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The Lantern

Filed under Features

You just gotta be a bathtub

The Lantern gives an inside look at the Dorian Music Festival from one of the participants.

Dylan, Parker, Anna, and Lily return from a weekend at the Dorian Music Festival.

Dylan, Parker, Anna, and Lily return from a weekend at the Dorian Music Festival.

Sue Franke

Sue Franke

Dylan, Parker, Anna, and Lily return from a weekend at the Dorian Music Festival.

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When words fail, music speaks. With a world full of uncountable amounts of languages and dialects, it is essential that everyone has a connection between all walks of life.  The Dorian music festival, hosted at Luther College, is an event where hundreds of students from across the Midwest congregate for the sake of music. This year, four students from Cannon Falls High School were a part of the Dorian choir: Anna Schroeder, Dylan Salley, Parker Hartl, and Lily Johnson. Being apart of this Festival was a true honor and few knew what to expect as they were took their places in that tightly packed crowd of vocalists.  From the first rehearsal to the final concert, it was surreal, and the dedication of everyone in the room was inspiring.

The journey began with a two hour trek all the way from Cannon Falls, Minnesota, to Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Upon arrival, all Dorian participants were immediately escorted to the Jenson-Noble Hall of Music where the first day of rehearsal began.  Waiting inside the auditorium was a crowd of 1,100 students. Parker Hartl described the sight by stating “I didn’t expect there to be that many people in one room singing at the same time.”  The large, beautifully diverse crowd all shared one thing: a true passion for singing.  These students are devoted to music and were very responsive to the suggestions of the conductors, even though some critiques were a bit strange.  For example, Jill Wilson, the conductor of the soprano/ alto song “Heart, We Will Forget Him!”, instructed the girls, “You need to be the rich chocolate fudge from the jar that needs to be heated up.  You just gotta be bathtub.”  This is just one of the many times when the singing was put on hold to hear critiques from the conductors, and girls didn’t even bat an eye.

Whenever the choir went over a song, they were stopped upwards of twenty times before the song could be completed.  The choir would pause for things such as: one section rushing the rhythm, poor enunciation, and one person being off key.  Conductors were so experienced that they were able to pinpoint one mistake hidden in 1,100 voices.  Instead of complaining and getting frustrated, the students took the critiques to heart and did everything in their power to meet the expectations of the instructors. After the final practice, the lead conductor, Andrew Last, told the students that there would be joy throughout the audience coming to see us.  All of the hard work was about to pay off.

Finally seven o’clock came ticking by and the audience sat anxiously waiting for the concert to begin. The show consisted of performances by the Nordic Choir, five selectively chosen soloists, a Chamber choir, and lastly the large festival choir.  When Professor Last asked for the festival choir to stand, there was nervous tension looming over the students; the moment had finally come.  As soon as the music began, the nerves were replaced by notes and every single soul standing in that choir sang with all their might, shaking the building. The music was so powerful. Some of the students and audience members began to weep with emotion, but it was “Amazing Grace” that was the crowning jewel.  Accompanied by a snare drum, bagpipes and an organ, the vast number of voices sang with life, and there was not a dull moment.  Not only was this grand finale triumphant, but also inspiring.  Senior, Anna Schroeder, has always had a passion for music and was amazed by the effort of everyone involved, “It was really cool seeing so many people who truly cared about singing.”  As the audience rose for a standing ovation, an overwhelming sense of pride emerged and showed us that all our hard work paid off.

The effort of all the students at the festival was motivating and created breathtaking results.  Dorian is an event that requires the complete attention of everyone involved and is a great example of how hard work can pay off, even in a short amount of time.  All of the students were driven by their love of music. A beautiful chemistry was created to allow for a emotional performance.  Music is a universal language, and the music spoke to everyone that night.

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You just gotta be a bathtub