VERMILLION, S.D. -- The school year may be over but the show goes on for choral students from The University of South Dakota, who will sing in the esteemed Carnegie Hall on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25.
USD's Choir is scheduled to participate in a double bill of choral music conducted by renowned composer-conductor John Rutter. Rutter will lead the New England Symphonic Ensemble, soloists Amanda Forsythe, soprano; and John Brancy, baritone, and several choruses, including USD, in Gabriel Fauré's "Requiem in D Minor, Op. 48" during an 8 p.m. (EST) performance.
"Based on its reputation and history, you certainly couldn't ask for a better venue to sing than Carnegie Hall," stated David Holdhusen, Ph.D., director of choral activities at USD. "It's a wonderful opportunity. One our students will never forget."
In addition to choir members from USD, participating choruses for Fauré’s “Requiem in D Minor, Op. 48” are Junior League of Birmingham Choral Group (Ala.); PUC Prep Concert Choir, Angwin, Calif.; Logan-Rogersville High School, Rogersville, Mo.; Bixby High School Choir, Bixby, Okla.; and Columbia Basin College Chamber Choir, Pasco, Wash. The performance is sponsored by MidAmerica Productions of New York City.
Holdhusen said the invitation for the USD Choirs to perform at Carnegie Hall was extended last year. Several options were provided and while Holdhusen said the timing of the Memorial Day performance followed the conclusion of the school year, he wanted the students to have an opportunity to learn from a master musician like Rutter, who is a native of London, England and is well known on both sides of the Atlantic as a composer, conductor and recording artist.
This is the second time since 2002 that choral musicians from USD will perform in Carnegie Hall. In the summer of 2002, the USD Chamber Choir performed on the hallowed stage during a tour of the east coast. While the USD Department of Music boasts several ensembles, the group of 30 students traveling to New York City will be made up of all university choral ensembles, including the Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and Men's and Women's Chorus as well as community members from Vermillion.
In addition to the Carnegie Hall performance, Holdhusen noted that the USD Chamber Singers, a highly select chamber ensemble comprised of undergraduate and graduate music majors and other select members of the university community, will release a CD this fall. "Nature's Witness" was recorded during the Chamber Singers' spring tour of South Dakota and will feature a stellar performance of Randall Thompson's "The Peaceful Kingdom."
Holdhusen described the "Nature's Witness" theme as "the Earth being born," transitioning through changes, such as war, which is part of the witness process. "It ends with the rebirth of nature," he explained. "That's where the title of the CD comes from."
Made possible through a donation by Doug and Susan Tuve of Vermillion, the production of "Nature's Witness" is in the final editing stages and will be available for purchase through the USD Department of Music this fall.
For more information about the music department, including music ensembles at The U, please visit this Web site: www.usd.edu/cfa/Music/. A photo of the choir is available for download at www.usd.edu/urelations/images/USD_choir.jpg.