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Violins, Violas, Cellos, and Basses - Oh My!  Become a Member of the Oneota Valley Community Orchestra
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Violins, Violas, Cellos, and Basses - Oh My! Become a Member of the Oneota Valley Community Orchestra

Become a Member of the Oneota Valley Community Orchestra

Decorah, located in scenic northeast Iowa, has a long and rich music tradition.  A little over three years ago, Decorah resident and conductor Matthew Cody sent out feelers to see if there was enough interest to start a community orchestra.  Within a week, enough folks responded with a resounding 'yes' and the Oneota Valley Community Orchestra (OVCO) became a reality.   The first two concert seasons were highly successful, with the 70+ member orchestra playing from the masterpieces of orchestral literature (Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner, Copland, Bach, Schubert, Sibelius, Grieg).  The 2016-2017 Concert Season 3, with a chamber music fundraising event and three free concerts, promises to be just as successful!    

The Oneota Valley Community Orchestra is a volunteer-based orchestra comprised of a mix of amateur, semi-professional, and professional musicians.  The OVCO is open to all area (and non-area) residents who "wish to perform great music in an orchestral setting." Membership ranges from a musician who began playing at the age of four and who has played with over fifteen orchestras to adult learners whose first experience playing with an ensemble began with their first rehearsal with the OVCO in 2014.  And of course, a mix of experience in-between!

The Oneota Valley Community Orchestra currently has openings for section violin, viola, cello, bass, and percussion players. To be considered for the orchestra, you need the ability to read music, the desire to create music at a high level, and to be at least in 9th grade. No auditions are required (except for current high school students), and there are no membership dues.  If interested, please fill out the personnel form on the OVCO website.  Details on the required audition for current high school students will be sent after filling out the personnel form (you should prepare any solo or concerto movement).

If you play a woodwind or brass instrument and would like to be on the OVCO sub list, also fill out the personnel form.  Depending on the instrumentation of the pieces, the OVCO may need more players than the normal amount, so don't be discouraged if there currently are no openings for your instrument.  Additionally, there may be instances where the OVCO will need substitutes for regular members.  

Under the direction of Matthew Cody, the OVCO rehearses on Sunday afternoons from 4:30 - 6:30 throughout the school year at the Decorah High School auditorium.  Matthew Cody, the OVCO Musical Director and President, has a Masters of Music in conducting and music education from Colorado State University.  If you have questions in regard to a position opening or any sub list inquires, please email the OVCO.

I have been honored to be a member of the OVCO since the beginning, and you can find me playing in the viola section.  It is a joy to be in the middle of the orchestra, absorbing the sounds from fellow musicians, and adding to the mix.  I hope you can join us … either in the orchestra as a member, or in the audience at one or more of our concerts!

Become a playing member: Fill out the Personnel Form

Become a supporting member:  Donate to the OVCO - a 501(c)3 organization

Be an audience member:  Attend a concert!

Kate R of the Driftless Travelers.

Photo Credit: SP Foley


  1. Imagine Northeast Iowa Support
    Imagine Northeast Iowa Support
    What a fantastic organization. Thank you so much for keeping us in the loop about beautiful possibilities available for Northeast Iowans within the Oneota Valley Community Orchestra!

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