Paul Ritter returns for his fifth season with the Symphonic Choir after retiring as Supervisor of Fine Arts for the Missoula County Public Schools K-12, a position he held for 13 years. Before coming to Missoula, Mr. Ritter was the Director of Choirs at Great Falls High School from 1972-1996, and served as Chairman of the Music Department 1983-1996. Mr. Ritter received Bachelor degrees in History and Music Education from Montana State University in Bozeman. He also received his Masters degree from that same institution and has done additional study at several universities in the Northwest. He studied extensively with Dr. Eph Ehly at the University of Missouri in Kansas City.
In his capacity as Fine Arts Supervisor in Missoula, Mr. Ritter supervised the K-12 programs in music and visual art. While at Great FallsHigh School, Mr. Ritter inspired the Delphian Choir to maintain its reputation as one of the finest high school choral groups in the nation. Through several national, division, and state convention appearances for MENC and ACDA, the Delphian Choir achieved an enviable reputation while performing a wide range of choral literature. In 1994, he appeared with the Delphian Choir in the live telecast on the Disney Channel, as the Disney Company honored American teachers. The telecast originated from the Warner Theater in Washington D.C.
Mr. Ritter has been professionally active, serving on several national, regional, and state committees. He is past president of the Montana Choral Directors Association and the ACDA Northwest Division. He is in frequent demand as a clinician and guest conductor in the Northwest. He has been the guest choral conductor at the Interscholastic Association of South East Asia Schools Cultural Convention, traveling to Bangkok in 1995 and to Singapore in March of 1996. Mr. Ritter has served on the Board of Directors of the Great Falls Community Concert Association, the Missoula Cultural Council, the International Choral Festival and the Missoula Symphony Association. He was also on the Board of Directors and Vice President of the Missoula Community Performing Arts Center organization.
Mr. Ritter is president and music director of the Montana Youth Choir. The Youth Choir is a select ensemble of young Montana singers which undertakes a concert tour of Western Europe every other year. The Youth Choir has achieved a high musical standard through its annual two week residency in Montana and three week concert tour of Europe. In 1993, the Youth Choir participated in the 3rd International Choral Festival in Missoula. In 2000, the 65 voice MYC Alumni Choir 2000 participated in the 5th International Choral Festival. Although the choir has not toured recently, it continues to support choral activities in Montana.