Fall Choral Showcase features three choirs, diverse music
3 mins read

Fall Choral Showcase features three choirs, diverse music

The USD Fall Choral Showcase was held in Aalf Auditorium Oct. 24 and featured music from USD’s three choirs—the Chamber Singers, the Symphonic Choir and the Collegium Musicum.

The concert is the first big choir event of the year, Chair of the Music Department David Holdhusen said. The choirs performed a variety of pieces, some of which include a Russian Romantic compositio, a spiritual and an Emily Dickinson poem set to music. 

In an email interview with The Volante, Timothy Campbell, director of the Symphonic Choir and Collegium Musicum, said the variety of the program was most interesting and exciting.

“The program contains music from the 15th century through the present day, allowing our singers to experience 500+ years of music while exploring different styles, languages, cultures. Through the music we sing, we can time travel from the Renaissance to Baroque and beyond and get a glimpse of other cultures through the connecting force of song,” Campbell said.

Part of this diversity comes from the sizes of the choirs. The Symphonic Choir has nearly 70 members whereas the Collegium Musicum has around 16, Campbell said, which results in them performing very different repertoires.

“The Symphonic Choir’s size and volume make them a good fit for collaborations with instruments and/or a symphony orchestra. (The) Collegium has all treble voices and do 2-4 part repertoire that is more chamber-music like in nature,” Campbell said.

Holdhusen, who directs the Chamber Singers, said the event gives his choir a chance to work toward building its repertoire so that it can go on tour at the end of the spring. 

“We are learning music in chunks so that by the time Spring Break rolls around, we would have all of that music learned and ready,” Holdhusen said.

The concert also featured two student conductors: Elizabeth Whitehead, who led a piece with the Collegium Musicum, and Dominick McClendon, who led a piece with the Symphonic Choir.

For Symphonic Choir member and soprano Anna McAuliffe, the concert allowed her to sing in front of people again. McAuliffe said when she changed her major to music education last November, she didn’t get to sing to an audience, and that this event gave her the opportunity to do so.

“I just love seeing the passion of everyone and that they want to be there that they want to sing, but for me personally, it’s just another way for me to express my love for singing and my love for music. Because for me, music is what gives my life like passion and purpose,” McAuliffe said. 

While the event took place Sunday, a recording of the concert—as well as recordings for all this semester’s past concerts—can be viewed at https://www.usd.edu/fine-arts/music/live.