Simplified: A partnership between Augustana University and the Promising Futures Fund is giving dozens of Sioux Falls middle schoolers a chance to perform at the Washington Pavilion. Here's what you need to know.

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Promising Futures Fund and Augustana University's School of Music are partnering to 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 a free, public performance.

The university also hosted a similar program this spring, but Monday will be the first time hosting the festival at the Pavilion.

"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.

Why it matters

  • About 150 students from the three middle schools will have a chance to spend the afternoon Monday with the Augustana choir, learn some music, practice together and perform that evening.
  • It's an opportunity for these kids to not only receive some mentorship from the college students, but they'll also get a sense of what the future could look like for them if they continue to pursue music – and especially if they go to Augustana someday, said Matthew Erickson, manager of operations and community partnerships.
  • Augustana Choir President Morrigan Farrow – a senior education and music major – said the choral festival is also an exciting chance for her to get a sense of what her future may hold, too, in working with students.
"For me, it means a lot to connect with students on a more personal level," Farrow said. "And when they're able to perform, it's a really wonderful opportunity."

What happens next?

Students from the three schools will meet at the Pavilion Monday afternoon to rehearse and perform.

The hope is to continue this partnership for years to come, Erickson said.

"For these students, it's going to be one of those experiences where they’re going to remember – they might not remember the songs they sing, but they'll remember the feeling they had," he said.