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Aaron Ragsdale

South Dakota State University
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Dr. Aaron Ragsdale is Assistant Professor of Percussion and Assistant Director of Bands at South Dakota State University. He is responsible for teaching applied percussion, conducting the Pride of the Dakotas Drum Line and SDSU percussion ensemble, assisting with the Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band, and teaching percussion pedagogy.

A native of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Dr. Ragsdale holds a Doctor of Musical Arts with emphasis in Percussion Performance from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, a Master’s Degree in Music from the University of Arkansas, and a Bachelor’s in Music Education from the University of Oklahoma. His teachers have included renowned percussionists She-e Wu, Bob Becker and Alan Abel, as well as respected percussion educators Dennis DeLucia, Dr. Richard C. Gipson, and Grainger Medallion Recipient, Professor Chalon Ragsdale.

An active performer, Dr. Ragsdale has appeared as a soloist with percussion ensembles from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Arkansas, as marimba soloist with the Rutgers University Percussion Ensemble at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City as part of St. Bart’s “Great Music Concert Series,” and with the South Dakota State University Percussion Ensemble as part of the SDMEA music conference.

An avid activist for the creation and performance of new works for solo percussion as well as percussion ensemble, Dr. Ragsdale has been responsible for the commission and premiere of several new works for percussion quartet as a member of Spindrift Percussion Group. Additionally, Studio 4 Music has recently published his Opener for R.H., a keyboard quartet composed with fellow Spindrift member Barrett Hipes.

Dr. Ragsdale can be heard performing on two releases by the University of Oklahoma Percussion Orchestra; "The Night Watch", released on the Albany label, and "The Percussion Music of Eric Ewazen", released by Resonator Records.