Three choir groups at the University of South Dakota have been preparing since the beginning of the semester for a showcase being presented Feb. 25 at 3 p.m.
The chamber singers, men’s and women’s chorus, as well as the concert choir will perform Saturday.
David Holdhusen, director of choral activities, said this is the first performance this semester for the men’s and women’s choir as well as the concert choir.
“The chamber singers performed in Sioux Falls earlier this semester,” Holdhusen said.
Holdhusen said this performance is kind of a capstone to this part of the semester.
“We rehearse, we prepare and then it comes time to put it out to the public to come and enjoy,” Holdhusen said.
Holdhusen said all of the choirs meet as a cirrucular class in which they receive a credit and a grade.
“The classes range from freshmen to graduate students,” Holdhusen said. “The men’s and women’s choir actually has some community members in it.”
Holdhusen said the performance will include standard repertoire choral music.
“Everything from Benjamin Britten and Mendelssohn to gospel pieces to some folk songs,” Holdhusen said. “It’s a wide range, but it’s standard.”
Holdhusen said the choirs have been preparing for the concert by having weekly rehearsals.
“They come in and they get the music on their first rehearsal regardless of what choir they’re in,” Holdhusen said. “Then they’re plugging away trying to work on notes and once we get notes we move on to musicality aspect of things.”
Holdhusen said the students have spent the semester working on phrase-shape dynamics as well as polishing techniques.
“Techniques getting them to portray the text and portray the mood of the piece,” Holdhusen said.
The chamber singers have extra practice time outside of their already given class time, Holdhusen said.
Junior Walker Rose, who participates in all three choirs as well as being a tuba player in the concert band, said the choir is fun for him.
“Personally, for me it’s what I love to do. I think people just need to have that experience of getting out and singing, even if they’ve never done it before,” Rose said.
Walker said the choir has had some tiring nights rehearsing.
“I hope that at least a few people in the audience will want to join the choirs next year,” Walker said.
Holdhusen said the basic importance of this concert is for the music to be heard and shared with the public.
“If we just sit in the rehearsal room and do it for ourselves that’s one aspect because we learn it and we experience it, but it’s meant to be experienced by others,” Holdhusen said. “We’re at the point where it’s time for them to share the passion they have learned over six to eight weeks.”
Holdhusen said he hopes the audience will have some sort of experience during the performance.
“I hope that they’ll be inspired,” Holdhusen said. “I hope that they will have some sort of their own musical experience.”
Holdhusen said even though music pieces have certain ideas and most people will understand the general mood, he really wants to reach the audience.
“We really strive to reach out and touch the audience and let them experience something whether it be something within their own life or maybe a memory that they’ve had or maybe just some sort of epiphany,” Holdhusen said.
Junior Ashley Hogarth, who is also in all three of the choirs, has been involved in the USD music department since her freshman year.
“I love being in choir,” Hogarth said. “I’m a music education major so I think the more experience I get being in a choir the better.”
Hogarth said the choir is a chance for singers to get together and sing as well as go through new music.
“Since I have an emphasis in voice, it’s a good way for me to learn new repertoire and go through different pieces,” Hogarth said. “It’s also just a good chance to learn different ways to teach kids how to sing in a choir and bring up my own skills.”
Hogarth said she hopes the audience will enjoy the music they are putting before them.
Reach reporter Payton Randle at Payton.Randle@usd.edu