These six SVHS choir seniors: Kenny Fesenmaier, Braeden DuMond, Abbey Graham, Madison Maier, Karley Schilling, and Brenna Schreiber participated in the 69th Annual Dorian Festival Choir on January 12-14 at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Submitted photo
These six SVHS choir seniors: Kenny Fesenmaier, Braeden DuMond, Abbey Graham, Madison Maier, Karley Schilling, and Brenna Schreiber participated in the 69th Annual Dorian Festival Choir on January 12-14 at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Submitted photo

Submitted by Debbie Bowman, Choral Music, SV School District

SPRING VALLEY, WI – Congratulations to Spring Valley High School (SVHS) choir seniors Kenny Fesenmaier, Braeden DuMond, Abbey Graham, Madison Maier, Karley Schilling, and Brenna Schreiber who were selected to participate in this year’s 69th Annual Dorian Festival Choir on January 12 – 14, at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. 

This is one of the largest honor’s choirs in the United States with 1,100 high school students performing at one time from six different states.

SV senior Brenna Schreiber was also part of the smaller select Chamber Choir for top vocalists that had performed previously in a state honors choir. The students spent two days rehearsing, while the chamber choir members spent one additional day preparing and then performed a concert held on Monday evening, January 14 for the public.

Here is some information about the Luther College Dorian Festivals from their website. In 1949, Weston Noble invited directors from just over 20 schools in the region to bring a few selected band students to the Luther campus for a two-day honor band festival. The event was called the Dorian Band Festival, named for the Dorian Singing Society which had been formed at Luther shortly after the college was founded in 1861. A vocal festival was added in 1950, and since then the family of Dorian Festivals and Camps has been growing in scope and participation. Well over 90,000 students have shared in a Dorian musical experience since the festivals were started.

Why the name “Dorian”? The ancient Greeks built their music around a series of modes, or scales, one of which was the Dorian mode. The people who began the singing group at Luther took the name of this scale as the name for their organization.

Luther offers five Dorian Festivals and two music camps each year.

The 69th Annual Dorian Vocal Festival invited choral directors, as they do each year to nominate outstanding high school junior and senior vocalists to attend the Dorian Vocal Festival. Approximately 1,100 students are accepted into the Festival Choir. One hundred of those students will also be selected to form a Chamber Choir, which rehearses a day before the Festival Choir.

Following Saturday/Sunday rehearsals for the Chamber Choir and Sunday/Monday rehearsals for the Festival Choir, the Festival concludes on Monday evening with a Grand Concert, featuring the Festival Choir, the Chamber Choir, five high school soloists, and a performance by the Luther College Nordic Choir.

Nominations for the 2020 Dorian Vocal Festival nominations will open in mid-September and close in late-October.

Congratulations to these six talented Spring Valley vocalists for being selected to participate in this prestigious choir!