Twenty-eight students from Decorah were recently selected for participation in the 37th annual Opus Honor Choir Festival. Over 2,400 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 was the seventeenth year that Decorah had students audition for the Opus Honor Choirs. Throughout this time more than 393 students from Decorah have been accepted through recordings submitted by Dean Beckman, Jason Rausch, and community youth choir directors. This year, twenty-two 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 2023. Six ninth grade students were selected by recordings submitted by Jason Rausch at the Decorah High School. The following students were accepted.

6th Grade:  Niva Anderson, Jorgan Lee-Juve, Kaya Olson, Lillianna Richmond, Abby Shaw, Haylyn Stowe, Hayven Stowe, and Iris Wadsworth

7th Grade:  Nathaniel Crose, Tristan Hanson, Hanna Lensch, Simon Potvin, Veda Shimek, and Graham Torkelson

8th Grade:  Kennedy Carlson, Kylie Cord, Ella Evelsizer, Cooper Ewing, Derek Hrdlicka, Kaya Johnson, Logan Nalean-Carlson, and Davis Walter

9th Grade: Spencer Christensen, Lawrence Christman, Emma Cline, Olivia Rissman,

Colin Thompson, and Jillian Volz

In addition, one student was selected as a solo finalist to audition for the concert: Derek Hrdlicka in grade 8. Derek was selected to sing in a soli section of four students in the final concert.

Guest conductors of the choirs included Tami Meiners, Carroll Community School District, 5th & 6th Grade Honor Choir; Thad Wilkins, Mt. Vernon Community Schools, 7th & 8th Grade Bass Clef Honor Choir; Abby Sheppard, Sioux City Community Schools, 7th & 8th Grade Treble Clef Honor Choir; and Matt Walker, Iowa City Community School District, 9th Grade Mixed Honor Choir. The 2023 Opus Honor Choirs performed on November 16th in C.Y. Stephens Auditorium in the Iowa State Center in Ames. The Opus Honor Choir Festival was made possible by the Iowa Choral Directors Association, Inc.

DMS Opus 2023 5 8 grade

Photo ID: Opus 5-8 graders

Row 1 (l-r): Simon Potvin and Logan Nalean-Carlson

Row 2 (l-r):  Ella Evelsizer, Kennedy Carlson, Kaya Johnson, Davis Walter, Cooper Ewing, Derek Hrdlicka, Hanna Lensch, Veda Shimek, and Kylie Cord

Row 3 (l-r):   Nathaniel Crose, Abby Shaw, Iris Wadsworth, Haylyn Stowe, Hayven Stowe, 

Niva Anderson, Jorgan Lee-Juve, Kaya Olson, Graham Torkelson, and Tristan Hanson

Not Pictured: Lillianna Richmond

DHS Opus 2023 9th grade

Photo ID: Decorah 9th Grade Picture

Row 1 (l-r):  Emma Cline and Jillian Volz

Row 2: (l-r)  Olivia Rissman and Lawrence Christman

Row 3: (l-r)  Colin Thompson and Spencer Christensen