Cathedral Arts Guild and Heelan to sponsor vespers concert at
By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
February 12, 2004
The Cathedral Arts Guild and the Bishop Heelan High School Vocal Music
Department are co-sponsoring an event featuring the Dakota Men's Ensemble.
The concert will be held at 8 p.m. on Feb. 20 at the Cathedral of the
Epiphany in Sioux City.
The group was started about four or five years ago as a student-run ensemble
that came out of the SDSU men's chorus, The Statesmen. It was just a small group
run by students and they sang all types of music through extra rehearsals in
evenings and smaller performances.
"It has kind of evolved over the last couple of years. They have taken
on non-profit status and they have become a community group that involves all
sorts of college students and people in the community at large," said Chris
Storm, assistant music director at Heelan High School.
The group is directed by SDSU alumnus Brian Schmidt. There are 13 singers in
the group ranging in age from 21 to early 50s. The Brookings Art Council
sponsors the ensemble.
"They come from all different walks of life," said Storm. "I
believe there are three who make their living as musicians or as music teachers.
The rest work in the private sector, engineers and other just general business
in the Brookings area. They all combine for their love of singing. There are
members from Brookings, SDSU and a few who travel from Sioux Falls and
They are taking music, primarily from Russian composers and putting that
together. It will be a meditative form of a sacred vespers service, so almost
all of the portions of the vespers will be represented.
"They are going to sing music appropriate to vespers," said Sister
Mary Day, OSF, a member of the Cathedral Arts Guild. "Vespers is the
evening prayer of the church said by priests and religious. The type of music
they will sing will work in the Cathedral very well."
The men's ensemble will sing both a cappella and accompanied sacred works.
The Cathedral Arts Guild heard about the ensemble, and that they were wanting
to perform in the Siouxland area. This concert is part of a small tour they are
doing over the weekend in Southeastern South Dakota and Northwestern Iowa. The
arts guild looks for groups that fit their mission, which is to foster the
historic role of a Cathedral as a diocesan and community center for prayer,
hospitality and the arts. Sister Day explained that this would be a perfect type
of presentation to have at the Cathedral.
"Our secular entertainment centers are not providing this," said
Sister Day, also a professor in the music department at Briar Cliff University.
"That is not their mission to do that, so it is our mission to provide
types of situations that bring us to prayer or bring us to meditation - this
concert will do that."
Tickets for the concert will be available at the door for a $5 donation. The
concert will benefit the Cathedral Arts Guild and the Heelan High School vocal
"The group has a lot of talent," said Storm. "They are all
focused on keeping the men's music thriving and keeping it alive. It is a great
room for them to sing in. The acoustics of the Cathedral are just phenomenal. I
think the audience will just really enjoy what they hear that night."
All are encouraged to attend this event at the Cathedral. The doors will open
for seating at 7:30 p.m.