Monte Atkinson conducts select choir and orchestra at Carnegie Hall on June 5, 2017.


Professor of Music creates and conducts concert at Carnegie Hall

Professor of Music and Director of Choral Arts, Monte Atkinson, DMA, was recently invited by the musical staff of New York-based Mid-America Productions to present a concert at Carnegie Hall. Each year, the organization invites select guest conductors to work with them to create a program. Invitations are sent nationwide to prominent high school, university choral programs and semi-professional community ensembles such as the Western Colorado Chorale, to audition to participate in the combined choir for the concert. 

The concert directed by Atkinson featured more than 30 CMU vocalists, an additional 20 vocalists from the Western Colorado Chorale and CMU choral alumni who are currently living in locations such as Seattle and Denver.  The combined choir, which totaled 180 participants, also included singers from three Colorado high schools, one from Kansas City and a university choir from upstate New York.  After a short rehearsal period, the choir joined the New England Symphonic Ensemble for a performance in the majestic Carnegie Hall on June 5. The New England Symphonic Ensemble is a resident professional orchestra in New York, many of whose players are graduates of the Julliard School of Music.

After the performance by the combined choir and orchestra, Atkinson had the honor of being first guest maestro, conducting the powerful work Song of Democracy by American composer Howard Hanson and text by Walt Whitman. It is one of the great shorter American masterworks of the 20th century. 

Monte Atkinson will be retiring after the 2017-18 academic year and will present a Retirement Masterwork concert on May 4 and 5, 2018, which will feature CMU choirs and orchestra, the Western Colorado Chorale, for which he is the long time director, along with professional guest soloists to be determined. The concert will feature Karl Jenkins Sabat Mater.


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