College of Fine Arts Music

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David Holdhusen

David Holdhusen
Associate Professor
Music, College of Fine Arts
UFA Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts 114A
Phone: 605-677-5275
David Holdhusen is the Director of Choral Activities and the Douglas and Susan Tuve Distinguished Professor of Choral Music at the University of South Dakota. His duties include serving as conductor for the university’s three choral ensembles as well as teaching courses in conducting, choral literature and techniques, and applied voice. In addition, to his teaching responsibilities, Dr. Holdhusen is Director of the university’s annual Choral Directors Institute and the USD Summer Music Camp. Dr. Holdhusen received his Ph.D. in Music Education from Florida State University. He holds an M.M. from Northwestern University in Choral Conducting, and received his B.A. in Music with education certification from Gustavus Adolphus College. During his time at Gustavus, Dr. Holdhusen was elected to Pi Kappa Lambda and awarded the Presser Foundation Scholarship. A recipient of the 2013 Encore Award for excellence and achievement in the field of choral music, Dr. Holdhusen is in demand as a guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician throughout the region. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the College Music Society, the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Dr. Holdhusen has had research published in national journals, and has presented clinics and served as an adjudicator for these organizations. He has also been elected to serve in leadership positions for these groups, including a term as President for the South Dakota Chapter of ACDA. His book, “Commitment to Musical Excellence” is published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Choirs under his direction have been invited to perform at state and regional festivals and conventions, have won first place and grand champion awards in music festivals throughout the country, and have on numerous occasions been named a finalist for the American Prize in Choral Performance.
Teaching Interests:
Vocal Music, Chorus, Conducting, Music Education
Research Interests:
Chorus, Conducting, Instructional Methods, African-American Spiritual Performance Practice
  • Ph D, Music Education, Florida State University, 2007
  • MM (Master of Music), Choral Conducting, Northwestern University, 1998
  • BA, Music and Education, Gustavus Adolphus College, 1996
  • Holdhusen, D., (2014), Positive Impatience: An Efficient and Engaging Approach to the Choral Rehearsal, The Chorister, vol. Winter, iss. 2014, pp. 12-13.
  • Holdhusen, D., (2013), Yours in Song, Con Brio Records.
  • Holdhusen, D., (2011), Commitment to Musical Excellence: The 75 Year History of the Gustavus Choir, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, p. 275.
  • Holdhusen, D., (2010), A History of the Choral Music Activities at Gustavus Adolphus College from 1862-1933, Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, vol. 31, iss. 2, pp. 118-131.
  • Holdhusen, D., (2009), Using Choral Literature to Educate the Church Choir: How Teaching Your Choir More than Pitches and Rhythms Can Help You Win the Weekly Anthem Race, American Organist, vol. 43, iss. 10, pp. 90-92.
  • Holdhusen, D., (2009), Nature's Witness.
  • Holdhusen, D., (2009), Review of Foundations of Choral Conducting by Kevin Fenton, The Choral Journal, vol. 50, iss. 1, pp. 67-68.
  • Holdhusen, D., (2006), Programming Tradition: The Signature Selection, The Choral Journal, vol. 47, iss. 3, pp. 51-53.
Awards and Honors:
  • Honored Artist, American Prize in Choral Performance, 2014
  • Finalist, American Prize in Choral Performance, 2014
  • Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching Winner Tenured Category, University of South Dakota, 2014
  • 2nd Prize, The American Prize in Opera Performance, 2013
  • Encore Award, South Dakota American Choral Directors Association, 2013
  • Finalist, American Prize in Choral Performance, 2013
  • Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching Nominee, University of South Dakota, 2013
  • 3rd Place, National Opera Association, 2012
  • Finalist, American Prize in Choral Performance, 2012
  • Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching Nominee, University of South Dakota, 2012
  • Finalist, American Prize in Choral Performance, 2011