Peggy Beatty returned as Chorale collaborative pianist in 2015. She previously held the position from the late 1990s through 2005. She is a graduate of Luther College and has a masters degree in oboe performance from The University of Iowa. Peggy taught instrumental music in the Decorah Community School District from 1980-2001 and worked with the middle school extended learning program from 2001 until 2010. She has taught piano lessons and has served as organist and pianist for Decorah Lutheran Church. In retirement, Peggy enjoys volunteering, substitute teaching, and spending time with her family.
Nicholas Shaneyfelt, spring pianist Nicholas Shaneyfelt is Associate Professor of Music in Collaborative Piano at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where he coaches singers, provides musical direction for the opera program, and collaborates in recital regularly with faculty and students. He completed doctoral studies in the Collaborative Piano studio of Martin Katz at the University of Michigan. Prior to Michigan, he served as Staff Accompanist for the Department of Music and Dance at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Shaneyfelt serves as associate director of the International Music Festival of the Adriatic, a summer festival for instrumentalists, singers, and composers in Duino, Italy. He was also a music director at Belvoir Terrace in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Dr. Shaneyfelt appears on saxophonist Jonathan Hulting-Cohen’s album “Second Flight,” released in 2021 on Innova Records. Originally from Knightstown, Indiana, Dr. Shaneyfelt received Bachelor’s degrees in Music and Computer Science from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master of Music degree from UMass with a dual focus in Solo and Collaborative Piano. His piano trio, “The Nora Trio,” was the first Notre Dame chamber ensemble to be selected as a finalist in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Dr. Shaneyfelt tours frequently with tenor Kelly Burns, supported by the Piatigorsky Foundation, an organization that aims to bring live classical music to underserved regions of the country.
Jason Rausch, artistic director
Jason Rausch has been the artistic director of Decorah Chorale since 2014 and the vocal music teacher at Decorah High School since 2007. He holds undergraduate degrees from Waldorf College and Luther College, and a Masters Degree from the University of Iowa. Jason has served as the president of the Iowa Choral Directors Association and is currently the chair of the Iowa Choral Showcase. He conducted the 2005 Seventh and Eighth Grade Boys Iowa Opus Honor Choir, and in 2012 represented Iowa as a clinician for the collegiate repertoire choir at the American Choral Directors Association North Central Regional Conference. Under his leadership the DHS Concert Choir was selected to participate in the ACDA North Central Regional Conference in 2014, and was the featured guest choir at the 2016 Luther College Dorian Vocal Festival and the 2024 Wartburg College Meistersinger Honor Choir Festival.