Dr. Frank Wayne Ragsdale was born in Texas and earned his undergraduate and master's degrees in New England. He was awarded his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami, where he was voted outstanding graduate student before joining the voice faculty of the Bass School of Music in 2004. During the summers, he is coach for dramatic interpretation and stage presentation at the University of Miami Frost School of Music at Salzburg.
His teaching philosophy states: I believe that teaching is the most important profession one can have. As a professor of voice, it is my main responsibility to teach my students how to become better singers and musicians. But it is my job as an educator to teach my students the process of learning. I believe it is vital that I give each student the tools he or she needs to do the job I ask of her or him, and hopefully, at the same time, what is learned will help in all aspects of life.
Singing is an organic process and much of what a student must learn to do is let go and allow the voice to sing instead of trying to make it sing.
I also believe that singing is something we do, and not who we are. It helps to make life a wonderful place and brings beauty to us and to all those around us, but it alone does not define who we are as individuals.
I teach that the process is just as important as the performance. Singing is a life long pursuit that has no final destination, which if understood, adds to a life of joy and fulfillment for the both the student and the teacher. It was Mark Twain who said:
"The work that is really a man's own work is play and not work at all. When we talk about the great workers of the world we really mean the great players of the world. The fellows who groan and sweat under the weary load of toil that they bear never can hope to do anything great."
Dr. Ragsdale received his Bachelor of Music in voice performance from Atlantic Union College, and his Graduate Diploma and Master of Music degrees in opera from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass.
He has performed in opera, oratorio, musical theatre, and recitals throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, and Central America where, for three consecutive years, he was invited by the U.S. Embassies of Costa Rica and Honduras to give recital tours and master classes with collaborative artist Thomas Enman.
He has performed in venues including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Cairo Opera House, Mechanics Hall, Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris, San Marco di Venizia, and St. Martin-in-the-Fields. His operatic roles include Rodolfo from La Bohome, Alfredo from La Traviata, Don Ottavio from Don Giovanni, and Tamino from Die Zauberflote. He has performed musical theater roles including Tony from West Side Story, Freddy from My Fair Lady, and Sam from Street Scene.
In addition to his experience as a performer, Dr. Ragsdale has directed opera, musical theater, and theater productions. He taught at Thayer Conservatory, Columbia Union College, Plymouth State College, New World School of the Arts, and the University of Miami before making his home at Oklahoma City University. He is a member of The National Association of Teachers of Singing, College Music Society, and Pi Kappa Lambda.