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More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Christine Rogers

Graduation year: 2020

High school: Naperville North High School

Hometown: Naperville, Ill.

Majors: Music education, German studies

Activities: Augustana Symphonic Band, Augustana Symphony Orchestra, National Association for Music Education, Reading/Writing Center tutor, Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity

Internship: I completed my student teaching in Geneseo, Ill., at Millikin Elementary and Geneseo High School.

Post-grad plans: I will be teaching K-5 general music at Millikin Elementary in Geneseo, Ill.

Why Augustana?    

I knew that I wanted to attend a small college, but I chose Augustana because it had everything I was looking for. Not only was I captivated by the well-known music education program, but Augustana also had strong performing ensembles and plenty of opportunities for studying abroad. I also loved that I was able to double major with an uncommon pairing of fields, so I didn't have to choose between my love of German and music.

Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?    

Although I came to campus with the plan to graduate and become a music teacher, my path to get here was much more exciting than I had imagined! I had the chance to participate in a summer program in Germany, as well as to perform with the Augustana Symphonic Band in Spain. Through the music education program, I was offered countless opportunities to get involved with professionals in the field as early as my freshman year.

Who helped you get to where you are now? 

The student and faculty tutors in the Reading/Writing Center have provided tons of support for me. I've learned so much from working with my fellow tutors, and I'd like to thank the faculty tutors for helping me further my passion for teaching.

Truly every professor I've had at Augustana has had a positive impact on me. I've learned so much from each and every one of them, and I appreciate how hard they all work to ensure the best for all of their students.

A special thanks to my advisors Dr. Farmer and Dr. Seidlitz for helping me achieve my goals over these past four years, as well as sharing valuable advice and priceless conversations in the process. My ensemble directors (Dr. Lambrecht and Dr. Chetel) and clarinet instructor (Sue Schwaegler) have provided me with countless opportunities to perform and grow as a musician that I will never forget and always cherish.

A huge thank you to Dr. Burns for her continuous guidance and support as I develop my identity as a music educator. And, lastly, thank you to Mrs. Ellis for being one of my biggest supporters and role models these last four years.

Peak experience?    

My favorite experience was performing David Maslanka's Symphony No. 4 with the Augustana Symphonic Band. Not only was this my favorite piece, but the concert was so memorable and meaningful to all of us performing. I'll never forget how moved every member of the band and audience was, and it was surreal to be able to connect with so many people at once with nothing but music. This concert reminded me how powerful music is, and why I've chosen to devote my life to a career in music.

What surprised you?    

I was surprised by how much the faculty cares about the students. Every professor I have had at Augustana has shown a genuine interest in their students' academic growth and overall well-being. I always felt supported and knew that I had people to turn to whether I was seeking long-term advice or just a light-hearted conversation.    

What will you miss the most?   

I will miss performing with the Augustana Symphonic Band the most. This ensemble is made up of incredibly talented musicians, and they've been my second family while at Augie. From playing together on tour in Spain, to California, to the Midwest, every performance with the ASB has been so meaningful, and I will really miss sitting beside these wonderful individuals.

Advice for the Class of 2024?  

Prioritize! Not just in terms of time management, but decide what is most important to YOU and dedicate as much time and energy to that avenue as you can. Yes, you can get involved with a lot at Augustana, but it will be so much more rewarding to be able to be truly devoted to something meaningful.

"Christine has been a hard-working and high-achieving student the last four years. She takes on leadership roles easily and thrives in them. She sets high standards for herself, and I look forward to seeing what she will do in a music classroom! She was a true pleasure to teach!"

– Margaret (Marggy) Ellis, assistant professor, music