Dr. Kira Zeeman Rugen is a conductor, composer, singer and professor from Scottsdale, Arizona. As a college professor, she is currently choral and musical theatre faculty at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona. Dr. Rugen’s former positions include the Director of Choral Activities and Music Director for Musical Theatre at Arizona Christian University; music education/history and conducting faculty at Grand Canyon University, and choral faculty associate at Arizona State University. Now in her twenty-fourth year as a music educator, Dr. Rugen has greatly enjoyed being the Music Director of Broadway shows such as, Clue the Musical, The Music Man, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Oklahoma, Les Misérables (School Edition), Grease, and Once Upon a Mattress. She is honored to be nominated for a 2022 AriZoni Theatre Award of Excellence for Musical Direction of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder for her work with the SCC Musical Theatre program.
Dr. Rugen is the founder and Artistic Director for Solis (Choir of the Sun), a professional choir. Now in their twelfth season, Solis’ collaborations include high-profile performances with Andrea Bocelli in live concert, The Eagles, Zelda, Symphony of the Goddesses, Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy, plus performing with composer Ramin Djawadi for the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience. As a professional singer, Dr. Rugen is in her nineteenth season as a soprano with the Phoenix Chorale, with whom she has won two Grammy Awards. Furthermore, she has performed with Norvis Early Music in Durham, England; at Carnegie Hall’s Young Artist Concert Series with Ton Koopman; at Korea’s Incheon International Choral Festival; and she toured with Anúna (Ireland’s National Choir) under Michael McGlynn throughout Ireland, Japan and China. Dr. Rugen is a soloist on the album, “From Graceful Fields,” recently released by Canyon Records, featuring the eleven-time Grammy Award nominee, R. Carlos Nakai, on Native American flute.
Dr. Rugen’s compositions (found at the Fred Bock Group/Gentry Publications and MusicSpoke.com) have been performed around the world. She is a 2022 winner in the HerVoice Music Composition Competition in Chicago, and her music will be performed by the Vancouver Youth Choir this year, while she is mentored by composer, Chen Yi. Dr. Rugen is a recent 2022 award winner for Best Original Score/Best Composer for MusArt in twenty different film festivals, including the Cine Paris Film Festival, Berlin Short Film Festival, San Francisco Arthouse Short Festival and the New York Cinema Independent Awards. Dr. Rugen’s work has featured several high profile commissions and performances from the likes of the Phoenix Chorale, Vox Musica, Resonance of Singapore Singers, Utopia Early Music, Northwest Oklahoma State University Singers, CU Boulder, Cor Cantiamo, University of Redlands, Kansas City Chorale, the Petits Chanteurs de Saint-Brieuc Cathédrale (Children and Youth Choir) and the Master Chorale of Flagstaff. She was recently named as the 3rd Place Winner in The American Prize, professional choral composition division, and a 2021 finalist for the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for Performance of American Music Composition. Dr. Kira Z. Rugen graduated with her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting and a cognate in Vocal Performance from Arizona State University in May 2013.