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DWU’s vocal, handbell choirs to go on spring tour

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Dakota Wesleyan University’s vocal and handbell choirs will kick off their spring tour this Sunday with a free concert in Mitchell, featuring spiritual arrangements spanning from Irish tunes to traditional spirituals to folk music.

The Ron and Sheilah Gates Department of Music will travel for its annual spring tour, “Sing a New Song Unto the Lord,” Feb. 18-25, including stops at Mitchell, Sioux Falls, Omaha and Norfolk, Neb. The first concert will be at the First United Methodist Church, Mitchell, at 4 p.m. These concerts are all free and open to the public.

The DWU groups performing include the Highlanders, Dakota Wesleyan Choir, the Singing Scotchmen, Wesleyan Bells, and the newly renamed women’s chamber choir, the Dakota Dynamics.

“Our music department has experienced such positive momentum over the past few years that we are excited to promote the university and the department of music to audiences that may not have heard of us,” said Dr. Clinton Desmond, choral director and associate professor of music. “We will take audiences on an emotional musical journey, exploring deeper connections with God – even during troubled times.  I promise that audiences will be extremely moved by all the performances.”

The ensembles will perform several pieces each, including Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”; “Nothin’ Gonna Stumble My Feet,” by Greg Gilpin and John Parker; Eventide’s “Abide With Me”; “Requiem,” by Eliza Gilkyson; and “Ezekiel Saw the Wheel,” a traditional spiritual.

Following are the tour dates and locations:

Feb. 18: First United Methodist Church, Mitchell, 4 p.m.

Feb. 23: First United Methodist Church, Sioux Falls, 7 p.m.

Feb. 24: Olive Crest United Methodist Church, Omaha, Neb., 7 p.m.

Feb. 25: First United Methodist Church, Norfolk, Neb., 4 p.m.

In addition, Dakota Wesleyan’s music department offers the following ensemble groups: LyricWood Orchestra, Tiger Pep Band, and the Dakota Wesleyan Band.

DWU is a private, liberal arts university associated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church. DWU offers performing arts scholarships for majors, minors and participation.