Scott R. Peterson

Artistic Director and Conductor

Scott Peterson has been involved in the choral scene in Yakima for over four decades.  He founded Canticus Vocal Ensemble in the fall of 2014 to provide Central Washington with high quality chamber choral music, suited to literature for a small vocal ensemble.  

Dr. Peterson was Director of Choral Activities at Yakima Valley College from 1976 until his retirement in 2012. While at YVC, his choirs were known for quality performances and especially for the annual Madrigal Feaste, a renaissance holiday festival of music and art.  

He also served as Chorusmaster of the Yakima Symphony Chorus from 1977 until spring of 2012.  During his tenure with the YSC, the chorus performed major works such as Carmina Burana, Brahms' German Requiem and Handel's Messiah.  He also conducted the Chorus with the Manhattan Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Mozart's famous Requiem in D Minor in Carnegie Hall, New York in 1992.  The YSC also performed on tours to Oxford, England; Basel, Switzerland; Beijing and Shanghai, China; Vienna, Austria; Stein-am-Donau, Austria; and Prague, Czech Republic.

After retiring from both YVC and the YSC, Scott returned to his alma mater and currently conducts the Central Washington University Wildcat Chorus, or "Wildcatters,"  which is developing a reputation for a high level of artistry but also as being one of the most "fun" groups which fosters a positive atmosphere for students from all departments of the University.  The "Wildcatters" performed at the Washington Music Educators Association conference in Yakima in 2014 and 2018 and for the Northwestern Division conference of the American Choral Directors Association in 2016.  He also conducts the "Central Singers" a mixed voiced group that performs larger works during spring quarter. They have performed  Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi and Gloria by John Rutter as well as Johannes Brahms' famous German Requiem with all the CWU choirs and orchestra.  Dr. Peterson was appointed Interim Director of Choral Studies at CWU during the 2021-2022 academic year and he conducted the CWU Chamber Choir.  While at CWU, Dr. Peterson has taught music history, conducting and vocal arranging.  

He has served as president of the Washington State chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and also as president of the Northwestern Division of ACDA. 

Peterson graduated from Midland Lutheran College with a B.A. in Music Education, an M.A. in Choral Conducting from Central Washington University and a D.M.A. in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington.  

Scott and his wife, Jane, enjoy time on the water of Puget Sound and spending time with their grandchildren in Washington State and Sweden.