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Percussion Studio

Percussion Studio Concert
Percussion Studio onstage

Percussion Studio

Welcome to the online home of the South Dakota State University Percussion Studio! Whether you are interested in embarking on a career in music, or if you are looking for an outlet to continue to play percussion while you pursue other degree programs, the SDSU percussion studio has a place for you.

Percussion students from SDSU have gone on to find success as music educators, performers, and entrepreneurs, and can be found in Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Ohio, Montana, Minnesota, and, of course, South Dakota.

Percussionists at State have access to a comprehensive inventory of professional level instruments for performance and practice including four 5.0 octave marimbas (two rosewood and two synthetic).

Percussionists on stage with Symphonic Band
Percussionists with Symphonic Band

Calendar of studio related events:

October 13, 2016: SDSU Symphonic Band, 7:30 p.m., SDSU PAC

November 20, 2016: Pride of the Dakotas Indoor Concert, 4:00 p.m., S-JAC

December 5, 2016: SDSU Percussion Ensemble/Pep Band, 7:30 p.m., SDSU PAC

February 10, 2017: SDSU Symphonic Band, 7:30 p.m., SDSU PAC

March 4, 2017: Dr. Ragsdale performs Carbon Paper and Nitrogen Ink with SDSU Symphonic Band at Percy Grainger Wind Band Festival, Chicago, IL

April 10, 2017: SDSU Percussion Ensemble Concert, 7:30 p.m., SDSU PAC

April 21, 2017: Dr. Ragsdale performs Carbon Paper and Nitrogen Ink with SDSU Symphonic Band, 7:30 p.m., SDSU PAC

Aaron Ragsdale with student onstage
Aaron Ragsdale with student onstage

About Dr. Ragsdale:

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, at the national and regional conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance, and at the Great Lakes Regional Conference 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. October 2016 will see the release of his CD recorded in collaboration with Nathan Jorgensen, "A Miraculous Tale: Mixed Music for percussion and saxophone," on the Centaur label.

Ragsdale’s percussion quartet, Opener for R.H., co-composed with Barrett Hipes, is published by Studio 4 Music and has been performed by ensembles around the U.S. Dr. Ragsdale also served as the composer-in-residence for the Harvey Dunn Collaborative, a group that merged 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. This work was presented on the SDSU campus and was broadcast statewide by SDPB.

A native of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Dr. 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. He lives in Brookings, SD with his wife, Ashley, and children, Olivia and Harrison.

Dr. Ragsdale is a member of the artist/endorser rosters of Innovative Percussion, Grover Pro Percussion, and Beetle Percussion companies.

Pride drumline on the field
Pride Drumline

Percussion Students at SDSU may participate and perform in the following ensembles:

Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band

SDSU Percussion Ensemble

SDSU Symphonic and Concert Bands

Jazz Bands and Jazz Combos

The SDSU Pep Band

The SDSU Civic Symphony

 

Guest Artists:

The Percussion Studio at SDSU has hosted multiple national artists for concerts and clinics on campus. Recent guests include:

Escape Ten Duo

Matthew Coley

Nathan Daughtrey

Thom Hasenpflug

John Wooton

 

For more information, including scholarship audition information, please email Dr. Aaron Ragsdale or call the Music Department at 605-688-5187.