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January 12, 2018 10:00 PM

Hitting A High Note

Members of a South Dakota choir are anxiously awaiting the results of a major award ceremony. 

The South Dakota Chorale is nominated for multiple Grammys.

It's a first-time honor for the group. 

It's music to the ears of the South Dakota Chorale. 

"I was kind of scrolling through Facebook and saw someone post it and kind of refreshed the page and thought, 'Is that real? Is this real?'" Chorale Member Maren Engel said. 

It is. 

Come January 28 the choir members will know if they can call themselves Grammy winners. 

Kelli Volk: What went through your mind when you found out you were nominated?
Weber: That's funny because it was a little bit of, 'No, no, that can't be,' and then there was a lot of hooting and hollering and cheering. 

Heath Weber is a member of the group and the board president. 

"We've been nominated, technically in four areas. The choir itself is nominated in three areas: Best Surround Sound, Best Engineering Classical, and of course our favorite is Best Choral Performance," Heath Weber said. 

The nominations are all related to the album Tyberg Masses. 

So who is the group behind all this Grammy talk?

"It's hard for me to describe the sound because it's not quite anything you've ever heard. So it's pretty special," Weber said. 

You could just find out for yourself this month. The South Dakota Chorale will be performing at St. Joseph Cathedral in Sioux Falls on January 25 and then again at Morningside College in Sioux City on January 26.

The chorale members begin group rehearsals about a week out from each performance. 

"Everyone comes in prepared and we have pretty intense rehearsals. We'll have a three-hour set and then a break and then a three-hour set. Some days we'll have even longer rehearsal times than that," Weber said. 

It will be a welcome reunion. 

"I'm so looking forward to having the members fly in and get to have that week where we get to make incredible music together," Engel said. 

Weber says about half of the choir resides in South Dakota. The rest travel from out of state. 

"We've got people from New York, Georgia, from Philly, from's really special, Texas, they're from everywhere," Weber said. 

Kelli Volk: What about it screams South Dakota?
Weber: It is truly who we are as people. Humble and kind and caring.

The recent Grammy nominations just might show even more people what the group and state are all about. 

"This certainly will spark some attention and some pride for our state," Engel said.

"What a great feather in the cap of South Dakota, and of Sioux Falls, and of all these great singers that have worked so hard to make a difference in the arts world," Weber said.

A lot could come from this recent honor, but for now Engel is just getting ready to settle in for award night. 

"It'll just be fun to be a part of it all, even from afar," Engel said. 

While it's too soon to tell if they can call themselves Grammy winners, it's safe to say Engel and the rest of the chorale members have already hit a high note. 

Be sure to follow KELOLAND's Brady Mallory on Twitter January 28. He'll be live tweeting the Grammy ceremony. 

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