Directors

DUSTIN BLIVEN - has been at Decorah since 2014 and conducts the Marching Band, Jazz II, co-directed Pep Band, 8th Grade Band, and the High School Wind Ensemble.  He received his Bachelors of Music Education degree from Morningside College and also attended the Clark Terry International Institute of Jazz Studies.  Previous teaching experiences have included the head director at Sioux City West High School for six years, assistant director at Sioux City North High School for one year, and five years as the 5th grade and high school director at Maple Valley - Anthon Oto. 

Mr. Bliven has been active in judging and as a guest conductor at several honor bands. He is a member of Iowa Bandmasters Association, Northeast Iowa Bandmasters, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Jazz Educators of Iowa.  He was one of the creators and past owners of the Reggie Schive Big Band that performed at the 2013 Iowa Bandmasters Association's Annual Conference.  Mr. Bliven and his wife are the organizers of the Decorah Municipal Band that was recreated in the summer of 2016.  Mr. Bliven has served in the Northwest District with Honor Bands, Marching Band Affairs Chair, Secretary, Vice President, and Past President.  Currently, he is the President-Elect for the NEIBA district for the 2018-2019 school year.  Mr. Bliven can be reached at dustin.bliven@decorah.k12.ia.us or 563-382-3643 ext 1217

MATTHEW CODY  is currently in his 10th year of teaching instrumental music and 8th in his current position as an Associate Director of Bands in Decorah.  The Decorah Band Department believes in a vertical team teaching approach to instruction, because of this philosophy, Mr. Cody’s duties include teaching lessons - mainly brass - in grades 5-12, directing the 7th grade band, the high school Symphonic Band, and the top high school Jazz Band.  Additionally, Mr. Cody assists/co-directs the High School marching band and high school pep band.   

Under Mr. Cody’s direction, his concert, jazz, and marching ensembles have earned multiple superior ratings at state festivals and top 3 finishes at jazz and marching competitions. 

 Mr. Cody is also the founder and conductor of the Oneota Valley Community Orchestra. The OVCO is a full symphonic orchestra that serves communities in Northeast Iowa, Southeast Minnesota, and Southwest Wisconsin.  

 Matthew graduated from Simpson College with a Bachelor of Music specializing in music education. In 2014, he earned his Master of Music degree from Colorado State University with music education and conducting specialties. Additionally, he was invited to be the Conducting Fellow for the 2011 season of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony and a guest conductor for the 2013 Iowa Bandmasters Conference and 2014 Iowa Band Conductors Forum. His principal conducting mentors include: Dr. Robert L Larsen: Founder Des Moines Metro Opera, Jason Weinberger: Music Director and CEO of Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony, Wes Kenney: Music Director of Fort Collins Symphony, Denver Youth Orchestra, Opera Fort Collins, and Director of Orchestra Activities- Colorado State University and Dr. Eric Hammer: Director of Bands and Music Department Chair, University of the Pacific Music Conservatory. 


EMILY HAHN-LARSON - is a Middle School Band Director and Assistant High School Band Director.  She received her M.A. from St. Mary's University with an emphasis in Music Education and her B.A. from the same university with an emphasis in Vocal and French Horn Performance. Her degrees and experience teaching in MN allowed her the opportunity to teach band in three international schools.  She taught in Berlin Germany, Milan Italy, and Quito Ecuador.  After teaching internationally and being away from her family and home in Southeastern Minnesota for several years, she decided to move back to Harmony, MN.  This gave her the opportunity to reunite with loved ones and work in local schools systems teaching band, where she was offered to teach band in Decorah Community Schools.  In addition to teaching, Emily Hahn directs her church choir, is her church organist, and researches music education methods and practice on a continuing basis.  She currently resides in Preston, MN with family, their two German Shorthair Pointer dogs, and her musical instruments.  She can be contacted at emily.hahn@decorah.k12.ia.us or 563-382-8427 ext. 1121




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