Senior Spotlight: Jacob Koshiol

Posted on April 24th, 2020 by

The “Senior Spotlight” series honors graduating fine arts majors for their contributions to the Gustavus community.

Jacob Koshiol is a vocal music major from Paynesville, Minn. This fall he hopes to be working for Youth Frontiers in Edina, Minn. leading school retreats for students ranging from fourth to ninth grade that focuses on character building, interpersonal relationships, and leadership. Professor Emeritus Michael Jorgensen says that Jacob’s musicianship is enriched by his genuinely warm spirit. “I find Jacob to be thoughtful, kind, caring, and courageous. He has a special gift for being able to sing fully and simultaneously from his mind and his heart.”

We asked Jacob to give us a little insight into his time at Gustavus and how he’s “staying musical” while living off campus.

What will you miss most about music at Gustavus?
JK: What I will miss most about music at Gustavus is how truly special the music community is. How we all come together with our individuality and uniqueness and make something absolutely beautiful.

What’s a favorite memory you have from your time in music here?
JK: My favorite memory I have from my time in the music community was when the Gustavus Choir had our international tour in Europe. We sang in some of the music capitals of the world! But, my favorite by far was singing in the Berliner Dom in Berlin, Germany. Dropping that final chord on “Praise to the Lord” and hearing that sound carry forever was almost unfathomable.

How are you continuing your music in your new surroundings?
JK: I am currently living with family friends and I have been fortunate enough to always be surrounded by music. My “host dad” is in a band and LOVES his Bob Dylan. My “host mom” never fails to sing “Hallelujah” from Handel’s Messiah at least once a day. Not a day goes by without us singing in this household.

What professor has made the biggest impact on you and why?
JK: Michael Jorgensen was the professor that made the biggest impact on me. When I came to Gustavus, I did not ever plan to pursue music as a career. Choir was just my outlet to keep me sane. When I began to take voice lessons from Michael, he showed me my voice. He encouraged me to become the singer that I am today. And, he left me with one bit of advice before he retired, “you could be an opera singer.” I will never forget that.

What do you look forward to most about life after Gustavus?
JK: After Gustavus I look forward to continuing my personal growth through meeting new people, seeing new places, and finding new adventures through traveling, jobs, and unexpected experiences!



  1. Tom Koshiol says:

    I’m SO proud of my son!

    • Ginny Leppart says:

      I so enjoyed getting to know Jacob on the European tour last winter. He is a wonderful, fun person and fabulous singer.

  2. Samara Koshiol says:

    Jacob you are the coolest cousin ever and I’m so proud of you!!! Congratulations on everything that you’ve accomplished and I’m so privileged to be able to have witnessed it.

  3. Jason Reimer says:

    Great job! Congratulations and best of luck to you!! Way to go!!

  4. Bonnie Nelson says:

    Hey Jacob,
    So glad that you had this time making music at Gustavus. I loved watching you discover your voice in high school and that you went on to great things. Your fall job sounds perfect for you. Congratulations and I wish you the best!
    Mrs. Nelson

  5. Nadine says:

    Congrats, Jacob!🎉

    From Nadine & Jack

  6. Donnie Koshiol says:

    Very nice! I’m pleased to have seen
    many of your perfomances throughout the years. You have a great gift of music and I look forward to seeing your next steps.