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Brian Hinkley
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Brian Hinkley

Graduation year: 2017

Major: Music performance (piano)

Minor: Music composition

Activities: Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity, Augustana Symphonic Band, Augustana Jazz Ensemble, Augustana Jazz Combo, Kali Yuga free improvisation ensemble, Phi Beta Kappa

Post-grad plans: Pursue a Master of Music in Music Composition at Illinois State University

Why Augustana?

I wanted to attend a smaller college with an excellent music program, and Augustana fits that bill.

Who helped you get to where you are today?

My parents and grandparents have always supported me financially and physically. In addition, all of my music faculty and mentors have been incredibly inspiring, both professionally and academically; they all consistently pushed me to better myself as a musician and as a person. And, of course, my girlfriend Sarah Bromberger ’16, who was always there for me in good times and bad!

A peak experience?

My senior recital was definitely a peak experience. It was a fantastic experience to have put so much of my heart and soul into this music (as cliché as that is) and then to be able to share that with family, friends, peers, faculty and community members. I really couldn’t top that experience with anything else here.

What surprised you?

I learned that I really do have the capability to make some absolutely fantastic music. Honestly, when I first decided to become a performance major, I wasn't expecting to be able to play at such a high level. However, due to constant mentoring from Drs. Elfline, Schmidt and Lambrecht, I was able to do more than I thought I might ever be able to.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used Augie Choice to travel abroad with the Augustana Symphonic Band this past spring break to Spain, visiting the cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia and the surrounding areas.

What will you miss the most?

I will definitely miss the music faculty here at Augustana. They are constantly working at relatively thankless and incredibly busy jobs, and they do so much for every individual student both in the public eye and behind the scenes. I really can't thank them enough for their tireless inspiration.

Advice for the Class of 2021?

Be a student with integrity. Not only will you feel better about yourself for turning in your homework on time or coming prepared to group projects, but your professors will always, always notice. There is no better way to be respected in the professional world than to be a student of integrity because that is the mark of a mature adult ready to interact with and take on the world. 

“Brian was already a skilled pianist when he came to Augustana, but he did not yet know the full potential of the instrument. What followed in his next two years of study was nothing short of stunning. Brian was able to devote himself to a detailed study of the instrument, but more importantly he immersed himself in the life of the musician, developing a truly remarkable ability to use music as a means to connect with others.”

– Dr. Robert Elfline, associate professor, music

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