The High School Music Listening Contest regional event took place on Friday, January 20, at six regions across Minnesota and Utah. Nearly 70 teams participated in the contest this year, representing 50 different schools, home schools, and private music studios.

Decorah High School had ten teams of three students each competing at Pine Island High School in Minnesota at the Region 5 competition. This was the biggest group from any school, and the largest number of teams from DHS thus far. This is the 4th year of Decorah students competing in the contest, coached by Nicole Cody.

Eight of Decorah’s ten teams placed in the top ten of the competition out of 19 teams participating from six schools.  Earning 1st place with a score of 83/100 were Alex McGohan, Liz Pritchard, and Jensen Korsness. Two Decorah teams tied for 2nd place with a score of 78/100: Sylvia Sandhorst, Lily Sandhorst, and Grace Blikre; and Klara Kelly, Elsa Christman, and Mara Branum.  Teams from Decorah also earned 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 12th, and 15th places. Cody remarked, “I am incredibly proud of all the teams. It’s amazing hearing students get so excited about Donizetti’s music or learn what an amazing person Ethel Smyth was. They learn so much, so fast, and we have so much fun listening together.”

The top two scoring teams from two different schools from the regional contests advance to the championship competition held at Augsburg University in Minneapolis on Friday, February 3, 2023.  Because of this rule, the team who scored in 3rd place, Shattuck-St. Mary’s, will advance to the championships along with Decorah’s first place winners McGohan, Pritchard, and Korsness.  

The mission of the Music Listening Contest is to assist teachers in their efforts to expand the music experiences of students—primarily through the use of Western art music, commonly referred to as classical music. The contest materials cover classical music, global perspectives, and a variety of musical influences. The objective of the contest is to inspire students to become lifelong participants in the musical experience.

The contest is an ideal opportunity to enrich students’ experiences with classical music in a fun and competitive environment. This statewide contest connects high school students with classical music and enhances their ability to identify composers, periods, and styles. In the fall, teachers or coaches recruit three students to form a team. Team members receive a study guide and access to all the musical selections they will need to compete effectively. 

BE444F6C B775 45AC 83F2 96474BB14D40 1 105 c
All Music Listening Contest participants pose in front of the music timeline constructed in Nicole Cody’s orchestra room.
Haylee Stravers, Mady Lippe, Leslie Campbell, Libby Phillips, Gwenyth Thompson, Bethany Hanson, Jenna Hartz, Hope Stahl, Ella Grouws, Julia Schwarz, Kathryn Kelly, Jensen Korsness, Annaleissa Arnold, Elsa Christman, Mara Branum, Elsa Christman, Ramsey Zilka, Braunwyn Darrington, Evon Leitz, Danielle Rix, Max Wilson, Annalise Skrade, Ansel Kowitz, Ethan Stravers, Lily Sandhorst, Liz Pritchard, Grace Blikre, Jake Magner, Sylvia Sandhorst, and Alex McGohan.
9F090375 2C16 4980 878B 21BA0241D73C 1 105 c
1st place team going on to the championship round (l-r): Liz Pritchard, Jensen Korsness, and Alex McGohan
IMG 4898
Tied for second place (l-r): Lily Sandhorst, Sylvia Sandhorst, Grace Blikre, Klara Kelly, Mara Branum, and Elsa Christman 
IMG 4883
Photo ID (l-r): Annalise Skrade, Ella Grouws, and Ethan Stravers competing at the contest.
IMG 4877
Photo ID (l-r): Braunwyn Darrington, Bethany Hanson, and Jenna Hartz competing at the contest