Carlyle Weiss


Department of Music

Carlyle Weiss's name is synonymous with the University of Wyoming's Department of Music and deservedly so. His legacy is incalculable.

During his 32 years (1968-2000) as director of UW's Choral Activities, Weiss worked tirelessly to bring the joy and beauty of singing not only to the university and state but also to national and international venues. In doing so, he built a reputation of excellence and inspired countless students to careers in the field of music. As Michael Griffith, professor in UW's Department of Music and director of Orchestral Activities, notes, "[Students] felt he was there for them, individually and collectively. I know that for many, he was the reason they attended UW."

Nicole Lamartine, professor in UW's Department of Music and current director of Choral Activities remembers, "He was honest in his criticism but kind in his words. Even in retirement, he sought excellence in music making all around him and generously became mentor to many in their careers."

One of Weiss's greatest accomplishments was the sheer number of concerts and tours he facilitated. In addition to numerous annual performances on campus and in Laramie, Weiss's choir hosted shows across the state of Wyoming and throughout the Front Range from Colorado to Montana.

Weiss's choir was also known for its international trips with frequent extensive tours of Europe, Asia, and more. Professor Lamartine comments, "Even during the 1970s and 80s when the world felt a bit bigger and more foreign, he loosed the bonds on cultural boundaries by bringing choral music to countries like the Soviet Union and Poland."

The collaborative relationships he formed during tours, particularly in Japan and Brazil, brought many international conductors and students to Laramie to study. He also helped organize and direct several United Service Organizations Entertainment groups to locations overseas.

All of this was in addition to his individual efforts in the music field. He served in numerous workshops, clinics, and as a judge across the Front Range and was a guest conductor everywhere from Colorado State University to Stanford University. He also founded and directed the Wyoming State Choir.

Weiss came to UW from Queens College in Charlotte, NC, where he was an assistant professor in music. He earned his master's degree in music from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, in 1965 and his bachelor's degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, NE, in 1958. He also served as a vocal soloist for the US Army Chorus from 1960-65.


Carlyle Weiss pictured in polo
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