The news shocking the world is the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. The building has stood in the center of Paris for more than 850 years.
The flames continue to tear apart the historic building, as people watch helplessly. Those living near Notre Dame are being evacuated over concerns of Notre Dame collapsing.
Just a few weeks ago, students from the University of South Dakota Chamber Singers were performing inside the cathedral. KELOLAND News caught up with the choir director to find out what that experience was like, and how this devastating news is impacting the students who were just there.
Performing inside the Notre Dame Cathedral is something many singers only dream of.
“Awesome in the truest sense of the word. It’s just the history of the building is such that, you can’t really describe what the feeling is just walking in the building. Then to stand in the front to sing, it’s a massive space,” David Holdhusen, Director of Choral Activities at USD, said.
USD students got to make that dream a reality last month. Choral Director, David Holdhusen, applied for the opportunity, along with thousands of others who try and get a coveted spot on the Notre Dame schedule.
“The screening process is very rigorous and they only select maybe one or two per day when they have concerts available. So it’s a pretty prestigious opportunity we had,” Holdhusen said.
Now, as the intricately designed cathedral burns to the ground, Holdhusen and his students watch in dismay.
“We were just there and you look at those pictures and you just think, what we saw may never be seen again,” Holdhusen said.
Notre Dame, whose name means “Our Lady” took more than 180 years to build. Construction started in 1163. This is what it looked like before the fire.
The cathedral has been undergoing renovations recently, which were reported to cost $180 million. There is still no official word on what caused the fire to start.