Monte Atkinson, DMA, is Director of Vocal Ensembles and Professor of Music at Colorado Mesa University, where he has been on faculty since 1985. At CMU, he currently directs the new CMU Vocal Arts Ensemble and showcase vocal jazz group, “Vocal Chords”, and oversees vocal music education. His CMU choirs have performed with the Denver Chamber Orchestra, Mexico National Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, annually with the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra (GJSO) and frequently with the CMU Symphony Orchestra. Well-known for his performances of music for choir and orchestra, he has also conducted the CMU Chamber Choir in performance throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Great Britain.
Atkinson continues to serve as Music Director for the Western Colorado Chorale, a semi-professional ensemble he founded in 1985 and has helped shape into a premier vocal ensemble in the region and state. He also continues to serve as GJSO chorus master and appears periodically as the GJSO choir conductor.
Prior to his appointment at CMU, Atkinson served on the choral faculty at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. His masters and doctorate in choral music and conducting are from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1999, he was honored as the recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award at Colorado Mesa University. In February 2008, Atkinson made his debut as guest conductor in Carnegie Hall with the New England Symphonic Orchestra and Festival Choir, and was featured as guest conductor with these groups again in 2010. In 2013, he was invited to conduct the CMU Chamber Choir in solo concert at Carnegie Hall, and will appear in June 2017 at the Carnegie Hall performance of Mozart’s Requiem where he will be privileged to have many musicians from current and past CMU choirs and the Western Colorado Chorale singing with him in the performance.
A long-time member of the American Choral Directors Association and accomplished pianist, Atkinson is married to flautist Gail Patten Atkinson and continues to be in demand as an adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor.