Dr. Christopher O. Ryder is Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland Virginia, where he directs the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, as well as teaching classes in Music Theory, Music Technology, and Conducting. In 2006, Dr. Ryder was awarded the faculty “Rookie of the Year” award by the Randolph-Macon Student Government Association. In 2007, he was nominated for and inducted into the R-MC chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa -- The National Leadership Honor Society. Also in 2006, he received Randolph-Macon College’s Thomas Branch Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2011, Dr. Ryder was recognized as Mu Phi Epsilon International Faculty Advisor of the Year for his work with Randolph-Macon's chapter of the music honor fraternity. Prior to coming to Randolph-Macon, he taught at Concord University in Athens, West Virginia, and in the Stafford and Spotsylvania County Virginia school systems.
Dr. Ryder is also Minister of Music at Fredericksburg Baptist Church and Artistic Director of Maranatha Music Ministries, both in Fredericksburg Virginia. He also has served as Music Director of the Fredericksburg Community Chorus since 2008. Dr. Ryder has directed District, County, and Regional Choruses, and has also judged middle school and high school choral festivals in Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee. In addition to his work as a conductor, he has directed music for many theater productions for high schools, colleges, and community theaters. He has also been active as a singer with the Chamber Chorale of Fredericksburg and with the West Virginia Symphony Chorus.
Dr. Ryder holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Mary Washington College, where he completed majors in voice and viola, and studied conducting with Dr. Stephen J. Burton. He also holds a Master of Arts in Choral Conducting from George Mason University, where he studied conducting with Dr. Stan Engebretson. He also studied conducting with Dr. Deen E. Entsminger while earning a Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education at the Shenandoah Conservatory.
If you want to learn about music at Randolph-Macon, click here