The School of Music invites all students to participate, whether they are music majors or not. Auditions are held for all major ensembles, and the community is invited to attend our music performances. If you are interested in being a part of one of our many music ensembles, we welcome you!

Major Ensembles

Music majors (with the exception of piano or organ majors) are required to participate in a large ensemble every semester they reside on campus. Piano and organ majors participate in accompanying and solo performance opportunities in recitals and concerts.

  • The Augustana Band — This 50-piece concert ensemble under the direction of Dr. Christopher Unger performs in many area venues and at special events, and it tours internationally every four years. The most recent tour of the Band was a January 2019 tour of China.
  • The Augustana Choir — 60 singers bring sacred choral music of the highest caliber to people around the region, nation and world under the direction of Dr. Paul Nesheim. The Choir toured Germany and Italy in January 2017.
  • The Augustana Orchestra Under the direction of Dr. Peter Folliard, the Orchestra is a valuable training ground for orchestral musicians while producing high quality and exciting musical performances. Their repertoire consists of major works and overtures, as well as traditional, contemporary, and popular literature for the orchestra.  Community members are eligible to join the group as well, based upon audition and availability.

  • Northlanders Jazz Band — Founded in 1953, the Northlanders perform for many campus and community events, as well in the annual Jazz on the Upper Great Plains Festival. Dr. Brian Hanegan conducts.
  • The Augustana String Quartet   A performance group of undergraduate students perform and record to reach a global audience.

  • Blue & Gold Band — More than 40 student musicians and 70 community members rehearse weekly to perform several concerts during the year.  
  • Angelus Choir — This 44-member, treble-voice choir performs joint concerts with the University Chorale and The Augustana Choir and participates in Christmas Vespers and sings for daily chapel. Dr. Lisa Grevlos conducts Angelus.
  • The University Chorale — The 36 voices in this choir present a major concert each year and perform in joint concerts with The Augustana Choir and Angelus Choir. They also perform during the annual Christmas Vespers services. The Chorale is directed by Dr. Russell Svenningsen.

Chamber Ensembles

  • Chamber Choir — This choir includes selected voices of the Augustana Choir. Dr. Paul Nesheim conducts.
  • Opera Theatre Workshop — Scenes and/or full operas are performed during this course offered each semester. Dr. Lisa Grevlos directs.
  • Augustana Jazz Combo — Selected jazz musicians make up this tight combo that performs on and off campus.
  • Jazz Lab — For less experienced jazz musicians, this group introduces students to improvisation and jazz repertoire.
  • Brass Choir — This group actively contributes to the campus and community in musical performances and at religious events.  Dr. Christopher Unger conducts.

Keyboard Programs

Augustana offers many opportunities in the area of piano for music majors and non-majors, including courses in applied study, piano pedagogy, piano literature, and experiences in accompanying, ensemble work and more.

Other Instrumental Programs and Ensembles

  • Pep Band
  • Piano Ensemble
  • Clarinet Choir
  • Trombone Choir
  • Percussion Ensemble
  • Mallet Ensemble
  • Flute Choir
  • Woodwind Quintet
  • String Chamber Ensemble
  • Saxophone Quartet
  • Brass Quintet
  • Guitar
  • Symphony Chorus (in conjunction with the South Dakota Symphony)

Many of our students have the opportunity to travel nationally — and even internationally — as part of performance tours.