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Chamber Singers spread songs through South Dakota

The Chamber Singers is a vocal ensemble at USD, and over spring break, this group traveled around South Dakota and Iowa. 

The conductor of Chamber Singers David Holdhusen traveled along with the band. During an email interview with The Volante, Holdhusen said the whole tour was his favorite part.

“Really, just the tour, in general, is my favorite part,”  Holdhusen said. “I love growing together as a group, performing, traveling and providing experiences to both the choir members and those who hear us sing.”

While the tour itself is a highlight for many of the members, this singing group still has a preparation process for this traveling event.

“This year, we had 19 pieces and about 80 minutes of music to learn,” Holdhusen said. “It takes a lot of dedication and will from the students to practice and memorize the program.”

Maleah Wright, a freshman member of Chamber Singers, said preparations have been happening since the beginning of the school year.

“Preparation started all the way back in August,” Wright said. “We had our first retreat and we started to learn our pieces for the tour. Putting together a two-hour program takes the entire time from August to March.”

Even though the preparation is long and hard, Wright said it is worth it.

“The preparation took lots of time inside and outside of class, but the end result was so worth it.” Wright said.

At the end of the tour, the Chamber Singers made their way back to Vermillion to perform their finale at home. 

“The home concert is always special,” Holdhusen said. “They are there to hear what new levels of musicianship the group has achieved and to show support for the wonderful students. It is our chance to say thank you to them as well. It is a truly special performance that concludes a truly special week.”

According to Wright, not only is this closing performance special for the people of Vermillion, but also for the performers themselves.

“Being able to perform our tour for the people here is a different type of fulfillment that you don’t get in many other places,” Wright said. “While this tour is seen as a big recruiting tool, it is always nice to remember that a lot of our support comes from right here in Vermillion.”

The Chamber Singers Tour is an annual event and in 2023 they plan to travel to Italy to perform. 

“I am really looking forward to going on tour with the Chamber Singers a few more times during my college career here at USD,” Wright said.