South Dakota Chorale

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The South Dakota Chorale, founded in 2008 in a medium-sized Midwestern city, has already established a regional reputation and released several innovative recordings.
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The South Dakota Chorale, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, combines the talents of singers and musicians active locally, regionally, and nationally.

The group is professional, notable in a city the size of Sioux Falls (population 175,000), and was founded in 2008 by Brian A. Schmidt, who continues to serve as artistic director. In its first five years of existence, the Chorale developed educational collaborations with high school choirs, led master classes for pre-professional singers, partnered with local arts series, and began a guest conductor residency. It has released three albums; two were on the audiophile-oriented PentaTone label, and all three have been produced by Blanton Alspaugh, who has received multiple Grammy nominations for his work with the group.

The Chorale includes professional singers (who may hold day jobs outside music), many of whom travel the country singing opera and oratorios; college-level voice teachers; and choral conductors. The group members have been invited guests of Iowa Choral Directors Association and the American Choral Directors National Conference in Salt Lake City; that tour saw performances at Abravanel Hall and the Mormon Tabernacle. In Sioux Falls its performances are held at the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science. The South Dakota Chorale states its mission this way: "Bringing people together to produce inspirational, world-class performances of choral arts that embrace professional artistry and enrich the cultural life of South Dakotans." Its albums include In Paradisum: The Healing Power of Heaven (2011); Sacred Songs of Life & Love (2015), featuring compositions by Arvo Pärt and other Nordic composers; and an album of two masses by Marcel Tyberg (2016).