Shutting the Door(ian) on music

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the CFHS choir department’s longstanding tradition of attending the Dorian music festival has been cancelled.


Luther College

The Dorian Music Festival provides vocal opportunities for students across the Midwest.

Every year, Cannon Falls High School provides numerous great opportunities for students to take part in with the hope that those opportunities will help students to set themselves up for the future. The Dorian Vocal Festival is one of the many opportunities. The Dorian Vocal Festival is a great opportunity for choir singers who hope to potentially do something similar to singing or music for their postsecondary education.    

Each year, choir directiors nominate incredible high school junior and senior singers to attend the festival. The students that are accepted will join a choir with students from hundreds of different schools. The chosen singers will also earn the opportunity to participate in private mini-lessons with the Luther College voice faculty in addition to the rehearsals for the festival choir. This mini-lesson, most of the time, will double as an audition to be one of the concert soloists, and on rare occasions can be used as a music scholarship audition for seniors interested in attending Luther College. 

The Dorian Vocal Festival is an annual event held at Luther College each year. It was originally created by Weston Noble years ago, who had a reputation for his work with bands and choirs in Decorah, Iowa. Each year over one thousand students attend from Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and occasionally students from the Dakotas. 

In one evening, singers will have the opportunity to hear performances by the soprano and alto choir known as the Luther College Aurora. The first-year tenor and base choir known as the Luther College Norskkor is also scheduled to perform as well as a guest high school choir. Then, the next evening, a concert featuring the Festival Choir along with the five preselected high school soloists from the mini-lessons will perform. Additionally, there will be a performance by the Luther College Nordic Choir. 

It’s no secret the Dorian Vocal Festival is an amazing opportunity for all choir singers who are fortunate enough to attend. Mrs. Franke, the choir teacher at Cannon Falls High School, echoed a similar sentiment about the festival saying that “It is a top-notch festival. Kids have a chance to see what other high school students are achieving in voice.” Mrs. Franke then went on to talk about how choir students really benefit from the voice lessons they receive from a professor, who adds their comments and critiques to the students’ current solos. Kendall Lawless, one of the students who was supposed to attend the festival, also had high praises for the event saying “It provides choir students a time to look at the school from the art point of view instead of focusing on the academics side. It’s also a great opportunity for a scholarship.”

This year, several people from Cannon Falls High School were set to go to the Dorian Vocal Festival, including Kendall Lawless, Cannon Quade, Ewan Johnson, Teagan Strecker, and Bianca Caputo. Unfortunately, due to the significant influx of Covid cases since the beginning of the New Year, the festival was canceled. As of right now, there is still hope for the vocal festival to be rescheduled for the spring, but it’s still up in the air.