Twenty-eight students from Decorah were recently selected for participation in the 36th annual Opus Honor Choir Festival.  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 sixteenth year that Decorah has had students audition for the Opus Honor Choirs. During the past 16 years more than 365 Decorah students have been accepted through recordings submitted by Dean Beckman, Jason Rausch, and community youth choir directors. This year, twenty students were selected from Decorah Middle School by recordings submitted by Dean Beckman, the second highest number of students accepted into the honor choirs by one teacher in the state of Iowa in 2022. Eight students were selected by recordings submitted by Jason Rausch at the Decorah High School. Opus Honor Choirs performed on November 17th in C.Y. Stephens Auditorium in the Iowa State Center in Ames.

The following students were accepted in the Open Honor Choir:

5th Grade:  Kaya Olson and Abby Shaw

6th Grade:  Hanna Lensch, Ayla Low, and Marley Phillips

7th Grade:  Kennedy Carlson, Kylie Cord, Cooper Ewing, Derek Hrdlicka, and Kaya Johnson

8th Grade:  Elliot Berland, Spencer Christensen, Sawyer Courtney, Jayden Lundtvedt, Clarence Nimrod, Noah Potvin, Olivia Rissman, Daric Sheffield, Grace Stockman, and Colin Thompson

9th Grade: June Breitenbach-Dirks, Elsa Christman, Will Duder,

Ezra Harman-Wood, Mikayla Hiner, Klara Kelly, Caden Malanaphy, and Naomi Pedlar

In addition, two students were selected as solo finalists to audition for the final concert: Cooper Ewing in grade 7 and Colin Thompson in grade 8. 

Guest conductors of the choirs include Christina Svec, Iowa State University, 5th & 6th Grade Honor Choir; Nick Oswald, Southview Middle School, 7th & 8th Grade Bass Clef Honor Choir; Amy Kotsonis, University of New Hampshire, 7th & 8th Grade Treble Clef Honor Choir; and Andrew Last, Luther College, 9th Grade Mixed Honor Choir. The Opus Honor Choir Festival is made possible by the Iowa Choral Directors Association, Inc.

Opus 2022 Gr9
Decorah Ninth Graders Selected for Opus Honor Choir
Front Row (l-r): Klara Kelly, June Breitenbach-Dirks, Elsa Christman, and Will Duder
Back Row (l-r): Caden Malanaphy, Ezra Harman-Wood, Naomi Pedlar, and Mikayla Hiner
Opus 2022 DMS
Decorah Middle School Students Selected for Opus Honor Choir
Front Row (l-r): Hanna Lensch, Marley Phillips, Kaya Olson, Ayla Low, and Abby Shaw
Middle Row (l-r): Kaya Johnson, Kennedy Carlson, Derek Hrdlicka, Noah Potvin, Sawyer Courtney, Jayden Lundtvedt, and Daric Sheffield
Back Row (l-r): Kylie Cord, Colin Thompson, Cooper Ewing, Grace Stockman, Olivia Rissman, Spencer Christensen, Elliot Berland, and Clarence Nimrod