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May 31, 2004

Pioneer Press

They got a standing ovation before they even sang a note. The packed audience at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis jumped to its feet as the Dale Warland Singers entered for their last performance Sunday after 32 years as a Twin Cities cultural institution. The 40-voice choir responded with an emotional concert that both audience members and singers hailed as one of their finest. Warland, the creator and leader of one of the country's most influential choirs, took a moment in the middle of the concert to thank singers, musicians, composers, staff, family members, audiences and the Twin Cities community for their support. "Time flies by so quickly," Warland, 71, said. "I'm a very lucky man. To be able to find something in life that you're passionate about is a very rare thing."

Much of the audience shared Warland's passion. The seats were full of singers and choir leaders and lovers, including Warland alumni, church choir members, school music directors and VIPs of the choral world who traveled from around the country to see the last show. They showered Warland and his singers with affectionate applause. "Walking out there was unbelievable," said Warland bass Eric Harstad. "The crowd, it was incredible. The feeling from the audience." Harstad said the choir delivered a powerful performance in return. "We were pumped," he said. "It was just what we wanted to have happen." More

Posted by acapnews at May 31, 2004 9:33 PM

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