Monday Moments with President Bergman: February 11, 2019

Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman shares her thoughts with College employees each week.
Posted on February 11th, 2019 by

President Rebecca M. Bergman

Good morning, Gusties. Happy first day of spring semester!

As you are reading this, I am in the air somewhere between Amsterdam and Minneapolis. I had the wonderful experience of joining the second half of the Gustavus Choir tour, including stops in Berlin, Wittenberg, and Stockholm. In addition to the 70-member choir, the group was joined by 50 companions (alumni and friends of the College), 23 of whom sang in a combined choir for four numbers. Here is the fun part — I sang with the combined choir! It was a thrill of a lifetime to sing in beautiful cathedrals and churches, both historic and contemporary. All of them had acoustics that gave me goose bumps.

The biggest challenge for me was memorizing the music. My husband, who was along on the trip, can verify that I was still listening to recordings of the music on my headphones and quietly humming the alto part on the airplane to Berlin. I had not memorized music since being in my high school choir, and it exercised a dormant area of my brain. Once I successfully got through the first concert, I was able to fully enjoy the beauty of the music and our surroundings.

The stars of the show were our student choir members and the conductors. This trip was Dr. Greg Aune’s last tour as conductor of the Gustavus Choir. He retires at the end of this academic year, and, at that time, he will turn the reins over to Dr. Brandon Dean. Being on tour with Dr. Aune and experiencing the profound gratitude and respect that the choir members have for their leader is moving. Emotions were at an especially high pitch for our last concert. All in all, it was a profoundly spiritual experience. For me, the tour was a celebration of the liberal arts at Gustavus — weaving together music, history, global engagement, and the warmth of our community, taking our good work out to show the world.

Now, we enjoy the start of a new semester. May it be a time of forward progress, renewed in our enthusiasm for our mission, vision, and shared values, and committed to the growth and success of our students.

Until next week, keep up the good work, Gusties!

With respect,



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