Byron Almén

Stats: Assoc. prof. of music theory at UT Austin; psychotherapist in Minneapolis; Minister of Music for First Congregational Church of Minnesota; B.A. in music and physics from St. Olaf College; M.M. in piano performance and Ph.D. in music theory from Indiana University; M.A. in professional counseling from Texas State University.

Music has been a major part of Almén’s identity for the past 20 years. He has worked in music academia and church music, and is the author of three books including a textbook for undergraduate music theory. He recently moved to Minnetonka with his wife Sarah and two kids. He works as a therapist at a private practice in Minneapolis while he attends a postgraduate Jungian therapy training program.

Favorite band of ‘86? I was a big fan of the Beatles in the 80s.

Favorite hangout spot at Hopkins High School? I spent much of my time in the music and theater areas of the school because I was in choir, orchestra, and band at various points and participated in musicals and plays.

What Hopkins teacher made a difference? Phil Abalan, who taught AP American and European History. I valued his tireless dedication to each student, his high expectations, his vast knowledge, and his wicked sense of humor. Sadly, he died not long after I graduated, but he was an important role model for my own teaching career.