Raymond T. Ryder, Accompanist

Raymond T. Ryder completed a doctorate in piano at the University of Arizona under Rex Woods with a Lecture-Recital and Document on "Russian Elements in Selected Piano Compositions of César Cui (1835-1918)." Dr. Ryder has a private teaching studio in Tucson and serves as an adjunct faculty member at Pima Community College. He is also the organist at Desert Skies United Methodist Church. Raymond currently serves as President of the Arizona State Music Teachers Association and is a member of the American Guild of Organists.
Prior to moving to Tucson, he was on the faculty of Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi for several years. Dr. Ryder's earlier degrees are a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Master of Music in Performance from the Florida State University in Tallahassee with an emphasis in vocal accompanying. His accompanying activities have included nine summers on the accompanying staff at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, three seasons accompanying the Tucson Masterworks Chorale, and more recently, the Arizona Choral Society.

Jennifer Swegle, Accompanist

Office Specialist, Sr.
Dean of Students Office

Jennifer began accompanying the Choir in the spring of 2004 while she was a student in the School of Music and staff in the College of Medicine. She studied piano primarily with Maria Helena Ferraz-Sullivan and graduated with a BA in Music in the fall of 2004, but continued to play for the choir.

Throughout her studies at the University, Jennifer accompanied many vocalists and instrumentalists. She has experience working with flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, violin, viola, harp, vocal soloists, choirs and even dancers. She has participated in the piano ensemble (12 pianos, 4 hands each) that performs in Centennial Hall and enjoys collaborating with other musicians.

In the summer of 2005, Jennifer was offered a position as cocktail pianist aboard the Carnival Cruise Lines ship, Fascination. She spent 4 months at sea cruising the western Caribbean, returned home in October and returned to work as staff at The University of Arizona. In the spring of 2006, Jennifer rejoined the Faculty/Staff Choir after being away for a semester and was grateful to be back home.

Jennifer has been an organist for her church since 1997 and also accompanies choirs and soloists in the non-secular realm. She has taught beginning level organ and has had several piano students.