Posted by Aurora University on February 28, 2013
In recent years, AU has seen a resurgence of the arts, a reaffirmation of the study and appreciation of creative expression, and the return of music to campus life. And the driving force behind this renaissance is Lisa Fredenburgh, Associate Professor of Music, Program Chair and Director of Choral Activities.
Building upon the work of her predecessors, Fredenburgh has created an academic department that serves more than just music majors. Not only has she expanded and enriched the music curriculum, she has created opportunities for AU musicians—both students and faculty—to share their talents with the entire campus community.
“Even students who do not participate in music are gaining so much from having a strong music program around them,” said Fredenburgh. “Those who come to our events are struck by what the arts have to offer. It’s rewarding to see them grow in cultural maturity by approaching situations differently and opening their minds to more forms of beauty.”
Fredenburgh adds that there is an extra benefit of having musicians on campus. “Our students bring their musically trained minds and sensibilities to all of their classes,” she said. “They use their artistic ways of thinking while studying mathematics, science, history and literature, and share their unique perspectives with students and faculty.”
Being exposed to music on campus has inspired senior Adriana Pacheco-Nieves to become an opera singer. “I knew nothing of music until Dr. Fredenburgh opened this world up to me,” she said. “At an audition, she saw potential in me. Dr. Fredenburgh gives a special opportunity to students who want to learn, and because of that, I have even greater dreams for a future in music.”
“Dr. Fredenburgh challenges us to be better than our last performance,” said Megan Webster, a mathematics education major. “More important, she believes in our ability to excel.”
Students also inspire Fredenburgh. “While they have a wonderful joie de vivre, students also understand that a large task requires great effort on their part,” she said. “With encouragement, they are willing to risk themselves intellectually and emotionally to gain the skills music requires. I admire their courage and dedication.
“AU needs music, and when we don’t have it, it finds its way back to campus,” Fredenburgh continued. “With the strength of the art and theatre majors and the new music major firmly in place, I think we are entering an era of wholeness for AU and the arts. We have a lot to live up to with such a strong musical history on our campus. However, I know I can speak for our music faculty when I say that we are excited to make that return a reality and then some.”
On Friday, March 1, Fredenburgh will lead the AU Choirs as they head out on a five-day Choir Tour, performing at schools, churches and museums in Illinois and Missouri March 1-5. You can follow along with their journey through the Aurora University Music Department Facebook group or on the Aurora University Music Department blog.