Western Slope Choral Festival

Honor Choir    

The 2015 festival is March 5-7, 2015. (Thursday afternoon through Saturday afternoon concert). This year’s Women’s Choir conductor is is Dr. Tod Fish from Stephen F. Austin State University and this year’s Mixed Choir conductor is Dr. Frank Eychaner from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

The Western Slope Choral Festival is held on the Western State Colorado University Campus each Spring, usually during the first week in March. Approximately 250 singers from 40 Colorado High Schools are selected by audition to participate in two Honor Choirs - Mixed and Women's. Each choir is directed by a nationally known choral conductor. Past conductors have included Donald Brinegar, Edith Copley, Dennis Cox, Galen Darrough, and Solveig Holmquist.

Women's Honor Choir Conductor - Dr. Tod Fish

Tod Fish joined the Stephen F. Austin State University Choral faculty after a successful, 13-year career as a high school and middle school choral director. While teaching in Seguin, Round Rock, and Lubbock, Dr. Fish’ choirs earned numerous awards, significantly increased course enrolment, and he saw several of his students pursue careers in the music field.

 

During this time, Dr. Fish served as a clinician for several high school and middle programs all over the state of Texas, mentored young teachers, served twice as a TMEA All-State Choir Section Leader, and was selected as an All-Region Choir clinician multiple times.

 

Dr. Fish received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University, where he studied conducting with Dr. Terry Eder and Dr. Tim King, studied voice with Dr. David Jones, and coached with Mr. Jan McDaniel and Dr. Ronald Petti.

Dr. Fish completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas. While at KU, he studied with Dr. Paul Tucker and Dr. John Paul Johnson. Dr. Fish directed the KU Men’s Glee Club, KU Collegium, and Ignis Immortalis. The Men’s Glee Club, under Dr. Fish’s direction, was the only collegiate choir selected for the 2008 Kansas Music Educators Convention.

Tod’s family consists of his wife, Alice and his son, Aaron.

Mixed Honor Choir Director - Dr. Frank Eychaner

Dr. Frank F. Eychaner is the Director of Choral Studies at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.  Before coming to UTPB, Eychaner spent eight years at Colorado Christian University where the choral program has quickly attained regional distinction.  He completed his BA in Music Education and the MA in Choral Conducting at Central Washington University under the supervision of Geoffrey Boers.  Eychaner received the DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Kentucky where he worked with Jefferson Johnson.

In addition to his work at the University, Frank has directed church and community choirs, taught at the Jr. College level and for five years at Centennial High School in Boise, ID. Choirs under Eychaner’s direction consistently distinguish themselves through excellence both on and off-stage.  They have been invited to appear at both regional conventions of the ACDA and numerous NAfME state conventions including Colorado, Oregon, and Utah.  The number of singers at Colorado Christian University tripled since 2006 and 14% of the University undergraduates are enrolled in choirs.

Eychaner has published many journal articles on choral techniques and pedagogy including “The Jazz Choir Goes Legit: Copyright Law for the Vocal Jazz Educator” which was published in the Choral Journal.  Other research interests include teacher preparation, choral pedagogy, conducting and leadership.   His arrangements are available through UNC Jazz Press.  Dr. Eychaner is nationally recognized as a clinician presenting workshop and interest session presentations across the country on diverse topics including vocal pedagogy, rehearsal techniques, choral artistry and conducting. He has presented in 14 states and presented sessions at the Eastern, Western and Southwestern ACDA division conventions in 2014.  Eychaner is frequently engaged as a guest conductor of honor choirs and has led Colorado ensembles including the Musica Sacra Chamber Orchestra, St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, Denver Brass and the Littleton Symphony.  He is the High School director of the Rocky Mountain Choral Camp. He conducted the Kentucky Jr. High Allstate choir in 2014.

For six seasons Eychaner was the Artistic Director of the Colorado Chorale, an exceptional group of choral musicians that performed great choral works of all times and style with a focus on masterworks of the Western tradition.  The Chorale presented their ‘Music For Life’ concert in February of 2012 providing an opportunity for 350 Colorado high school students to sing Mozart’s Requiem on the Boettcher concert hall stage. Frank served the Colorado choral community as the President-Elect of the College and University Council of the Colorado Music Educators Association and the Membership chair of the Colorado chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, a position he has held since 2006-2014.

When not making music, Frank enjoys spending time with Karen, his wife of 24 years and their three children.  In the summertime, he can be found knee deep in a mountain river with fly rod in hand.

 


Auditions for the Western Slope Honor Choir Festival are held in Fall. Specific information about the Honor Choirs is mailed to individual high schools in September.

The Western Slope Choral Festival is held on the Western State Colorado University Campus each Spring, usually during the first week in March. Approximately 250 singers from 40 Colorado High Schools are selected by audition to participate in two Honor Choirs - Mixed and Women's. Each choir is directed by a nationally known choral conductor. Past conductors have included Donald Brinegar, Edith Copley, Dennis Cox, Galen Darrough, and Solveig Holmquist.

Auditions for the Western Slope Honor Choir Festival are held in Fall. Specific information about the Honor Choirs is mailed to individual high schools in September