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Music: Maestro Kenney Receives 2009 Outstanding Teacher Award

11.23.09 – The Colorado State University Department of Music is proud to announce that Wes Kenney, full professor of music and director of orchestras at CSU, received the 2009 Outstanding Teacher Award from the Colorado American String Teachers Association, Inc. The award was presented during the 26th Annual Western States Honor Orchestra Festival held at Monfort Concert Hall in Greeley, CO on Saturday, November 7, 2009.

“I am deeply honored to be recognized by educators across the state of Colorado,” said Maestro Kenney.

“This is a high honor for Maestro Kenney, and speaks to the amazing job that both he, and the entire string faculty have done in building the quality of the CSU program to receive such an honor amongst our peers here in the state,” said Todd Queen, Chair of Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

A Recognized Program – Under Mr. Kenney’s direction, the CSU Chamber Orchestra was invited to participate in clinics at the 2006 American String Teachers Association conference in Detroit, and has joined Mr. Kenney for sessions at CMEA for five of the past six years.

“This award must be shared with my faculty colleagues who have worked tirelessly to forward the music programs at CSU,” said the maestro. “No matter what level of group, or kind of project, teaching is one of the most important things that we all do, making possible the transformation of the CSU orchestras into something very special in this state.”

In addition to frequent clinics at high schools around Colorado, Mr. Kenney has participated in hosting several high school orchestras at CSU. In 2009, CSU was recognized for its engagement with high school students by being selected to host the Colorado All-State Orchestra. The All-State Orchestra event returns to CSU in February of 2010.

An Outstanding Teacher – Mr. Kenney has devoted much of his career to working with young people, including directing the Valley Youth Orchestras and Oakland Youth Orchestra in California (taking OYO on tour to China and Centra Europe) and conducting the orchestra at the College of William and Mary in Virginia (taking them to Sicily and Rome). Recently, he guest conducted the Virginia All-State Orchestra, New Mexico All-State Orchestra, the continental League Orchestra and several other Colorado honor orchestras.

A respected conducting pedagogue, Mr. Kenney has given workshops for music educators in Detroit, Albuquerque, Fort Collins, Denver, and Colorado Springs.

Mr. Kenney was instrumental in designing the new CSU Summer Master’s Degree in Music Education with an Emphasis in Conducting, which graduated its first class in the summer of 2009. The popularity of this program is demonstrated by the nearly thirty music educators from around the world now enrolled in the annual two-week conducting seminar at CSU.

Additional Recognition – Wes Kenney was awarded the Grand Prize in the Summer 2007 Varna (Bulgaria) International Conducting Competition. He travelled back to Bulgaria this past March for concerts in Vidin and to conduct La Traviata in Stara Zagora.

Mr. Kenney recently was promoted to Full Professor and Director of Orchestras at Colorado State University where he conducts the CSU Symphony and Chamber Orchestra as well as CSU Opera productions. He is also currently in his fifth season as Music Director of the Fort Collins Symphony. In the summer of 2004 he was named to an additional post of Music Director of Opera Fort Collins helping that organization establish a full season of three productions a season.