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Southern Lakes Masterpiece Choral donates to choir trip in honor of founder, former DDHS director

IMAGE: Check giving with Superintendent Crist, Nora Karbash, Dick Severing and Jim Larson

The Southern Lakes Masterpiece Choral donated $1,600 in the name of former DDHS Choir Director Richard Severing to fund the DDHS Choir trip to New York City in spring 2018. From left: Superintendent Robert Crist, Southern Lakes Masterpiece Choral Treasurer Nora Karbash, Choral Founder/Conductor Richard Severing, DDHS Choir Director Jim Larson.

DELAVAN — The Southern Lakes Masterpiece Choral is disbanding after more than 30 years, and its last act is a tribute to the man who founded it.
The Choral, a registered non-profit, decided to donate its remaining $1,600 to the Delavan-Darien High School choir program in honor of its founder and conductor, Richard Severing. The funds will support bus transportation for the DDHS choir members to visit New York City this spring and sing with world-renowned composer and conductor John Rutter at Carnegie Hall.
Richard Severing photo

Richard Severing

Severing retired as Delavan-Darien High School’s choir director in 2000 after 25 years in the position. In that time, he started the Southern Lakes Masterpiece Choral at DDHS in the mid 1980s. The group usually featured about 80 adults and some student singers who put on an annual show on the DDHS Auditorium stage. The group later moved to the Elkhorn Area High School stage as it sought membership growth from outside the Delavan area.

Severing is also a member of the United Arts Alliance Hall of Fame and leads the Choral Union choir group in Janesville.
“When I think of Mr. Severing I think of the quote, ‘I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.'” said Superintendent Robert Crist. “He’s a special person, and he certainly is somebody in the world of music. He saw a need for musical groups like this in our community, started them and maintained them for decades. He is a tremendous talent and a gift to the musical arts in our communities. We are so appreciative of the gift in his name to help our students make it to New York City later this year.”
On the trip, the DDHS choir members will sing at Carnegie Hall under the direction of John Rutter for the sixth time. The students will have 20 hours of rehearsal, see two Broadway Musicals, sing with a professional orchestra, have about 18 hours of sight seeing on the island of Manhattan and share more than 40 hours of camaraderie on the tour bus. As a bonus, they’ll visit Niagara Falls on the way home.The trip is planned for May 24 to May 30. It is a part of a field trip rotation the DDHS choir has with the DDHS band and DDHS orchestra, which also take education-packed musical journeys throughout the country every three years.

For further details, or to make a donation to the choir trip, please contact DDHS Choir Director Jim Larson at 262-233-6668 or jlarson@ddschools.org.
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