook, and Jackson school districts. In 2000 he was recognized by the School Band and Orchestra Magazine as one of 50 influential band directors who have made a difference in the United States.

Past awards include the 1993 Phi Beta Mu Music Fraternity’s Outstanding Band Director Award, the 1998 Brandon Valley School’s Teacher of the Year Award, the 2010 Phi Beta Mu Distinguished Service Award, the 2011 South Dakota Music Educators Association Distinguished Service to Music Award, and induction into the South Dakota Bandmasters Hall of Fame. Goheen currently holds memberships in the Phi Beta Mu music fraternity and the South Dakota Bandmasters Association where he served as president from 2003-2005. Since retiring in 2010 he has been active as a clinician and adjudicator, working with elementary, middle school, and high school students throughout the tri-state area. He also works for South Dakota State University as a student teacher university supervisor in the Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Department.