Dr. Rebecca Raber was born in 1971, and grew up on the Lovcik Family Farm in Pisek, North Dakota. In 1994 she graduated Summa Cum Laude with Departmental Honors from Jamestown College, where she studied with Dr. Richard Harrison Smith, and earned degrees in Vocal/Instrumental Music Education, History/Political Science and Asian Studies. She was awarded College Fellow Awards in both Music and History. She has been a dedicated vocal and instrumental music educator since that time. Dr. Raber’s choir was designated the 2005 ND Governor’s Choir, and she was recently named “Outstanding Music Educator” through the National High School Activities Association.
Dr. Raber graduated from the University of North Dakota with a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting, studying with Dr. James Rodde and Dr. Susan McMane. Ms. Raber then served on the UND faculty as conductor of their popular men's choir, the Varsity Bards, until 2005. She served as the director of the ND Girls State Chorus for nine years, and in 2007, she conducted the Northern Ambassadors of Music Mixed Chorus which toured in England, France, Italy, Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Dr. Raber directed choral ensembles at Shanley High School for 14 years, growing the program into two large mixed choirs and traveling on performance tours throughout the United States.
A mezzo-soprano, she has been a featured soloist in Mozart's Requiem as well as several shorter choral works. Dr. Raber maintains a private voice studio and is an active adjudicator and guest clinician. She was the 2015 MTNA Commissioned Composer and premiered her newest work, "Jesu dulcis memoria" at the University of North Dakota. Dr. Raber is very active in the American Choral Director's Association, previously having served as State President, ND Repertoire & Standards Chair for Male Choirs, and Membership Chair. She has presided and presented at state and regional ACDA conferences, in addition to organizing and facilitating them. She is a webmaster for the NDACDA website and has also served as editor/ publisher of the NDACDA professional journal, The Chorister. In 2019, Dr. Raber was awarded "Choral Director of the Year" by the North Dakota chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. She has been recently named to the Executive Board of the International Music Camp.
Dr. Raber earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting at North Dakota State University in 2018, and studied with Dr. Jo Ann Miller, Dr. Michael Weber and Dr. Charlette Moe. She recently delivered a lecture-recital entitled, ""Conducting the Coded Message Songs of Slavery: Context, Connotations, and Performance Preparation" at the University of Mary in the summer of 2018. She is also scheduled for other lecture-recitals in Bismarck in 2020, involving the performance of African American spirituals. Dr. Raber is a co-founder of the Prairie Jubilee Singers, a choral ensemble dedicated to building community through singing spirituals.
Rebecca is currently Assistant Professor of Music and Catholic Studies at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND, where she directs the Chapel Choir, Schola, St. Hildegard Chorus, and supervises Liturgical Music. She also teaches Music History, Experiencing the Sacred in Music, Secondary Choral Methods, Advanced Choral Conducting, Voice Class, and occasionally guest directs the Concert Choir.
Coded message songs of slavery, Gullah, spirituals, music of the Underground Railroad, music of the Catholic Church
All graphic design by Rebecca Raber
ND Governor's Photo Award Winner, ND Horizons Magazine, North Dakota Horizons Calendar, Highline Notes Magazine, Fargo Forum, City Scan Magazine, Microsoft/Arts Partnership, Medora Foundation, Travel North Dakota, Kilbourne Group Calendar, Bismarck Cancer Center Calendar, FM Area Foundation, Sts. Anne & Joachim Catholic Church, University of Mary, NDSU, and Shanley High School.