USD Music Department Host Third Annual Music is Alive Festival
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USD Music Department Host Third Annual Music is Alive Festival

USD’s Music Department hosted its third annual Music is Alive festival and partnered with Vermillion High School, which provided a variety of musical performances from eight ensembles.

The event kicked off with Vermillion High School’s Pride of Vermillion, then followed in the order of USD Jazz Band, USD Symphony Orchestra, Vermillion High School’s Rhythm in Red, USD Chamber Singers, USD Symphonic band, USD Chamber Orchestra and ended with The SOUND of USD. 

Luis Viquez, director of orchestral activities and associate professor of clarinet, said he noticed a larger attendance from last year and how being able to have the Vermillion high school was a great way to incorporate the community

“We had a larger attendance than last year, especially parents and community members,” Viquez said. “It is a great way to incorporate the community and all these young musicians can see how excellent they could get to perform if they continue making music in college.” 

Viquez said the orchestra was conducted by a graduate student and they even played selections from Star Wars.

“We played an overture called ‘Hatikvah’ by Yugoslavian composer Nikola Ovanin and selections of Star Wars,” Viquez said. “The orchestra was conducted by graduate student Kelly Coslet, who is concluding her masters degree in orchestral conducting.”

David Holdhusen, director of choral activities, said they were able to run a food vendor at the festival making it different from past years and the set up has become easier as each festival happens

“The festival ran basically the same as in past years. We did change the order of performances slightly, but nothing about the event. We did also have a food vendor this year, which was different than in the past,” Holdhusen said. “In some ways, the setup is getting easier because we now have a pattern for every year. It still takes a lot of time because we need to do the marketing, make reservations and move all the equipment to the park on the day of the event.” 

The songs performed by the Chamber Singers were the following, “Saints Bound for Heaven” arranged by Alice Park & Robert Shaw, “The Gift to be Simple” arranged by Bob Chilcott, “Death Came A-Knockin’” arranged by Paul Rardin, “I’ll Fly Away” arranged by Shawn Kirchne, “O Day Full of Grace” arranged by F. Melius Christiansen and “Great Day” arranged by Stacey Gibbs.

Holdhusen, said it was a wonderful opportunity to bring all levels of music in Vermillion together in one place and a chance for more people to hear what is being produced around the community. 

“By having the USD Music Department collaborate with Vermillion High School, both entities expand their audience base. It is a chance for more people to hear the outstanding music being produced across the community and maybe expose some to ensembles and talent they didn’t know existed in Vermillion,” Holdhusen said.