Western Slope Choral Festival

The festival is March 7-9, 2019. This year's Treble Choir conductor is Dr. Julie Yu from Kansas State University and the Mixed Choir conductor is Dr. Kurt Runestad from Doane 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. 

Julie Yu Ph.D.

Julie Yu Ph.D. is Co-Director of Choral Studies at Kansas State University where she is part of a team that oversees seven choral ensembles and teaches undergraduate and graduate choral conducting. 

She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music education from the University of Central Oklahoma, Master of Music degree in choral conducting from Oklahoma State University, and the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from the University of North Texas.

Before joining the Kansas State faculty, she taught at Norman North High School in Norman, Oklahoma and San José State University.

She has given presentations and her choirs have performed for conferences of the Kansas Music Educators Association, Missouri Music Educators Association, Oklahoma Choral Directors Association, the American Choral Directors Association and the European Music Educators Association.  She is the Southwest American Choral Directors Association President and a 2018 ACDA-ICEP Conducting Fellow (to Kenya). 


Kurt Runestad Headshot

It has been Dr. Kurt Runestad’s privilege to teach at Doane University since the fall of 2004.  He conducts or co-conducts three of Doane’s four choral ensembles, including the acclaimed Doane Choir, which under his direction has performed in twelve countries on four continents, and throughout the United States.  A native of Wayne, Nebraska, Runestad graduated from St. Olaf College (Northfield, Minnesota) with a B.A. in music education, taught 10 years in the public schools of Iowa and Minnesota, and earned two graduate degrees in choral conducting from the University of Iowa.  He is a frequent clinician, arranger, and adjudicator for choirs throughout the Midwest, and his transcription of the Soweto Gospel Choir’s “Khumbaya” is published by www.musicspoke.com.  Recent CDs by the Doane Choir (Colors of the Midwest) and Doublewide (Doublewide and Downpour) are available for purchase on both iTunes and Amazon, and there are performances by most of Doane’s choral groups on YouTube.  Runestad has twice received the “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” award from Doane’s Student Congress, has been awarded Doane’s Ardis Butler James faculty fellowship, and will be on sabbatical spring 2019, working on some more Soweto Gospel Choir arrangements.  He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife of 22 years, Carly Woythaler-Runestad, and they have two children, daughter Avery (11) and son Owen (8).  Outside of music and parenting, Runestad also enjoys reading, (mostly) organic gardening, backpacking and camping and travelling.



Thursday, March 7

1-1:30 p.m.  Check in: Quigley Hall lobby

1:30 p.m.   Welcome & Announcements

  • Kincaid Concert Hall (Quigley)

2-5 p.m.  Quartet Checks & Rehearsal

  • Women’s Choir –Kincaid Concert Hall
  • Mixed Choir – Quigley 133 (band room)

5 p.m.  Dinner on your own

7:30 p.m. Western Vocal Music Department Showcase Concert – Kincaid Concert Hall

Friday, March 8

8:30-10 a.m. Sectional Rehearsals AND Scholarship Auditions

  • Women's Choir Sopranos— Quigley 130 (choir room)
  • Women's Choir Altos— Quigley 129
  • Mixed Choir Sopranos and Altos— Quigley 133 (band room)
  • Mixed Choir Tenors and Basses—Kincaid Concert Hall

10-11:45 p.m. Rehearsal  

  • Women’s Choir—Quigley 133 (band room)
  • Mixed Choir—Kincaid Concert Hall

11:45-1:15 p.m. Campus tour or Student Panel and

  • Lunch at Rare Air Café provided by Western Colorado University

1:30-3:30 p.m.  Rehearsal

  • Women's Choir – Kincaid Concert Hall
  • Mixed Choir—Quigley 133

3:30-3:45 p.m.  Break—Lead Office Presentation

3:45-5:30 p.m.  Rehearsal

  • Women’s Choir – Quigley 133
  • Mixed Choir—Kincaid Concert Hall

2-4:30 p.m. Director's Choir rehearsal and Director’s meeting – Quigley 130

5:30 p.m.  Dinner on your own

7:30-9:30 p.m. FUN! (Music, games, & snacks) in University Center Ballroom.

Saturday, March 9

8:30-10:30 a.m. Rehearsal

  • Women's Choir – Kincaid Concert Hall
  • Mixed Choir – Quigley 133

9-10:30 a.m. Directors’ Choir Rehearsal – Quigley 130

10:30-11:45 p.m. Dress Rehearsal—Kincaid Concert Hall

  • Order of Program: Directors' Choir, Women's Honor Choir, Mixed Honor Choir

12-1:15 p.m. Lunch, Change into concert attire

1:30 p.m. Assemble

  • Women’s Choir –Quigley 130
  • Mixed Choir – Quigley 133
    Please plan to keep valuable personal items with you at all times or leave them with family members or in a secure vehicle.

2 p.m. Western Slope Choral Festival performance at Kincaid Concert Hall
Admission to the concert is by donation to the Gunnison Volunteer Fire Department.