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Local student part of Holocaust study tour

A local St. Cloud State University student was among those who traveled through France, Germany and Switzerland premiering the Holocaust memorial oratorio, "To Be Certain of the Dawn."

Musicians from St. Cloud State, Saint John's University, and the College of Saint Benedict and the St. Cloud State Cantabile Girls Choir participated in concerts in each of the countries, including a performance at Nazweiler-Struthof, a former Nazi camp near Colmar, France.

Sharisse Germain, New Richmond, participated as a member of the St. Cloud State choir. She is a sophomore music performance major and the daughter of Jerry Germain and Susan Santer.

Performers on the exchange tour participated in a curriculum guided by the St. Cloud State Department of Jewish Studies and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education that included visits to churches, mosques, synagogues, museums, universities and the European Union Parliament.

The tour resulted from a collaboration of music departments at the three universities, the St. Cloud State Department of Jewish Studies and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education.

"To Be Certain of the Dawn," by composer Stephen Paulus and librettist Michael Dennis Browne, was commissioned in 2001 by the Rev. Michael J. O'Connell of the Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis, to honor Holocaust victims as well as survivors and their descendants.

The group also presented the oratorio in two free concerts for the Central Minnesota community in April, when the Boys' Choir from Saint John's University joined them.

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