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
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.