REGIONAL—Kelsey Burns is thrilled the Sibley-Ocheyedan High School jazz choir was able to experience the Iowa Vocal Jazz Championships Monday, March 29, at Valley High School in West Des Moines.

“They really left everything they’ve endured this past year on the stage in Des Moines. Once the performance was finished, they were beaming,” said Burns, who is the school’s choir director.

The choir, Night Sounds, took home a fifth-place finish out of eight schools in Class 2A at the statewide singing contest.

“I told them to hold onto that feeling and no matter what the results are, remember it. Being accepted into IVJC is an accomplishment all on its own and receiving fifth place is something we’re very proud of,” Burns said.

Three other N’West Iowa schools also performed at the vocal jazz championships. Central Lyon High School placed seventh in Class 2A while West Lyon placed eighth in that class. South O’Brien High School meanwhile placed eighth in Class 1A.

This year was the first time West Lyon’s jazz choir, Wildcat Jazz, was chosen to participate in the event. Choir director Jacob Ven Huizen said he and his students had a great time attending the championships.

“We had our work cut out for us with preparation for it, and I thought we gave a really solid performance for our first time down there,” Ven Huizen said. “The students were really happy with their performance, and we got lots of good feedback from parents back home.”

Live audiences were not allowed during the performances, so instead friends and family members of the students tuned into the event through a livestream.

Ven Huizen said his students also received valuable feedback from the judges to consider going forward.

“We really learned a lot about particulars of style in specific and how to elevate it from the basic student level to becoming a lot more professional with the way that we approach jazz.”


Central Lyon High School’s Roarin’ Jazz:

  • Sopranos: Senior Lauren Langholdt, junior Emma Baker, sophomores Anna Van Aartsen and Olivia Lyman and freshmen Gabrielle Rasmussen and Maycie Baker.
  • Altos: Senior Korinna Thedens, junior Breckyn Korthals and sophomore Lilyann Downard.
  • Tenors: Seniors Luke Rasmussen, Gabe Kooiker and Beau Daniels.
  • Basses: Juniors Cael Schulte, Xander Ditsworth and Kayden Van Berkum and sophomores Matthew Langholdt and Chase Thedens.
  • Instrumentalists: Director Ann Langholdt on piano, Maycie Baker as a vocal percussionist and Matthew Langholdt on electric bass.

Sibley-Ocheyedan High School’s Night Sounds:

  • Sopranos: Junior Morgan Gleason, junior Tori Vande Hoef, sophomore Morgan Huls and freshman Kaitlyn Nobles.
  • Altos: Senior Kristyn Johnson and juniors MacKenzie Beyer, Abbie Bos and Marissa Duis.
  • Tenors: Seniors Carter Norgaard and Grant Paca and junior Jacob Nobles.
  • Basses: Junior Mitchel Groote and sophomores Garrett Atherton and Maverick Elser.
  • Instrumentalists: Senior James Dagel on the bass and senior Elliot Croatt on the drums.

South O’Brien’s Melomania:

  • Sopranos: Freshman Sydney Sickelka and eighth-grader Addison Presthus.
  • Alto: Eighth-grader Alyssa Harper.
  • Tenor: Junior Aiden Ball.
  • Basses: Seniors Ethan Strubbe and Isaac Thomas.

West Lyon’s Wildcat Jazz:

  • Sopranos: Senior Isabelle Metzger, junior Katrina Lombard, sophomores Anne Hoogendoorn and Cloe Blom and freshman Tara Hoogendoorn.
  • Altos: Seniors Julia Bruggeman and Jenna Leuthold, junior Hadley Dake and freshman Jana Ter Wee.
  • Tenors: Seniors Brady Anderson and Gabe Carolan and sophomore Brad Balster.
  • Basses: Seniors Grant Hoogendoorn and Dalton Faber, junior Gabe Ter Wee and freshman Landon Pottebaum.
  • Instrumentalists: Sophomore Graham Robinson on bass and sophomore Sam Meester on drums.