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University of South Dakota Chamber Singers

David Holdhusen, Director

Yours In Song

Consisting of live recordings taken from four years of performances by a student group, this CD is astoundingly well-rehearsed, tightly held together, and loosely jazzy where appropriate. The songs take the listener to Africa, Ireland, points beyond (heaven), and points right here (spirituals and blues). The extraordinary “Ave Maria” by Franz Biebl shows us why choral conductors are obsessed with the glorious human voice. The exquisite dissonances in Eric Whitacre’s “Water Night” and Frank Ticheli’s “There Will Be Rest” demonstrates perfect minor seconds resolving into luxurious harmonies. Closing number, “Wake Up Ollie Brown!” by Ben Allaway features joyous, electrifying jazz rhythms mixed with gospel jazz showcasing a good number of talented soloists.

1. Noel ~ arr. Brad Holmes
2. i thank You God for most this amazing day ~ Christine Temple-Evans
3. Keltic Song ~ Allan Rae Hinshaw
4. Search Me, O God ~ Jonny Priano
5. Chichester Mass ~ William Albright
6. Ave Maria ~ Franz Biebl
7. Water Night ~ Eric Whitacre
8. Wade in the Water ~ arr. Moses Hogan
9. Vieni Nel Mio Cuore ~ Jonny Priano
10. Dies Irae ~ Zdenek Lukas
11. Stabat Mater ~ Kevin Memley
12. Data est Mihi Omnis Potestas ~ James MacMillan
13. There Will Be Rest ~ Frank Ticheli
14. O Day Full of Grace ~ arr. F. Melius Christiansen
15. Wake Up, Ollie Brown! ~ Ben Allaway

University of South Dakota Chamber Singers

The Chamber Singers is the premiere vocal ensemble at the University of South Dakota. It is comprised of graduate and undergraduate students selected through audition from the entire university student body. Known to critics for “creating a choral concert of stunning beauty and musical understanding,” its repertoire, which is primarily a cappella, includes music from the Renaissance to the present in a wide variety of styles. The ensemble presents formal concerts on campus each semester and its annual tour has taken the group throughout the United States and Europe. They have performed for state and regional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and the Music Educators National Conference and have appeared on the public radio program “Going Beyond Words.” The Chamber Singers, on several occasions, have been selected as finalists for the American Prize in Choral Performance (College and University Division).

Program Notes

This recording is a compilation of live performances from the University of South Dakota Chamber Singers’ annual tour concerts at First Congregational Church in Sioux Falls, SD from the years 2010 to 2013. The music was selected not only to highlight the ensemble’s artistry, but also to generate a connection with the listener on a musical and emotional level. Each of these selections carried a deep meaning for the singers and fostered the thematic elements of the tour programs. It is our hope that as you listen, you will be filled with the same passion and inspired to the same levels as we were in performance. It is with that in mind that we humbly submit, Yours in Song.

David Holdhusen, director

Dr. David Holdhusen is the Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at the University of South Dakota.  His duties include serving as conductor for the university’s three choral ensembles as well as teaching courses in conducting, choral literature and techniques, and applied voice. In addition, to his teaching responsibilities, Holdhusen is Director of the university’s annual Choral Directors Institute and the USD Summer Music Camp.
Dr. Holdhusen received his Ph.D. in Music Education from Florida State University.  He holds an M.M. from Northwestern University in Choral Conducting, and received his B.A. in Music with education certification from Gustavus Adolphus College. During his time at Gustavus, Holdhusen was elected to Pi Kappa Lambda and awarded the Presser Foundation Scholarship.
A member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the College Music Society, the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), he is in demand as a guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician throughout the region. Dr. Holdhusen has had research published in national journals, and has presented clinics and served as an adjudicator for these organizations.  He has also been elected to serve in leadership positions for these groups, including a term as President for the South Dakota Chapter of ACDA.  His book, Commitment to Musical Excellence, published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, has earned many favorable reviews such as, “Commitment to Musical Excellence is an important source for the musician who desires to understand the evolution of the university choir movement in the United States.” --Dr Kevin Fenton, Professor of Music and Director of the University Singers at Florida State University. Choirs under Dr. Holdhusen’s direction have been invited to perform at state and regional festivals and conventions, have won first place and grand champion awards in music festivals throughout the country, and have twice been named a finalist for the American Prize in Choral Performance.