November 21, 2021

Thirty-six students from Decorah were recently selected for participation in the 35th  annual Opus Honor Choir Festival, the most Decorah Community Schools has ever had involved in the Opus Honor Choirs.  Over 2,100 students were nominated by their directors for 720 positions in the four Opus Honor Choirs. Selections were made by means of a recorded audition.

This is the fifteenth year that Decorah has had students audition for the Opus Honor Choirs. During the past 15 years more than 340 students from Decorah have been accepted through recordings submitted by Dean Beckman, Jason Rausch, and community youth choir directors. This year, twenty-nine students were selected from Decorah Middle School from recordings submitted by Dean Beckman; this is the highest number of students accepted into the honor choirs by one teacher in the state of Iowa in 2021. Seven students were selected by recordings submitted by Jason Rausch at Decorah High School.

The following students have been selected to participate in the Opus Honor Choir Festival:

5th Grade:  Crosby Butler, Tristan Hanson, Hanna Lensch, Lailyn McGrath,

Veda Shimek, and Graham Torkelson

6th Grade:  Kennedy Carlson, Ella Evelsizer, Cooper Ewing, and Kaya Johnson

7th Grade:  Elliot Berland, Spencer Christensen, Sawyer Courtney, Jayden Lundtvedt,

Noah Potvin, Carter Riley, Grace Stockman, and Colin Thompson

8th Grade: Mara Branum, June Breitenbach-Dirks, Elsa Christman, Will Duder,

Ezra Harman-Wood, Mikayla Hiner, Caleb Johnson, Trevor Kuennen,

Nora Lesmeister, Caden Malanaphy, and Naomi Pedlar

9th Grade:  Oliver Brummel, Liam Chamberlain, Kealy Hines, Caleb Krieg,

Andrew Kruger, Ezra Vorvick, and Amelia Wadsworth

In addition, three students were selected as solo finalists for the final concert: Will Duder and Ezra Harman-Wood in grade 8 and Kaya Johnson for grade 6. 

Guest conductors of the choirs include Nancy Ewing, LeMars Community Middle School, 5th & 6th Grade Honor Choir; David Fog, retired, 7th & 8th Grade Bass Clef Honor Choir; Cheryl Thompson, Atlantic Middle School, 7th & 8th Grade Treble Clef Honor Choir; and Samantha Robillard, Pella High School, 9th Grade Mixed Honor Choir. The 2021 Opus Honor Choirs will perform at 4:00 p.m. November 18th in C.Y. Stephens Auditorium in the Iowa State Center in Ames. The Opus Honor Choir Festival is made possible by the Iowa Choral Directors Association, Inc.

DMS Opus 2021
DMS students selected to participate in the Opus Honor Choir Festival:
Front Row (l-r): Lailyn McGrath, Tristan Hanson, Crosby Butler, Graham Torkelson, Veda Shimek, Will Duder, Sawyer Courtney, Elsa Christman, and Hanna Lensch
Middle Row (l-r): Naomi Pedlar, Cooper Ewing, Ezra Harman-Wood, Caleb Johnson, Trevor Kuennen, Carter Riley, June Breitenbach-Dirks, Mikayla Hiner, and Mara Branum
Back Row (l-r): Nora Lesmeister, Ella Evelsizer, Kennedy Carlson, Noah Potvin, Colin Thompson, Spencer Christensen, Caden Malanaphy, Kaya Johnson, Jayden Lundtvedt, and Elliot Berland
Not Pictured:   Grace Stockman 
Grade 9 Opus 2021
DHS 9th grade students selected to participate in the Opus Honor Choir Festival:
Front Row (l-r): Andrew Kruger, Kealy Hines, and Caleb Krieg
Back Row (l-r):  Amelia Wadsworth, Ezra Vorvick, Liam Chamberlain, and Oliver Brummel