The South Dakota Chorale has been nominated for a 2018 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance for our latest recording, Tyberg Masses. Other nominations associated with the album are Best Surround Sound Album, Best Engineered Album- Classical, and part of the Producer of the Year- Classical nominations, all in collaboration with Sound Mirror in Boston. The Grammy Awards will be presented on January 28, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
We are excited to announce our next project in January 2018, Baltic Prayers. The next installment of sacred Baltic music following our 2014-2015 concerts and album Sacred Songs of Life and Love, this Baltic Prayers program will include a range of moving music from the rich choral traditions of the Baltic states.
Music by Arvo Pärt, Jaako Mantyjaarvi, Eriks Esenvalds, Peteris Vasks, and Cyrillus Kreek will be rounded out by a few Scandinavian composers. From a Requiem setting to commemorate the lives lost in a tragic Estonian shipwreck, to a stunning musical setting of a prayer by Mother Teresa, this music is deeply reflective and spiritually healing.
January 25, St. Joseph Cathedral in Sioux Falls, SD
January 26, Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa
We're looking forward to welcoming back a full complement of our current singers, along with a few new faces that will get to experience the wonderful hospitality of South Dakota in January!
We are pleased to announce that Heath Weber has been named the new Chair for the Board of Directors of The South Dakota Chorale. Heath is a singer with the Chorale as well as an enthusiastic supporter of our mission. He is a native of Sioux Falls who has gone on to pursue a career in vocal and choral music and music education. His energy and excitement is contagious and has inspired countless numbers of students.
Heath is Associate Dean for Performing Arts, Department Chair and Interim Director of Choral Activities at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. His work at the college includes leadership, administrative, and curricular work as well as local, regional and national outreach. Prior to his appointment at Morningside, Heath Weber was the Director of Choral Activities at East High School, in Sioux City, IA.
The South Dakota Chorale is the winner of The American Prize in Choral Performance in the Professional division! The American Prize is awarded to ensembles and individuals to recognize "talent, love of the art, hard work and commitment" and quality of performance across a wide assortment of artistic criteria. More information can be found at their website.
South Dakota Chorale is excited to announce our full season for 2016-2017! This season promises collaborations, important debuts, and more national performances!
- In October, we return for the second installment in our collaborative series, "Raising Our Voices", this time with Roosevelt High School, Sioux Falls. "Raising Our Voices: Songs & Sonnets" will feature a program of internationally sourced choral jazz, including many settings of Shakespeare favorites. The first performance marks a debut at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, as well as a second performance at First Congregational Church in Sioux Falls.
- Later in October, South Dakota Chorale travels to North Carolina for a debut on the Duke Performances concert series at Duke Chapel. For our debut, we will present our Tyberg Project, our ongoing revival of the Masses of Marcel Tyberg, silenced when the composer was captured and killed at Auschwitz. This concert series features top performers and ensembles from around the globe, and we are honored to share the season with artists such as Chanticleer, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, So Percussion, Talib Kweli, Ian Bostridge, Eric Whitacre Singers, and Hilary Hahn, and dozens of others.
- In November, our album of Marcel Tyberg's Mass settings is released internationally on the Pentatone label. This album, our second with Pentatone, will bring international attention and life to Tyberg's silenced music.
We are buzzing with preparations for our appearance at the ICDA Summer Symposium, July 25-28, in Pella, Iowa. We will be performing a concert on July 26, and offering a presentation on July 27. More information can be found on our Concerts page. It is an honor to be selected to share our music with this outstanding organization!
The South Dakota Chorale will breathe new life into two lost Masses for choir and organ by composer Marcel Tyberg. Concerts in Minneapolis, Sioux Falls, and Lincoln, and recording sessions for our third CD.
Marcel Tyberg was tragically killed at Auschwitz during the Holocaust. Since his life was ended so prematurely, these Masses represent the entirety of his sacred choral output, and SDC will sing them for the first time since the composer played them himself.
In anticipation of his capture and possible deportation, Tyberg entrusted all of his compositions and personal writings to his friend, Dr. Milan Mihich, whose son Enrico brought the collection to Buffalo, NY where it has remained largely unnoticed until recently. In 2008, the Buffalo Philharmonic gave the highly-acclaimed world premiere of Tyberg’s Third Symphony more than 60 years after it’s composition.
Artistic Director Brian Schmidt will lead the Chorale in a modern-day premiere of Tyberg’s rediscovered Masses, scored for mixed voices and organ. Duke University's Christopher Jacobson will be the organist. The concerts will also include Erich Zeisl’s Requiem Ebraico, a work written in the spirit of Kaddish – a Hebrew prayer offered at in remembrance of one who has died. The piece, sung in Hebrew, compliments and completes what promises to be a deeply moving concert experience.
Coming soon will be more information about our concerts and how you can be a part of this marvelous musical rediscovery.
SDC is scheduling live auditions in December in Sioux Falls, SD, from Dec. 15-19. The audition will consist of singing prepared pieces, as well as basic vocal exercises with the director. Interested singers should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information and to request an audition time. In your email, please attach a resume.
We also accept electronic auditions on a rolling basis throughout the year. More information about electronic auditions can be found at our Auditions page.
The South Dakota Chorale will release its second commercial recording in February 2015 with Pentatone Classics, a label based in Amsterdam that specializes in audiophile-quality classical recordings. In signing with Pentatone, the Chorale joins the likes of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Bavarian Radio Choir, Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, and conductors like Paavo Järvi, Sir Neville Marriner, and Marek Janowski.
Blanton Alspaugh, Grammy-winning producer who has recorded both of the South Dakota Chorale’s albums notes, “All of us at Soundmirror are delighted to see two of our most valued collaborators join together in a new partnership. Pentatone has set the standard for musical and technical excellenceamong classical labels. The South Dakota Chorale has done the same among American choirs. We are thrilled to be a part of this new venture together.”
The new recording, entitled Sacred Songs of Life and Love, features some of the best in contemporary Scandinavian and Baltic choral music including Arvo Pärt’s Sieben Magnificat Antiphonen, selectionsfrom Knut Nystedt’s Prayers of Kierkegaard, and Sven David Sandström’s Four Songs of Love. Recorded in January, 2014 in the magnificent acoustical environment at St. Joseph Cathedral in Sioux Falls, this disc will be a must-have for choral enthusiasts.
Listen to a radio interview with Brian about the fellowship here.
Dr. Brian Schmidt, Artistic Director of the South Dakota Chorale, has been awarded a fellowship with the 2015 International Conductors Exchange Program to Sweden. Selected by the American Choral Directors Association, Dr. Schmidt will be among 14 U.S. conductors to travel to Stockholm, Sweden, in October, for the Scandinavian Choral Convention. As part of this fellowship, Dr. Schmidt will also serve as a host to a delegation of Swedish choral conductors that will attend the 2015 ACDA National Conference next February in Salt Lake City. The South Dakota Chorale is one of the choirs that has been selected to perform at the conference. "I am thrilled to learn more about the incredible Swedish choral tradition and establish lifelong connections with Swedish conductors. This experience will certainly be one that will influence my day to day work and I am eager to share all that I learn with students and singers in the future” says Schmidt.
Dr. Brian A. Schmidt, the founding director of The South Dakota Chorale, is a native of New Ulm, Minnesota. He completed his undergraduate studies at South Dakota State University. Graduate study was at The University of North Texas where he earned masters and doctoral degrees under the direction of Dr. Richard Sparks and Dr. Jerry McCoy. Dr. Schmidt is currently the Assistant Conductor and Administrative Coordinator of Chapel Music at Duke University Chapel. Under his leadership, the Duke Vespers Ensemble and The South Dakota Chorale have explored the breadth of the choral repertoire, producing performances and recordings that include Buxtehude’s Membri Jesu Nostri, the Duruflé Requiem, and Sven-David Sandström’s Four Songs of Love. He has been a particular proponent of the contemporary Scandinavian and Eastern European choral traditions.
More information on Brian Schmidt can be found at www.brianschmidtmusic.com.
The South Dakota Chorale has been selected to perform at the American Choral Directors Association 2015 National Conference next February in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Chorale is one of only three community/professional groups to perform, one of which is the Ansan City Choir from Korea. Over 250 ensembles applied for a coveted performance at the national conference. Selection was made through a blind audition process, using submitted recordings. Notification of the Chorale’s selection came in a letter from Mary Hopper, ACDA National President-Elect and 2015 Salt Lake City National Conference Chair.
“This is the most prestigious conference invitation a choir can receive here in America,” says the Chorale’s Artistic Director Brian Schmidt. “It is a huge affirmation to know that the South Dakota Chorale and our singers are considered to be among America’s top choirs. We are thrilled to represent South Dakota and sing two conference concerts for several thousand American choral professionals.”
Founded in 2009 by Artistic Director Brian Schmidt and based in Sioux Falls, the South Dakota Chorale is an auditioned professional chorus whose mission is to provide opportunities for talented local musicians to sing alongside professional singers from around the country. Since its inception, approximately half of the Chorale’s roster has been made up of singers from this area. They include music teachers and others who have found this an opportunity to continue to make music at a high level of excellence after their high school and college singing experiences have passed. During the Chorale’s first five seasons, they have sung a wide variety of repertoire in concerts in eastern South Dakota, northwest Iowa and Minneapolis/St. Paul. They have also released a very well-reviewed recording, and are in the process of producing another, due out later this year. The Chorale has collaborated with area educational institutions including Sioux Falls Lincoln High School, Brookings High School, and South Dakota State University.
The singers come together in Sioux Falls once or twice a year to rehearse and perform. One of the marvelous benefits of this is that the singers who travel here have come to look forward their time in Sioux Falls. They enjoy the hospitality and everything our community has to offer. Executive Director Jack Mohlenhoff notes, “It is quite a tribute to this community that singers from New York, Boston, Seattle and Chicago absolutely love coming here.”