Western Slope Choral Festival


The festival is March 1-3, 2018. This year’s Women’s Choir conductor is Dr. Rebecca Seeman from the University of San Francisco and this year’s Mixed Choir conductor is Dr. Scott Ferguson from Illinois Wesleyan 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.



J Scott Ferguson

J. Scott Ferguson is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Illinois Wesleyan University, where he conducts the Collegiate Choir and University Choir and teaches studio voice, choral conducting, and choral literature. Dr. Ferguson received his undergraduate training at Oberlin Conservatory in organ performance, studying with Haskell Thomson. He completed graduate studies in choral conducting at the University of California, Irvine, earning the Master of Fine Arts, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he earned the Doctor of Musical Arts. He has studied choral conducting with Robert Fountain, Joseph Huszti, Daniel Moe, and Howard Swan, orchestral conducting with David Becker and James Smith, and voice with Robert Fountain, Joseph Huszti, and Beverly Rinaldi. Prior to his appointment at Illinois Wesleyan University in 1996, he served on the faculty at the State Conservatory of Music in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, Hope College, Plymouth State University, The College of Wooster, and the University of California, Irvine. His choirs have appeared on tour throughout the United States and Europe. The IWU Collegiate Choir appears frequently at state NAfME conferences and performed at the 2008 and 2012 ACDA Central Division Conferences. The Choir has collaborated on new commissions with the Orchid Ensemble and The King’s Singers. Dr. Ferguson is in demand as a choral clinician, festival conductor, and adjudicator, and has presented choral workshops and lectures in the U. S., Europe, and South America. He will guest conduct in Illinois, Tennessee, and Colorado during the 2017-2018 academic year. He is a frequent member of juries at international choral competitions. He has published articles on Slovak choral music in the ACDA Choral Journal and is the compiler and editor of the Slovak Choral Series, published by Alliance Publications. Dr. Ferguson directs the Chapel Choir at Second Presbyterian Church in Bloomington and is organist and cantor at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Chenoa, IL.


Rebecca P.N. Seeman

Rebecca Petra Naomi Seeman is a member of the faculty of the Performing Arts and Social Justice Department at the University of San Francisco, where she conducts the Classical Choral Ensembles and teaches private voice as well as courses in music history and music theory. She is the Artistic Director and Conductor of Sacred and Profane Chamber Chorus, an advanced a cappella choral ensemble based in Berkeley, CA. She has served as the director of the Chancel Choir at Saint Ignatius Church in San Francisco and has been a member of the faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in addition to previous academic, synagogue, and church choral positions in Santa Cruz and Iowa City. She is a sought after choral clinician and competition adjudicator.

A strong proponent of Swedish choral music, Dr. Seeman has written extensively on Swedish music for women’s choir and the music of contemporary Swedish composer Karin Rehnqvist. Dr. Seeman holds a BA in Voice and an MA in Performance Practice and Conducting from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa. Her conducting teachers have included Nicole Paiement, Timothy Stalter, and William Hatcher, and Eric Ericson. In addition to her work with classical music, Rebecca is co-producer of a documentary film about folk music impresario Izzy Young, currently in production.