Posted by Jeremy Pittenger on December 5, 2017
When Lisa Fredenburgh joined Aurora University seven years ago as chair of the music department and director of choral activities, she saw an opportunity to rekindle a tradition that has meant so much to alumni and students.
“Touring was a missing piece of the music program at AU,” she said. That changed in 2012 when the University Chorale performed in Mendota, Illinois, marking the centennial anniversary of the move of the college from Mendota to Aurora.
“Since the centennial celebration, traveling has been a central experience for our choir members, and I expect they will be telling future students about the time they sang at that cathedral in Indianapolis or swam in Geneva Lake during the Wisconsin tour. When we see alumni on our tours, they always remark about how they grew on those choir tours. I know our current students will have similar stories,” said Fredenburgh.
Representing AU on tours is a testament to the music program’s increased presence on campus. Music students not only sing at convocations or concerts, they now infuse the entire campus with their enthusiasm and artistic thinking.
Fredenburgh adds that the quality of the music being produced is very impressive. The AU Band, a popular presence at athletic events, is now performing concerts. The University Chorale is 48 members strong. Music majors are graduating and obtaining full assistantships for graduate study, or are being employed in musical fields shortly after graduation.
“Aurora University is very intentional about supporting the arts on the campus,” said Fredenburgh. “As a result, music is taking a big leap. With the program more established, we expect to build it to the next level — in both numbers, and most especially, in the pursuit of expressive musical excellence.”