Please refer to THIS PAGE for up-to-date information on NW ACDA leadership.

Information below is dated. The page is left because search engines refer to it. Links may be non-functional.


Solveig Holmquist, President

Solveig Holmquist, President
Term of Office (as president) July 1, 2010 - June 30, 2012

Professor of Music Solveig Holmquist, in her twelfth year as Director of Choral Activities at Western Oregon University. Her teaching duties include conducting the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, providing musical direction for the yearly musicals in collaboration with the department of Theater/Dance, and teaching Conducting, Choral Methods, and Choral Literature. As a certified adjudicator, Holmquist is in demand at numerous clinics, festivals, and contests throughout the Northwest; guest conducting appearances include the Spokane Festival of the Arts, the Colorado Western Region Honor Choir, and the Anchorage High Schools Choral Festival. She made her fourth appearance conducting on the Carnegie Hall stage in February 2007, with WOU Chamber Singers as the core ensemble.
Dr. Holmquist is the founder and Artistic Director of the Festival Chorale Oregon, a civic choir in its 28th season which has developed a reputation for musical excellence in Oregon and in the international community.  Festival Chorale Oregon has enjoyed performing tours through Germany, France, Scandinavia, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Spain. At home, FCO regularly performs major choral/orchestral works for Willamette Valley audiences.    
Dr. Holmquist received her musical training at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, where she sang with the renowned St. Olaf Choir; at Western Oregon State College; and at the University of Oregon.  Her professional affiliations include the American Choral Directors Association, serving as President of the Oregon chapter from 2003-2005 and also as a Repertoire & Standards Chair on the Northwest Board. She was President of Oregon Music Educators National Conference from 1992-1994, and has filled appointments on many committees for both state and national organizations. 

Since 1985, Holmquist has been an auditioned member of the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, Helmuth Rilling, conductor, and in 1991 was selected to the festival’s conducting master class.  The Oregon Bach Festival Choir won the 2000 Grammy for Best Choral Performance for its premiere recording of “Credo” by Polish composer Krzystof Penderecki; the OBF Choir was subsequently invited to perform the work at the World Symposium of Choral Music in the summer of 2002. In the summer of 2006, the OBF choir and orchestra began a 3-year project which will conclude in 2009, recording the late Haydn masses for Hanssler-Verlag. 

Holmquist was involved in church music for thirty-seven years, most recently serving for fifteen years as Music Director at First Methodist Church in Salem, where she was organist and led a sequential music program that included nine choirs, a summer music camp, youth musicals, a concert series, and a weekly music column.  An accomplished organist, she has been called upon to play dedicatory recitals on several organ installations in the area.

Dr. Holmquist and her husband Jon live in Salem. They have six grown children and ten grandchildren.








Gary Weidenaar
, President-Elect

Gary Weidenaar, President-Elect
Term of Office, July 1, 2010 - June 30, 2012

Gary Weidenaar, Director of Choral Studies at Central Washington University, Ellensburg, is the President elect of NW ACDA.

Since 2006, Gary Weidenaar has been the Director of Choral Studies at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, where over 200 singers make up the five traditional and three vocal jazz ensembles which comprise CWU’s choral offerings.

Dr. Weidenaar has a wide-ranging background in teaching.  In 2002, he took his first college position at Northern Arizona University.  Before that, he taught at public or private schools in Michigan, Germany, Norway, and California for a total of fifteen years.  His assignments included teaching everything from 3rd-13th grade students  in choral, general and instrumental music courses at various times. 

Gary spends a great deal of time with directors and/or choirs of all levels.  He has presented workshops to directors in five states, as well as in Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, and Germany. He has adjudicated, served as clinician, or conducted over 600 choirs over the course of the past ten years.  His CWU Chamber Choir is known throughout the northwest, having been chosen to sing at 2 regional and 2 state conferences in the past 3 years, including the 2010 ACDA NW conference in Seattle.

Dr. Weidenaar is a life member of ACDA, the organization for which he has served in leadership roles in Kansas, Arizona and Washington,   In his words, “It’s important to me to give back to the organization that has helped me in so many ways.”  Recently, Gary was the coordinator for one of the two performance sites at the 2007 Miami National ACDA convention. Prior to his current role as President elect, he served on the NWACDA board as the Chair of Youth and Student Activities.

Marla, Gary’s wife, is a massage therapist.  They have two sons:

Mark is a fine bassoonist and award-winning composer, but his main focus is as a geography major specializing in Rock Glaciers. 

David is a junior at Ellensburg high school where he sings in the Chamber Choir, plays bass for vocal jazz ensemble, plays tuba in symphonic band and the Kititas Valley Youth Orchestra and is on the Knowledge bowl team.



Patrick Ryan, President-Elect, Designate

Patrick Ryan, President-Elect, Designate
Term of Office, July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2014

Patrick Ryan is the newly appointed head choral director at Great Falls High School.  Prior to Great Falls, Patrick taught at Havre High School in north-central Montana, where he directed six vocal ensembles and taught courses in music theory and music history.   His select high school women’s ensemble, Belles Voix, performed at the 2009 MENC divisional convention, and the Havre High School A Cappella Choir was one of eleven groups worldwide selected to premiere the concert version of Eric Whitacre’s Paradise Lost at Carnegie Hall in 2010.  He began his career in rural Shelby, Montana, where he taught junior and senior high school choirs.  Mr. Ryan has a passion for secondary school music, and his experiences have taught him that any size school can have a thriving and successful choral program.

Mr. Ryan is the immediate Past-President of the Montana Choral Directors Association.  He is a frequent clinician and adjudicator in Montana, and recently presented sessions for the Montana Choral Director’s Association, Montana Collegiate MENC, the Arizona Music Educator’s state convention, and the American Musicological Society’s Rocky Mountain Chapter regional convention.  In 2012 Patrick will conduct the Korean English-Speaking Schools National Honor Choir in Seoul, South Korea.

Mr. Ryan received his Masters degree in Choral Conducting from Northern Arizona University, where he studied conducting with Edith Copley and Gary Weidenaar.  While in Flagstaff, he conducted the Northern Arizona University Men’s Chorale and the Coconino Community College Choir.  He received his music education degree with an emphasis in secondary choral music from Pacific Lutheran University, where he studied with Richard Sparks and Richard Nance.  As a high school student in Puyallup, Washington he was fortunate to sing under master teachers Richard Nace, Dinah Helgeson, and Pat Michel.  He has been privileged to sing with the PLU Choir of the West, The NAU Shrine of the Ages Choir, Choral Arts Northwest, and Tacoma Opera.  Mr. Ryan is an active member of ACDA, NAfME, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and NFHS.

Outside of his professional life, Patrick enjoys being a football and basketball referee for the Montana Officials Association.  He is blessed to have a wonderful wife, Lynn, also a choral conductor, and two children, three-year old son Kian and infant daughter Kendall.


Richard Nance, Vice-President
richardnance9776 at

Richard Nance, Past-President
Term of Office July 1, 2010 - June 30, 2012

Richard Nance is Director of Choral Activities at Pacific Lutheran University where he has taught since 1992. He is director of The Choir of the West and Choral Union and teaches conducting and courses in secondary music education.  He also observes student teachers.

He holds bachelors and masters degrees from West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M) and the DMA degree from Arizona State University.  Dr. Nance has studied conducting with Hugh Sanders, Douglas McEwen and David Stocker, and studied composition with Joseph Nelson and Randall Shinn. 

He is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, having served as president for the state of Washington and as the Choral Reviews Editor for the Choral Journal, a publication with 20,000 subscribers worldwide. 

His choirs have appeared at several ACDA conventions and have toured Europe.  Dr. Nance has served as director of music at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church of Lakewood since 1996, and is active as a clinician and adjudicator. 

His choral works are performed around the United States and abroad by school, university, church and community choirs, and are regularly selected for use by festival choirs.  Dr. Nance welcomes the opportunity to write commissioned works, and was selected to compose a piece for the Washington All-State Choir in 2002. He also was commissioned to write the 2002 Raymond Brock Memorial Composition for the American Choral Directors Association.


Margaret Brown
5273 Cape Seville
Anchorage, AK 99516
907-350-2950 (C)

Matt Strauser
4302 Kampstra St. SE
Salem, OR 97302

olson IDAHO
Paul Olson
11400 W. Daniel St.
Boise, ID 83713


Lori Wiest
1020 SW Crestview
Pullman, WA 99163

swingen MONTANA
Larry Swingen
PO Box 670
Malta, MT 59538
(406) 654-2002

Lamartine WYOMING
Nicole Lamartine
Director of Choral Activities
Assistant Professor of Music
University of Wyoming
Phone: 307.766.2392
Fax: 307.766.5326

Editor, NW Notes and Website Vice-President


Carol Stewart-Smith
9095 SW Hill
Tigard, OR 97223


Howard Meharg
5218 N. E. Issler St., Vancouver, WA 98661


Richard Nance
2509 14th St. Place SE
Puyallup, WA 98902