School of Music

Faculty & Staff

Dr. Lori J. Wiest

Office: Kimbrough 466
School of Music
Washington State University
PO Box 645300
Pullman, WA 99164-5300
Phone: (509) 335-5647
FAX: (509) 335-4245

Dr. Lori J. Wiest

Professor of Music
Coordinator of Vocal Music
Concert Choir, Madrigal Singers
Choral Conducting

Dr. Lori Wiest is Professor of Music at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington where she is Director of Choral Activities and the conductor of the WSU Concert Choir and Madrigal Chamber Singers. She teaches Choral Conducting and graduate courses in Choral History/Literature and Choral Conducting. Currently, Dr. Wiest also serves as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and previously served as the Interim Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures for 2 years and Associate Dean of the WSU Graduate School for 8 years. She completed the leadership role of president of Washington American Choral Directors Association in the summer of 2013 and assumed the role of vice president (2013-2015). Prior to her present position, Dr. Wiest taught Music Theory at Mesa Community College in Arizona and at University of Arizona and served as the conductor of the Spokane Symphony Chorale for 12 years.

In 1990, Dr. Wiest received the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting and Music Theory from the University of Arizona, the Master of Music in Choral Music from Arizona State University in 1986, and the Bachelor of Science in Music Education and Piano Performance from North Dakota State University in 1984. She has sung with conductors Robert Shaw, Charles Dutoit, Maurice Skones, Douglas McEwen, and Edwin Fissinger.

As a recipient of a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in support of American Choral Music, Dr. Wiest invited international composer, Eric Whitacre, to WSU to conduct a concert of his compositions with Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers. She also has had the opportunity to work with and perform music by other well-known contemporary composers including John Corigliano, Morten Lauridsen, Chen Yi, and Libby Larsen.

The WSU Concert Choir and Madrigal Chamber Singers, both under her direction, have been invited to perform for the Washington Music Educators Association and recently performed in Austria as choir in residence for the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, and in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Madrigal Chamber Singers, who have also traveled to Italy in March of 1998 for a performance tour that included singing at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and the Florence Duomo, tour annually in the spring semester, often performing throughout the state of Washington and extending to various other states, including a featured performance at the Arizona Renaissance Festival in 2000. The Concert Choir is the premiere choral ensemble at WSU and, in addition to their recent tour of Austria and Russia, has performed in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, at Lincoln Center in New York, and Benaroya Hall in Seattle. They have been featured performers with the Spokane Symphony and the Washington-Idaho Symphony, as well as actively performing at WSU and within the state of Washington. In May of 2016, both Concert Choir and Madrigal Chamber Singers will embark on a performance tour of South Korea.

Dr. Wiest is active as an adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor, including All-State and Honor Choirs in Florida, New Mexico, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. She was adjudicator and clinician at the Australian International Music Festival and led a tour of student musicians to Germany, allowing the students to attend concerts and meet with musicians working in Germany for a closer look at the professional lives of performers. In 1999, she was the choral conductor and clinician of the Pacific Basin Music Festival in Hawaii. She has been invited to present at professional conferences of Northwest American Choral Directors Association, Washington American Choral Directors Summer Institute, Washington ArtsTime Conference, College Music Society Regional Meeting, Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, Northwest and Washington Music Educators Associations, and MENC National Biennial In-Service Conferences. She was the organizer and facilitator of the ACDA National Conducting Awards and Choral Conversations presentations in 2003 and 2005 at the national conventions. An article entitled "Techniques for Vocal Health," authored by Dr. Wiest was published in the February 1997 issue of Teaching Music, a publication of MENC. Additional articles by Dr. Wiest have been published in ACDA's refereed journal, The Choral Journal.

At WSU, Dr. Wiest has been a member of the WSU Showcase Committee, Professional Education Advisory Board, WSU Faculty Senate, Student Affairs Committee, and Faculty Status Committee. She was the coordinator of the WSU Individual Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program.  She actively serves on internal committees such as Faculty Advisory Committee, Music Curriculum Committee, Scholarship Committee, and various Search committees. Active membership in professional organizations includes American Choral Directors Association, National Association of Music Educators, National Association of Teachers of Singing, and College Music Society. Dr. Wiest served as the National Chair of Youth and Student Activities Committee for the American Choral Directors Association and the editor of The Student Times, a section in the ACDA refereed journal, The Choral Journal.

As a featured soloist, Dr. Wiest has performed with the Washington-Idaho Symphony and the WSU Concert Choir. She was a member of the Robert Shaw Festival Singers and has also performed as a soloist in Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany and was featured on Northwest Public Radio.

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