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Four students attend Dorian Vocal Festival

Cotter+students+%28left+to+right%29+Daniel+Wuxihong%2C+Joe+Nagel%2C+Cindy+Li%2C+and+Cecelia+Welch+attend+the+Dorian+Vocal+Festival.
Cotter students (left to right) Daniel Wuxihong, Joe Nagel, Cindy Li, and Cecelia Welch attend the Dorian Vocal Festival.

Cotter students (left to right) Daniel Wuxihong, Joe Nagel, Cindy Li, and Cecelia Welch attend the Dorian Vocal Festival.

Cotter students (left to right) Daniel Wuxihong, Joe Nagel, Cindy Li, and Cecelia Welch attend the Dorian Vocal Festival.

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On January 14 and 15, four Cotter students- Daniel Wuxihong, Cecelia Welch, Cindy Li, and Joe Nagel, attended the 68th annual Dorian Vocal Festival at Luther College.

The Dorian Vocal Festival is an annual honors choir workshop and performance hosted by Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Choir directors nominate stand-out students, and about 1,100 students are accepted into the Festival Choir.

The Cotter students arrived on Sunday afternoon and rehearsed for over two hours. They ate together at Pizza Ranch in Decorah and then attended a concert by the Luther College choirs.

On Monday, the singers rehearsed most of the day in preparation for the concert at night.

The concert can be found here: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/luthermusic/portal.htm?eventId=417288&streamType=video

Cathy Snyder, Cotter’s choir director, has taken students to Dorian for 31 years.

“I enjoy everything about Dorian Choir Festival. It is well run, I get to connect with music colleagues I haven’t seen in a year, the students there are awesome – they are talented singers and musicians, and all want to be there.  It is truly a musical experience with 1100 singers all singing their hearts out,” Snyder said.

Snyder found this year’s choral repertoire very impressive, especially two songs: “Please Stay” by Jake Runestad and “Amazing Grace”.

“‘Please Stay’ was about suicide, and asking anyone considering suicide to “Please Stay”.  It was so moving and poignant. There were many tears from the students singing because it hit home or they knew of someone in that situation, and many tears from the audience as well,” Snyder recalled.

“‘Amazing Grace’ brought me to tears. It started with a bagpipe playing the basic melody of “Amazing Grace”, and then added the organ, and then built up more with the 1100 Dorian singers singing with everything they had on a really nice arrangement of this beloved song.  Goosebump city!!” Snyder said.

Snyder was very proud of Wuxihong, Welch, Li, and Nagel.

“The students I brought this year were awesome! They were well prepared, well behaved, and respectful in every sense.  They were self-sufficient and able to follow the week-end schedule and instructions I gave them.  They were also very appreciative of me giving my time to take them to the two day event,” Snyder said.

Cotter senior, Daniel Wuxihong, enjoyed singing with the Dorian festival choir.

Wuxihong thought that the singers were “focused” and “motivated” and made the music “beautiful”.

Wuxihong also ran into two Cotter graduates who attend Luther College: Steve Hadaway (’17) and Ryan Ortega (’17).

Wuxihong stayed in Hadaway’s dorm room overnight, and was able to play basketball with Ortega.

Cotter senior Cindy Li also had a very positive experience.

She raved about the concert to Mr. Roeckers in Statistics class, and said she had a great time.

Li enjoyed the entire two days, but especially enjoyed the songs “Please Stay” and “Amazing Grace”.

“[The songs] were beautiful,” Li said.

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Four students attend Dorian Vocal Festival