Dr. Beth Ray, mezzo-soprano, is associate professor of music at her alma mater Luther College, where she teaches studio voice and diction. She also serves as music department Associate Head. Previous to this, she was assistant professor of voice at Ithaca College School of Music in Ithaca, New York. She earned the M.M. and D.M.A. degrees at the University of Texas at Austin, studying with Rose Taylor and Terry Lusk.
Dr. Ray is active as a recitalist and an oratorio soloist, appearing recently in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Montana, Illinois, and New York. In 2011, she sang the world premiere of Rahab, a 36-minute dramatic work for mezzo soprano and wind orchestra by Jesse Ayers. Other solo professional performances with orchestra include: the Angel in Sir Edward Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, J. S. Bach Magnificat, St. John Passion, Christmas Oratorio, and Mass in B minor; Handel Messiah and Belshazzar; Haydn Lord Nelson Mass, Missa Sanctae Caecilae, Missa in tempore belli and Heligmesse; Beethoven Symphony no. 9, Mozart Requiem and Vesperae Solennes; Duruflé Requiem, Vaughan Williams Mass in g minor; and Richard Einhorn’s Voices of Light, performed with Anonymous 4.
Opera performances include the title role in Dido and Aeneas, Dorabella in Così fan tutti, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Mother Marie in Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Mrs. Grose in Turn of the Screw.
An article based on her doctoral treatise, “Dominick Argento’s Casa Guidi: A Character and Musical Study” appeared in the January 2008 issue of Journal of Singing. Beth Ray recently completed a term as president of the Iowa chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.