Western Slope Choral Festival

Honor Choir    

The 2016 festival is March 3-5, 2016. (Thursday afternoon through Saturday afternoon concert). This year’s Women’s Choir conductor is Dr. Kelly Hudson from Concord University of and this year’s Mixed Choir conductor is Dr. John Petzet from Louisiana Tech University.

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.


Woman's Choir Director: Dr. Kelly Hudson

Dr. Kelly Hudson has been the Director of Vocal Music at Concord University (WV) from 2005-2008 and again from 2014 to the present.  At Concord she directs the choral ensembles and teaches studio voice and music education classes.  A native of Minnesota, Dr. Hudson holds a B.A. in Music Education from Luther College (IA), a Master of Music in Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance from Colorado State University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Iowa.  She has studied conducting with Timothy Stalter, William Hatcher, James McCray, Lee Egbert, and Weston Noble, and has taught at the university and high school levels in Colorado, New York, and Florida.  Dr. Hudson is a loyal Minnesota Vikings fan (uff-da), and currently lives in Princeton, WV, with her husband, 5-yr-old daughter, and two dogs.

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.


Mixed Choir Director: Dr. John Petzet

Dr. John Martin Petzet is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Louisiana Tech University. He has taught at Louisiana State University, Panola College, the University of Texas at Tyler and Lincoln University. Dr. Petzet received his Masters and Doctorate in Choral Conducting from the University of Kansas (Magna Cum Laude) and Texas Tech University (Summa Cum Laude) respectively. He has studied with Dr. John Paul Johnson and Dr. John H. Dickson and is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he taught middle school and high school for 5 years.

The American Choral Directors Association Choral Journal published his article, "Matthew Harris’s Shakespeare Songs-The Bard’s lyrics meet American Popular Music” in August 2011.  Dr. Petzet has also written two compact disc reviews for the Choral Journal and presented interest sessions in Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, and North Dakota. He is the College/University Repertoire and Standards Chair for the Louisiana ACDA Chapter.  

Dr. Petzet sang, toured, and recorded with the Kansas City Chorale under the direction of Charles Bruffy during the 2003-2004 season. While performing with the Chorale, he sang on the Chandos Recording of Alexandre Grechaninov’s Passion Week, which won a Grammy for Best Classical Album. He has conducted multiple choral/orchestral works, including Bach’s Cantata 37, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Pachelbel’s Magnificat in C, Schubert’s Masses in C and G, and the Mozart Te Deum. His baritone solo appearances include Handel’s Messiah, DuBois’ The Seven Last Words of Christ, Howells’ Requiem, Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel, and Judas in J. S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.