Augustana College is looking to end homecoming week on a positive, energetic note with its annual Vikings Varieties performance. To celebrate the 60th anniversary of Viking Varieties, the department of Performing and Visual Arts, Augustana alumni and more than 200 student performers will combine to present a Varieties like never before.
Brad Heegel, director of special projects and conferences, is excited to play a role with Vikings Varieties this year.
“To be working with more than 200 students and our faculty in the arts is the greatest,” Heegel said. “The biggest excitement is having the opportunity to pull it off in the Washington Pavilion in front of 1,800 people.”
In addition to student emcees, Augustana is welcoming back Rebecca Hjelle (‘03) and Todd Manion (‘04) to serve as the Masters of Ceremonies.
“The whole show is going to be phenomenal. The collaboration between all the different groups is so much fun,” orchestra member junior Annie Peasley said. “With so much talent, it’s bound to be great.”
Performances will include appearances from the orchestra, choirs, ensembles from current students, and mixed ensembles of current students, faculty members and alumni.
One such collaboration is that of a harp ensemble that will take the stage to perform “Memories” and “Music of the Night,” directed by Anna Vorthes. Augustana student Hope Veurink will combine her talents with alumni Naomi Seaton Hull (‘13), Gabrielle Kachena (‘13), Callie Berg Stadem (‘13) Cari Skogberg Eastman (’96), Kathleen Fransen (’80), Suzie O’Meara Hernes (’97) and Erin Hoiland Wurgler (’10).
While performances range in size, one of the smallest acts will be a trio featuring current Augustana students senior Julia Blue and juniors Brittany Dardis and Ellen Ferry, who will command the stage with their performance of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” Augustana will see what both the large and small ensembles have to contribute to the show.
“There are a lot of really great pieces that the choirs and soloists are doing, and singing in front of over a thousand people will be absolutely amazing,” Augustana Choir member junior Rachel Bjork said.
Peasley spoke out about her excitement of performing in the orchestra and in varieties as a whole.
“I’m excited to see the Pavilion packed with so many people,” Peasley said. “It’s going to be a great event to see everyone come together for,.”
The alumni will also be given their chance to shine. 1995 graduate and current Augustana faculty member, JJ Pederson Gohl, will be performing with her brother,Kyle Pederson, a 1993 graduate. The duo is performing a double piano arrangement of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.”
Gohl was in Viking Varieties for three years and is honored to be part of it again.
“It will be fun to play a duet together again, just like we did many years ago for Viking Varieties,” Gohl said.
“We’re putting the ‘best of the best’ on stage,” Heegel said. “I want people to be proud of what we can do.”
The performance is set to take place at 8 p.m. Sat., Oct. 19, at the Washington Pavilion located in downtown Sioux Falls. Following Viking Varieties will be dessert, drinks and dancing at the Afterglow at the Washington Pavilion.