Bringing Choral Music to Central Washington

Canticus Vocal Ensemble is one of the most exciting musical performance groups appearing in the Central Washington region. The members come from an area that extends from Ellensburg to Yakima and Sunnyside.

Artistic Goal: To perform choral chamber works at the highest level.

Canticus Vocal Ensemble’s first concert was on September 21, 2014 at Central Lutheran Church with Chor Anno, a choir made up of choral directors from the Pacific Northwest area and conducted by Dr. Nicole Lamartine and Howard Meharg. Canticus Vocal Ensemble was formed to specialize in chamber choral music with singers from the Central Washington area.

At its most recent concert in May 2022, Canticus Vocal Ensemble performed with four other choirs at Central Washington University’s Hertz Concert Hall. Previously, CVE performed Handel’s “Messiah” in December 2019 before a capacity audience at Englewood Christian Church. In March 2015, CVE performed at the Seasons with Denise Dillenbeck, Kevin Krentz, J.J. Penna and Louis DeMartino in a concert spotlighting how music helps us deal with difficult times.

Canticus Vocal Ensemble has performed at various venues throughout Yakima, including Englewood Christian Church, Yakima Valley Museum, Central Lutheran Church, Capitol’s 4th Street Theatre, the Seasons Performance Hall and Apple Tree Resort for several Christmas holiday concerts. Canticus Vocal Ensemble has also appeared with the Yakima Symphony Chorus, CWU Vox Divina and the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers in joint performances.

Members of Canticus Vocal Ensemble represent many vocations including music educators, artists, professional trades, and construction contractors.

Canticus Vocal Ensemble is supported by the generous donations of its patrons and individual supporters of choral music. Canticus Vocal Ensemble has also received a CARES Grant from the Washington State Arts Commission and The National Endowment for the Arts.

Board of Directors

Jane Finch


Soprano vocalist. Co-producer of Second Sunday Series, chamber music series at Englewood Christian Church.

David Lambertson


Former Minister of Word and Sacrament

Spencer Hatton


Author and retired city & editorial page editor
and columnist, Yakima Herald-Republic

Brooke Creswell


Faculty Emeritus
Yakima Valley College

Music Director Emeritus
Yakima Symphony Orchestra

David Huycke


Scoutmaster and retired geology and history instructor, Yakima Community College

Vijay Singh


Composer and Professor of Music at CWU, teaching in Choral, Jazz (vocal and instrumental), and Music Education

Katy Svendsen

Katy Svendsen


Retired, loves musical arts, gardening, traveling/ camping, and time spent with family.

Dr. Gary Tollefson


Retired President at Skagit Valley College
and former administrator at Yakima Valley College

Artistic Staff

Scott R. Peterson

Artistic Director and Conductor

Scott Peterson has been involved in the choral scene in Yakima for over more than 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.

Scott 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 Central Washington University, his alma mater, and currently conducts the university’s Wildcat Chorus, or “Wildcatters,” who have developed not only a reputation for a high level of artistry, but also as one of the most “fun” groups at the university fostering a positive atmosphere for all students. 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.

Scott was appointed Interim Director of Choral Studies at CWU during the 2021-2022 academic year while also conducting the CWU Chamber Choir.
While at CWU, Scott 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.

Scott 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 boating in Puget Sound and spending time with their grandchildren in Washington State and Sweden.

Anne Schilperoort


Anne Schilperoort began her piano studies in Saudi Arabia and later studied with Edith Hawley in Yakima. Upon completion of a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Victoria and a Master of Music Degree in Accompanying from USC, Anne served as Head of Accompanying at the Victoria Conservatory for a number of years.

Anne then relocated to Toronto, Ontario, to work as a freelance accompanist. Anne performed at Carnegie Hall, worked for the Canadian Opera and Ballet Companies, and travelled with the Du Maurier Search for Stars TV Competition.

She now operates a full teaching studio in Yakima.

Anne has worked with Dr. Peterson since 1990, when she began teaching at Yakima Valley College. She has accompanied college choirs, church choirs, Yakima Symphony Chorus and Canticus Vocal Ensemble under his direction.

Groups We Sing With

Canticus Vocal Ensemble welcomes the opportunity to join with other choral groups from Central Washington in performances. Over the past several years we have done concerts with The Yakima Symphony Chorus, Justin Raffa, Chorusmaster; The Central Washington University Choirs, Scott Peterson, Vijay Singh and Joseph Fitzgerald, conductors; and the Columbia Master Singers, Justin Raffa, conductor. Every performance is a celebration of the art and music of the choral genre.