After 15 years, Edgemont High School students return to All-State Choir

By Savanna Simmons

RAPID CITY -- After a 15-year hiatus, Edgemont High School traveled to Rapid City over the weekend to be a part of South Dakota High School Activities Association All-State Choir & Orchestra. Four students, Lacette Klein, 17, a senior and soprano, Elli Hollenbeck, 15, a sophomore and alto, Kaleb Darrow, 17, a senior and tenor, and Dalton Reutter, 17, a senior and bass, made up a quartet that joined a much larger choir.

“Every school is represented by a quartet. I take my best quartet, and we rehearse music,” Suzanne Hollenbeck, the EHS music director, said. “We will do eight pieces on Saturday night. Three will be done with the orchestra, and the other five will just be the choir.”

All-State Choir & Orchestra offers students the opportunity to perform on a larger stage with their peers, though not in a competitive setting.

“They get to meet so many different people who also have a love of music,” Hollenbeck said. “I hope they get something out of having a different director, someone else telling them things. Singing in a large, mass choir is a neat experience.”

Dr. Phillip Swan was the guest chorus conductor, and Dr. Anthony Elliot was the guest orchestra conductor. The choir performed “We have Come”, “Ubi Caritas”, “Fiddler of Dooney”,  “Wayfaring Stranger”, and “Flight Song”. They also performed, with the orchestra, “Confutatis/Lacrymosa”.

“All-State Choir was a once in a lifetime experience. I was so impressed with the number of kids there and the quality of the singing and orchestra students,” Reutter said. “I am very glad I could be a part of it.”

Edgemont High School hasn’t been represented at All-State Choir since 2003, when Hollenbeck had her first baby. She had a baby each of the next three years, and Halloween fell on the same weekend as All-State Choir.

“This year, Halloween is different, and it was in Rapid City,” Hollenbeck said. “I asked if they wanted to go, and there was interest.”

Edgemont was one of about 145 schools that participated in All-State Choir. The choir was televised Saturday night, and it will also be playing on Thanksgiving day on South Dakota Public Broadcasting. It is also available to watch on


Photo by Suzanne Hollenbeck

From left, Kaleb Darrow, Elli Hollenbeck, Dalton Reutter, and Lacette Klein represented Edgemont High School at All-State Choir for the first time in 15 years.


Fall River County Herald Star

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