A Sioux Falls concert choir is putting the finishing touches on a song that will make its world debut at Christmas at the Cathedral this week.
It's a gift especially for O'Gorman High School. The song is called Christmas Lullabye, and it’s a dramatic piece with lots of intensity.
"It's the kind of song where the audience just might forget to breathe,” senior Natalie Ray said. “It's one of those 'chills' songs."
The 62 students in the O'Gorman concert choir will be the first to sing it on stage at Christmas at the Cathedral. But even more special than that is the fact that the song was written just for the group, and the sheet music will always say so.
"To have that one song made especially for my choir, my senior year, I'll always get to have that," Ray said.
Director Cathy Britton found the song and wanted to use it for the program, but the lyrics weren't in a Christmas theme. She contacted the composer about re-writing it.
"He said, 'I've got a lyricist in mind. Would you like to commission?' I said, 'How much?' And after he told me the price I said, 'I don't have that in my budget,'" Britton said.
After Britton explained that the song was for Christmas at the Cathedral, the composer and lyricist decided to donate their talents.
"For O'Gorman High School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to have something published that they get to premiere is just exciting," Britton said.
It's rare that a song is professionally written especially for a high school concert choir.
"You see it for college choirs a lot, and it's usually their own director who does it,” senior Jack Billion said. “But to have someone else and have it donated is a huge deal."
Students know the crowd will be blown away.
"I can only hope we bring some of them to tears,” Billion said. “It's that powerful."
Christmas at the Cathedral runs Thursday through Sunday and will be televised Christmas night at 6:30 p.m. on KELOLAND-TV.