The Canadian organist, harpsichordist, musicologist, and choral conductor, Kraig Stuart Michael Scott, grew up in British Columbia, the youngest of three children of dentist Kenneth Lee, a Canadian, and Myrna Mae Scott, a USAs citizen. Music was an important part of life in their home, the family often waking to classical recordings chosen by Myrna, a singer in their church and member of the Handel Society chorus. While Kraig's sister, Karen, and brother, Kenny, started piano lessons at age 6, he started at age 4, when he began playing by ear the music his older siblings were practicing. This led to lessons with their same teacher, Fern Treleaven of Surrey, and later with Audrey Mallinson in New Westminster. After attending orchestra concerts where some of the older children from church were playing, Kraig begged his parents to let him start violin. He studied both violin and piano seriously for the next 12 years until he graduated from high school and entered college. His teenage music study was multi-faceted and enabled him to develop as both a performer and eventually a music scholar:
Kraig Scott earned an Associate Diploma in Piano, ARCT, from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto, Canada at age 16. He also had started organ lessons at age 11 with a local teacher and began playing in the New Westminster Seventh-day Adventist church. His sister’s matriculation at Walla Walla College offered his first experience with a large pipe organ. He was thirteen when he met Melvin West, then professor of organ at Walla Walla College (WWC): Upon enrolling at WWC as a freshman, he studied piano with Leonard Richter and organ with Lanny Collins for three years and, during his senior year, with John Hamilton at the University of Oregon. His background in academic music study allowed him to move directly into advanced theory courses. At graduation from Walla Walla College, now University, in 1984 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Performance, he was offered an invitation to return to teach upon completion of an advanced degree. He and his bride, Julie Woods, chose to settle in Eugene Oregon, where they both earned master’s degrees at the University of Oregon (UA), his early keyboard performance; he received merit scholarships for his work in harpsichord and organ with John Hamilton. He was also selected to be one of nine performers in a series of concerts dedicated to Hamilton when he retired at the end of his thirty-year career at UO.
After teaching at WWC for four years, Kraig Scott took a three-year study leave to attend Eastman School of Music, where he completed both an Master of Arts degree in Musicology and a D.M.A. in Organ Performance and Literature in 1993. At Eastman he received half-tuition merit scholarships from the organ and musicology departments and was the 1992 Jerald C. Graue Fellow in musicology, an annual Eastman award given for outstanding work in musicological research. He was also supported by WWC with the understanding that he would return to teach organ and music history. At Eastman his performance teachers included David Craighead, Russell Saunders, and David Higgs (organ) and Arthur Haas of New York City (harpsichord). As a result of his degree recitals he was nominated for and received the coveted Performer’s Certificate. He recently talked about his time at Eastman and the stimulation and challenge it provided:
Kraig Scott has given numerous recitals on organ and harpsichord throughout North America, Europe, and the Far East in eleven states and ten countries, in venues such as Dunblane Cathedral (Scotland), Kirkpatrick Chapel (Rutgers University), Central Lutheran Church (Eugene), St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral (Seattle), Sejong Cultural Center (South Korea), Gaoloumen Christian Church (Nanjing, China), and the universities of Oregon, Washington, Alberta, and Calgary, among many others. He is an acclaimed performer of Baroque music and has been featured in the annual Bach recital on the Flentrop organ of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle and has given the opening recital of the Northwest Bach Festival in Spokane, Washington.
A sensitive accompanist, Kraig Scott often collaborates with other musicians as organist, pianist, and harpsichordist. His skill at realizing figured bass keeps him busy performing baroque music with orchestras and soloists such as vocalist James Brown, cellist Marc Vanscheeuwijck, and harpsichordist Arthur Haas. He frequently performs with baroque flautist Janet See, including a collaboration with gambist Margriet Tindemans for the 2011 American Handel Festival. He has twice served as guest artist for the Idaho State University Baroque Festival, where he played continuo and also performed solo recitals.
Kraig Scott is professor of music at Walla Walla University (WWU). He has taught there since 1986 and directed the choral program since 2009. He also serves as minister of music and organist for the WWU Church and was music director at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Walla Walla for eighteen years. As a member of the WWU music faculty Kraig Scott's responsibilities include conducting the University choirs, teaching organ and harpsichord, serving as church organist, and overseeing all music at the University Church. Since assuming direction of the University choral ensembles in 2009 he and the small choir, I Cantori, have toured throughout the Northwest and to San Francisco, Honolulu, and southern California. As a guest conductor his appearances include leading the festival chorus of Central Lutheran Church (Eugene, Oregon), and conducting the 500-voice choir of the Seventh-day Adventist International Choral Congress in Bucha, Ukraine. In addition to his work at WWU he serves as adjunct instructor at Whitman College.
Kraig Scott has presented lectures and master classes at many institutions, including Eastman School of Music, Rutgers University, Pacific Lutheran University, University of Alberta, University of Oregon, University of Calgary, and Westminster Choir College, and at many chapters of the American Guild of Organists. His piano, organ, and harpsichord students have won numerous competitions and have appeared on NPR’s national program “From the Top.” They have been accepted with full scholarships to graduate programs such as the Juilliard School of Music, Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Eastman, and the Cleveland Institute.
Kraig Scott's interest in conducting choirs began in 1985 during his time at the University of Oregon. His first choir at United Lutheran Church in Eugene, Oregon, led eventually to 18 years as director of music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Walla Walla. In the summer of 2006, he started graduate work in choral studies at Michigan State University and three years later was asked to lead the choirs of Walla Walla University. Under his direction since 2009, the WWU select choir, I Cantori, has performed throughout the Northwest, in Oakland and Southern California, and Hawaii. In November 2013, they released their first recording, Eternity Alone.
Kraig Scott received the Zapara Excellence in Teaching Award in 1989 and gave the Distinguished Faculty Lecture at WWU in 2002. In 2013 he was a featured presenter at the Walla Walla Adventist Forum on campus, where he spoke on “How Music Has Kept My Attention!”
His wife, Julie, who runs a leadership consultancy, completed her M.B.A. at the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. at the University of Washington. Together they regularly host students, musical ensembles, and out-of-town musical guests in their home, plan receptions at performance venues, and share the gift of music with a wide community. They have two sons, Alexander, a 2013 WWU history graduate now studying law at Gonzaga University in Spokane, and Andrew, class of 2014 at the United States Military Academy – West Point, majoring in history and French.