2016 Swan Award Winner: Ron Kean
Dr. Ronald Kean, Emeritus Professor of Music at Bakersfield College, recently retired after completing his 30th year of teaching in California. His DMA degree is from the University of Southern California where his conducting teachers were Rodney Eichenberger, James Vail, and Daniel Lewis as apprentice conductor of the USC Symphony. Prior to his advanced degrees, Ron was invited to be a copyist for the late Robert Shaw and sang in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus. He studied west African drumming from Ghanaian master drummer Samuel Kwaku Daddy and Latin percussion with Marcos Reyes from the renowned group, “War.”
His teaching opportunities included choral music and world music, which he taught for the past 26 years in the Kern Community College District. Prior experience includes four years as a high school choral music teacher in southern California. He was awarded the 2012-2013 Bakersfield College Distinguished Teaching Award by his colleagues. He is Past-President of the Music Association of California Community Colleges (MACCC) and Past-President of the American Choral Directors Association Western Division following six years as Repertoire and Standards Chair for Ethnic and Multicultural Perspectives at state, division, and national levels. He was selected to be the 2007 California Music Educators Association Multicultural Educator the Year.
The Bakersfield College Chamber Singers under his direction have performed at state, division, and national ACDA conventions. He is frequently called upon to adjudicate festivals, lecture, and to conduct workshops and honor choirs in the US and abroad. He recently adjudicated choral music festivals at Fresno State University, Bakersfield High School, Santa Rosa Community College, USC, and the Bali International Choral Festival. Recent guest conducting opportunities include the Santa Monica/Malibu School District Honor Choirs, Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra with the Bakersfield College Choirs, Hoʻolōkahi Choir Festival and Oahu Sacred Choral Music Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the world premiere performance of his “Yeats in Love” choral cycle in Sligo, Ireland, the birthplace of William Butler Yeats.
Pavane Music Publishers features both the Ron Kean Choral Series and Multicultural Choral Series. His compositions and arrangements are widely performed throughout the United States and abroad. He has completed five commissions in the last 18 months for Cal Poly Pomona and Vox Femina, Iris Levine, Conductor; the Mountainside Master Chorale, Jean Sebastien Vallee, conductor; Bakersfield High School, Christopher Borges, conductor, and most recently for the San José State University Choraliers (Jeffrey Benson) and West Valley College Chamber Singers (Lou De La Rosa) for their combined tour of Ireland.