Concert Choir to perform at PAC to round out tour

Grace Arthur, Reporter

After traveling for four days, the Concert Choir will wrap up their fall tour Friday, Nov. 5, in Brookings.   

The Home Tour concert finale will be at 7 p.m. in Larson Concert Hall. This is free for all, and will hold no intermission.  

For their tour that started Oct. 31, the Concert Choir and its director Laura Diddle have been traveling across both Minnesota and South Dakota, performing five times in five days.  

“It’s a great opportunity for us to share our gifts and the spirit of SDSU across Minnesota and South Dakota,” choir member AnneMarie Smith said. 

The theme of this tour is “Canticum Novum,” which means “sing a new song” in Latin. This is the first piece being performed by the choir, and this is the choir’s first performance off campus since their international tour to Italy in January 2020.  

“I wanted nothing more than to just get everyone together in the same room and make music again,” member Abigail Turner said.  

The choir will have performed at many sacred institutions, which had an influence on the pieces selected. These pieces include “Lux Aeterna,” “There’s Gonna Be a Homecomin’,” “Canticum Novum,” “Bogorodiste Djevo,” “Notre Pere” and “Hope, Faith, Life, Love,” which will feature pianist Jamie O’Neill.  

The Home Tour is very special to the students because the stops they’re making are in the hometowns of different members. Then they will come back home to Brookings and have the opportunity to show everyone what they’ve been working on all year.   

“We’re so excited to go on tour, and then on Friday at our home concert, to get to show the community what we say and how we blend together as a group” Diddle said. 

The choir is made up of 65 members and is by audition only. It has a 60-40 split between music and non-music majors, but the passion for music is shared among everyone. The choir requires musical talent, the skills to learn pronunciation for French, German, Russian and Latin, and the skills to blend it all together.  

“I’m so proud of this incredible Concert Choir. They have to rise to the occasion to do very difficult repertoire like this,” Diddle said. “It’s not for the faint of heart.” 

Senior student Shawn Stemsrud is making a special guest appearance by student-conducting the piece “Lux Aeterna.”  

Stemsrud won a national conducting contest last year which allowed him to conduct at this concert. He also conducted the pit for the musical “Carrie,” and will be student teaching at Brookings High School next semester. 

Diddle’s favorite piece they are performing this week is “Can We Sing the Darkness to Light,” by Kyle Pederson.  

“It’s just really a beautiful piece about how a beautiful life would be without prejudice or without judgements,” Diddle said. “Singing the difficulties into light and setting the sword of judgment asideIt’s just really a lovely, poignant piece.” 

The choir will also have performances in early December for the 18th biennial Madrigal Dinner in the Volstorff Ballroom. Performances will start at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 and 4 and at 5 p.m. Dec. 5. Tickets are $50 per person and $500 for a preferred table, which includes premier seating.  

The Concert Choir, Statesmen and Choralia will also host the Yuletide Concert at Larson Memorial Concert Hall Dec. 14. The performances are at 2 and 5 p.m.. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and children and SDSU students have free admission with their ID.