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A Milestone for the USD Symphony Orchestra

The University of South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, directed by Luis Viquez, was nominated for the Latin Grammys. 

Partnering with Eddie Mora, a classical composer from Costa Rica, USD was ranked among four other orchestras for the best classical album of the year. 

Eddie Mora wrote the song, “El Ruido del Agua” specifically for the USD orchestra. The album is also titled “El Ruido del Agua,” and it features artists from Costa Rica, Cuba and the United States.

The orchestra spent two years recording the song for the album, which was released in 2022. They worked hand-in-hand with Mora throughout the process of recording the song for his album.

Luis Viquez, the orchestral director, said there were a lot of obstacles to overcome during the recording process of this song. 

“The long-distance between Mora and the orchestra was the biggest because Mora lives in Costa Rica” Viquez said. 

The orchestra did not let this hold them back. After two years their hard work has paid off, Viquez said. 

“It is not about the number of resources, it is how you utilize those resources to do a great job,” Viquez said.

Viquez also said this album isn’t just representing the orchestra or the fine arts school but also the university. This nomination is one of the highest-ranked awards in the music industry. 

The Latin Grammys have a bigger pull than the American Grammys because it is all of South America, Central America and Spain. 

Viquez had directly worked with Mora for four years before moving to the United States. Their friendship is what started this entire journey for the orchestra. Viquez picked Mora to compose a song for the symphony orchestra because he loves his music. 

“The way he writes is like painting, an orchestral canvas,” Viquez said. “There are so many colors and textures that he uses to create his artwork.” 

The Latin Grammys are in Las Vegas this year, on Nov. 17. Viquez will be going there to represent the college and the orchestra. 

This is not the first award for the orchestra, earlier this year they won second in the American Prize for Orchestral performance. 

The orchestra isn’t done for the year, they are putting out another album in the spring. They are currently in the final stages of recording this album. Both of these albums will be available on Spotify, YouTube Music and Apple Music.