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Chris Maunu is the Director of Choral Studies at Arvada West High School. He is a 4-time Finalist for the GRAMMY® Music Educator of the Year Award and twice won the CMA® National Music Teacher of Excellence Award. Since starting his career at Arvada West in 2006, the department at West has become one of the most celebrated high school choir programs in the United States. Choirs under Maunu’s direction have performed at National and Regional ACDA, as well as 11 CMEA conferences. They were also winners of the American Prize® in Choral Performance and won the Gold Diploma at the Rimini International Choral Competition. Maunu was named the Colorado Community Media "Best of the Best" Teacher and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Northern State University where he delivered the 2018 Commencement Address. Chris was a recipient of a Commendation from the 71st House of Representatives for his work in music education. He has enjoyed serving as a clinician for honor and festival choirs in numerous states, including a recent appointment to the faculty of Guest Artists at Manhattan Concert Productions (MCP) in New York City. He is also an award winning composer, and his vulnerable compositions have been performed by choirs across the world. Maunu is a contributing author to "A Choral Conductor's Companion," published by Meredith Music, and has written numerous publications in the Choral Journal. A passionate advocate for music education, Chris has contributed dozens of presentations, panel discussions, and guest lectures at conferences and other platforms. Away from the classroom, Mr. Maunu is co-founder and artistic director of the professional Anima Chamber Ensemble. Anima has enjoyed time on the classical music airwaves and packs the halls with enthusiastic concert goers of all ages. When not conducting or contributing to the field of music education, Chris enjoys sharing his life with his incredible partner Aleisha, their beautiful son Bodhi, and their pets, Paavo and Ligeti.