On Decorah 3, 2023, sixteen Decorah Band students participated in the Northeast Iowa Bandmasters’ Association Honor Band. This honor band features some of the top musicians in Northeast Iowa, which includes two middle school and two high school level concert bands. Students were selected from nominations from their director and then auditioned for their chair in the band.

These groups rehearsed all day and then performed at an evening concert at Oelwein High School. This year’s honor band guest directors were Drew Balta from Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Ryan Meyer from Denison, Iowa; Dr. Richard Mark Heidel from the University of Iowa; and Dr. Melissa Gustafson-Hinds from O’Fallon, Illinois.

Mr. Bliven stated, “I was extremely pleased with the number of students selected from our program. These are some of the hardest working and talented students we have in our 8th grade and high school bands. Many of our students sat at the higher end of their respective sections, and every group performed exceptionally well that evening. I’m super proud of all these students for giving up a Saturday to gain this kind of experience. They sat around students from all different schools within Northeast Iowa and performed for some great guest conductors.”

DHS NEIBA Honor Band

High School Picture (l-r):

Noah Potvin, Lily Sandhorst, Natalie Goodner, Brenna Parker, Ansel Kowitz, Lucas Hanson, and Mr. Bliven, director. Unable to attend: Grant Zilka.

DMS NEIBA Honor Band

Middle School Picture (l-r):

Nils Peterson, Rachel Weis, Kira Dowden, Sophia McGee, Max Goodner, Isaac Bently, Davis Walter, Addisyn Ivy, Katherine Pattison, Raelyn Newhouse, and Mr. Bliven, director.