LET ME FLY
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.
ALSO ON NAVONA RECORDS
Laudato SI (NV6036)
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
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