The dates for this year’s festival are February 29th-March 2nd, 2024. The Treble Choir guest conductor is Susan Kinnischtzke. Our Mixed Choir conductor is Dr. Kyle Fleming.
Contact WCU Director of Choirs Lillian Magrinelli at firstname.lastname@example.org for audition information.
About the Guest Artists
Treble Choir Guest Conductor – Susan Kinnischtzke
Susanne Marie Kinnischtzke is a semi-retired music educator who resides in Pueblo West, Colorado. She attended Pueblo Central High School and graduated in 1986. She received her B.A. in Music Education K-12 in 1990 (cum laude) from Adams State College in Alamosa and has over 30 years experience in teaching choral music. She taught at Pueblo South High School, Pueblo West High School and at Swallows Charter Academy. Her groups have been selected to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York, Chicago and onboard cruise ships. While at Pueblo West High School, she worked to pass a bond issue to complete the facility to build a performing arts wing and an auditorium. She also created and wrote the curriculum for the brand new International Baccalaureate program in music. She is a vocal music adjudicator for the Colorado High School Activities Association and a judge for Colorado All-State Choir, a private voice instructor and accompanist. She also directs the St. Paul the Apostle Contemporary Youth Band at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Pueblo West and is music director at St. Pius X Church in Pueblo. Susan holds a Certificate of Distinction in vocal pedagogy from Boston Conservatory of Music and is currently completing her masters coursework through Adams State University. When she is not making music, Susan is spending time with her two grown children, her two dogs Daisy and Lily and her cat Carl. She is thrilled to work with this year’s SSAA choir.
Accompanist for Treble Choir – Raisha Quinn
Raisha Quinn is a retired choir/orchestra/band director with 30 years of experience conducting ensembles. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in K-12 music from Moorhead State University in Moorhead, Minnesota and her Master of Music Education degree from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado. She taught K-12 music at Ten Sleep Schools for 3 years in Wyoming, 7-12 choir and band at Clear Creek Schools in Idaho Springs for 10 years and 6-8 choir and orchestra at East Middle School in Grand Junction for 17 years. She taught private voice and piano lessons for 22 years and continues to coach barbershop quartets and choruses. Mrs. Quinn is currently a collaborative accompanist at Colorado Mesa University and D51 Schools. She is a CDWI (Chorus Director Workshop Intensive) instructor for the Barbershop Harmony Society. Raisha was on the CMEA vocal music council for 6 years as the district 7 representative, 2 years as the chair elect and 2 years as the chair. Her choirs have performed at the Colorado Music Educators Association Conference in years past.
Raisha has sent students to ACDA and All State Choir at both the middle school and high school level. Her students have received top ratings at festivals and contests as well. Raisha has been the guest clinician for honor choirs and camps in Colorado and New Mexico. She has judged solo and small ensemble festivals as well as choir festivals. She is currently a CHSAA vocal judge and an All State Choir judge. Her choirs have performed for Nuggets, Rockies and Broncos games as well as CU Men’s and Women’s events. Raisha has directed and performed in many musicals over the years and has been the piano accompanist for performances since the age of 8. She has taken performance tours with students and truly enjoys being on stage. She has performed as a soloist in several large works including “The Messiah” and the “Faure Requiem.” She lives in Grand Junction with her family and their dogs, Dexter and Goose.
Mixed Choir Guest Conductor – Dr. Kyle Fleming
Kyle Fleming is in his ninth season as the Artistic Director for the Colorado Repertory Singers and has served throughout the Denver-Boulder area for 20 years as a conductor, music educator, and singer. He has led choral ensembles in a wide variety of settings including college, high school, middle school, church and community. Kyle is a passionate advocate for the transformative power of choral music and lifelong singing, and is frequently working behind the scenes to build bridges between institutions, ensembles, and organizations that work to advance the choral arts and music education within our local communities.
Kyle holds degrees in Choral Conducting and Literature from the University of Colorado Boulder (MM and DMA) as well as vocal performance from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN (BA). His teachers include Larry Kaptein, Joan Catoni Conlon, Gary Lewis, and George S.T. Chu.
Kyle is a past-president of the Colorado chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and is in demand as a clinician and guest conductor having made festival, honor choir, and workshop appearances in several states including Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Wyoming, California, Texas and Colorado. Kyle and his wife, Amy, live in Golden (CO) with their two kids Caleb and Addie.
Accompanist for Mixed Choir – Alicia Belgiovane
Ms. Belgiovane has lived in Gunnison for 38 years and taught choral music in the Gunnison School District until her retirement in 2014. Previously she taught at private schools in the Philadelphia area. In 2014 Ms. Belgiovane transitioned to teaching (Elementary Music Methods and Secondary Choral Methods) and accompanying at Western Colorado University. During her public school teaching tenure, her choirs scored Superior ratings consistently at Large Group Festivals. In 1997, Ms. Belgiovane’s Middle School Select Choir was chosen to perform at the State Music Convention (CMEA). In 2005, she was chosen Teacher of the Year in the Gunnison School District. She is also the church organist at the Union Congregational Church and All Saints Episcopal Church in Crested Butte.
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