Freeman Academy choir honored with “big-time” invite


11-member ensemble one of four groups featured at SDACDA winter conference

by Jeremy Waltner for The Courier and available here

When the South Dakota chapter of the American Choral Directors Association gathers in Sioux Falls for its winter conference on Jan. 19 and 20, those attending will assemble at the First United Methodist Church for a Friday night concert.

They will hear four featured ensembles that were exclusively selected by the SDACDA based on taped auditions late last year:

The SDSU Statesmen

The Aberdeen Vocal Jazz

The Tea Area Concert Choir

The Freeman Academy Chamber Choir

It’s not difficult to surmise which of these groups is not like the other.

With a high school student enrollment just under 30 and a chamber choir of 11, the mass of singers from FA is but a fraction of the other schools, yet worthy enough to join in the fun.

“We’re kind of in the big time here,” chuckles Rolf Olson, a career music instructor who is in his second year leading the vocal department at FA after spending six years at Northern State University and 25 years before that at the University of South Dakota, as director of bands at both.

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