Director of Choral Activities and Musical Theater
602-489-5300 Ext. 2702
Doctorate in Choral Conducting at Arizona State University
Master of Music in Choral Education
BA in Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting from Weber State University
Dr. Kira Z. Rugen is the Director of Choral Activities and Musical Theater at Arizona Christian University. Previously, Kira served as a faculty member at Grand Canyon University, where she taught music history, conducting and music education courses,and as a Faculty Associate at Arizona State University where she conducted Schola Cantorum (undergraduate music majors) and Choral Union the 100+ member community choir. Additionally, she is the Artistic Director of Solis Camerata, an early music professional choir which has concerts around the valley and performs with the Phoenix Symphony for Final Fantasy and Zelda, and Game of Thrones live concerts. Kira’s compositions are commissioned and performed frequently including a premiere of her piece, Saint-Brieuc Magnificat, in France, November 2017. She has performed for the Norvis Early Music Course in Durham England, Carnegie Hall’s Young Artist Concert Series with Ton Koopman, Korea’s Incheon International Choral Festival, and with Anúna (Ireland’s National Choir) under Michael McGlynn throughout Ireland, Japan and China. As a professional singer, she is in her thirteenth season as a soprano with the Phoenix Chorale, under Charles Bruffy, with whom she has won two Grammy Awards.
Artistic Director of Solis Camerata, Kira created multiple concerts around the valley of sacred early music for Catholic Phoenix and other concert series. Additional concerts include:
- Hired by Zelda, Symphony of the Godesses to sing video game music with the Phoenix Symphony, November 2017.
- Hired by Game of Thrones Live Concert experience to sing for their touring concert at Talking Stick Resort Arena with composer Ramin Djawadi, March 2017, September 2018.
- Hired by Distant Worlds tour to sing music from the Final Fantasy Video Games with the Phoenix Symphony, September 2016.
- Invited to sing at the Western Division American Choral Directors Association Conference in Pasadena, CA. February 2016.
Composer: Kira’s music has been performed around the world. A few examples include:
- Commissioned by Goulven Airault for the choirs at Saint-Brieuc Cathédrale in Brittany, France. Premiere occurred in St. Breiuc France (Brittany) for the Petits Chanteurs de Saint-Brieuc Cathédrale on their annual St. Cecilia’s Day celebration on November 26, 2017.
- The choir performed the first movement in July 2017 in église Saint-Malo de Dinan, église Sainte-Croix de Saint Malo, and église Saint-Martin de Janze, France.
- In the July of 2018, they performed the work at the Sanctuaire de Rocamadour, France, and Castell de Calonge, église Saint Sauveur La Rochelle, Spain. Additionally, they performed the work in Barcelona for the Congrès de Barcelone 2018 – Pueri Cantores.
- Commissioned by Charles Bruffy and the Phoenix Chorale, World Premiere in December 2016. Performed by Kansas City Chorale and Rennes Children and Youth Choir in France.
- Written for and dedicated to the Arizona Christian University Chorale and Len Munsil for the Firestorm Summit at the Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, CA. Premiere March 2018
- Presented at the American Guild of Organists (AGO) convention in Kansas City, KS July 2017.
“Earth Teach Me” – text by Nancy Wood
- Commissioned by Tom Peterson and the Master Chorale of Flagstaff for their spring 2019 program about Earth, featuring women composers and poets.
Dissertation: “The Evolution of Choral Sound: In Professional Choirs from the 1970s to the Twentieth Century.” Research includes twenty-two interviews with conductors and composers of professional choirs. A sample of industry names involved in the study: John Rutter, David Hill, Nigel Short, Craig Hella Johnson, Philip Brunelle, Libby Larsen, Stephen Paulus, Nigel Short, Craig Jessop, Ola Gjeilo, Charles Bruffy and Harry Christophers.
Member of Phoenix Chorale
Recorded Rachmaninoff Vespers in May 2014, Grammy award winning album on Chandos for “Best Choral Performance.” Album released Spring 2015.
Recorded solo artist Eternal Rest on Chandos: Album released November 2006.
Recorded solo artist Spotless Rose Grammy Award winning album on Chandos for “Best Small Ensemble.” Album released September 2008.
Ensemble singer on albums Rheinberger: Sacred Choral Works, released September 2008 and Northern Lights (Choral Music of Ola Gjeilo), released February 2011.
Sang “God Bless America” on national television for the BCS National Championship Game, January 2011.
Soloist at Troy Concert Series and Lincoln Center- Concert, New York City, March 2009.
Favorably reviewed by the New York Times for performance at Lincoln Center
Member of Anúna – Ireland’s National Choir, Michael McGlynn, Director
Toured and performed with Anúna Dublin, Ireland July 2011, to Japan December 2011, November – December 201, China, June 2014. Final Concert in National Center for the Performing Arts, Beijing.
Soprano at Carnegie Hall Young Artist Concert Series.
Conducted by Ton Koopman, in February 2008.
G.F.Handel, Dettingen Te Deum, Ode to St. Ceclia; J.S. Bach, Lobet Den Hern.