Following Tour of Germany and Italy, The Augustana Choir Presents Home Concert

Augustana choir members performing in Germany

During their January 2017 tour, members of the Augustana Choir performed at the "Castle Church" (shown above) in Wittenberg, Germany, where Martin Luther hung his "95 Theses" in 1517. The Choir will perform its tour program on Sunday, Feb. 12, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church.

Event Details

Date: February 12, 2017

Times: 3 p.m.

Location: Our Savior's Lutheran Church

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

Purchase tickets

Following its J-term tour of Germany and Italy, The Augustana Choir will present a home concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. Dr. Paul Nesheim will conduct. The concert will feature organist Marilyn Schempp.

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

About the Tour

In Germany, the Choir performed to large large crowds in Berlin, Potsdam, Genthin, Leipzig and Wittenberg, as well as in Assisi and Rome.  See photos from the tour.

Highlights of the tour included a return visit to Sioux Falls’ Sister City of Potsdam where the Choir kicked off the “City and Church” celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The Choir filled every pew, leaving standing room only at the impressive St. Nikolai Church and leading the local evening news. The concert was also broadcast live on Berlin area public television. While in Berlin, the Choir performed in the Kaiser Wilhelm Church adjacent to the square in which the Christmas terrorist attack took place.

Nesheim led the group in “Evensong” at Wittenberg’s “Castle Church” where Martin Luther hung his “95 Theses” in 1517. The Choir sang to a sizeable house at St. Nikolai Kirche in Leipzig, site of the “Peaceful Revolution,” and participated in masses both at the St. Francis Basilica in Assisi and at St. Peter’s in Rome. The Choir’s repertoire includes works by J.S. Bach, Johannes Brahms and Felix Mendelssohn as well as John Rutter, Walter Pelz, Ben Allaway, Samuel Barber and F. Melius Christiansen.

While abroad, Choir members participated in a course led by Rev. Dr. Paul Rohde, campus pastor, titled “Living Reformation,” exploring the protestant reformation.

“It is one thing to sing the great music of the church. It is another thing to walk in the world that produced it,” Rohde said of the experience.

Brad Heegel '76, administrative director of the Performing and Visual Arts, called the experience life-changing.

“Martin Luther was a pivotal character in the 16th century reformation and students were able to see each arena of his vocation — church, school, home and city —  and marvel at the complexity of the historical context he engaged,” he said.

“As singers, students know that Bach is one of the greatest composers in history. Yet, to hear his music on period instruments and sing it in St Thomas Church, the acoustical space in which he worked for 27 years, was life-changing.”

— Brad Heegel '76
Administrative Director of the Performing & Visual Arts

While in Germany students and scholars explored the engagement of contexts, theology, and music which challenged church, social, political and economic structures to reform. Their travel in Italy expanded the horizons of reform as they studied and sang the witness of St. Francis illustrating monasticism as a reform movement within church and world that preceded the Reformation by centuries. In Rome, students pondered the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification and the words of Pope Francis to explore resources for reform and renewal today.

Tour Photos

The Augustana Choir's 2017 Tour of Germany and Italy

About the Conductor

Dr. Paul Nesheim is associate professor of music and director of The Augustana Choir, the fifth in the Choir’s 90-year history. He began his work with Augustana on August 1, 2012, and has already made history by leading The Augustana Choir on its first January Interim Tour. This tour included performances in five European countries: Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria.

Nesheim brings rich experience and accomplishment, and the college appreciates his creativity and commitment to collaborative work. Students are impressed with his passionate energy, his commitment to precision, and his deep understanding. He 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. 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.

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.