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USD Music Department to Host Outdoor Music Festival

Graphic with Music is Alive Festival in bright red letters. There is a fall tree to the side and the Prentis Park gate in the back. The USD Department of Music will host the Music is Alive Festival, a free outdoor concert open to the public, Sunday, Oct. 11 at Prentis Park

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Department of Music will host the Music is Alive Festival, a free outdoor concert open to the public, Sunday, Oct. 11 at Prentis Park in Vermillion beginning at 2 p.m.

“In this unusual time, with so much uncertainty surrounding the performing arts, we want to let the community know that music is alive and well here in Vermillion,” said David Holdhusen, Ph.D., chair and director of choral activities in the music department. “This festival will showcase the amazing work being done by the talented musicians at USD and Vermillion High School.”

The event features nine ensembles between the university and Vermillion High School, including USD’s Chamber Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Percussion Ensemble, Chamber Singers, Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble and The SOUND of USD and the VHS Pride of Vermillion Marching Band and Rhythm in Red choir.

The ensembles will perform in three different locations on the south side of the park. The community is encouraged to bring chairs, blankets and snacks and move freely between performance locations in the park to enjoy the variety of the ensembles.

Holdhusen said the Music is Alive Festival is the only live concert that will be open to the public this semester due to COVID-19 concerns. All upcoming concerts will be available to a small, invited audience only; however, the department recently launched a new livestream platform for the general public that can be found at

The Music is Alive Festival is a socially distanced and masked concert event. The following is a schedule of events:

  • 2 p.m. – VHS Pride of Vermillion
  • 2:20 p.m. – USD Chamber Orchestra
  • 2:40 p.m. – USD Symphonic Band
  • 3 p.m. - VHS Rhythm in Red
  • 3:20 p.m. – USD Percussion Ensemble
  • 3:40 p.m. – USD Chamber Singers
  • 4 p.m. – USD Symphony Orchestra
  • 4:20 p.m. – USD Jazz Ensemble
  • 4:40 p.m. – The SOUND of USD


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


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 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson 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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News