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DLHS choir students take part in all-state, honor choirs this weekend

Members of the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota 9-10 Honor Choir include, front from left, Shea Henderson and Emma Wood; back from left, Mariah Neuhauser, Beth Champa and Max Boyd.1 / 2
Members of the 2009-2010 Minnesota Music Education Association All-State Choirs include, front from left, Justine Haukebo and Ashley Morben; back from left, Rachel Lindemann, Bryce Dutton and Bryan Lee.2 / 2

One thing that the hundreds of students auditioning each year for the Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA) All-State Choirs have in common is a stellar singing voice.

The ranks of those submitting audition CDs for the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) of Minnesota 9-10 Honor Choir are likewise filled with accomplished singers.

But to make the list of those chosen to participate in these choirs, it takes something a bit more than that.

"There are so many beautiful voices," said Kathryn Larson, vocal music director for Detroit Lakes High School. "The hope is that each choir will not only have glorious voices, but also skilled musicians, with very strong ears (for music)."

Larson said that she has been fortunate to have so many of her students chosen for Honor Choir and All-State Choir through the years, and this year was no exception.

Three of Larson's ninth grade students, and one 10th grade student, were chosen for the ACDA Mixed Honor Choir.

Ninth graders Max Boyd, Shea Henderson and Emma Wood, along with 10th grader Mariah Neuhauser, all took part in the Honor Choir performance at Minneapolis's Central Lutheran Church this past Thursday, Feb. 11.

Three of Larson's students were also chosen for the All-State Women's Choir, and two for the All-State Men's Choir.

Both of these choirs, along with the All-State Mixed Choir, performed at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis this past Saturday, Feb. 13, as part of the annual MMEA convention.

Detroit Lakes High School students performing in the All-State Choirs included juniors Bryce Dutton, Rachel Lindemann and Ashley Morben, along with seniors Justine Haukebo and Bryan Lee.

The ACDA of Minnesota 9-10 Mixed Honor Choir performed with guest director Jeffery Redding. The MMEA All-State Choirs performed with guest conductors Karen Kennedy, David Mennicke and Doreen Rao.

All of the musical selections made for these Honor Choir and All-State Choir performances are challenging, Larson noted -- and the students must also go through a difficult auditioning process before they are selected.

"It takes a lot of dedication and work on the part of the singers -- they have to want to be whole musicians," she added.

In addition to being a proud audience member at all of her students' performances, Larson was a soprano section and team leader for the All-State Women's Choir this year.

"I'm the point person for anything that might come up," she explained. "I'm responsible for a lot of the logistics and details.

"It's been really fun for me because I have three girls in the women's choir this year," Larson said.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454