FDSH A Cappella Choir earns first place at choral competition

Fort Dodge Senior High’s A Cappella Choir earned first place and the awards for best soprano, tenor and bass sections at the annual Onalaska Classic Concert Choir Competition in Wisconsin on Jan. 12.

The A Cappella Choir performed “With a Lily in Your Hand” by Eric Whitacre, “Do Not Fear” by Jonny Priano, “Lullaby” by Daniel Elder and “Ain’t-a That Good News” arranged by Stacey V. Gibbs.

“Taking first place is such a wonderful validation of the hard work and immense passion that our students have for performing quality choral music,” stated Matt Drees, FDSH vocal instructor. “I am so proud of them not only for their music, but for their conduct in representing our community and our school with pride while away from home.”

FDSH competed against other high school choirs from Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Some of the most respected conductors, directors and clinicians in the country judged the participating choirs. In addition to written comments and scores, each ensemble received a constructive clinic from the judges.

“This trip is always such a joy regardless of the outcome because of the collective focus and appreciation of quality music making,” Drees said. “Performing in a beautiful space, listening to other choirs, and receiving critical feedback from respected clinicians make this experience such a rich one for our students.”

According to Eli Asay, senior A Cappella Choir member, the trip to Onalaska is something students look forward to.

“It is a great opportunity to grow not only musically but to become closer as a group and establish meaningful connections with the other members of the choir,” Asay said.

Members of the A Cappella Choir include: Emily Asay, Kayleigh Hartwig, Natalie Peterson, Kristin Swanson, Chloe Vinchattle, Taylor Willer, Caitlin Bellingtier, Chloe Hamlow, Eriana Howard, Karisa Meier, Olivia Mitchell, Annie Niemeyer, Hannah Reynoso, Olyvia Selby, Mackenzie Sharpe, Brie Evans, Molly Hartman, Nicole McDowell, Erin Rogers, Marissa Smith, Kirsten Wendell, Ellie Yoder, Courtney Cordle, Hannah Gebers, Keziah Henkelman, Beth Murman, Skyler Nielsen, Chelsea Sayer, Grace Stackhouse, Ashton Acree, Dartangan Dohrn, Demetrius Grantham, Bradley Hamilton, Nathan Hayes, Daniel Leigh, Geoff Astor, Jeremy Brower, Brayden Bell, Kane Freeman, Holden Harrison, Cade Kofoot, Antavion Adams, Hunter Alexander, Eli Asay, JR Brandt, Collin Ellsbury, Landon Getting, Brandon Shirley, Ty Williamson, Austin Andrews, Luke Beckman, Jamie Lennon, Jacob Miller and Justin Vaughan.