Each year, the University of Northern Colorado hosts the Western States Honor Orchestra Festival here in Greeley, Colorado—a celebration of orchestral and solo string playing for advanced high school musicians.
We form a chamber orchestra and symphony orchestra from the invited string players; wind and percussion musicians from the award-winning UNC Symphony Orchestra join these ensembles. Two days of intense rehearsal follow, interspersed with a master class by a celebrated guest artist, who also performs on the opening concert Thursday evening and the final concert on Saturday.
We invite advanced high school string players to send audition audio files for this festival. We hope that you will consider joining this wonderful music event that is sure to give inspiration to you for the entire year.
We ask that each director nominate his/her high school string players that he/she feels would most benefit from participation in the festival. Students that are homeschooled are also welcome to audition.
Dr. Robert Baldwin
WSHOF Symphony Orchestra guest conductor
Robert Baldwin is in his 12th season as Music Director for the Salt Lake Symphony and his 15th year as Director of Orchestras and Professor of Conducting at the University of Utah. He is also the founding conductor for Sinfonia Salt Lake, a new professional chamber orchestra that made its debut in 2016. He has appeared across the United States and Europe as a conductor and viola player. International conducting appearances include the Eutin Festspiele in Germany, Kuopio Academy of Music in Finland, and the Hermitage Camerata in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and tours with the University of Utah Chamber Orchestra to London, Vienna, Graz and Salzburg. He will make his conducting debut in Asia in December with the Hunan Symphony Orchestra in China. In demand as a conductor and clinician, he also hasconducted performances with the Lafayette Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic, Flagstaff Festival of the Arts, Abilene Tri-Collegiate Opera, and numerous All-State and regional orchestras across the U.S. His performances and ensembles have received national attention and have been featured on New York’s WQXR Classical Radio, National Public Radio’s Performance Today and Weekend Edition. Dr. Baldwin’s preconcert talks and community music classes are popular mainstays of the Utah Arts scene. His award-winning blog on music and creativity, Before the Downbeat, can be viewed at: http://beforethedownbeat.wordpress.com
Also an accomplished violist, he has had a variety of experiences, including guest appearances with the Amadeus Trio, and both the Saint Petersburg and Stanford String Quartets, as well as the Sedona Chamber Music Festival. He was violist of the Arizona-based Coconino Chamber Ensemble from 1989-1999, and was principal violist for the Flagstaff Symphony, Arkansas Symphony, and Arizona Opera. Recent solo appearances on viola and viola d’amore include recitals in the United States, Germany and Mexico.
Previously, he has held faculty and conducting positions at the University of Kentucky, Lexington Philharmonic, New American Symphony, Flagstaff Symphony and Northern Arizona University. Dr. Baldwin studied conducting in the United States and in Saint Petersburg, Russia, holding degrees in viola performance from the University of Northern Colorado and the University of Iowa, and a DMA in conducting from the University of Arizona. He makes his home in Salt Lake City, Utah where, in his spare time, he enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and spending time with his family.
Dr. Timothy Deighton
Timothy Deighton is professor of viola at Penn State, where he teaches viola, chamber music, viola literature and pedagogy, and orchestral excerpts classes, and directs the Penn State Viola Ensemble. He also serves as the coordinator of the Professional Performance Certificate (PPC) program and is the faculty advisor of the Penn State Viola Society.
A committed teacher, Deighton has received several teaching awards, including the Pennsylvania-Delaware String Teachers Association’s String Teacher of the Year, and the Outstanding Teaching Award from the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State. He received the American Viola Society’s 2016 Maurice W. Riley Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to studio teaching and enduring commitment to expanding the viola repertoire through commissions, performance, and recording. His former students hold positions in professional orchestras and on the faculties of music schools in the United States and overseas. Recent teaching engagements include master classes throughout the United States, Europe, and in South and Central America. His articles have appeared in such publications as Strings, the American String Teacher, Journal of the American Viola Society, the New York Violist, and the Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Viola Society. He is a board member of New York Viola Society and formerly served on the board of the American Viola Society. “ViolaFest,” an event he directed at Penn State, involved more than 200 violists from across North America and abroad. The Penn State Viola Ensemble, which he directs, performs on and off campus, and has been regularly featured on New York Viola Society concerts, where they have presented numerous world premieres. They were recently featured on a CD of music by Scott Slapin, and are currently preparing to record several new works for another CD.
Deighton enjoys a wide variety of performance opportunities. In 2014, he presented the prestigious William Primrose Memorial Concert at Brigham Young University. He has appeared at four International Viola Congresses as recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist with orchestra, and as master class presenter and panelist. He performs regularly with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with whom he also recorded and toured Japan. He has also worked with the Boston-based chamber orchestra, A Far Cry. Recent chamber music collaborations include those with the American String Quartet, Quartet Accorda, and the New Zealand String Quartet, and with musicians outside the traditional classical field such as the Mäori (Taongo Puoro) instrumentalist Richard Nunns. Many of Deighton’s solo and chamber music performances have been broadcast on U.S., European, and Australasian radio. He is a National Recording Artist for Radio New Zealand, and former member of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He also appears in recital with his wife, pianist Ann Deighton.
Having long held a fascination for new music, he has performed premieres of more than fifty new works for viola, most of which were commissioned by or written for him. His solo CD, Viola Aotearoa, featuring music for viola by New Zealand composers, was released in 2002 on the Atoll label. His playing on this disc was described in The Strad as “brilliant and differentiated.” As a member of the contemporary music duo The Irrelevants, he and saxophonist Carrie Koffman have commissioned and premiered many new works. Their "excellent playing" of several new works in a New York recital was noted in The Strad, and their CD, Dialogues, is available at CD Baby. The Chihara Trio, with Anthony Costa, clarinet, and Enrico Elisi, piano, performed its New York debut recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in March 2010, in which, according to the New York Concert Review, "Deighton's technical aplomb and precision were very impressive."
He has been associated with a number of music festivals, including most recently, the Halcyon Music Festival in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and the International Musical Arts Institute in Fryeburg, Maine, which he served for a time as artistic director. Other festivals at which he has appeared include the Killington Music Festival (VT), the Pierre Monteux Festival (ME), the Gold Coast Music Festival (CA), Music at Penn’s Woods (PA), the Dublin International Symphonic Festival (Ireland), the Adam New Zealand Festival of Chamber Music, the ASM Festival (Panama), and Rencontres Musicales Internationales des Graves (France).