Augustana University School of Music Partners With Promising Futures Fund for 2023 Middle School Choral Festival

By Jill Wilson | October 19, 2023
2022 Middle School Choral Festival

Presented by the Promising Futures Fund, Augustana University is excited to announce that its School of Music (SoM) will host the Middle School Choral Festival at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 23, in the Mary W. Sommervold Hall at the Washington Pavilion. The Ben Reifel, George McGovern and Whittier Middle Schools choirs will join Augustana choirs for an unforgettable choral experience. The choirs will be guest conducted by award-winning composer and Augustana alumnus Kyle Peterson ‘93.

“Partnering with Augustana University provides our Sioux Falls public school students an opportunity to envision their collegiate future in their hometown. Participation in the arts, specifically choral music, allows students a low-cost solution to express themselves, build their community and make Sioux Falls more beautiful through music,” said Steve Hildebrand, founder and chair of the Promising Futures Fund.

Established in 2019, the Promising Futures Fund supports students of lower-income families in the Sioux Falls area through programing and interaction with South Dakota colleges and universities. In addition to underwriting transportation and other costs associated with college-hosted events, the Promising Futures Fund works with campuses to plan events and enable eighth-grade students to “see themselves on the campuses of South Dakota schools of higher education.”  

Following the success of the inaugural Middle School Choral Festival at Augustana University in March, Hildebrand and Dean of the Augustana SoM Dr. Peter Folliard set a clear vision for this fall’s festival: to encourage more students and families to think about their college futures and involvement in choral music. To this end, a partnership with the Sioux Falls School District (SFSD) choir directors of Whittier, McGovern and Ben Reifel Middle Schools was the logical next step. This year’s festival will conclude with a concert featuring more than 250 voices on the Mary W. Sommervold stage.

"We're delighted to partner with our fellow music educators in the community to all come together and celebrate through sharing fellowship and music,” said Folliard.

This event is free with no ticket required. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit

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