Randel R. Wagner
Randel Wagner, singer and conductor, is associate professor of music and director of choral and vocal activities at Eastern Washington University. An award-winning baritone, he was a regional finalist in Metropolitan Opera Auditions, a national finalist in the National Association of Teachers in Singing's (NATS) Singer of the Year competition and a recipient of the Nicolai Gedda Award at the Music Academy of the West. Wagner maintains an active recital, master class, and conducting schedule, traveling throughout the United States and to Europe and Japan.
In addition to performing numerous solo roles in a number of operas, Wagner has sung with the San Francisco Opera as a chorister and been a member of the Seattle Opera Company. He is presently associated with the Spokane Opera. He has sung with the Lincoln Symphony and the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra, Nebraska Sinfonia, the Michiana Symphony, Mid-Columbia Symphony, Seattle Pro Musica, and the Masterworks Ensemble.
Wagner has a particular interest in promoting opera and music to young audiences. He has performed for many school groups under the auspices of Northwest Opera in Schools and with sponsorship from the Washington State Arts Commission.
A native of Spokane, Washington, Wagner sang his first public solo at age sixteen, when he participated in the Spokane Music and Allied Arts Festival. He attended Walla Walla College, now University, where he completed a B.Mus. in music education in 1976. While at WWC, he was a featured soloist in the Walla Walla Symphony December 1975 presentation of the Messiah. He returned as a featured singer in a recital series held during WWC's centennial in 1992.
Wagner subsequently taught voice and conducted choirs at the high school level in San Diego, where he completed a master's degree in choral conducting and voice at San Diego State University, and at colleges in Texas and Nebraska. He completed a doctorate in music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Before his present appointment, he taught voice at Towson University in Maryland and was Director of Choral Activities at Hammond High School in Columbia, Maryland.
At EWU, Wagner conducts the 46-member Symphonic Choir and the 12-member Chamber Choir. The latter has toured in Italy and performed at the Northwest MENC Convention and in the Northwest Bach Festival. Because of his work at EWU, he was a recipient of the Fosseen/Kusaka Distinguished Professor and the CenturyTel Faculty Achievement awards.
Sources: Biography at Eastern Washington University website (2013); Program notes for WWC Centennial Chamber Series (1992) and Northwest Sacred Music chorale program (2012-2013); personal knowledge.