CONNECT with David Holdhusen
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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. His responsibilities include serving as conductor for the Chamber Singers and teaching courses in conducting. In addition to his teaching duties, Dr. Holdhusen is currently the Chair of the Department of Music and Director of the university’s annual Choral Directors Institute.
Holdhusen received his Ph.D. in Music Education from Florida State University. He holds an M.M. from Northwestern University in Choral Conducting, and a B.A. in Music with education certification from Gustavus Adolphus College. While at Gustavus, Holdhusen was elected to Pi Kappa Lambda and awarded the Presser Foundation Scholarship.
In demand as a guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician, Holdhusen was the recipient of the SD-ACDA Encore Award for excellence and achievement in the field of choral music and the prestigious Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest honor USD bestows on its educators. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the College Music Society, the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Holdhusen has had research published in national journals, presented clinics and interest sessions throughout the country, and his book, Commitment to Musical Excellence, is published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. He has been elected to leadership positions in various organizations, including a term as President for the South Dakota Chapter of ACDA. Choirs under his direction have been invited to perform at state and regional festivals and conventions, have won first place and grand champion awards in music festivals throughout the country, and have been honored with the American Prize for sustained excellence in Choral Performance.
Chamber Singers is the premiere vocal ensemble at the University of South Dakota. It is comprised of graduate and undergraduate students selected through audition from the entire university student body. Known to critics for “creating a choral concert of stunning beauty and musical understanding,” its repertoire, which is primarily a cappella, includes music from the Renaissance to the present in a wide variety of styles. The ensemble presents formal concerts on campus each semester and its annual tour has taken the group throughout the United States and Europe. They have performed for state and regional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and the Music Educators National Conference and have appeared on the public radio program “Going Beyond Words.” The Chamber Singers, on several occasions, have been selected as a finalist for the American Prize in Choral Performance (College and University Division) and were recently named an Honored Artist by this organization for its sustained excellence.