A celebration of American Choral Music


University of South Dakota Chamber Singers

David Holdhusen conductor




LET ME FLY showcases the extraordinary talents of the University of South Dakota Chamber Singers in a compilation of American choral music under the direction of Dr. David Holdhusen. The album, recorded from 2014 to 2016, primarily draws on two mainstays of contemporary American choral repertoire – traditional folk song and spiritual arrangements and new works featuring a lyrical, lush harmonic language.


It is the traditional works which form the true heart of the collection. Beloved favorites like Elijah Rock, Shenandoah, Dixie, Windham, and Go, Tell It On The Mountain are given fresh interpretations through expert, inspired arrangements which highlight the strengths of the ensemble and its leader.  These interpretations are sure to delight lovers of folk and spiritual material, but they also stretch into new sonic territories and present these cherished tunes in an exhilarating, inspirational manner.


Country Dances, a lively medley of folksy tunes arranged by Ward Swingle, contains references to several well-known American folk songs and includes playful vocalizations that conjures memories of the often-entertaining repertoire of collegiate glee clubs.


An English setting of Psalm 23 is one of three works by Jonny Priano featured on the album (along with Do Not Fear and There is a River). These selections represent the composer’s highly melodic, traditional aesthetic, as well as the lush harmonic language present in mainstream American choral composition.  The deep, personal relationship between the composer and the ensemble is apparent in the passion with which the music is performed.


Someplace, by Jocelyn Hagen, expresses a marked pop influence, featuring beatbox throughout.  Beyond the clear associations to various styles of pop music, the piece also borrows from certain genres of a cappella vocal music, and has a sophisticated structure, with several sections that change mood, texture, and tempo. I am Not Yours, by Z. Randall Stroope, deliberately establishes and maintains its harmonic language, breaking diatonic boundaries only in its climactic middle section to emphasize its most important moments.




The recordings on this album are a collection of performances by the USD Chamber Singers from the years 2014-2016.  Each selection is intended to celebrate American choral music, specifically folk songs and spirituals with a splash of modern American composers.


David Holdhusen is the Director of Choral Activities and the Douglas and Susan Tuve Distinguished Professor of Choral Music at the University of South Dakota, having received his Ph.D. in Music Education from Florida State University.


Chamber Singers is the premiere vocal ensemble at the University of South Dakota, comprised of 40 graduate and undergraduate students selected through audition.  The ensemble tours annually throughout the US and Europe. Its repertoire, primarily a cappella, includes music from the Renaissance to the present in a wide variety of styles.

















Release Date: October 14, 2016

Catalog #: NV6060





        University of South Dakota Chamber Singers

        David Holdhusen, conductor


   1   Go, Tell it on the Mountain   Arr. Stacey Gibbs


   2   Psalm 23   Jonny Priano


   3   Someplace   Jocelyn Hagen

        Autumn Simunek & Seth Pierce, soloists

        Eldon Warner, vocal percussion


   4   Shenandoah   Arr. James Erb


   5   Elijah Rock   Arr. Moses Hogan


   6   Dixie   Arr. Norman Luboff


   7   Windham   Arr. Brad Holmes


   8   Do Not Fear   Jonny Priano


   9   Let Me Fly   Arr. Robert DeCormier

        Daniel Bellis, soloist


10   In Flanders Fields   Stephen Chatman


11   My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord   Arr. Moses Hogan

       Mickey McGrann, soloist


12  I am Not Yours   Z. Randall Stroope


13   Abide with Me   Arr. Lucy Hirt


14   Look What Dey Doin’ to Jesus   Arr. Richard Jackson

       Kirsten Wahl, Hannah Lambertz, & DeShonté Helm, soloists


15   Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?   Arr. William Henry Smith


16   There is a River   Jonny Priano


17   O Day Full of Grace   Arr. F. Melius Christiansen


18   Country Dances   Arr. Ward Swingle




All tracks recorded at Aalfs Auditorium in Slagle Hall, Vermillion SD

Producer David Holdhusen

Recording Session Engineer Doug Geston, Westmark Productions


Go, Tell it on the Mountain, Dixie, Do Not Fear, In Flanders Fields,

My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord, Country Dances

Recorded March, 2014


Psalm 23, Shenandoah, Windham, I am Not Yours,

Abide with Me, Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?, O Day Full of Grace

Recorded March, 2015


Someplace, Elijah Rock, Let Me Fly, Look What Dey Doin’ to Jesus,

There is a River

Recorded March, 2016


Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw

A&R Chris Robinson

Audio Director Jeff LeRoy

Mastering Shaun Michaud

Production Engineer Lucas Paquette

Art & Production Director Brett Picknell

Graphic Design Emily Roulo, Ryan Harrison

Marketing Mike Mahn




Navona Records offers listeners a fresh taste of today's leading innovators in orchestral, chamber, instrumental, and experimental music as well as prime pieces of classic repertoire. Our music is meticulously performed by the finest musicians and handpicked to ensure the most rewarding listening experience.



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