Dr. Russell Svenningsen

Russell Svenningsen is Associate Professor of Music at Augustana University where he teaches applied voice, aural skills and is the conductor of the University Chorale.  He holds the D.M.A., Music Education from Boston University, a M.M., Choral Conducting from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music and a B.M., Music Education, from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn.  He has studied conducting with Dale Warland, Rene Clausen, John Washburn and John Leman and voice with Daniel Weeks and Mark Schowalter.   His mentors in music education include Roger Mantie, Sidsel Karlsen and Lee Higgins.   Dr. Svenningsen is inspired by the work of conflict theorist Antonio Gramsci and the Norwegian Singers Association of America, both of which feature prominently in his dissertation, This Singing: The Norwegian Singers Through a Gramscian Lens.


Dr. Svenningsen is an active conductor, performer and clinician.  He has worked as clinician and guest artist with professional, high school and community choirs across the United States and abroad.  Recently, he has appeared with both the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra;  he is also a member of the GRAMMY-nominated South Dakota Chorale.  During the fall of 2019 he, along with colleagues Dr. Peter Folliard and Debra Reid, will embark on an ambitious recording project featuring Franz Schubert's epochal song cycle Winterreise.  For the fall of 2019 he and collaborative pianist Brett Cooper are preparing a recital featuring the music of Verdi, Richard Strauss, Carlisle Floyd and Wagner.


Dr. Svenningsen is a proud member of the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, National Collegiate Choral Organization and National Association of Teachers of Singing.  He has served on the executive boards of Opera South Dakota and the South Dakota Arts Council Music Panel.


Russell and his wife, Sarah, are the very proud parents of two children, Anders (17) and Annika (15).  He is an avid woodworker and deeply terrible golfer.