Mezzo-soprano Beth Ray Westlund is an active performer, teacher, clinician, and scholar. Featured solo performances with professional orchestra include: the Angel in Sir Edward Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, Rahab in Jesse Ayer’s Rahab, J. S. Bach Magnificat, St. John Passion, Christmas Oratorio, and Mass in B minor; Beethoven Mass in C and Symphony no. 9; Brahms Alto Rhapsody, Handel Messiah and Belshazzar; Haydn Missa Sanctae Caecilae, Missa in tempore belli, Missa in Angustiis and Heligmesse; Mozart Requiem and Vesperae Solennes; Duruflé Requiem, Vaughan Williams Mass in g minor, and Richard Einhorn’s Voices of Light, performed with Anonymous 4. Operatic credits include Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Dorabella in Così fan tutti, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Mother Marie in Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Mrs. Grose in Turn of the Screw.
Dr. Ray is professor of music at her alma mater Luther College, where she teaches studio voice, diction, opera scenes, and serves as Associate Department Head. Previous to this, she was assistant professor of voice at Ithaca College School of Music in Ithaca, New York. She earned the M.M. and D.M.A. degrees at the University of Texas at Austin, studying under Rose Taylor and Terry Lusk. An article based on her doctoral treatise, “Dominick Argento’s Casa Guidi: A Character and Musical Study” appeared in Journal of Singing. Dr. Ray has given multiple presentations of her 2010 sabbatical research on the dramatic context surrounding operatic arias of G.F. Handel. Her current research focus is Body Mapping for musicians, a method for improving the quality of movement in music making for enhanced performance and injury prevention. She was licensed by the Association for Body Mapping Education in January 2018. Dr. Ray joined the Faculty of the International Music Festival of the Adriatic (IMFA) in summer, 2019.