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Dr. Aaron Ragsdale is Director of Percussion at South Dakota State University where he teaches applied percussion and percussion pedagogy, conducts the SDSU Percussion Ensemble, serves as Assistant Director with the Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band, and helps direct and administrate the annual All-State Music Camp.
An active performer, he has appeared four times at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, twice at both the National Convention on Percussion Pedagogy and the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, and at regional conferences of the College Music Society. Ragsdale has also appeared as a soloist on PAS “Days of Percussion” in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota, and as marimba soloist with the Rutgers University Percussion Ensemble as part of the “Great Music at St. Bart’s” concert series at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City.
Ragsdale’s percussion quartet, Opener for R.H. co-composed with Barrett Hipes is published by Studio 4 Music and has been performed around the US. He is currently the composer in residence for the Harvey Dunn Collaborative, a work that merges the discrete art forms of poetry, dance, animation, film and musical composition to create a cross-artistic theatrical performance inspired by the work of South Dakota’s premiere artist and illustrator, Harvey Dunn.
A native of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Ragsdale holds a DMA from Rutgers University, a Master of Music degree from the University of Arkansas, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Oklahoma. His teachers include Alan Abel, Bob Becker, Richard Gipson, Chalon Ragsdale, and She-e Wu.
Aaron lives in Brookings, SD with his wife, Ashley, and children, Olivia and Harrison.