Dr. Wyant Morton enters his 20th year as conductor of the California Lutheran University Choir and is only the third conductor in the choir’s rich history. Morton is Professor of Music, Director of Choral and Vocal Activities, and Chairman of the Music Department at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. In addition to his primary responsibility of overseeing the work of the CLU Choir, Morton conducts all of the choral ensembles in the Music Department, teaches conducting and supervises the voice faculty. He also maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator appearing throughout the United States and Canada. Additionally, Morton is Music Director and Conductor of Areté Vocal Ensemble, a professional chamber choir he founded in 2009 (www.aretevocalensemble.org).
Among many highlights in Morton’s career has been CLU’s annual New Music Concert, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. A recent concert brought composer and Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Esa-Pekka Salonen to CLU. The concert culminated with Morton conducting Salonen’s Five Images After Sappho, a performance the Los Angeles Times called “persuasive”. Morton has conducted similar concerts with Pulitzer Prize winning composers Henry Brant, Steven Stucky and David Lang; and Grammy Award winning composer Eric Whitacre and soprano Hila Plitmann.
A native Californian, Morton completed his undergraduate degrees at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington and earned his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he studied with Maurice Skones. Additionally, Morton has studied in workshops with and performed under several other eminent conductors including Helmuth Rilling, Eric Ericson and the late Robert Shaw.
Morton holds memberships in several professional organizations including the International Federation of Choral Music (IFCM), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO), the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), the Southern California Vocal Association (SCVA), the Music Educators National Conference (MENC) and the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (ALCM) for whom he served as President of the Western Region overseeing the work of the association in 13 states and 5 Canadian provinces.