Ryan Keebaugh

Ryan Keebaugh

Office Phone: (540) 432-4223


Main Campus, Harrisonburg

Office Location: LA 004

Assistant Professor

Music Dept

Ryan Keebaugh (b. 1980) is a composer and conductor residing in Virginia. Ryan’s work in recent years has explored a fusion of natural sonic environments with spectral and monochromatic textures influenced by his interests in the environment, visual art, and spirituality. His work is saturated by themes of stillness, drone, atmosphere, minimalism, and nature and has been described as "innovative and hauntingly beautiful” by The Washington Post. Ryan’s works have been performed throughout the United States and Canada by world class musicians and ensembles as; the Western Michigan University Chorale, the University of South Florida Chamber Singers, Fresno State Concert Choir, the Ethos Collective, Sarah Maines, mezzo-soprano; Sesquisharp Productions, the Great Noise Ensemble, members of the National Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Catholic University of America Orchestra and Chorus, Scot Hawkins, pianist; Winchester Musica Viva, and the Bridgewater College Alumni Choir. Ryan has participated in the Aspen Composers’ Conference, the Capital Fringe Festival, the Interlochen Summer Music Festival, and has held residencies at Wildacres Artist Colony, Factory 449 Theatre Collective, Winchester Musica Viva, and the Composers & Schools in Concert (CSIC). He has received awards and recognition from ASCAP, the American Prize for Choral Composition, and the Virginia Music Educators Association.

Noted for his “expressive, concise, insightful, and sensitive” conducting, Ryan’s versatile and vibrant musicianship has distinguished him as a leading music educator in Northern Virginia. Ryan has guest conducted and served as clinician to numerous choral and instrumental ensembles throughout the United States. In June of 2009, he conducted the world premiere performance of Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadows; an opera by composer Steven Allen, at The Catholic University of America and The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington D.C. Ryan’s choral ensembles have been invited to perform at international and national festivals, master classes, and historic locations. Under Ryan’s direction, The Clarke County High School Chamber Choir became an elite choral ensemble that specialized in madrigals; jazz, modern, and contemporary concert literature, both secular and sacred. In the spring of 2012, The Chamber Choir was invited to perform at the National Festival of States in New York City. The four-day concert tour included performances at St. John the Divine, The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, The 9/11 Memorial, and a master class with Dr. Ira Shankman of New York University. Ryan’s conducting teachers have included Jesse Hopkins, Robert Shaffer, Jan Wagner, and Frederick Fennell.

Presently, Ryan is Assistant Professor of Music at Eastern Mennonite University. Prior to EMU, Ryan was the Choral Director at Mary Baldwin College and Director of Choral Activities at Clarke County High School. Ryan has earned degrees from The Catholic University of America (DMA) Shenandoah University (MM) and Bridgewater College (BA). His principal composition teachers have included Libby Larsen, Roshanne Etezady, Daniel McCarthy, William Averitt, Andrew Earle Simpson, Steven Strunk, and John Hilliard. To learn more, visit www.ryankeebaugh.com.


D.M.A., The Catholic University of America, May 2010
Studies with: Andrew Earle Simpson, Steven Strunk
Master Classes with: John Adams, Robert Dick, William Bolcom, Nicholas Maw

M.M., Shenandoah University, May 2004
Studies with: William Averitt, Jena Root, Libby Larsen, Roshanne Etezady
Conducting studies with: Jan Wagner, John Boyd
Conducting Master Classes with: Frederick Fennell, Robert Shaffer

B.A., Bridgewater College, May 2002
Studies with: John Barr, John Hilliard
Conducting studies with: Jesse Hopkins, Richard House


Articles and Lectures:
Open Stillness: Uncertainty is Liberation. Aspen Composers’ Conference Procedings. Aspen, CO: 2013

Into the Dark, for percussion ensemble, Countermotion Inc., Statesboro, GA: 2014
Protocol, for perucssion ensemble, Countermotion Inc., Statesboro, GA: 2014
stilLness, for choir (SSAATTBB) a cappella, The Deep Listening Institue Anthology,
Kingston, NY: 2010

Exhibits, Performances and Productions

• Winchester Musica Viva performed …thy light which is brighter than the sun and the moon, December 19th – 21st, Grace Lutheran Church, Winchester, VA.
• The Eastern Mennonite University Chamber Singers performed, ..thy light which is brighter than the sun and the moon, December 7th, Emmanuel Episcopal Church , Harrisonburg, VA.
• Aleksander Tengesdal performed Kontakia, for cello, November 28th, North New Music Concert, Lakehead University, Ontario, Canada.
• The Eastern Mennonite University Chamber Singers performed ..thy light which is brighter than the sun and the moon, November 15th, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA.
• The Eastern Mennonite University Women’s Choir performed Our Father, November 15th, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA.
• Winchester Musica Viva performed …thy light which is brighter than the sun and the moon, May 17th and 18th, Grace Lutheran Church, Winchester, VA.
• The Western Michigan University Chorale performed The Suffering Servant, SCI Region V Conference, March 27th – 29th, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI.
• The University of South Florida Chamber Singers performed The Suffering Servant, USF New Music Festival, February 13th-15th, The University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.
• Ethos Collective performed two graphic scores from Descent into Madness, February 1st, Open Space Centre, Victoria, BC, February 1st.

Honors, Awards and Grants

SCI Composers Conference, Western Michigan University, March 2014
University of South Florida New Music Festival, 2014
Fresno New Music Festival, 2014
The Aspen Music Festival Composers’ Conference: 2013
The American Prize in Choral Composition, Semi-finalist: 2013, 2012
Composers & Schools in Concert: 2011 – present
Composer-in-Residence, Wildacres Artist Colony: 2011
Composer-in-Residence, Winchester Musica Viva: 2010 – 2011
Countermotion Publishing, Composer & Arranger: 2010 – present
Composer-in-Residence, Factory 449: Theatre Collective : 2009 -2011
The Catholic University of American President’s Festival: 2007
Guest Composer, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fl : 2006
Composer-in-Residence, Wildacres Artist Colony: 2005
Interlochen Summer Music Festival: 2003
Shenandoah Conservatory Art Song Competition: 2003

Professional Memberships

Society of Composers, Inc.
Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic
Composers and Schools in Concert
Electronic Music Foundation
American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers