JOEY GOETZ, KNIGHT WIRE WRITER
Music plays a large role at Wartburg College. At the core of music is Sarah Bouska, Wartburg’s new music tours, camps and promotions manager.
“This spring, it was brought to my attention that this job was open. As I investigated and learned more about the position and everything involved in what this job would be, I found that it’s everything I love to do. I continue to work with students, so there’s a teaching aspect to it. I get to work with amazing colleagues, and I get to dream about events and organizations and how we can bring people together,” Bouska said.
Bouska graduated from Wartburg College in 2002 with a degree in music education. Upon graduating, she took up a position at Mason City High School and taught there for 20 years. Outside of her role there, Bouska was very musically involved with the community, having been elected to the Iowa Choral Directors Association as well as the Iowa Music Educators Association.
Now, 20 years after her departure, Bouska has been bringing her wealth of experience and passion to the music department, acting as an overseer of just about everything music-related both on and off campus.
“My role on campus is to serve every ensemble director in this department, so band, orchestra, choir and everything that’s housed under that,” said Bouska. “If our directors have a vision to host a camp or host an honor festival or provide educational experiences for people, we sit down as a team and collaborate on what that vision looks like and how we can make that happen.”
Despite her clear love and connection with music today, Bouska initially had a different vision for her time at college. When she visited Wartburg in high school, she wanted to be a math major. On her visit, she took a brief detour through the music department that changed her life.
“We walked into this joyful hallway and saw students embracing each other and being excited to go to rehearsal and to work for the next performance. There were posters of all the international tours and places they were going or have been. Something in my heart changed at that moment to know that this is what I wanted to do. This is where I wanted to explore more things. Then I changed my vision of what I wanted to do in college.”
Since that day, Bouska has shared her love of music with colleagues, students and peers alike. With her arrival back on campus, her passion, ambition and drive to push the music department to new heights have certainly been noticed.
“She comes to it with this organizational, creative and dreamer’s mind, like ‘What can we dream up?’ or ‘What impossible thing can we do today?’ and I love that. It’s such a great energy,” said Dr. Lee Nelson, professor of music at Wartburg. “We’re very fortunate that we have her here.”
This year, Bouska has spread that energy to many musical ensembles and events throughout the Wartburg community.
“It’s such a gift for us to know that music can be a part of your life regardless of what you do,” said Bouska. “It’s a lifelong journey and involvement. Regardless of what you major in, regardless of what you do as a career, music can be a part of your life.