Meet Augustana’s 2019 Concierto-Aria winners

After a demanding audition process, students Lauren Sandison, Josh Jaton and Anabelle Lecy will showcase their talent at the annual Concerto-Aria concert in the Washington Pavilion on May 4.

Lauren Sandison

Lauren Sandison, a sophomore music and religion major, hopes to attend graduate school for opera.

“My favorite part about opera is the stories,” Sandison said.

pic for mirror
Vocalist Lauren Sandison.

At the Concierto-Aria Sandison will perform the piece, “Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix” from Camille Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila, in which Delilah tries to trick Sampson into cutting off his hair, causing him to lose all his strength.

“It’s really dramatic, the accompaniment is flowing and beautiful and it’s a cunning song,” Sandison said.

Sandison began exploring opera music as a freshman in high school, inspired by her high school vocal instructor, Jessica Schable.

“In opera, it’s figuring out languages and being completely true to the art form and the language that you’re singing in,” she said.

A sophomore from Spirit Lake, Iowa, Sandison is the chapel music coordinator, a member of the Augustana Choir and Augustana Chamber Choir.

Joshua Jaton

Joshua Jaton, a senior music and classics major participating in the dual degree engineering program, hopes to earn a degree in biomedical engineering. The program, which is a partnership between Augustana, Columbia University and Washington University in St. Louis, allows students to earn both a liberal arts degree and an engineering degree.

“There’s a lot more outside the laboratory,” Jaton said. “And I think music is a great path

Pianist Josh Jaton.

 not only to meet a bunch of people but also to figure out who you are.”

Jaton, also a 2017 concerto-aria recipient, said whenever his curiosity in music sputters he looks for new genres or pieces to spark his creativity.

“I would say a lot of my biggest life lessons I’ve learned here at Augie have been from my music lessons and my piano lessons with Dr. Andrews,” Jaton said.

Jaton, from Sioux Falls, will play “Piano Concerto in D minor, Op. 23: I. Larghetto calmato” by Edward MacDowell at the 2019 Concerto-Aria.

Annabelle Lecy

Annabelle Lecy, a first-year music major from Marshall, Minnesota, said she practices her cello daily by running difficult spots in the music.

Cellist Anabelle Lecy.

“Usually when I first start a piece, I don’t like it, but then, as I keep working on it and get better at it, I start to like it more,” Lecy said.

She said one of her favorite cellists, Pablo Ferrández, performed the same song she will at the Concerto-Aria: “Kol Nidrei, Op. 47” by Max Bruch.

“I watched his performance of this piece a lot, like at least 200 times.” Lecy said with a laugh. “[I am] not trying to take everything from his performance, but some of the elements I really like, I want to incorporate into my playing.”

Lecy, who began studying cello at age 8, plays with the Augustana orchestra, Augustana string quartet and the South Dakota Symphony.

Leave a Reply

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: