Dr. Suzanne Rhodes Draayer
Dr. Suzanne R. Draayer, soprano, is professor of music at Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in vocal performance, pedagogy, and literature from the University of Maryland, where she studied with James McDonald and George Shirley. She holds a Master of Science in vocal pedagogy from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, and a Bachelor of Music from Furman University.
An avid advocator of Spanish music, Dr. Draayer frequently performs Spanish vocal literature and has written extensively on the subject. Five of her articles have appeared in the Journal of Singing (JOS), published by the National Association of Teachers of Singing, including the articles “The Songs of Joaquín Turina—Tres Arias, Tres Poemas, and Tres Sonetas” (September/October 1993), “Joaquín Rodrigo and His Doce Canciones Españolas and Cantos de Amor y de Guerra” (March/April 1995), and “Joaquín Rodrigo, 1901-1999” (November/December 1999). Her articles “Canciones de España—Art Song Composers of Nineteenth-Century Spain” (Parts I and II) were published in the November/December 2003 and January/February 2004 issues of the JOS. An article on the songs of Manuel García is forthcoming in the Journal of Singing. Classical Singer published her article titled “Canciones de España—Songs of Nineteenth-Century Spain: Thinking Outside the Box of Traditional Repertoire” in its December 2004 issue. “Canciones de España—Songs of Nineteenth-Century Spain: Volume 2, Spanish Songs for Studio and Stage” was published in the December 2005 Classical Singer magazine.
Dr. Draayer has studied Spanish and Ladino diction with Nico Castel, multilinguist and diction coach at the Metropolitan Opera. Additionally, she has studied Spanish at La Escuela Carmen de las Cuevas, in Granada, Spain, at the Berceo Institute in Salamanca, Spain, and in language schools in Córdoba and Sevilla, Spain.
Dr. Draayer’s book, A Singer’s Guide to the Songs of Joaquín Rodrigo, published by Scarecrow Press (1999), was written after extensive interviews with the Rodrigo family. The third edition, in paperback, was released in July 2003 with her compact disc, Under a Spanish Moon: The Songs of Joaquín Rodrigo. This premiere recording, recorded at Studio M, Minnesota Public Radio, contains thirty-three of Rodrigo’s eighty-seven songs, and includes the song cycles Doce Canciones, Con Antonio Machado, Canciones de Dos Épocas, Cuatro Madrigales Amatorios, and two villancicos. Her book Canciones de España—Songs of Nineteenth-Century Spain, was published in May 2003 by Scarecrow Press. The anthology, available in high and low voice editions, includes twenty-three songs by eighteen composers. Volume two of Canciones de España—Songs of Nineteenth-Century Spain was published in September 2005 and contains twenty-nine songs by twenty composers. Volume 3 of the anthology series will be published in 2007 and will include thirty-one songs by eighteen composers. Anthologies of this import have never before existed, offering singers, voice teachers, and their audiences the opportunity to luxuriate in the melodies and rhythms of Spain.
Through Dr. Draayer’s efforts, Winona State University hosted an International Rodrigo Festival in November 2001. The week-long event, honoring the centennial of Rodrigo’s birth, was the largest such celebration in the world. Numerous concerts were performed in a variety of genres—music for choir, orchestra, guitar, voice, piano, and chamber music. Other events included an art gallery exhibit on the life and music of Rodrigo, the world premiere of a play, and lectures by experts from around the world on the contributions of Rodrigo to twentieth-century music. Cecilia Rodrigo, the only child of Maestro Rodrigo and Doña Victoria Kamhi and founder of the publishing company Ediciones Joaquín Rodrigo, delivered the opening address. To publicize the festival, Dr. Draayer presented a Rodrigo Centennial concert at Carnegie Hall on September 29, 2001. An article covering her Carnegie Hall debut was published in Classical Singer magazine (August 2002).
Dr. Draayer is active professionally in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), an international organization of vocal teachers. She was recently elected Vice President of Workshops (2006-2008) and she currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Singing. Dr. Draayer served two terms (2002-2006) as regional governor of the North Central District (Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan). At the NATS National Conference in San Diego (July 2002), she made two presentations—“Joaquín Rodrigo: 1901-1999,” and “Who Was the Schubert of 19th-Century Spanish Song?” Dr. Draayer presented two lecture recitals and a master class at the NATS Summer Workshop (July 31-August 3, 2003) in Flagstaff, Arizona. The workshop theme was “Spanish and Portuguese Song of Europe and the Americas.” At the New Orleans NATS National Conference, July 2004, Dr. Draayer made presentations titled “When Louisiana Was Spanish—Poetry of the Golden Age in Joaquín Rodrigo Song Settings” and “Canciones de España — Songs of Nineteenth-Century Spain for Studio and Stage.” She presented a session on nineteenth-century Spanish song at the 6th International Congress of Voice Teachers (ICVT6) held in Vancouver, BC, Canada in August 2005 and she presented a week-long workshop on the songs of Joaquín Rodrigo, Castilian diction, and nineteenth-century Spanish song at Opern und Konzert-Akademie in Henfenfeld, Germany (August 2005). At the 2006 National NATS Conference, Dr. Draayer presented a session on Canciones de España.
Dr. Draayer performs, lectures, and teaches master classes in the United States and abroad. She has recently performed and taught master classes at the National Institute of the Arts (Taipei, Taiwan), Tamkang University (Taiwan), the University of Minnesota-Morris, the South Texas Chapter of NATS (San Antonio, Texas), the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, North Carolina NATS, Virginia NATS, Manitoba NATS, the University of Iowa, Milliken University (IL), the University of Nebraska-Kearney, St. Xavier University (IL), Colorado NATS, Cascade Chapter (Washington) NATS, Viterbo University (WI), Southern Region NATS Conference (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi), Central Florida NATS, Arizona NATS, and for the Houston Chapter of NATS.
Furman University (Greenville, SC)
Peabody College of Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
University of Maryland
Art Song Composers of Spain: An Encyclopedia describes the wealth of vocal repertoire composed by 19th- and 20th-century Spanish song composers. More than 90 composers are discussed in detail with complete biographies, descriptions, and examples of the song literature, as well as comprehensive listings of stage works, books, recordings, compositions in non-vocal genres, and vocal repertoire.
Art Song Composers of Spain: An Encyclopedia
5-CD set of study CDs produced by COACH ME recordings, Denette Whitter, pianist. Three tracks for each of the 29 songs published in volume 2, high voice, of Canciones de España —Songs of Nineteenth-Century Spain.
Dr. Suzanne Rhodes Draayer