Department of Music Awards for 2017-18

On May 6, 2018, students and faculty from the Department of Music convened to honor student musical and scholastic achievement in the 2017-18  academic year.
The following is a list of the honorees:

Pi Kappa Lambda inductees (National Music Honorary Society):  Jackson Roush, Crown Point, Ind. (senior music composition and computer science major) and Erica Heggeland, Naperville, Ill. (senior music education major)

Norman Hannewald Brass Chair:  Eric Mueller, Houston, Texas (junior civil engineering major)

Betty Gehring String Awards:  Jayde Plaza, Dallas, Texas (senior music major); Julie Howe, Crown Point, Ind. (junior music major); and Jackson Roush

Reidenbach Church Music Award:  Hannah Koby, Kent, Ohio (senior church music major)

June DeForest Award for Excellence in Violin Performance:  Victoria Pankow, Lisle, Ill. (sophomore music major)

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Scholastic Award:  Paul Flaten, Sioux Falls, S.D.  (senior electrical engineering major)

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Collegiate Honor Award: Jared Coller, Jasper, Ind. (senior music major)

Sigma Alpha Iota Scholastic Award:  Axandra Smalley, Rockford, Ill.  (senior computer engineering major)

Sigma Alpha Iota Collegiate Honor Award: Meghan LaCroix, Fort Wayne, Ind.  (senior music education major)
Sigma Alpha Iota Senior Awards:  Jared Coller and Jayde Plaza


Valparaiso Celebrates 20 years of Sousa Tribute Concerts

Valparaiso University’s concert bands, under the baton of Professor Jeffrey Scott Doebler, will present the 20th annual Sousa Tribute Concert.  The concert will feature the monumental Stubernic Fantasy, with three virtuosos playing on the same marimba. Soloists include guest marimbist and composer Mark Ford, from University of North Texas; John Coller, band teacher from Jasper, Indiana; and Jared Coller, senior music major. Other repertoire on the concert includes Johan de Meij’s first symphony The Lord of the RingsThe Force of Destiny by Giuseppe Verdi, The Pines of the Appian Way by Ottorino Respighi, and two arias sung by faculty soprano Emily Yiannias. The concert is at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 5 in the Chapel of the Resurrection.  Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors/non-Valpo students, and free to Valpo students, faculty and staff .

Symphony Orchestra, Chorale, Bach Choir, and Faculty Soloists to Perform

The Valparaiso University Symphony Orchestra, Bach Choir, and the Valparaiso University Chorale will join forces for a final concert of the year. The program will open with Sibelius’ Finlandia,  conducted by senior music and engineering major, Alison Norris.  Katharina Uhde, Assistant Professor of Music, will be the featured soloist in Joseph Joachim’s Irish Fantasy — a lost work that she re-discovered as part of her ongoing research into the composer.  The orchestra will be featured in Frank Ferko’s (Valpo, ’71) Mysterium, and the concert will conclude with Samuel Barber’s setting of the Prayers of Kierkegaard for chorus and orchestrawith faculty soloists Emily Yiannias, soprano, and Christopher M. Cock, tenor and conductor of the Chorale.  The orchestra is conducted by Dennis Friesen-Carper, Reddel Professor of Music.  The concert is at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 6 in the Chapel of the Resurrection.  Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors/non-Valpo students, and free to Valpo students, faculty and staff.

Civitas, Chamber Ensemble-in-Residence

Sun, March 25, 2:00 p.m.
Duesenberg Recital Hall, Center for the Arts
Free Admission, open to the public

Founded in 2011, Civitas is a chamber music ensemble with a threefold mission: to present engaging live performances of new and traditional works; to inspire a young generation of classical musicians; and to bring the healing power of music to those with limited access to live performances.

The 2017-18 season marks the seventh year of Civitas Ensemble’s tenure as the Ensemble-in-Residence at Valparaiso University’s Department of Music, where its members perform concerts, coach students in the many aspects of music making, and act as role models for these aspiring young musicians.

Civitas will perform an all-Debussy program to honor the 100th Anniversary of his death. Program will include music by Debussy and music by composers who were directly influenced by him.

Debussy Violin Sonata

Debussy Premiere Rhapsodie

Debussy Images Book II

Stravinsky Suite Italienne

Stravinsky L’Histoire du soldat

To learn more about the Civitas Ensemble, check out their website.

Wolfgang Rübsam to play J.S. Bach Birthday Celebration, March 21

Guest Artist Recital: Music of J.S. Bach
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Chapel of the Resurrection
Performed on the Fred and Ella Reddel Memorial Organ
Free admission, open to the public

The German-born American organist, pianist and pedagogue, Wolfgang Rübsam has made extensive tours as organ virtuoso, and he performs frequently in major international festivals and concert halls, including the Los Angeles Bach Festival; Wiener Festwochen, Vienna; Lahti International Organ Festival, Finland; Royal Festival Hall, London; Alice Tully Hall, New York, and others. He conducts master-classes in Europe and the USA, both in interpretation of early and romantic organ repertoire, and interpretation of the keyboard music of J.S. Bach. He has served on the juries for international competitions, such as the Grand Prix de Chartres and the Lahti International Organ Competition in Finland.

Wolfgang Rübsam is internationally known through his highly acclaimed recordings of organ works from the Baroque and Romantic periods. He has published more than 130 recordings, including two recordings of the complete organ works by Johann Sebastian Bach, the complete organ works of Dietrich Buxtehude, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, César Franck, Louis Vierne, and Jehan Alain, as well as recordings of Franz Liszt, Johann Pachelbel, and Max Reger. Currently, he is completing a recording of the 20 organ sonatas of Josef Rheinberger. In addition, he has recorded a major part of the keyboard works of J.S. Bach on modern Bösendorfer pianos.

In addition to his musical career, Wolfgang Rübsam is working as a licensed barber with barber shops in Saarbrücken, Germany, and Valparaiso, Indiana.

Valparaiso University Hosts 33rd Annual Jazz Fest

The Tierney Sutton Band Headlines April 6 Concert

Valparaiso University will host the 2018 Jazz Fest April 2–6 with an array of exciting performances by talented artists, including local performers as well as The Tierney Sutton Band featuring Tierney Sutton, vocals, Don Braden, composer/arranger/tenor saxophone soloist, and The Bill Boris Trio.

Featured Jazz Fest events:

  • Local high school bands — Monday, April 2, 6 p.m., Harre Union Ballrooms. Admission is free and on a first-come, first-seated basis.
  • Swing and Dance Night featuring the Valparaiso University Jazz Ensemble and special guests Maura Janton Cock, vocals, and the Valparaiso University Ballroom Dance Team — Tuesday, April 3, 7:30 p.m., Harre Union Ballrooms. Tickets cost $15 for the general public; $10 for seniors and non-Valpo students; and are free to Valpo students, faculty, staff and card-carrying members of the Valparaiso Concert Association.
  • Local high school bands with a special performance by the Valparaiso University Faculty Jazz Trio, the Northwest Indiana Jazz Educators Big Band, and special guest Don Braden, tenor saxophone — Wednesday, April 4, 6 p.m., Harre Union Ballrooms. Admission is free and on a first-come, first-seated basis.
  • Valparaiso University Jazz Ensemble, directed by Jeffrey C. Brown, with special guest Don Braden, tenor saxophone — Thursday, April 5, 7:30 p.m., Harre Union Ballrooms. Tickets cost $10 for the general public; $8 for seniors and Valparaiso University retirees and alumni; and are free to Valpo students, faculty, and staff.
  • Jazz Festival Concert with The Tierney Sutton Band featuring Tierney Sutton, vocals, and opening act The Bill Boris Trio — Friday, April 6, 7:30 p.m., Harre Union Ballrooms. Evening hosted by The Lembke Family Endowment. Tickets cost $25 for the general public; $20 for seniors and Valpo retirees, alumni, faculty and staff; and $5 for Valpo students.

An eight-time Grammy nominee, Tierney Sutton has received a “Best Jazz Vocal Album” Grammy nod for each project she has released in the past decade. Sutton has fronted The Tierney Sutton Band since 1993, collaborating with instrumental virtuosos Christian Jacob, Trey Henry, Kevin Axt and Ray Brinker. In 2011, the group received a Grammy nomination for their collaborative arranging, the only band to receive this honor.

The Bill Boris Trio features jazz guitarist Bill Boris, who has taught at Columbia College Chicago as a jazz guitar instructor and ensemble director since 2001. Boris performs regularly throughout the Chicago area, and he previously led workshops at the Pescara Conservatory in Pescara, Italy.

Don Braden has toured globally for more than 30 years and is known as an exciting and interactive jazz soloist, a creative and prolific composer, a passionate and energetic educator and a specialist at arranging and performing classic popular songs in modern jazz style.

Tickets will be available on the Harre Union website March 1 and in person at the Harre Union Welcome Desk beginning March 6.


Faculty voice recital features music of Norway

Sunday, February 18, 2018
Duesenberg Recital Hall, 2:00 p.m.

Adjunct Instructor of Music Anne Marie Bice and guest pianist Christina Giuca Krause will present a recital of songs by Norwegian composers Thrane, Bull, Cormontan, Grieg, Backer-Grøndahl and Nordraak.  The recital is free of charge and open to the public.


The Epic Film Music tradition continues

Saturday, February 10, 2018
VU Chamber Concert Band
VHS Wind Symphony
Chapel of the Resurrection, 7:30 p.m.


“It’s our seventh year of collaborating to present epic film music in the Chapel. As you think about memorable movies, you can probably also recall the compelling music composed especially for each. The music is expressive and helps tell the story,” remarks Dr. Jeffrey Doebler.  The concert will feature the VU Chamber Concert Band, as well as the Valparaiso High School Wind Symphony and Concert Choir.  Music includes John Williams’ Midway March, J.S. Bach’s A Mighty Fortress is Our God, the music of Harry Potter, and Rober Jager’s Concerto No. 2 featuring current VU music student Erica Heggeland on alto saxophone.

Please join the over 145 Valparaiso musicians on Saturday for this performance, which is free and open to the public.

Spring 2018 Chorale Tour

After a remarkable Reformation 500th anniversary concert tour in Germany this fall, which included an appearance as the only international ensemble invited to perform at the Castle Church in Wittenberg and a performance with the world famous boy’s choir the Thomanerchor at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, the Chorale will be performing in Grand Rapids, Mich., and throughout the southeastern U.S. on their 2018 Spring Tour.

Following a February 25 appearance in Grand Rapids and a concert in the Chapel of the Resurrection, the Chorale will begin a tour of the coast at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. and continue to Orlando, presenting a program featuring works by Herbert Howells, Eric Whitacre, Leonard Bernstein, and many others.

We invite you to join the Chorale on this tour and to delight in the voices that rang in the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in some of the most historic parts of Germany.

Details about the Chorale’s 2018 Spring Tour, as well as stories about the Germany tour, can be found at You can also contact us at

2018 Spring Tour:

Sunday, February 25
Basilica of Saint Adalbert
Grand Rapids, Mich.
4:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 1
Chapel of the Resurrection
Valparaiso, Ind.
7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 2: Evensong
Washington National Cathedral
Washington, D.C.
5:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 3
Christ Lutheran Church
Roanoke, Va.
7:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 4
First Presbyterian Church
Wilmington, N.C.
5:00 p.m.

Monday, March 5
Ascension Lutheran Church
Charlotte, N.C.
7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, March 6
Basilica of St. Lawrence
Asheville, N.C.
7:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 8
St. Johannes Lutheran Church
Charleston, S.C.
7:00 p.m.

Friday, March 9
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
Jacksonville, Fla.
7:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 10
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
Orlando, Fla.
6:00 p.m.

Valpo Symphony Orchestra, Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.

Join us on February 17th at 7:30 p.m.- the Symphony Orchestra will perform its annual concerto competition concert. Brahms Variations on a Theme by Haydn and Wagner Prelude to Act I of Die Meistersinger will be on the program. We’re delighted that this year’s concerto winner is VUSO percussionist, Courtney Hale, who will perform Brazilian composer Ney Rosauro’s first marimba concerto. The concert will also feature music from the film trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.

Lutheran Summer Music at Valpo University this summer

We are pleased to share that LSM Academy and Festival 2018 will take place on the Valparaiso University campus this summer from July 1-29.  Even more exciting is that Jeffrey Doebler, Stacy Maugans, Benjamin Krause, and Sunghee Kim will be on faculty with LSM this summer.

Lutheran Summer Music (LSM) is a residential performance and training program for young musicians grades 8-12. LSM is hosted on different Lutheran college and university campuses each summer. Join over 25 nationally recognized faculty artists and a team of dedicated counselors in a supportive, academic community.

Faculty Recital – Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.

Claire Happel Ashe, harp
Karisa Antonio, oboe
Duesenberg Recital Hall, Center for the Arts
Free Admission, open to the public

Birtwistle, Harrison —- 26 Orpheus Elegies

Ashe, Whitney —- The Long Way

Carter, Elliott —- Trilogy

  1. Bariolage
  2. Inner Song

III. Immer Neu

Hindemith, Paul —- Sonate für die Harfe

  1. Mässig schnell
  2. Lebhaft

III. Sehr Langsam

Fisk, Douglas —- Queens Etudes

Birtwistle, Harrison —- 26 Orpheus Elegies

Valpo faculty and alumni at King’s College

Professor of Music and Director of Valpo’s Cambridge program, Dr. Lorraine Brugh, was in attendance at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College in Cambridge, England on Christmas Eve, 2017.  The service is one of the most famous Christmas Eve services around the globe, and only about 25% of the people who queued up received a ticket for entry.  She was joined by her husband, Gary, as well as Lecturer in Theology Dr. David Weber and Valparaiso music alumnus Luke Tegtmeier, VU ’05.

Their experience was featured in the Cambridge News.


Advent and Christmas Musical Performances

Valpo’s choral and instrumental ensembles once again will give voice to the joy and mystery of the Advent and Christmas seasons.  Each year, traditions such as the Christmas Concert, Advent-Christmas Vespers, and Julefest bring the campus together for cherished musical celebrations throughout the month of December.

Christmas Concert: A Carol Festival

Fri., Dec. 1, at 7:30p
Sat., Dec. 2, at 5:00p

Chapel of the Resurrection

*Ticketed Event: $15 adult, $10 senior/non-Valpo students, free to Valpo students, faculty and staff.  Call the Box Office at 219.464.5162 to check seat availability and to purchase individual tickets in advance. Tickets may also be purchased online.


Sun., Dec 3, at 1:00p

Chapel of the Resurrection

Free Admission, open to the public



Sun., Dec 3, at 3:15pmas

Chapel of the Resurrection

Free Admission, open to the public


Advent-Christmas Vespers

Fri., Dec 8, at 7:00p and 10:00p

Chapel of the Resurrection

Free Admission, tickets required (Contact the Chapel at 464-7956)


Homecoming Choral Concert to Feature World Premiere

The Valparaiso University Homecoming Choral Concert will kick off the campus Reformation observance with the premiere of Into the Light by composer Jake Runestad, a choral and orchestral piece commissioned by the university. The program will also include a performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cantata 80: Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott.

The concert, at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30 in the Chapel of the Resurrection, will feature performances by the Valparaiso University Chorale, Women’s Choir, Men’s Ensemble, and Bach Choir and Orchestra.

Into the Light was commissioned to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. “It is my hope that this new work Into the Light allows us to be immersed in the wisdom of some of the most important and influential reformers in history, and challenges us to consider how we can move beyond fear and onto a path of love, compassion and kindness,” Runestad said.

After its premiere at the university, this composition will also be performed by the Chorale during their 500th Anniversary of the Reformation tour in Germany this October.

Tickets for this performance are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and non-Valparaiso University students. The concert is free to Valpo faculty, staff and students. For tickets or more information,  contact us at or 219.464.6950.

Gala Concert at Millennium Park

Do you know who is playing on this stage on September 17?

Our very own Valparaiso University Chamber Concert Band, Luce Concert Band, and Community/University Band with Windiana conducted by Dr. Jeffrey Doebler! They will be part of the massed band of 500 wind players who are joined by top notch instrumentalists, singers, dancers from China, US, India, as well as a traditional Chinese orchestra of 80 US students and a massed chorus of 500 singers.
Please join us for the concert at Pritzker Pavilion of the Millennium Park in downtown Chicago at 2:30 pm on Sunday, Sept. 17. The concert, titled Friendship Lasts Forever,  is proudly sponsored by CIVU as part of its celebration for the 10th anniversary of the Great Lakes Confucius Institute Music Festival. Admission is free.

German Organist to Offer Lunchtime Recital

Stefan Palm, the Recktor of the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik in Rottenburg-am-Neckar, will be in residence for three days at Valparaiso University, and conclude his visit with a lunchtime organ recital at the Chapel of the Resurrection at 12:30 p.m on Friday, September 22.  All are welcome to this free afternoon performance.  


The Hochschule für Kirchenmusik is one of three study abroad programs Valpo sponsors in the Germany, and provides church music students from either institution the opportunity for intensive study at the partner school.


Faculty Jazz Trio to Perform with Acclaimed Chicago Vocalist

The Faculty Jazz Trio will perform in the University Theatre on Wednesday, September 20, at 7:30 p.m.  The program is free of charge.

Members of the trio include Jeffrey C. Brown (percussion), Alex Austin (bass), and Roger Harris (piano).  The trio will be joined by guest vocalist Kimberley Gordon.  Chicago native Kimberly Gordon has been a part of the national jazz scene for twenty-five years, playing top venues and receiving high acclaim from critics and musicians alike. During her five year stint in New York City, she was Artist in Residence at Smalls and Cleopatra’s Needle also singing at The Village Vanguard, Bradley’s, Sweet Basil and other top venues. Kimberly has shared the stage with Jazz legends such as Wynton Marsalis and The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Betty Carter, Roy Hargrove, Harry”Sweets” Edison, Marcus Roberts, Frank Hewitt, Barry Harris, Captain Jack McDuff, John Hicks, Von Freeman, and countless others. In her hometown, Chicago, Kimberly just finished up a 10 year run as Artist in Residence at the world renowned Green Mill Jazz Club.

Visiting Professor to Offer Multicultural Recital, Masterclass

The Valparaiso University Department of Music welcomes George Wolfe  as Visiting Instructor in Music for Fall 2017. Dr. Wolfe is Professor Emeritus at Ball State University where he taught saxophone performance and chamber music for 32 years. He has performed extensively throughout the United States and has also concertized in Europe, Cyprus, Costa Rica, Canada, India, Korea and Japan.He holds a Performance Certificate from Indiana University where he studied with Eugene Rouseau and Daniel Deffayet. He has taught as an artist-in-residence at Arizona State University, Klagenfurt Conservatory (Austria), the University of Saskatchewan (Canada), and at the University of San Jose in Costa Rica.

He and pianist James Helton will give a program of multi-cultural music for saxophone and piano in Duesenberg Recital Hall at 2 pm on Sunday, September 24, to be followed by a clinic and masterclass for local saxophone students. Music on the recital is inspired by flamenco guitar, South Indian classical music, tangos from Argentina, Japanese Shakuhachi music, and American Jazz and ragtime.

Professor Receives International Award

Christopher Cock, professor of music, was awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany in recognition of the “exceptional service” he has rendered to German-American relations in the field of music.

This award was announced prior to the Fall 2017 tour of the University Chorale to Germany. The University Chorale has been invited as the only international choir to perform in 2017 in Wittenberg, Germany, at the 500th anniversary commemoration of the Reformation.

“The Valparaiso University Chorale is honored to accept the invitation to join in the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in the very spot where Martin Luther posted his 95 theses,” says Christopher Cock, Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Lutheran Music and director of the University Chorale. “Since 2004, the Chorale has sung in many historically significant churches in Germany, and our visit in 2017 promises an opportunity to showcase the excellence of the Chorale.”

Christopher M Cock

Gaudete Brass Featured at Valpo in Recital

The Gaudete Brass Quintet will be performing a combination of classic and contemporary music in Duesenberg Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14.

The quintet is made up of Charles Roberts and Bill Baxtresser, trumpet; Philip Kassel,horn; Scott Tegge, tuba; and Paul Von Hof, trombone. They will be joined for this performance by Valparaiso University faculty member Ericka Tyner Grodrian, horn.

Their performance will include Joan Tower’s Copperwave, Francisco Guerrero’s Canciones y Villanescas espirituales, Paul Hindemith’s Trauermusik — Music of Mourning and Paul Von Hoff’s Fanfare on an English Tune for Brass Quintet. They will conclude with Stacy Garrop’s Legends of Olympus, which was commissioned by Gaudete Brass.

This guest ensemble performance is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Valparaiso University Center for the Arts Box Office at or 219.464.6950.

For more information about the Gaudete Brass Quintet, visit

Concert Season to Open with Faculty Artist Recital

Stacy Maugans

Monday, August 28

Faculty Artist Recital
Stacy Maugans, saxophone; Joseph Bognar, piano
Duesenberg Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.
Music for Saxophone and Piano by Soviet composers
“Perhaps in no other country has the history of an instrument been so inextricably linked to the policies and whims of the government.  The saxophone in St. Petersburg has been directly affected throughout the twentieth century by ever-shifting attitudes, which often occurred within a single administration….Although officially denounced sporadically through the years, the saxophone managed to remain in the popular, jazz, classical, and academic realms of music to a surprising extent.”  — Stacy MaugansThe History of the Saxophone in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Endless Opportunity:  Valpo STEM Students Pursue Multiple Passions



Thanks to the tenacity of Alison Norris ’17, Valpo is home to a chamber music ensemble nicknamed the “STEM-quintet,” enabling a group of five individuals with varying interests to incorporate their love for music into their arduous academic schedules.

“I chose to attend Valparaiso University for countless reasons — my mother’s alma matter, premier engineering program, and endless opportunity,” Alison says. “At Valpo, I have not only been able to explore my interests, I have been encouraged and inspired to do so.”

Alison, who recently graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering, was a member of the Symphony Orchestra throughout her four years on campus. While Valpo’s music department offers an array of options for non-majors, when Alison sought to expand her musical involvement by joining a woodwind quintet, there were no openings for a flautist. Thus, with the approval of the music department, Alison took initiative to create an additional quintet.

“Many music departments are hesitant to allow non-majors to participate in their ensembles, but at Valpo, it is not only allowed, it is encouraged and supported by other departments and the University at large,” says Ericka Grodrian, D.M., associate professor of music. “Students here are inspired to create their own opportunities. When students take initiative, some truly incredible and fulfilling things can happen for them.”

Launched in fall 2015, the quintet is comprised of all STEM majors — Brian Thomson ’17, mathematics major, clarinet; Timothy Henderson ’20, engineering major, oboe; Sarah Kuchel ’19, electrical and computer engineering major, bassoon, Janelle Wigal ’18, electrical engineering major, French horn; and Alison, mechanical engineering major, flute.  Read more…

 Valpo Welcomes Visiting Faculty Organist


Valparaiso University is pleased to welcome Dr. Sunghee Kim as Visiting Assistant Professor in Music and the Interim Director of Chapel Music, beginning in Fall 2017. She will additionally serve as University Organist and conductor of the University Kantorei.


Dr. Kim holds degrees from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, the University of North Texas and Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea.  An accomplished organist, she is a former first prize winner in the Fort Wayne National Organ Playing Competition.  She comes to Valpo, having served in a faculty appointment at Pennsylvania Sate University at Abington and as Director of Music at Concordia Lutheran Church in Wilmington, Delaware.