Dr. Monte Atkinson, Interim Chorale Director
Dr.Monte Atkinson served as Director of Choral Activities at Colorado Mesa University (previously known as Mesa State College), Grand Junction, Colorado since 1985, where he led and oversaw chorale music education and conducted Mesa State Concert Choir and Chamber Choir. Choirs under his direction have performed with the Denver Chamber Orchestra, Mexico National Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, annually with Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, and frequently with Mesa State Symphony Orchestra. He conducted the 26-voice Mesa State Chamber Choir in concerts throughout the United States and Canada, Europe, and Great Britain.
Dr. Atkinson founded the Western Colorado Chorale in 1985, and continued to serve as artistic and Music Director until his retirement in 2020 after finishing the 35th, 2019-2020 season. In May 2008, he was invited to conduct the New England Symphony and the Festival Chorus in the performance of Sing Unto God, Wedding Anthem for Frederick, Prince of Wales (1936) by George Frideric Handel and Serenade to Music by Ralph Vaughn William at Carnegie Hall, in which a number of Western Colorado Chorale members performed. Dr. Atkinson, as guest conductor, and the Western Colorado Chorale, as guest artists, were featured in the January 2009 GJ Symphony Orchestra Program. In the summer of 2017, Dr. Atkinson was invited once again to conduct at Carnegie Hall where members of the chorale also performed Jubilate Deo by Dan Forrest and The Song of Democracy by Howard Hanson.
Prior to his appointment at Colorado Mesa University, Dr. Atkinson served on the choral faculty at the University of Tennessee- Knoxville. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in choral music, piano, and strings from Utah State University. His graduate degrees, Masters in Choral Conducting and Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Music, were earned at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Atkinson has been honored as a distinguished high school choral director in Utah, received the Mesa State College Distinguished Faculty Award in 1999, and has served many years in leadership positions in the American Choral Directors Association.