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Dr. Gary Weidenaar

Portrait of Dr. Weidenaar.Professor of Music
Director of Choral Studies

Since 2006, Dr. Gary Weidenaar has been the Director of Choral Studies at Central Washington University, where over 200 singers make up the four traditional and two vocal jazz ensembles which comprise CWU’s choral offerings. Dr. Weidenaar’s duties include conducting the CWU Chamber Choir and Vox Divna, as well as teaching choral methods, choral literature, and conducting at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He is also advisor to the student chapter of the American Choral Directors’ Association (ACDA) and the A Cappella group “Nada Cantata”.

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 – nine of those years overseas .  His assignments included teaching everything from 3rd-13th grade students in choral, general and instrumental music courses at various times. In 2012, Dr. Weidenaar received the outstanding teaching award in CWU’s College of Arts & Humanities.

Having earned BM and MM degrees from Western Michigan and Michigan State Universities respectively, Dr. Weidenaar received his Doctorate from the University of Kansas in 2002, after which he spent four years on the Northern Arizona University faculty.

Dr. Weidenaar 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 1,100 choirs since 2002. A lifetime member of the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA), Weidenaar served as President of the Northwestern Division of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) from 2012-2014, and received the ACDA Leadership Award for Washington state in 2015.

Since 2008, CWU’s Chamber Choir has appeared at two state conferences, and three regional conferences for both ACDA and NAfME. In 2015, the Chamber Choir received an invitation to take part in the prestigious Tolosa International Choir Competition. The choir spent twelve days in Spain, and presented five concerts. including one in the Cathedral in Léon, one of most historically significant buildings in the world.

The Chamber Choir is known throughout the world, with thirty professionally edited YouTube Videos, viewed worldwide more than 1,700 times in total on an average day. The music of composers Ola Gjeilo and Vijay Singh comprise more than half the videos, with music of Rautavaara, Byrd, Monteverdi, Gretchaninov and others filling out the rest.   In 2014. Weidenaar produced a concert of 28 of Vijay’s compositions.  Ola Gjeilo returns to the CWU campus in April, 2017 for a fourth recording session with Chamber Choir.

Western Michigan University
BM in Music Education & Voice Performance, 1981
Michigan State University
MM in Voice Performance, 1988
The University of Kansas
DMA in Choral Conducting, 2002

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