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Sweeping wide shot of members of CVAE sing with 2 full high school choirs in St. Michael's Chapel during a Gateways rehearsal in 2018.

Mission: To give high-school students the opportunity to rehearse and perform with professionally trained singers, to promotes musical awareness through the study of great choral repertoire, and to foster a lifelong passion for the choral art.

Description and Goals:  Gateways is a short-term residency in which CVAE members act as mentors to young singers to promote a deeper understanding of all aspects of the choral art. Workshop sessions in participating high schools culminate in a joint concert that sets professional standards for production, promotion, and presentation. The program's goals are:


  • To support the development of strong musicianship, ensemble skills, healthy vocal technique, and artistic growth.

  • To support secondary choral programs and their directors by providing opportunities for study and performance of great choral repertoire.

  • To provide students with the inspiring experience of choral performance in an acoustically fine, well-established concert venue.

Program structure: One or two high schools are selected each year to participate in a 4-6 week process:


Classroom visits: 4 - 8 members of CVAE visit the high school(s) during regular class time. There are two of these visits scheduled within a 3-5 week period.

Evening rehearsals: 1 at each participating school.

Final dress rehearsal and concert

Repertoire: All choirs perform together, and are also featured individually. The joint repertoire is chosen by CVAE’s artistic director and will represent the finest a cappella choral literature of the past 800 years. Repertoire performed by individual choirs is at the director’s discretion.


Cost: Participating high schools are responsible for the purchase of music, and for any costs incurred if district transportation is required for students to attend the dress rehearsal or concert. CVAE covers all other expenses.


The performance is free and open to the public. Donations are gratefully accepted.


For information about how your school can participate in the Gateways program, please contact Deborah Teske at

Opening Doors to the Choral Art

A few high school altos sing alongside seasoned members of CVAE.

In praise of Gateways

“I can say without a doubt that the Gateways program was one of the most enthralling experiences I have had in my high school career. The culmination of hard work and passionate energy was the true music to my ears.” 

--Franklin L. Bennet, Mesa Ridge High School student


“Words cannot describe my feelings at the Gateways concert. As a first year teacher, this was a moment when I realized, “Hey—I can do this!” I learned a great deal about myself, and about teaching, and I was proud of what my choir and I accomplished. I will never forget it!”


--Arianne Jenkins, Choir Director, Palmer Ridge High School


“This concert changed my view of choir completely. Last year, I just thought that choir was something fun that I loved to do, but after this I realized that it is a way to express our sorrows, and our happiness. I truly meant it when I told Miss Deborah that choir is the best time of my life, and that it is family. This concert, and this choir, have been a true blessing to me.”

--Gabe Gutierrez, Liberty High School student


Something that I enjoyed was singing with the adults and getting to see how they practice. I was surprised by the sound in the cathedral and how much echo there was. My favorite part of the process was working with the adults because they were all so kind.

--Jen Vela, Liberty High School student

Past Participants

Sand Creek High School (2005)

Widefield High School (2005)

Mitchell High School (2006)

Coronado High School (2006, 2013)

Rampart High School (2007)

Doherty High School (2007, 2010)

Colorado College Chamber Chorus (2008, “Gateways Goes to College”)

Mesa Ridge High School (2010, 2014)

Palmer Ridge High School (2013, 2017)

Air Academy High School (2014)

Fountain Fort Carson High School (2017)

Liberty High School (2022)

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