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Gary Weidenaar

Portrait of Dr. Weidenaar.Director of Choral Studies

In the fall of 2006, Gary Weidenaar joined the faculty at CWU, where he directs the select Chamber Choir, the Men's Choir; and teaches choral literature, methods, and conducting at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Weidenaar's broad background includes fifteen years of teaching choral, instrumental, and general music at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in three countries. Professional postings have included teaching 3rd to 13th grades at various times in Walled Lake, Michigan (5 years); Berlin, Germany (5 years); Stavanger, Norway (4 years); and Palm Springs, California (1 year).

Dr. Weidenaar holds degrees from Western Michigan University (1981), Michigan State University (1988), and the University of Kansas (2002). During his final year of residency as a doctoral candidate at KU, Gary was asked to serve as chorusmaster for the top two choirs - the Chamber Choir and Collegium Musicum - while a national search was underway for a Director of Choral Activities to replace former Kings Singer Simon Carrington.

After receiving his doctorate, Gary served on the faculty in the School of Music at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff for four years. During his tenure, assignments included conducting the Women's Chorale, Men's Chorale, Chamber Choir, and Vocal Jazz Ensemble in various years. Dr. Weidenaar also taught undergraduate conducting and methods, and taught in the summer Masters in Music Education program. In 2004-2005, he served as both Interim Music Education Coordinator and Summer Masters Coordinator. Weidenaar also was responsible for planning and hosting the Jazz/Madrigal Festival, which attracted some 115 choirs from over 75 schools annually. Over 100 student workers assisted in the running of the festival, held at 5 sites simultaneously.

Dr. Weidenaar is active as a guest conductor and adjudicator, having served as adjudicator or clinician for over 200 choirs during his four years in Arizona. He has accompanied honor choirs in Belgium and Germany and guest-conducted groups in Arizona, Kansas, and Nevada. In 2007, Gary was invited by the Clarke County School District Las Vegas to be the sole presenter at their spring faculty development day.

Gary is a member of the VoiceCare Network, the Music Educators National Conference (MENC), and a life member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), He served on the Arizona ACDA board as the Repertoire & Standards Chair of Youth and Student Activities for 4 years and is currently the Youth & Student Activities Chair for the Northwest Division of ACDA. He is also a member of the Intercollegiate Men's Chorus (IMC) national board. In February, 2007, he served as logistical coordinator for one of the two performance sites at the 2007 national ACDA convention in Miami, Florida.

Dr. Weidenaar's research interests include:

  • Brain Research - as it relates to how to more fully involve the Brain in the choral rehearsal, which he has presented at local, state and regional meetings in Nevada, Ohio, Arizona, and Utah using junior high and college choirs as demonstration groups.
  • His dissertation topic "The use of Cantus Firmus techniques in selected Kyries in the L'homme Armé masses from 1450-1600", presented in North Dakota, Kansas, and in Uppsala, Sweden.
  • The use of music technology in the classroom.

Dr. Weidenaar has been at CWU since 2006.

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

Contact Dr. Weidenaar