Past-presidents, NW Division, ACDA

Robert E. Robins - 1964 - 1969

A graduate of Willamette University with a Master of Music Education degree, Robert Robins was choral director at Roseburg High School, Roseburg, Oregon, from 1954 to 1975. He joined ACDA in early 1961, and was listed as a new member in the May 1962, issue of The Choral Journal. At that time, ACDA required a detailed resume’ of choral directing and the recommending signature of an active member. By November 1962, he had been appointed Oregon State Chairman for the organization.


He aggressively worked on membership growth, each month sending a signed application and a copy of the Choral Journal to at least 10 Oregon choral directors, with a cover letter urging that they join the organization. In late 1963 Oregon had the requisite 20 members, and he was elected State Chairman.

When the national organization set up a rotational system for the election of Divisional Chairmen, in 1964, the Northwest Division was assigned a one-year position, to be followed by a regular 3-year term. Robert Robins was elected to that one-year term. In 1965, he was elected for the 3-year term in the first mail-in ballot vote for the position. During the NW MENC Convention in 1965, NW ACDA played a part in planning the choral sessions. Mr. Robins’ Roseburg High School Choir took Jester Hairston from a concert in Roseburg as a clinician to do a very effective session with his popular arrangements. No funds were available for such a special session. 

By 1973, the ACDA by-laws were amended, eliminating the sponsorship requirement for membership.

Rodney Eichenberger - 1969 - 1973

After a number of years as Professor of Choral Music and Conductor of the Chamber Choir at Florida State University, Rodney Eichenberger has reduced his teaching responsibilities there but maintains a busy professional schedule elsewhere. He has conducted more than 75 US All State Choirs

and guest conducted or lectured at more than 80 US, Australian and New Zealand.

His instructional DVDs on Choral Conducting, "What They See Is What You Get," published by Hinshaw Music and "Enhancing 

Musicality Through Movement,” Santa Barbara Press, are widely used in collegiate conducting classes. A graduate of St. Olaf College with advanced study at the Universities of Denver, Washington and Iowa, he taught at the University of Washington and the University of Southern California prior to his appointment at Florida State University.

Rod says, "I believe that prior to my election the leaders of divisions were called Chairmen and I think they were appointed. If this is true I was the first elected Northwest Division ACDA President and while I can't find the exact dates my records show that I attended a national planning session in Kansas City in June of 1970 and so I must have been elected President of the Northwest Division of ACDA in 1968 or 69."

"I'm quite certain that there were fewer than 100 members in the entire division. I know that Alaska, Wyoming, Idaho and possibly Montana all had less than 10 ACDA members in each state. The Montana Choral Directors Association and the Puget Sound Choral Conductors Guild were both flourishing organizations and they agreed to affiliate with ACDA during my term of office and so we had probably doubled membership by the First Independent ACDA Convention at the Muhlebach Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri in March 4-6, 1971. Interestingly, at this time in the history of ACDA an application for membership required the signature of an active member in the organization who acted as a sponsor."

H. Royce Saltzman - 1973 - 1976

Royce Saltzman is Professor Emeritus of Choral Music at the University of Oregon. His masters degree is from Northwestern University, his doctorate from the University of Southern California. Prior to coming to the University of Oregon in 1964, he taught at Messiah College, Upland College, and the University of Southern California.

Dr. Saltzman is co-founder and Director Emeritus of the Oregon Bach Festival; past National President of the

American Choral Directors Association; and from 1985 to 1993, and from 1998 to 1999, served as President of the International  Federation for Choral Music (IFCM), a world organization which has a membership of conductors, choirs, and national organizations in more than 70 countries. He has been IFCM’s representative in the planning of world symposia in Vienna, Stockholm, Vancouver, Sydney and Rotterdam, and was a member of the artistic committee for the 2002 World Symposium on Choral Music in Minneapolis.

In Washington, D.C. Dr. Saltzman served on six review panels for the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been on jury panels for choir competitions in Argentina, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and the United States. He is a member of the International Honorary Committee of Zimriya Festival, a world assembly of choirs in Israel; the Advisory Board of the Acdaemia Bach de Venezuela in Caracas; the Board of Trustees, International Bachakademie, Stuttgart, Germany; and has been an Honorary Advisor for the China International Choir Festival, Beijing.

Dr. Saltzman is a recipient of the Bundesverdienstkreuz, the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit, Germany’s highest medal of honor for distinguished cultural service; Northwestern University’s Alumni Merit Award; the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California; the University of Oregon’s Distinguished Service Award; Eugene, Oregon's "First Citizen" Award; and received an Alexander von Humboldt award, Bonn, Germany, for study of choral conducting in Germany. He has been a lecturer and/or clinician in Argentina, China, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States. He is listed in Who's Who in American Music and International Who's Who in Music.

Wilber D. Elliott - 1976 - 1978

Will Elliott, was Professor of Choral Music at Boise State University from 1969-1994. During 1970-1992 he was Music Department Chair, and from 1992-1994, Assistant to the President of BSU. Prior to BSU, Will was choral director at Clover Park High School and Foster Junior/Senior High School.

He is a graduate of the University of Washington, B.A., Central Washington University, M. Ed., and Vandercook College of Music, Doctor of Music Honoris Causa.

In addition to NW ACDA, he was Idaho State President from 1972-1974, IMEA President, 1981-1983, NWMENC President from 1991-1993, and NW Division Chairman of National Association Schools of Music, 1988-1991.

During his tenure as Director of Choral Activities at Boise State University, choirs under his direction toured Europe, the Pacific Northwest and most Intermountain States. They sang at National, Regional and State conventions. He has conducted honor choirs in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, California, and Kansas. He served as a vocal, solo & ensemble, and choral adjudicator throughout Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Idaho.

Community service has been an integral part of Will’s activities having served on the Seattle Symphony Advisory board, Tacoma Youth Symphony Board and Boise Philharmonic Board, serving as president in 1979-80. In 2007-2007 he has served as co-conductor of the Sun Lakes Chorale, a community chorus with members ranging from 55-90 years of age.

"While still young, NW ACDA was very active and growing during my presidency. It is very rewarding to see the continued growth and development of the organization."

Russell Creaser - 1978 - 1980

Russell Creaser served as the NWACDA President from 1978-1980. He holds a Masters Degree from Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA and worked on his Doctorate at Kent State University, Kent Ohio. He was Director of Choirs at Billings West High School, Billings, Montana where he developed a choral music program involving approximately 320 students in seven choirs as well as 5 performing ensembles which served as entertainment in the community. Dan Hampson served as his co-worker in this multi-choral program. Russ also served as clinician and adjudicator in the Western US and Canada.

During his term as president the NWACDA Convention was held March 6 - 8 in Spokane, WA. The First ACDA Women's Choir was organized and performed at this convention with Thomas Tavener as conductor. This was also the beginning of the First Male ACDA Choir with Robert D. Johnson, SPEBSQSA, as conductor. Some clinicians and music instructors for this convention included Donald Hinshaw, Allen Pote, Joyce Eilers, Maurice Skones, Paul Branvick, Walter Collins, Bruce Browne and Travis Rivers. Gene Brooks was National President of the ACDA during this period of time. During Russ's term as president, he encouraged the development of the ACDA State Newsletter.

Russell Creaser retired from music education and served in Music Ministry in the Lutheran Church for many years . After many health problems, Russ is now fully retired and lives in a retirement community in Mesa with his wife of 56 years, Doris. 

Richard Clark - 1980 - 1982

Dr. Richard Clark is Professor Emeritus of Choral Music at the University of Oregon. Previous teaching assignments include Walla Walla High School, the University of Washington, The University of Texas – Permian Basin, and Idaho State University. Choruses under his direction have appeared at state, division, and national ACDA conventions and state and division conventions of MENC. He was founding director of the Oregon Bach Festival’s Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy and was director of the Eugene Symphony Chorus. He is also a founding member of the Male Ensemble Northwest (MEN). As well as singing, adjudicating, and clinicing, Clark continues his association with the Oregon Bach


"Even in 1982, choral directors in the NW division were exceedingly active and involved. Choral music had a strong place in the curricula of elementary, secondary, and at collegiate level schools, both public and private. The Puget Sound Choral Directors Guild was integrated into the NW ACDA structural fabric. The divisional Convention was held at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington with the New Zealand Boy Choir being the guest ensemble. All states were well represented including Wyoming and Alaska." 

Bruce Browne - 1982 - 1984

Dr. Bruce Browne is Professor Emeritus of Music at Portland State University. He is also Conductor Emeritus of the Portland Symphonic Choir and founder and director of the professional choir, Choral Cross-Ties. In October 2000, he was named by the Music Educators national conference (MENC) as one of the outstanding music educators in higher education.

Browne has been awarded sabbaticals to teach in Guadalajara and in London, and has been Visiting Professor at the University of Iowa. He has been jurist, clinician or guest conductor in virtually every region of the country, and in Germany, Spain, Estonia, England and Mexico. He has served on panels for the National Endowment of the Arts. 

Dr. Browne has been guest conductor for the Edmonton, Canada Pro Coro, and the Phoenix Bach Choir. Since his retirement from PSU, Browne has guest conducted in several universities around the U.S, and recently accepted a one-year appointment at Boise State University. He has recorded on the labels of Freshwater, Albany and Koch. November 13 will mark the national release of the first CD in English of the cycles of Veljo Tormis, coming out on Clarion Records. 

"ACDA NW was in very good stead after the presidency of Richard Clark. Thanks to the help of ACDA volunteers such as Howard Meharg, Gerry Harris, and Larry Marsh, the '84 Northwest Convention in Portland was a great success, with the highest attendance ever recorded. Clinicians were John Rutter, Eric Ericson and Charlene Archibecque."

Paul Ritter - 1984 - 1986

Paul Ritter is the Supervisor of Fine Arts for the Missoula County Public Schools K-12. Before coming to Missoula, he was the Director of Choirs at Great Falls High School from 1972-1996. Mr. Ritter received Bachelor degrees in History and Music Education from Montana State University in Bozeman. He also received his Masters degree from that same institution. 

In his capacity as Fine Arts Supervisor, Mr. Ritter oversees the K-12 programs in music and visual art. While at Great Falls High School, Mr. Ritter helped the Delphian Choir to maintain its reputation as one of the finest high school choral groups in the nation. Through several national, division, and state convention appearances for MENC and ACDA, the Delphian Choir achieved an enviable reputation while performing a wide range of choral literature. 

Paul Ritter has been professionally active. He is past president of the Montana Choral Directors Association. Mr. Ritter has also served on the National Steering Committee for Professional Certification, a program sponsored by MENC. He is in frequent demand as a clinician and guest conductor in the Northwest. He has been the guest choral conductor at the Interscholastic Association of South East Asia Schools Cultural Convention, traveling to Bangkok in 1995 and to Singapore in March of 1996. 

Mr. Ritter has served on the Board of Directors of the Missoula Cultural Council, the International Choral Festival and the Missoula Symphony Association. He is currently on the Board of Directors and Vice President of the Missoula Community Performing Arts Center organization and was one of three teachers honored nationally in the Performing Arts category in the Disney Company American Teacher Awards program in 1994. Paul is currently serving as president and music director of the Montana Youth Choir. The Youth Choir is a select ensemble of 44 young Montana singers, which has achieved a high musical standard through its annual two-week residency in Montana and three-week concert tour of Europe. 

The Division was moving in a very positive direction during my tenure as president. The quality of NW Conventions was improving noticeably. The 1984 convention in Portland featured international headliners. The following 1986 Convention continued that trend by including clinicians and performing groups of an international reputation. The convention planning process was solidified in 1986, and some of that organization is still in use today. Outreach to church musicians and middle school/junior high was a focus, as was building the general membership.

Larry Marsh - 1986 - 1988

Since 1981, Larry Marsh has been Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, having previously taught on the music faculties of the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, the National Music Camp - Interlochen, the University of Texas - Permian Basin, as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Washington - Seattle and Western Washington University - Bellingham, and in the public schools of Longview, Washington. 


He is a Life Member of ACDA and served as the NW Division President from 1986-88, representing the NW Division on the National Board of Directors during that time. He had previously served as a member-at-large on the National Youth and Student Activities Committee. From 2003-2007 he was the College/University Repertoire and Standards Chair for the state of Oregon. 

He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington where he worked with Rodney Eichenberger. Dr. Marsh was a founding member of Male Ensemble Northwest and performed with this elite group of singing conductors for eighteen years including an appearance at the ACDA National Convention in Washington, D.C., in 1995. Dr. Marsh is in wide demand as clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor, in which capacities he has served throughout this country and in several locations around the world. Larry is also serving in his twenty-second year as choral director at Calvary Baptist Church in Salem, Oregon. 

“My presidency ran from 1986-88 with our convention held in Seattle in the U of W District. Our membership at the convention was quite good for that period of the Division's development. One new wrinkle introduced at that '88 conference was the addition of a Junior High Honor's Choir organized by Roberta Jackson. It's exciting to see how the honor choir format has expanded to include most of the age levels and vocal styles available to us in our profession in the Northwest. We now truly have something for everyone.”

Gerald Schroeder - 1988-1990

Gerry taught in Wisconsin for 18 years (9 in public school and 10 at University level) after graduating from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and while securing Masters at Indiana University and doctorate at the University of Colorado. He moved to Idaho in 1978 to teach at Boise State University. While there he conducted various choral ensembles and served as associate chair of the music department. Gerry retired in 2000 and is currently involved in singing in the Cathedral Choir at St. Michael's Episcopal Cathedral in Boise

and doing occasional piano accompaniment work in the area.

Regarding the "state of the division" during his tenure, Gerry writes, “Our division was still pretty small when I served as president. Fortunately we have grown considerably and each state's activities have helped in this. Our convention was in Boise, and the Morrison Center was new and formed a nice facility for the events which took place. We were putting together a convention on a very tight budget because our treasury wasn't in very good shape and the national office was putting pressure on divisions to be more self sustaining. I am happy to report, however, that we did well financially and things have been looking up ever since."

"I was especially pleased to have had the legendary Frauke Hassemann as one of the headliners and Jon Washburn's ensemble as one of the professional choirs. I was also happy to see a nice showing of ensembles from Wyoming. It is frequently too great a distance for them to travel to the larger metropolitan areas of the Northwest.”

Richard L. Dalzell - 1990 - 1992 (b. 1939 - d. 2009)

Dick Dalzell moved to Meridian, Idaho, in February 2002 following his retirement from active teaching. Dick was married to his wife, Sue, for forty-eight years They have two sons and seven grandchildren, the oldest of whom is singing in this years NW Women’s Honor Choir. His 26 years of college teaching were as Director of Vocal and Choral Music at Columbia Christian College (1979-1993) and at Treasure Valley Community College (1967-1979) where he also served as chairman of the music department. Twelve years of high school

teaching were at Abilene Christian High School (1959-60), Ontario High School (1967-70), and North Salem High School (1993-2001). 

Dick held the B.A. degree in applied music, summa cum laude, from Abilene Christian University and the M.M. degree in voice and choral performance from the University of Idaho with additional work at the University of Washington, College of Idaho, Portland State University, University of Oregon, and University of Kansas. He studied choral music and conducting under John Finley Williamson, Robert Shaw, Norman Luboff, Helmut Rilling, and Eric Ericson. 

In 1976 Dick was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities stipend in early American music. He was president of Oregon ACDA (1985-87) and served for eighteen years on the OMEA State Board of Control in various positions. In addition to ACDA and MENC he has also been a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and International Association of Jazz Educators. He is listed in the fifth and sixth editions of Who’s Who Among American Teachers, received the 1999 Outstanding Music Educator State Award for Oregon presented by the National Federation Interscholastic Music Association and the first annual Music Educator of the Year Award from the Oregon Symphony Association of Salem in 2001. 

He was a frequent vocal/choral clinician and adjudicator throughout the Northwest, has appeared several times with his choirs and as a clinician/presenter at conferences of OMEA, NW MENC, and ACDA, and was often a member of the Oregon ACDA/OMEA Choral Adjudicators Certification Panel.


He was active with several community choirs including directing the Treasure Valley Chorus for ten years, the Columbia Chorale for twelve years, serving as a guest conductor of the Willamette Master Chorus, and conducted about 25 honor and festival choirs in Oregon and Idaho. 

He directed MSTI Melodies (acronym pronounced misty), a women’s choral group for cancer patients/survivors, caregivers, and staff sponsored by St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute in Boise. Dick filled a late vacancy serving as General Chair for Honors Performing Groups for the 1988 NW Convention in Seattle, was Program Chair for the 1990 Convention in Boise, Convention Chair for 1992 in Eugene, and again stepped in to fill a vacancy as Program Chair for the 2004 Convention in Boise. 

William F. Mayclin - 1992 - 1994

William Mayclin retired in 2002 after teaching choral music at Pendleton High School and Pendleton Junior High for 30 years. In 1990, he was selected as the Phi Delta Kappa (Chapter 1122) Outstanding Secondary Teacher. His high school choirs sang at two northwest division conventions of the Music Educators National Conference and at two state conventions of the Oregon Music Educators Association. They also were invited to sing at Expo ’74 in Spokane and Expo ’86 in Vancouver, BC.

Bill attended Clark College in Vancouver, Washington for two years earning an Associate in Arts degree in 1969. He then completed his Bachelor of Music in Education degree at the University of Portland in 1971 graduating “Maxima Cum Laude.” He received his Master of Arts in Vocal Performance from Eastern Washington State College in 1973.

He has been Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Oregon Music Education Association’s District VI. He was the Oregon ACDA President from 1987-1989. In 1995, he was the Site Chairman at the Kennedy Center for the ACDA National Convention in Washington, D.C. and was the National Chairman of the ACDA Advocacy Steering Committee from 1995-1997. He was the Program Chairman for three National ACDA Conventions: Chicago in 1999, Los Angeles in 2005 and Chicago in 2011. He was Organizing Chairman of the Oregon All-State Choir in 1982, the All-Northwest Choir in 1985, and the 1990 ACDA Northwest High School Men’s Honor Choir. 

In Pendleton, Bill has served on the boards of The Arts Council of Pendleton, Pendleton Air Museum, Umatilla County Cultural Coalition, Education Foundation of Pendleton, and Umatilla County Historical Society. He has also been active as a performer and musical director with the College-Community Theatre. 

He is the choir director at Peace Lutheran Church and the director of the Pendleton Men’s Chorus.

Randi Von Ellefson - 1994 - 1996

Dr. Randi Von Ellefson was in the great Northwest from 1984-1996 when he was Director of Choral Activities at Whitworth College in Spokane. He also directed the Spokane Symphony Chorale for eleven years. After eight years as choral director at University of Chicago and the Rockefeller Chapel, he accepted a newly created collaborative position between Oklahoma City University and the Canterbury Choral Society in Oklahoma City. He is now in his fourth year in Oklahoma. 


"The Northwestern Division was in excellent shape after the masterful leadership of William Mayclin from Oregon. He and I worked well together to provide plans for NW conventions that were carefully chosen to help everyone in the division feel a part of ACDA."

"I remember the helpful cooperative attitude that everyone in the Northwest seemed to possess and I was particularly proud that we hosted Vance George at the '96 convention in Spokane where he conducted the Stravinsky "Symphony of Psalms" at the Cathedral of St. John. I enjoyed my time as president very much and enjoyed working with so many wonderful people."

Thomas A. Miller - 1996 - 1998

Dr. Miller is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Warner Pacific College, Portland, Oregon. He is also the founding conductor of Novum Chamber Singers, Lake Oswego, Oregon and Director of Music at Our Saviors Lutheran Church, Lake Oswego. His choirs from these institutions have been invited to perform for NWACDA divisional conventions on seven different occasions.

A Life Member of ACDA, Dr. Miller has also served as Oregon ACDA President, Oregon Worship and Music R & S Chair and NW Division College and University R & S Chair. He has been invited to conduct Haydn's Mass in Time of War at Carnegie Hall in March 2009.

The 1998 division convention in Portland was of the largest and most comprehensive to that date. It featured five honor choirs, International lecturer and conductor Frieder Bernius, and special concerts by The U.S. Army Chorus and by four combined Portland area community choirs performing Kodaly's Budavari Te Deum with the Oregon Symphony in addition to the concert hour performances of the many excellent choirs from the Northwestern Division.

Constance Branton - 1998 - 2000

"I stepped into doing two conventions, Portland in 1998 and Seattle in 2000, with both feet plus a myriad of friends and relatives to help out. I was program chair for Portland. Tom Miller, division president, and I worked very hard to give the attendees a great 1998 convention. I think we succeeded. Just being in the Benson Hotel was worth all of the hassle!" 

"My convention in Seattle in 2000 took myriads of hours of my time plus that of many volunteers. I have memories of working with the parking authority of Seattle to be able to park buses on the streets, working with several different facilities managers and hotel staffs, to name a few.


After it was over I was totally exhausted but felt good at the attendance numbers and the quality of the convention. Gene Brooks decided that this convention should be in Seattle for the millenium, so I had to work long distance, but somehow it all came together. And who can forget the final piece for the Men's Honor Choir conducted by Andre Thomas, "Have a Nice Day" by Marilyn Summers?"

"Working with the leaders of ACDA at the National, Division, and state levels was a joy. I met hundreds of dedicated conductors and felt honored that they would trust me with the leadership role for the division. I was the first junior high teacher and the first woman to hold the position, so it was new for me and everyone else. I tried hard to involve many people at many choral levels and to encourage all types of choirs to be involved at the Division Convention. 


I treasure most all of the memories of the work, all of the friends that I made, and the support of my colleagues. It was a wonderful six years of my life."

Karen P. Fulmer - 2000 - 2002

Karen is the vocal music teacher at Bonney Lake High School in the Sumner School District. Previously she taught for 28 years at Sumner Junior High and served as district music coordinator. From 1989-1991 she served as Washington ACDA state president. Karen has worked at the state level developing classroom based performance assessments and serves locally as the board president for the Northwest Repertory Singers. She is a recipient of the Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Education and in 1997 was named

Washington State Teacher of the Year. 

Karen reports, "The division was in a state of growth and development during the early 2000s. Connie Branton and I wanted to see our R & S chairs take a more active role in the development of interest sessions for division conventions and contribute on a regular basis to Northwest Notes. We made it a priority to fill vacancies and give a voice to each position on the board. The convention in Tacoma was very successful despite wintry weather." 

"Our summer leadership meetings were well attended by representatives from every state and ACDA was actively involved in sponsoring or co-sponsoring workshops, interest sessions and festivals throughout the division. The division leadership/lifetime achievement award was created while I was president-elect and has continued at each division convention since." 

Twyla Brunson - 2002 - 2004

Twyla is a graduate of the University of Idaho with a BME and MM, Vocal Performance, She taught junior high choral music for 33 years, 15 in Walla Walla and 18 in Sumner, Washington. 

Retired from teaching, she is currently Music Curriculum Chair for the Sumner School District and has been an adjunct faculty at PLU. She has studied at the Kodaly Institute in Esztergom, Hungary, the Orff Institute in

Salzburg, Austria, and St. John’s and Kings’ Colleges at Cambridge University in England. 

In 1988 she was a member of the Washington State Visual and Performing Arts Delegation to the Peoples’ Republic of China exploring the arts of that Asian country. 


Twyla was named WMEA Valley Region Outstanding Music Educator and recipient of the Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Education in 2001. An active musician and adjudicator, she has sung with the Oregon Bach Festival Choir, Seattle Symphony Chorale, Walla Walla Choral Society, and currently sings with Opus 7. 

"During my tenure as NW Division President, I worked to maintain the high level of excellence that the division had achieved: keeping quality people in R & S chairs, encouraging them play active roles in development of their areas, and attracting new membership to the division. 


One of the challenges during my tenure was having the 2004 division convention in Boise, Idaho. Since much of the division membership is located in the I-5 corridor, I wanted the membership to experience the choral commitment that exists in every part of our division. The convention was an unqualified success attracting only a few less attendees than the 2002 convention despite being out of the I-5 corridor. 


We also had a large number of student members who worked during the convention in exchange for part of their registration fee. I was gratified this experience gave future choral directors a direct link to the benefits of being involved in ACDA. The division leadership that preceded me gave me great help during my tenure. 


"I treasure the friendships gained through ACDA because of the love of the choral art and am a richer person for them."

J. Michael Frasier - 2004 - 2006

J. Michael (Mike) Frasier retired in 2003 after spending his entire thirty-year career as a teacher with the La Grande, Oregon school district. During his time in La Grande, Mike directed choirs at both the Middle School and High School. Choirs under his direction were the recipient of many honors including Oregon State High School Choir Championships in 2001, 2002, and 2003, 1st place at the 1983 Reno Jazz Festival, and 1st place at the 1993 “Best in the Northwest” Choral Festival. The La Grande HS A cappella Choir was chosen to

sing at the 1982 OMEA State Conference and in 2001 the LHS Select Vocal Ensemble was invited to be the performing choir for the opening of the Oregon State Legislative session in Salem. 

Other conducting experiences include Director of the Chancel Choir at the La Grande United Methodist Church, Union County Children’s Choir, and Musical Director of the Blue Mountain Barbershop Chorus. Mike holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Choral Music Education from Central Washington State College and a Master’s of Music in Vocal Performance from Eastern Washington University. He currently is on staff at Eastern Oregon University as an instructor in Choral Music Education, Vocal Techniques and conductor of the EOU Women’s Choir. 

Throughout his career Mike has been active in both ACDA and MENC. He served as ACDA Northwest Division president from 2004 to 2006 and currently serves as Vice-President. From 1997-2003 he was Oregon ACDA Multi-Cultural/Ethnic board member, OMEA District VI President from 1986-88 and served as organizing chairman for the Northwest MENC Honor Choir in 1991. Mike was a presenter at the ACDA Division conference in 2004 in Boise, the 2004 OMEA State conference in Eugene and the 2005 Montana MEA conference. 

Professional honors include 2002 Union County Teacher of the Year, Phi Delta Kappa Award for Eastern Oregon in 1983, Eastern Oregon University Inspirational Teacher Award in 1993 and 1999, and Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2003 from OMEA District VI and the Eastern Oregon Regional Arts Council and named a Paul Harris Fellow by the La Grande Rotary Club. During the summer of 2002 Mike spent three weeks as a visiting teacher in Ecuador where he worked with teachers and students at the Colegio Americano De Quito, and the Conservatorio Nacional “Jose Maria Rodriguez” de la ciudad de Cuenca, as well as with adult conducting students. 

He and his wife Martha, Director of Federal Programs for the La Grande School District, have 2 sons, Devin, a junior at EOU majoring in Sociology with minors in Music and Theatre and Jared, a freshman at Northwest Christian College where he majors in Secondary Education and is a scholarship athlete playing NAIA division soccer.

Scott Peterson - 2006 - 2008

Dr. Scott Peterson served as president of the Northwestern Division of the American Choral Directors Association from 2006 through 2008. During his term, the first (and to date, the only) ACDA convention held outside the United States occurred in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in March of 2008. 


He was the NW ACDA Two-Year College R&S Chair for 6 years and also served as president of the Washington State Chapter from 1992 through 1994.

A native of Iowa, Scott graduated with a B.A. in Music Education from Midland Lutheran College, Fremont, Nebraska, after which he moved to Ellensburg, Washington, where he received Central Washington University’s first graduate degree in conducting in 1976.


In 1988, he earned a D. M. A. in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington where he studied with Abraham Kaplan, Joan Conlon, William Hatcher and Richard Clark. Other mentors include: Maurice Skones, Dale Warland and Weston Noble. Scott sang with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers twice in the Carnegie Hall Choral Workshops in 1992 and 1994. He conducted Mozart’s Requiem in Carnegie Hall in 1993 with the Yakima Symphony Chorus, the Bellevue Chamber Chorus and the Manhattan Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Dr. Peterson has been on the faculty at Yakima Valley Community College as Director of Choral Activities since 1976 where he conducts the YVCC Concert Choir and the YVCC Chamber Singers. He has been Chorusmaster of the Yakima Symphony Chorus since 1977 and founded the Yakima Chamber Singers in 1980. 

He is a 26-year member of Male Ensemble Northwest, a professional group which consists entirely of choral conductors and musicians. MEN has performed at various ACDA conventions including national conventions in Washington, D. C., and San Antonio, Texas, as well as the Western Division Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2006. Scott received the Washington State Choral Leadership Award in 2005 and the Washington State ACDA President’s Award in 1995. 

Scott’s wife, Jane, is also an accomplished choral conductor who co-conducts the Yakima Children’s Choir. They have two grown children, Kristina and Karl. Scott can often be seen at the helm of his 30-foot Carver, the "Choral C," plying the waters of the San Juan Island in the North Puget Sound. 

“ACDA is absolutely one of the finest organizations in existence today for the choral musician and teacher. The Northwest Division has the best people who truly care about the art of choral music and each other. I can’t imagine a better experience for the new teacher and conductor as well as the seasoned veteran. I am very proud of this Division and its members who look to the future with a fresh outlook!”

Richard Nance - 2008 - 2010

Richard Nance is the Director of Choral Activities at Pacific Lutheran University where he has worked since 1992. At PLU, Nance conducts the Choir of the West, Choral Union, and teaches classes in choral conducting.

Nance holds bachelors and masters degrees from West Texas State University and the Doctor of Musical Arts from Arizona State

University. He has studied conducting with Hugh Sanders, Douglas McEwen, and David Stocker, and composition with Joseph Nelson and Randall Shinn. 

Nance is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and has held many state and divisional offices. Nance's choirs have appeared at several ACDA conventions and have toured Europe. His choral works are regularly performed by school, university, church, community, and festival choirs. 

In 2002 Nance was selected to compose the prestigious Raymond Brock Memorial Composition for the American Choral Directors Association. Other composers who have shared this honor include Gian-Carlo Menotti, Eric Whitacre, Morten Lauridsen, Rene Clausen, Daniel Pinkham, Samuel Adler, and Gwyneth Walker.

Solveig Holmquist - 2010 - 2012

Throughout her career, SOLVEIG HOLMQUIST has had the pleasure of teaching and conducting groups of virtually all of ACDA’S Repertoire and Standards categories. Recently named Professor Emerita after nearly 20 years on Western Oregon University’s music faculty, while at WOU she conducted two choirs, taught conducting and related subjects at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and continues as music director for the mainstage musicals. 


In 2007, the WOU Chamber Singers travelled to China on a three-week performing tour; invited to return, Dr. Holmquist subsequently spent a 2008 sabbatical teaching at several universities in China’s northeastern provinces. 

Prior to her tenure at WOU, Solveig taught middle school and high school for ten years in Stayton, Oregon. During the 70’s, while residing in England, she taught at a girls’ boarding school in Malvern, Worcestershire, and benefited greatly from her participation in the Worcester Choral Society and the centuries-old Three Choirs Festival. In 1979, after returning from England, Solveig formed Festival Chorale Oregon, a civic choir now in its 35th season that regularly performs choral/orchestral masterworks and premieres new compositions. The group has enjoyed regular European performing tours.


A lifelong involvement in church music as organist/choir director culminated in a fifteen-year period as Minister of Music at the historic First Methodist Church in Salem Oregon, where she developed a sequential program of nine choirs, organized a concert series, wrote a weekly column about the each week’s service music, and held a summer music camp for children 5-12.

Solveig’s 29-year tenure in the chorus at the Oregon Bach Festival in Eugene has been her greatest source of professional development. OBF highlights include years of incredible modeling, mentoring and teaching by Artistic Director Helmuth Rilling, performing at the concluding concert of the 1992 National ACDA Convention in Phoenix, winning the 2000 Grammy for the premiere of the Pendercki Credo, and performing at the 2002 World Symposium in Minneapolis.

ACDA involvement has included Oregon R&S positions for Community Choir (1991-’96), Sacred Music (1996-’98) as well as Oregon President (2003-2005)), section leader for the Nat’l Community Honor Choir at the San Diego Convention, Community Choir R&S for NW Board (1998-2005), and numerous screening and organizing duties for honor choirs, both for ACDA and OMEA. She also served as OMEA President (1992-’94). 

Highlights of Division Conferences under her leadership include performances by Charles Bruffy and the Phoenix Chorale; the Soweto Gospel Choir; and the Stuttgart Kammerchor under Frieder Bernius. ACDA is the core of her professional world, and continually expands her professional development: she now sings with Chor Anno and recently returned from Dublin and London, performing with ACDA Executive Director Tim Sharp. 

She received her undergraduate training at St. Olaf College, where she majored in organ and sang with the St. Olaf Choir; her MME at Oregon College of Education; and her DMA in Conducting at the University of Oregon.


Solveig and her husband Jon live in Salem, Oregon. They have six grown children and nine grandchildren.

Gary Weidenaar - 2012 - 2014

Since 2006, Gary 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. He taught at public or private schools in Michigan, Germany, Norway, and California for a total of fifteen years – with nine of those years spent overseas .


His assignments included teaching students ranging from 3rd to13th grades in choral, general and instrumental music courses at various times. 

Having earned BM and MM degrees from Western Michigan and Michigan State Universities respectively, Gary received his Doctorate from the University of Kansas in 2002, and subsequently spent four years on the faculty at Northern Arizona University, before assuming his current position.


Gary spends a great deal of time with directors and/or choirs of all levels. He has presented workshops to music educators in five states, as well as in Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, and Germany. He has adjudicated, served as clinician, or conducted over 650 choirs since 2002. The CWU Chamber Choir is known throughout the northwest, having been chosen to sing at 2 regional and 2 state conferences since 2008, including the 2010 ACDA NW conference in Seattle. The choir has a strong presence on the internet, where 16 professionally edited, multi-camera videos reside on YouTube.

Dr. Weidenaar regularly presents clinics & workshops on varied topics to NAfME and ACDA groups around the country. He is currently creating a curriculum to help improve listening skills and refine the ear of developing conductors.

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

The Weidenaar family includes Marla, an accountant and licensed massage therapist as well as Gary’s spouse. They have two sons: 

Mark is a fine bassoonist and award-winning composer, holds a black belt in taekwando and a blue belt in hopkido. His main focus is as a geography major specializing in rock glaciers, in the class of 2012 at Central Washington University, where he is a candidate for a BA in Geography and a BA in Music.

David is in the class of 2014 at Ellensburg High School where he sings in the Chamber Choir, plays both upright and electric bass for the vocal jazz ensemble, plays tuba in the symphonic band, and is on the EHS Knowledge Bowl team.

Patrick Ryan - 2014 - 2016

Patrick Ryan is the lead choral director at Great Falls High School in Great Falls, Montana, where he heads a program of seven choirs and over 200 students. Patrick was president of the Northwest Division of the American Choral Directors Association, and a past-president of the Montana Choral Directors Association. He is a frequent clinician and guest conductor. In 2012, he directed the inaugural KIMEA National Honor Choir in Seoul, South Korea.


Choirs under Patrick’s leadership have been invited to sing in several professional events. His Great Falls High School Delphian Choir performed at the 2015 Northwest NAfME Conference. This group also received second place in the 2014 American Prize for Choral Performance, High School Division. In 2013 the choir commissioned and premiered composer John Muehleisen’s piece, Consolation: Requiem for Newtown.


His women’s choir from Havre High School, Belles Voix, performed for the 2009 NW-NAfME Conference, and his Havre High A Cappella Choir participated in the world premiere of Eric Whitacre’s Paradise Lost in Carnegie Hall. 

Patrick received his Master’s degree in choral conducting from Northern Arizona University, where he studied conducting with Edith Copley and directed the NAU Men’s Chorale.


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. Patrick has a passion for secondary school music, and his experiences have taught him that any size school can have a thriving choral program. 

Outside his professional life, Patrick enjoys officiating football and basketball for the Montana Officials Association and spending time with his amazing wife Lynn, and their three children, Kian, Kendall, and Kari.

Nicole Lamartine - 2016 - 2018

Dr. Nicole Lamartine became Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wyoming in 2008. She conducts the Collegiate Chorale, Singing Statesmen, advises the male a cappella Happy Jacks, and teaches conducting and applied voice.

Under her leadership, choirs of the University of Wyoming have performed at the 2015 NW National Association for Music Education (NAfME) conference, the 2012 Northwest American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) conference, the 2011 Northwest MENC conference in Bellevue, WA and at the 2011 National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) national conference. Her choirs at the University of Wyoming have enjoyed premiere performances and recordings of music by Pulitzer Prize and Grammy-winning composer Jennifer Higdon, Forrest Pierce, John Muehleisen, Gabriela Lena Frank, and Craig Hella Johnson.

Lamartine is becoming a resource for men’s choir singing in the US, having led The UW Singing Statesmen to prominence and with her research on female leaders of male choirs. She conducted a program of men’s choir music at Lincoln Center in the spring of 2016.

She often serves as a conductor and clinician across the US and Europe and recently appeared as the NW ACDA Men’s Honor Choir conductor at the 2014 conference as well as the conductor of the DoDDS All-Europe Honor Choir in Wiesbaden, Germany. She was the 2015 Wyoming All-State Mixed Choir conductor and conducted the Washington All-State Women’s Choir and the Montana All-State Mixed Choir in 2016. Lamartine also serves as  Conductor of the semi-professional choir “Chor Anno,” based in the state of Washington.

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