In this episode I dig deeper with Chris Maunu on his “choiral” blog called “Choral Elitism” which has been a frequent conversation starter on choral conversation pages. I identified with his article very deeply, and felt the need to talk to Chris more about this topic. My hope is to use this show to help the audience gain a deeper understanding of the cultural change that is possible in our profession. Join us for an in depth discussion on the pressures we put on each other as choral musicians, conductors and teachers.
The question is How do we make our profession a reflection of the choirs we trying to build? NOT, how do we make our choirs a reflection of us.Chris Munce
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Chris Maunu is a conductor, educator, and professional singer based in the Denver-Metro area. GRAMMY® nominated conductor Maunu is the Director of Choral Activities at Arvada West High School. A passionate teacher, Mr. Maunu was 1 of 10 Finalists for the 2018 Music Educator Award at the 60th GRAMMY® Awards. He was also 1 of 10 educators named as a 2019 CMA® National Music Teacher of Excellence. Since starting his career at Arvada West in 2006, the department has nearly tripled in size and has become one of the premiere high school choir programs in the United States. Choirs under Maunu’s direction have performed at 10 state and national music conferences, including Arvada West’s Vocal Showcase being one of two high school mixed concert choirs in the nation invited to perform at the 2017 National American Choral Directors Association Conference in Minneapolis. They were also recent winners of the prestigious American Prize in Choral Performance and have been invited by audition to perform in the Champions Competition of the 2020 World Choir Games (the 9th American high School choir in history to receive this invitation).
Mr. Maunu received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Northern State University where he delivered the 2018 Commencement Address. He was also a recipient of a Commendation from the 71st House of Representatives for his work as a choral educator.
Be sure to visit Chris’ great blog! https://choirthoughts.wordpress.com/
Christopher has enjoyed serving as a clinician for all state and honor choirs in numerous states, including a recent appointment to the faculty of Guest Artists at Manhattan Concert Productions (MCP) in New York City. An active member of NAfME, CMEA, and ACDA, Christopher currently serves as the High School Chair for Colorado ACDA and is a past member of the CMEA Vocal Music Council.
Mr. Maunu is also co-founder and artistic director of Colorado’s Anima Chamber Ensemble, an elite 16-voice ensemble of choral professionals. New to the Rocky Mountain choral scene, Anima has enjoyed plenty of time on the classical music airwaves and packs the halls with enthusiastic concert goers of all ages. In addition, Maunu has sung professionally with various ensembles. Such groups include St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, Evans Choir, and Colorado Bach Ensemble. He has also performed with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Central City Opera, and Opera Omaha.
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Christopher holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Bachelor of Music Education from Northern State University in South Dakota. When not on the podium or singing in an ensemble, Christopher enjoys sharing his life with his beautiful wife Aleisha, and their pets, Paavo and Ligeti.