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Christmas At The Cathedral

December 16, 2009, 10:07 PM by Courtney Zieller

Christmas At The Cathedral
It's a holiday tradition in Sioux Falls. And those involved with the Christmas at the Cathedral concert series have spent countless hours researching, organizing and practicing for the event that kicks off Thursday night so they can make this year's production the best yet.

It's a special time of year and Christmas at the Cathedral is helping bring people together.

"I think people will be really inspired," composer Dan Goeller said.

For the past 13 years, the production has had a different theme. This year it's called Hope's Promise, intended to lift everyone's spirits. 

"With all the uncertainty and things going on with the economy and socially, I think people will really be encouraged," Goeller said.

It's Goeller's first year with the production.  He moved to the area four years ago and is excited to join an already amazing crew.

"It's an exciting opportunity to make great music here in eastern South Dakota," Goeller said. 

Putting on such a big show requires endless hours of hard work for everyone involved.

"About 90 percent of the music you hear in the program is all custom arraigned and put together just for each year's program," Goeller said.

"Carving out the time for something like this is a commitment. In itself, it's a busy time of year," tenor Scott Piper said. 

Piper has been part of the production for four years and is glad to be back for another season.

"I love to be here. I love this particular project," Piper said.

Piper travels year round to sing all over the world.  While he and his family live in Vermillion, he rarely spends time there.

"I really won't spend time with the family until the final concert so when I'm here with this, this is my gift of my time to be here with this wonderful project," Piper said.

Other talent come from outside of KELOLAND.

"We do have people come as far away as Minneapolis," Goeller said.

No matter their travel situation, most come back to make the concert better than the year before.

"They just have passion for making great music so when we get together, it's a great opportunity to explore that and to have that time to inspire the people who come to listen," Goeller said.

And inspiration is one of the messages this year.

"Through a concert like this, we can take a moment, take time out of the ridiculous and hectic Christmas schedule and usher those who come out into a moment of tranquility, peace. That's the goal," Piper said.

Those who attend the concert will also get a glimpse of what construction crews have been working on. This will be the first time the public will be allowed inside the Cathedral since the massive restoration project began.

The Cathedral has been closed since June and crews continue to work on the restoration process but once the concert begins, organizers hope the construction will all be forgotten.

"We see the condition of this building but yet people will be inspired by the beauty and the art they'll see when they look around and when they listen to the sounds that we will bring them," Goeller said.

Sounds that are sure to bring messages of hope, love and inspiration to those who come.

"The spirit of the place is what everyone brings to it. It's that opening that up to everyone who come sits, they understand they're part of the process who makes this special," Piper said.

"Great art should change people.  It should inspire people. They shouldn't go away without experiencing something unique," Goeller said.

Proceeds from this year's event will go toward the restoration process.

Christmas at the Cathedral will be held Thursday, December 17 through Sunday, December 20.

Tickets are still available for some of the shows.  Thursday and Friday night are sold out.

Saturday showings are at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday 3 p.m.

And if you aren't able to make it to any of the performances you can watch the performance on KELO-TV on December 25, Christmas night from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Buy Christmas at the Cathedral tickets online or call (888) 246-3386

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