Choirs that performed for the 2016 conference in Seattle, WA
Performing groups - NW ACDA Divisional Conference March 3-6, 2016
Groups in alphabetical order - Alaska Chamber Singers, Beijing Harmonia, Casper Children's Chorale, CWU Chamber Choir, CWU Men's Chorus, Charles M. Russell High School Choir, Corvallis HS Choir, Eagle HS Choir, Edmonds Community College Soundsation, Gonzaga University Concert Choir, Male Ensemble Northwest, Mt. Vernon HS Choir, NW Girlchoir, Olympia HS Choir, Resonance Ensemble, Seattle Pro Musica, The Ensemble of Oregon, Tillicum MS Choir, University of Montana Chamber Chorale, University of Oregon Chamber Choir, University of Wyoming Jazz Ensemble, WWU Concert Choir, Whiteaker MS Choir
The Alaska Chamber Singers, Anchorage, AK
David Hagen was named conductor of Alaska Chamber Singers (ACS) in 1995. He has conducted ACS in such major works as Bach's Magnificat, Christmas Oratorio and numerous motets and cantatas; Bernstein's Chichester Psalms; Faure's Requiem; Haydn's The Creation; Mozart's Mass in C and Requiem; and Poulenc's Gloria. He led a performance of Britten's monumental War Requiem, a joint production with ACS, Anchorage Concert Chorus, and Alaska Children's Choir.
In addition to his choral work, Hagen teaches band in the Anchorage School District and has composed many works for beginning band.
Hagen was awarded the Anchorage Mayor's Arts Award for Outstanding Individual Artist. He holds a master's degree in choral conducting from the University of Cincinnati.
Established in 1986 by Elvera Voth, Alaska Chamber Singers (ACS) is currently celebrating its 30th season. ACS was chosen to perform in 2008 at the ACDA Northwestern Conference in Vancouver, B.C. ACS has been featured on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor and regularly collaborates with Anchorage Concert Chorus, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, and Alaska Children's Choir. This season features a new commission by celebrated composer Steven Sametz. In 2012, ACS premiered Alaska Spring, a major new work by Libby Larsen. ACS has also commissioned works by Grant Cochran, David Dickau, Moses Hogan, and Gregory Walker. ACS has sung under notable guest conductors including Kenneth Jennings, Moses Hogan, David Dickau, and Anton Armstrong."
The Casper Children’s Chorale - Casper, WY
Marcia Patton is retired from Kelly Walsh HS, where she directed choirs for NWACDA and MENC. She received the Medallion of Excellence and Academic Influential Educator Awards, the Rotary Community Service Award, and Casper’s Woman of Distinction.
She was the 2002 Wyoming Teacher of the Year, and Distinguished Alumna from the University of Wyoming College of Arts and Sciences. Marcia is past president of WY ACDA, and Women’s and Children’s R&S. She founded the WY ACDA Children’s Honor Choir, is a NAfME “Chorus Expert”, Choral Directors Magazine “Director of Note”, and presented interest sessions nationally for ACDA. She is a frequent adjudicator for Heritage Music Festivals and has traveled extensively as a clinician and performer.
The Casper Children's Chorale was founded in 1979 by Marcia Patton. Membership is by audition to 80 children, 9-13 years. Their primer choir, Bel Canto, serves children 7-10 years, and their women’s choir, Alla Breve, is open to the community. CCC has presented concerts across the nation, sharing their love of music and their pride in Wyoming.
They are the recipient of the Wyoming Governor’s Arts Award, have been selected for state, regional, and national music conventions, and are the only Wyoming group ever to appear on an ACDA National Convention (Los Angeles). Children’s Chorale was featured in 2012 as the featured performing choir for the National Children’s Chorus Festival, Carnegie Hall, New York City.
Central Washington University Chamber Choir, Ellensburg, WA
Gary Weidenaar has been the Director of Choral Studies at Central Washington University since 2006. He oversees four choirs of some 200 singers, as well as teaching methods and conducting to undergrad and graduate students. Dr. Weidenaar is a decorated educator with 34 years’ experience, including fifteen years in high school and junior high classrooms. He has presented workshops in many states, as well as in Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, and Germany. Weidenaar has adjudicated, served as clinician, or conducted over one thousand choirs since 2002. Recently, he was awarded the prestigious 2015 Washington State ACDA Leadership award. Dr. Weidenaar is in his tenth year as director of the renowned CWU Chamber Choir.
Chamber Choir is a rigorously auditioned ensemble with high musical expectations. Perseverance, a strong work ethic, supportive nature, and a desire to constantly improve are also highly sought after. Additionally, group dynamics and exploration of various styles of music lead to emotionally engaging performances. “Thrilling” & “Sound of liquid gold” are two audience members’ recent descriptors. Chamber Choir has appeared at four State and Regional conferences in the past seven years. The choir often collaborates with composers – regularly premiering works by both established writers and students. October, 2015 found the Choir in Spain taking part in its first international choral competition. The CWUMusicDept channel on YouTube includes 25 videos of the choir totaling over 1,000,000 views.
Central Washington University Men's Choir, Ellensburg, WA
In the fall of 2012, Scott Peterson returned to his alma mater as an adjunct professor to conduct the CWU Men’s Choir. He retired in June, 2012, from Yakima Valley Community College after 36 successful years as Director of Choral Activities.
Scott Peterson received graduate conducting degrees from the University of Washington and was granted the first conducting degree from CWU. Scott was a member of Male Ensemble Northwest for 27 years, during which time they performed with at two national ACDA conferences and several division conferences.
Dr. Peterson is past president of the Northwestern Division of the ACDA. During his term, the conference was held in Vancouver, B. C., the first ACDA conference outside the United States.
The CWU Men’s Choir reflects the philosophy that at Central there is a choir for anyone who likes to sing and prides itself on maintaining a welcoming atmosphere to everyone, from men who have never sung to those majoring in voice performance. The CWU Men’s Choir performed for the Washington Music Educators Association conference in Yakima in February of 2014 to great acclaim. Many audience members have commented how much the choir enjoys singing. The members enjoy a special camaraderie which comes from singing music which utilizes the many facets of the male voice. As with all CWU choirs, an emphasis is put on building musicianship, learning about the voice, and furthering one’s individual skills.
The Chanteur Choir
Lynn Ryan earned her M.M. in Choral Conducting from Northern Arizona University and her B.M.E. from Pacific Lutheran University. She studied choral conducting and methods with Dr. Edith Copley, Dr. Gary Weidenaar, Dr. Richard Sparks, Dr. Richard Nance, Kathryn Lehmann, Dr. James Holloway, Patrick Michel, and Dinah Helgeson.
Prior to teaching in Great Falls, Mrs. Ryan taught K-12 music at a rural school in North-Central Montana for five years. In 2009, her women’s choir, Belles Voix from Havre High School performed at the Northwest MENC conference in Spokane, WA. She works as an adjudicator and clinician in Montana, and in 2013 she was the guest director for the KIMEA honor choir in Seoul, South Korea.
The Chanteur Choir is one of seven performing choral ensembles at Charles M. Russell High School in Great Falls, Montana. The choir consists of students in grades 10-12 and maintains an enrollment of 44-50 singers. Chanteur frequently performs throughout the Great Falls community and annually collaborates with choirs from Great Falls High School. Their most recent collaborations include the performance of Vivaldi’s Magnificat with the Great Falls Symphony Orchestra and the commission of Consolation: Requiem for Newtown by Northwest composer, John Muelheisen.
Corvallis High School Concert Choir
Aubrey Patterson is in her sixth year as director of choirs at Corvallis High School in Oregon. She holds an honors BA in music education and vocal performance and MA in secondary choral music education from Oregon State University.
Patterson has served as the high school honor choir chair, District XI chair, and is currently the journal editor for the Oregon Music Education Association. In addition to conducting five high school choirs, Patterson is the associate director of Corvallis Repertory Singers. She is the youngest Oregon certified choral adjudicator and recently led her Concert Choir to first place at the state contest. Patterson also enjoys performing as a soloist in choral and musical theater productions.
The Corvallis High School Concert Choir is an auditioned ensemble of 50 members. Students in the CHS choir develop strong music reading skills and work together to establish student leadership and collaboration. They perform frequently and are known for exploring a wide variety of choral literature.
Under Aubrey Patterson’s leadership, the Corvallis High School Concert Choir has placed at the Choir State Championships four of the last five years, earning the state championship for 5A schools in 2015. The ensemble has collaborated with Oregon State University choirs, the Corvallis Repertory Singers, and participated in numerous choral music festivals.
Eagle High School - Sonous - Eagle, Idaho
Seth McMullen has served as Director of Choirs at Eagle High School in Eagle, Idaho since 2003. Under his direction the choral program at Eagle has established a reputation for excellence throughout the Pacific Northwest. Seth is an active clinician, has made multiple presentations at state and regional music educator’s conventions, and has served in leadership positions for ACDA and NAfME. He sings in Male Ensemble Northwest, is the co-founder of the Treasure Valley Vocal Jazz Camp, and is the founder of the Idaho Choral Commissioning Consortium. Seth currently directs the choirs at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Boise. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Whitworth University and Northern Arizona University.
Sonous is the premier vocal ensemble at Eagle High School in Eagle, Idaho. This 57 member auditioned touring ensemble focuses on a high standard of choral literature spanning from the Renaissance to Vocal Jazz. Since 2003, Sonous has accepted invitations to perform at seven state and regional conventions for both NAfME and ACDA. Students in Sonous represent a cross-section of the Eagle High School student body: every club, sport, and activity has had members in Sonous. Alumni of Sonous can be found singing at collegiate campuses throughout the Northwest. The 2015 graduating members of Sonous were offered over 1.6 million dollars in college scholarships and performed over 100 hours of community service in Eagle, Idaho.
Edmonds Community College Soundsation, Edmonds, WA
Kirk Marcy is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Northern Colorado. In 1987, he joined the renowned vocal quartet, The Four Freshmen. In 1988, Kirk returned to the Pacific Northwest to become Director of Choirs at Edmonds Community College. 2016 marks his 28th year at EdCC. In 2013, he received the College’s “Excellence in Education Award” for outstanding teaching.
Kirk has choral/vocal jazz music published through UNC Jazz Press, Walton, SMP, and recently formed his own publishing company, Kirk Marcy Music. Additionally, he sings with Just 4 Kicks, and Male Ensemble Northwest.
Kirk is a past ACDA National R&S Chair for Vocal Jazz, and serves as jazz choir manager for WMEA All-State.
Soundsation is the pride of Edmonds Community College’s renowned music program. Founded in 1974, Soundsation has a tradition of establishing, advancing and preserving the integrity of vocal jazz education. Since 1988, Soundsation has been guided by Four Freshmen alumnus Kirk Marcy. Soundsation has toured extensively, including performances at the Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals in Europe, as well as performances in Japan and Hong Kong. Soundsation has shared the stage with the greatest names in jazz, including Joe Williams, Diane Schuur, Jon Hendricks, Carmen McRae, Mark Murphy, the Four Freshmen, the Hi-Lo’s, Kurt Elling, and many more. Soundsation has the distinction of being the only collegiate choir to perform with the Count Basie Orchestra.
The Gonzaga University Concert Choir, Spokane, WA
Timothy Westerhaus is the director of choirs and vocal studies at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where he conducts four choral ensembles. He serves as Northwest ACDA chair for University Repertoire and Standards and is an active clinician and conductor.
He serves as music director of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and is founder of the Cathedral Collegium Orchestra. He has led choir tours in Austria, Germany, and Colombia and serves as Northwest ICEP liaison. He sings with the Oregon Bach Festival and performs regularly as a pianist and harpsichordist.
Hailing from Minnesota, he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Saint Thomas and his master and doctoral degrees from Boston University.
The Gonzaga University Concert Choir consists of 65 undergraduate students drawn from diverse disciplines and is part of the university’s comprehensive program of four choral ensembles. Rooted in the Jesuit, Catholic, and humanistic traditions, it performs throughout the Northwest region on annual tours. Recent repertoire includes Bach’s St. John Passion and Magnificat, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, Handel’s Messiah, Lauridsen’s Lux aeterna and Mid-Winter Songs, and Requiem settings by Duruflé and Mozart. Committed to bridging cultures, the Concert Choir advocates for choral arts in primary and secondary schools through festivals and combined performances, and its subset chamber chorus recently completed residencies at Javeriana Universities in Bogotá and Cali, Colombia.
Male Ensemble Northwest
(MEN) was formed in Longview, WA in 1982 as the brainchild of Howard Meharg, to demonstrate a high level of music making by choral conductors from the Pacific Northwest region.
In the years since its inception, MEN has appeared in concerts from local churches and auditoriums to regional and national audiences, always remembering to spread the message of male singing. They have performed at national ACDA conventions in Washington D. C. and San Antonio, TX; and several Northwest regional conventions.
In addition to a high level of artistry, the members of MEN value the professional and personal associations they have with each other. It is important to feed the personal soul as well as the artistic.
Mount Vernon High School Concert Choir, Mt. Vernon, WA
Megan Lizama has been the choir teacher at Mount Vernon High School since 2005. Under her direction, the program has grown to include eight ensembles, involving more than 200 students. Prior to joining the staff at MVHS, she taught K-8 general and vocal music in Michigan for three years.
A native of Washington, Ms. Lizama developed a passion for choral music while singing in children’s choirs. She attended the University of Michigan, where she earned a Bachelor of Music Degree in Voice Performance. Megan Lizama is a National Board Certified Teacher and was the recipient of the 2012 Washington ACDA “Outstanding Young Choral Director” award.
The Mount Vernon High School Concert Choir has earned a reputation for excellence and is a source of pride for the Mount Vernon School District and community. Recent accolades for the MVHS Choir Program include 1st Place-Washington State Solo & Ensemble Contest (Large Women’s Ensemble, 2015), 2nd Place- Washington State Solo & Ensemble Contest (Large Women’s Ensemble, 2014), 3rd Place- Washington State Solo & Ensemble Contest (Large Men’s Ensemble, 2014, 2015), “First Place” at the Best in the Northwest Festival (University of Portland, 2011) and “Superior” ratings at numerous regional and national music festivals. Previous conference performances include: NAfME 2015 (Women’s Choir), WMEA 2012 (Concert Choir, Men’s Choir) and WMEA 2010 (Concert Choir).
Northwest Girlchoir - Amore, Seattle, WA
Sara Boos joined Northwest Girlchoir as Artistic Director in 2003; she oversees the performance and education programs of the organization, leads a nine-member artistic staff, and conducts three of six choir levels. Her choirs were invited to perform at the 2013 Chorus America National Conference, the American Masterpieces Choral Festival, and Festival 500 in Newfoundland. Sara has music education degrees from Bowling Green State University (Ohio) and Michigan State University. In Minnesota, she sang with the Dale Warland Singers; currently, she sings with Opus 7, and has also sung with Mirinesse Women’s Choir, Seattle Pro Musica, and the St. James Cathedral Choir. Sara serves as a founding board member of the Greater Seattle Choral Consortium.
Now in its 43nd year, Northwest Girlchoir transforms the lives of girls and young women through outstanding music education, dynamic choral performances, and an enduring community. Northwest Girlchoir’s 250 choristers, ages 6–18, learn performance skills, vocal technique, and musicianship and develop life-long friendships, confidence, and cultural awareness.
Northwest Girlchoir Amore (grades 9-12) has performed recently with The Seattle Collaborative Orchestra, Seattle Girls' Choir, Choral Arts, Seattle Pro Musica, and Opus 7. Recent commissioned composers include: Karen P. Thomas (Winter Ride—2014), Andrea Ramsey, Nick Page, Eric Banks, and John Muehleisen. Younger choir levels participate annually in regional and national choral festivals; Amore tours internationally every two years—last summer in Malta and Sicily.
Olympia High School Choir, Olympia, WA
Dan Schwartz has been teaching vocal music at Olympia High School for 21 years. A graduate of Pacific Lutheran University, he studied conducting with Richard Sparks and Dr. Richard Nance. Schwartz is an active conductor and guest clinician at contests and festivals throughout the Northwest and has served as the Washington ACDA Repertoire and Standards chair and president of the Chinook region of WMEA. In addition to directing the choirs at OHS, Dan has taught 4th and 5th grade chorus at nine elementary schools throughout the Olympia School District, and currently directs the choirs and leads the worship service at Littlerock Community Fellowship.
The Olympia High School Symphonic Choir is one of five curricular choirs at OHS and is the top auditioned mixed group comprised of 11th-12th graders. The choir was founded in 2010 to accommodate a growing choral program and provides an opportunity for elite students to study a varied repertoire of challenging choral literature. Since it’s inception, the Symphonic Choir has performed throughout the Northwest, promoting the advancement of choral arts by collaborating with multiple community and college choirs as well as the African Children’s Choir. The Symphonic Choir is honored to share it’s debut performance with the American Choral Directors Association.
Resonance Ensemble, Portland, OR
Katherine FitzGibbon, Artistic Director of Resonance Ensemble, is Associate Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities, and Chair of the Department of Music at Lewis & Clark College. She won a 2014 Lorry Lokey Faculty Excellence Award, honoring “inspired teaching, rigorous scholarship, demonstrated leadership, and creative accomplishments.
Dr. FitzGibbon has conducted choirs at Harvard, Boston, Cornell, and Clark Universities, and at the University of Michigan. She has served as Head of Faculty at Berkshire Choral International and Chorusmaster of the Windsor Symphony (Ontario). She holds degrees from Princeton, the University of Michigan, and Boston University. Her research on German music and politics has garnered a DAAD fellowship and been presented and published internationally.
Resonance Ensemble is an outstanding professional vocal ensemble committed to innovative thematic programming of exceptional music, exciting performances that engage and inspire listeners, and extraordinary vocal sound. Resonance has been described as “one of Oregon’s most valuable musical resources” (Oregon Arts Watch) and “one of the Northwest’s finest choirs” (Willamette Week).
Since its founding in 2009, Resonance has performed adventurous repertoire from medieval chant to Stravinsky’s Les Noces to new commissions. Resonance has been invited to collaborate with Oregon musical organizations including Third Angle New Music Ensemble, Portland Chamber Orchestra, Cascadia Composers, and Friends of Chamber Music. Creative partners have included Oregon Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen, visual artist Thérèse Murdza, and actors and dancers.
Seattle Pro Musica, Seattle, WA
Karen P. Thomas is the Artistic Director of Seattle Pro Musica, with whom she has recorded ten critically-acclaimed CDs, and received the Margaret Hillis Choral Excellence Award. Her choral and instrumental compositions are performed internationally, by groups such as The Hilliard Ensemble. Winner of the 2015 Dale Warland Singers Commission Award from Chorus America and the American Composers Forum, she has received awards from the NEA, ASCAP, and others.
Named the 2012 Washington “Outstanding Choral Director of the Year,” she guest conducts in North America and Europe, and serves on the boards of ACDA NW Division, Chorus America, and Seattle Music Commission. Her choirs have performed at ACDA National and Division Conferences, and international festivals.
The critically acclaimed Seattle Pro Musica has received numerous awards, including the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. American Record Guide ranks the group “among America’s very best choirs” and Choir and Organ magazine (Great Britain) writes: “Seattle Pro Musica presents a cappella singing at its best.”
Seattle Pro Musica appeared on the NPR radio show Saint Paul Sunday, and co-hosted the 2013 National Conference of Chorus America in Seattle. The ensemble has performed by invitation for the World Festival of Women’s Singing, Canada’s Festival Vancouver, the American Guild of Organists National Convention, and the American Choral Directors Association National and Division Conferences.
The Ensemble of Oregon
Patrick McDonough, Founding Artistic Director of The Ensemble of Oregon, is a longtime presence in the Portland vocal arts community. He has performed with many ensembles across the country, including the Portland Baroque Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra. Patrick founded and was Artistic Director of Ensemble of the North, and performed and toured nationally and internationally with The Rose Ensemble and The Dale Warland Singers. He is frequently in demand as a guest conductor and singer throughout the Portland metro area and beyond. His performances as a conductor and singer can be heard on some fourteen commercial recordings, including the Grammy‐nominated Walden Pond (The Dale Warland Singers, 2004).
Fresh off of their debut at the Astoria Music Festival, and hailed by critics for their “warmth and resonance” and “thoughtful programming”, The Ensemble of Oregon is Oregon's premier vocal chamber ensemble. Dedicated to strengthening the cultural life of its community through innovative musical experiences, the group performs music from all eras.
The Ensemble's musicians are multi-talented performers who excel at both solo and ensemble singing; their concerts educate through the exploration of different eras and styles and seek to bring neglected forms of music to light.
Tillicum Middle School Concert Choir, Bellevue, WA
Julia Meyering is a National Board certified teacher in the Bellevue School District. She has undergraduate degrees from Seattle Pacific University in vocal performance and music education and has been teaching choir at Tillicum Middle School for fourteen years. Her choirs have consistently received superior ratings at festivals and have participated in several choral competitions. In her spare time, Mrs. Meyering enjoys performing as a singer song-writer, baking, and spending time with her husband and three sons.
The Tillicum Middle School Concert Choir is comprised of 7th and 8th grade young men and women usually in their second or third year in choir. This is a non-auditioned group with prior choral experience. They regularly participate in festivals such as Heritage, Music in the Parks, and Best in the Northwest. Last year it was an honor to take the runner-up slot in the Best of the Northwest Festival in Portland, Oregon. Excellence and fun are two key themes of the choir. They are located in Bellevue, Washington and directed by Julia Meyering.
University of Montana Chamber Chorale, Missoula, MT
David Edmonds is in his fourth year as Director of Choral Activities at the University of Montana where he directs the choirs, and teaches Choral Conducting and Secondary Choral Methods. Under his direction the UM Chamber Chorale has been invited to perform at the 2015 NAfME NW and the 2016 NWACDA Conferences—both first-time invitations for the choir. Edmonds holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas and a Master of Music degree from Westminster Choir College. His choral works have been commissioned by schools and arts organizations in the United States and Canada. Edmonds lives in Missoula, Montana with his wife and their two daughters.
Open to all students on the UM campus, the Chamber Chorale is a family of individuals on the UM campus united in their effort to create art and share it with the public.
The ensemble is quickly gaining a reputation for musical excellence across Montana and the northwest. They present a wide-ranging repertoire from chant to the present day and regularly tour, singing for schools and community organizations across the state and region. Recently, the Chamber Chorale was invited to perform at the 2015 NAfME NW and the 2016 NWACDA Conferences—both first-time invitations in the group’s history.
University of Oregon Chamber Choir, Eugene, OR
Sharon J. Paul is Director of Choral Activities and Chair of Vocal/Choral Studies at the University of Oregon, where she teaches graduate courses in choral conducting, repertoire, and pedagogy, and conducts the University Singers and the internationally award-winning Chamber Choir. Dr. Paul has presented interest sessions at regional, state, division, national, and international music conferences. She appears frequently as adjudicator, clinician, masterclass teacher, lecturer, and honor choir director throughout the United States. She is the recipient of a 2014-15 University of Oregon Fund for Faculty Excellence Award and was recently named the Robert M. Trotter Chair of Music, one of three endowed chairs awarded at the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance.
University of Oregon’s Chamber Choir has garnered international acclaim in recent years, winning First Prize at the 2013 Fleischmann International Trophy Competition at Cork’s International Choral Festival in Ireland, and taking top honors in two categories at the 2011 Tallinn International Choral Festival in Estonia. In May, 2015, the Chamber Choir was one of 10 choirs worldwide invited to compete at the 14th International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf, Germany, where they received second prize overall and won a special prize for the best interpretation of the compulsory work. In 2014 the Chamber Choir became a resident ensemble at the Oregon Bach Festival, performing each summer under the direction of Helmuth Rilling and Matthew Halls.
University of Wyoming Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Laramie, WY
Ben Markley currently serves as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Wyoming. He directs the UW Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble II, teaches improvisation, jazz piano and coaches combos. Markley has performed with Brian Lynch, Greg Osby, Eddie Henderson, Terell Stafford, George Garzone, and Dick Oatts. He can be heard regularly in the Ft. Collins and Denver metro area.
Markley is active as a composer and arranger with many big band and vocal jazz charts published through UNC Jazz Press. Markley’s book A Practical Approach to Improvisation - The David Hazeltine Method was published by Jamey Aebersold Jazz in December of 2014.
The University of Wyoming Vocal Jazz Ensemble is one of the premier audition groups at the school. This mixed ensemble is committed to studying and performing jazz music that is rooted in the rich tradition of the art form while also embracing contemporary styles and cutting edge arrangements. A recipe that has helped their reputation grow throughout the region. Guest artists to visit UW include, The New York Voices, Tierney Sutton, BaSix and The Real Group. The group performs regularly throughout the state as well as regional venues such as Dazzle Jazz Club and the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Festival.
Western Washington University Concert Choir, Bellingham, WA
Leslie Guelker-Cone is in her twenty-first year as Director of Choral Activities and Coordinator of Vocal Studies at Western Washington University in Bellingham, where she conducts the Concert Choir and Western Voices and teaches courses in choral conducting and choral music education. She serves frequently as an honor choir conductor and guest clinician throughout the United States and Canada and has been ACDA National R&S Chair for Women’s Choirs and president of Washington ACDA. Dr. Guelker-Cone is a recipient of WWU’s highest teaching honor, the Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Washington ACDA Leadership and Service Award. She is the author of the video textbook, The Collaborative Choral Rehearsal: Inspiring Creative Musicianship.
The WWU Concert Choir is a select ensemble of fifty accomplished university singers. While most are undergraduate music majors and minors in vocal performance or music education, a number of other campus majors are represented as well, including business management, political science, communications, environmental studies, and linguistics. Presenting challenging choral literature of all periods and styles, the choir specializes in the music of contemporary American composers. The choir has performed at numerous NAfME and ACDA conferences including the National ACDA Convention in Los Angeles and combines regularly with the WWU Symphony Orchestra to present major choral-orchestral works. International tours have taken them across Europe and to South America.
Viva Voce from Whiteaker Middle School, Keizer, Oregon
Andy Thomas has spent the last seven years as the choral director at Whiteaker Middle School in the Salem/Keizer school district in Oregon. Before that he spent thirteen years teaching high school and middle school choir, musical theatre, and video production in the Central School District, also in Oregon.
The middle school level has become his passion and he has been delighted to share that throughout the NW and Alaska, directing various honor ensembles and clinics. Andy also is the contemporary vocal and keyboard instructor at Corban University in Salem. He received his Bachelors from Western Oregon University and Master's in Music Education from Portland State University.
Viva Voce is one of five vocal ensembles offered at Whiteaker Middle School. The 270 participants in the choral program focus on excellence of character, the vocal art form, and memorable performance opportunities that inspire young students to be life long lovers of music and their voice. The ensemble has had the opportunity to travel through out the U.S. visiting college campuses, working with world-renowned directors, doing exchanges with like ensembles, and giving performances. This ensemble has consistently received top honors as they performed in such places as NYC, Florida, and LA along with convention appearances. Recently their performance of Kyrie was in the academy-award-winning director Shawn Christensen’s film Before I Disappear.
Harmonia Choir, Beijing, China
Professor Wu is First Dean of the Conducting Department at China Conservatory, Deputy Director General of China Chorus Association, member of the expert team at the Chinese Ministry of Education’s Art Committee, conductor of National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) Choir, consultant of International Federation of Choral Music (IFCM)
Professor Wu pursued academic studies majored in opera and symphony in former Soviet Union. To meet the need of artistic education in China, Professor Wu diverted most of her time and energy to choral research and teaching practice since 1990. She founded China Conservatory’s Conducting Department based on choral conducting, hand-picked and trained members of China Conservatory Youth Philharmonic Chorus, which is capable of interpreting various types of modern and contemporary choral works as well as many excellent Chinese choral pieces. Professor Wu also assisted in establishing quite a few first-class university choirs around China. Over the years, with her broad vision, profound expertise and strong perseverance, Professor Wu has diligently trained and cultivated generations of professional and amateur choral conductors.
Professor Wu was appointed to be the conductor of the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) Choir and Music Supervisor for NCPA’s Youth Chamber Choir in 2010. She founded Wu Lingfen Choral Workshop supported by Beijing Municipal Commission of Education in 2011, then co-established Harmonia Choir together with China Chorus Association and Beijing Municipal Commission of Education in 2012, continuously forging ahead in promoting choral arts and nurturing choral talents.
Harmonia Choir was founded in Beijing, April 27, 2012, as an affiliated group of Wu Lingfen Choral Workshop co-established by China Chorus Association and Beijing Municipal Commission of Education. Harmonia is composed of music teachers, students from various departments of China Conservatory as well as other choral singers and fans. Professor Wu Lingfen, a renowned conductor and educator presides the choir as artistic director and resident conductor.
Since its founding, Harmonia Choir has been devoted to interpreting classic choral pieces, promoting excellent choral works, training chorus conductors and spreading choral education, through various high-level concerts, master classes and example performances at large choral festivals by invitation. Harmonia has been well known and recognized for its cooperation with many internationally renowned conductors and musicians, including María Guinand, Venezuelan conductor and Vice-President of the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM); Ko Matsushita, Japanese conductor and composer; Frieder Bernius, conductor of Stuttgart Chamber Choir, Germany; Paul Phoenix, former tenor and leader of the King’s Singers and Grammy Award-winning singer; Lorenzo Donati, famous Italian conductor; Jeffrey Douma, conductor of Yale University Choir; Ivan Törzs, German conductor; Nicole C. Lamartine, Director of Choral Activities at University of Wyoming, United States; Wu Shanglun, conductor of Taipei Philharmonic Chorus; Cheng Wei, conductor of Unison, United States; Barlow Bradford, The Ellen Nielson Barnes Presidential Endowed Chair for Choral Studies, conductor of University of Utah Chamber Choir.