Artistic Director

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2022 Artistic Director: Dr. Edith Copley

Dr. Edith A. Copley is a regents’ professor emeritus from Northern Arizona University where she served as director of choral studies for 28 years.  She conducted the highly acclaimed Shrine of the Ages Choir (founded in 1933) and taught graduate choral literature and undergraduate and graduate courses in conducting. Under her direction, the Shrine of the Ages Choir performed at state, regional and national conferences and toured internationally to Western Europe, the Peoples Republic of China, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Bulgaria, Istanbul, Estonia, and Latvia.

Copley also served as music director of the Master Chorale of Flagstaff (MCF), an auditioned 100-voice community chorus, for 23 years. MCF joined forces with the Shrine of the Ages Choir and performed major choral/orchestral works each spring with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra (FSO). Copley conducted numerous choral/orchestral works with the FSO, including Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem, Orff ’s Carmina Burana, Bach’s B Minor Mass, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Duruflé and Fauré Requiems, and Britten’s War Requiem.

Dr. Copley earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from Luther College and her master’s and doctoral degrees in choral conducting from the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. While in Cincinnati, she also served as the assistant and interim principal conductor of the May Festival Chorus that performs with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops.  Copley also taught secondary choral music for seven years in Iowa and four years overseas in Vienna, Austria. She has received numerous honors, including the NAU School of Performing Arts Centennial Teacher of the Year Award, Arizona Music Educator of the Year, Arizona ACDA Outstanding Choral Director Award, and the Weston H. Noble Award from her alma mater Luther College.

Copley is in high demand as a clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor in the US and abroad. She has conducted all-state choirs in over 30 states, and choral festivals in Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, and Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco.  Copley has guest conducted and presented at international choral festivals and conferences in Germany, the Netherlands, Tasmania, Japan, Luxembourg, Australia, China, Turkey, England, Poland, and Oman.


2023 Artistic Director: Dr. Ryan Beeken

Ryan Beeken serves as Director of Choral Activities at Wichita State University where he conducts the Concert Chorale and Women’s Glee Club, teaches choral conducting, and oversees the choral area. He received Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Bachelor of Music Education degrees from Drake University and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts Degrees in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University.

Dr. Beeken’s choirs have performed at State, Regional, and National Conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and for state and regional NAfME conferences. Beeken is regularly engaged as a conductor, clinician, and adjudicator. His engagements include over 50 All-States and Honor Choirs in nineteen states, the Czech Republic and Austria, and many invited presentations for symposia across the United States and in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He recently served as the Artistic Director A Cappella Abroad in 2018, an international choral festival in Prague and during 2020-2021 will be conducting all-states in Alaska, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Wyoming and international festivals in Dublin, Ireland, Muscat, Oman, and Tallinn, Estonia. He has served on the executive committee of the American Choral Directors Association at both the state and regional level and just completed a term as the President for the D3 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association.

Prior to his appointment at WSU, Dr. Beeken served as director or choral studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and taught at Michigan State University. While residing in Des Moines, Iowa, Beeken directed the Drake Chorale at Drake University. He also taught elementary, middle school, and high school music for sixteen years, most recently serving as Director of Vocal Music for Waukee Schools in suburban Des Moines where he lead a program of over 300 students and twelve ensembles to national distinction.

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