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Renovated organ to be re-dedicated with recital at USD

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The 29-stop organ built for the University of South Dakota in 1925 will be re-dedicated at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2 with a recital in the Bailey and Kathy Aalfs Auditorium at Slagle Hall.

David Higgs, chair of the organ department at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., will perform the re-dedication recital. Higgs has performed concerts throughout the world, including England, Canada and Austria. He has served as an adjudicator for prominent organ competitions, and he has performed at numerous national and regional organist conventions. The concert is free and open to the public.

Phil and Marge Odeen and Tom and Cindy Lillibridge donated funds to renovate the 86-year-old organ. Repairs included finishing the fourth keyboard by providing stops intended but not provided during its construction. The renovation also afforded new wiring that allows for greater flexibility for the organist to change sounds or stops.

A photo of Wyatt Smith, an award-winning student musician from Rapid City, S.D., playing the renovated organ is available for download at


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News