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Orion's Dobbels named to senior chorus

by Mindy Carls correspondent
The Illinois Music Education Association selected Orion High School sophomore Lauren Dobbels for the senior chorus at the District 2 festival, which could not be held because of the COVID-19 pandemic

The Illinois Music Education Association selected Orion High School sophomore Lauren Dobbels as an Alto 1 for the senior chorus at the District 2 festival.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the concert could not be held, but students had a chance to participate in virtual master classes.

Dobbels is the daughter of Rebecca Dietz, Orion, and Jason Dobbels, Cambridge.

Choral director Parker Haley announced during class one day that everyone who auditioned for the district festival had been accepted, Dobbels said.

“I was not only proud of myself, but also for my other classmates that had been accepted,” she said.

Instead of auditioning in front of judges, students had to submit recordings of their material.

“Because this year’s audition was entirely virtual, this made it a lot less stressful in my opinion because we could re-record our auditions if we had a glaring mistake,” Dobbels said.

“This also made for some stress after the audition,” she said. “If everyone's auditions had the opportunity to be absolutely perfect, it would mean that the judges would be incredibly picky with their choosing. This was one of many thoughts I had after the audition process.

A member of band since sixth grade and choir since the last semester of eighth grade, Dobbels has trouble narrowing down her favorite pieces.

“For band pieces, I absolutely loved ‘Moscow, 1941’ by Brian Balmages, which we played my eighth grade year with our former band director, Jennifer Hays (now Mrs. Morton), and ‘Fate of the Gods’ by Steven Reineke, which we unfortunately never got to perform because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

“For choral pieces, a favorite of mine will always be ‘Nine Hundred Miles’ by Philip Silvey, which we performed my eighth grade year; ‘Esto les Digo’ by Kinley Lange, which we would’ve performed last year, but never got the opportunity, and ‘You Will Be Found’ from the popular musical ‘Dear Evan Hansen,’ which we performed last fall,” Dobbels said.

Besides concert band and concert choir, she performs with jazz band and Orion Chamber Choir.

She has entered the Illinois High School Association’s solo and ensemble contest every year since sixth grade and has received a Superior I rating every year.

Dobbels also has been involved in Drama Club since freshman year, and has been in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” the one-act play “Just Like Old Times” and the 2020 musical “Little Shop of Horrors.”

She was involved in FCA last year.

Dobbels earned straight A’s as a freshman, and she was on the high honor roll for the first semester of this year.

Although her plans could change, for now her dream is to study at music education and play in marching band at Ohio State University.