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About Dan Rager

For nearly thirty years, Dr. Dan Rager has been an international award-winning music educator, composer and conductor in the field of wind and orchestral music. His work is used internationally in 200 countries. He annually conducts and provides Master Classes in various countries for professional, student and military bands and orchestras.

He has studied and worked with international artists’ such as Czech composer Karel Husa, Witold Roman Lutosławski of Poland, Cleveland composer Dr. Eric Ziolek, Cleveland conductor Maestro Howard Meeker, and the godfather of wind conducting Dr. Frederick Fennell of Cleveland, Ohio to name a few. Rager earned his Associates of Music from Lakeland Community College, Bachelors & Masters in composition & conducting from Cleveland State University and Doctorial credentials in music education from Boston University.

His accolades include awards from The American Composers Forum, The Continental Harmony Project, ASCAP, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Target Foundation, The Foundation Orchestra Association (FOA), the Arthur M. Kaplan Award, two Honorary Doctorate Awards from the Saratov Conservatory (Russia) and the Buenos Aires Culture of Education in Argentina.

In addition, Dr. Rager was the first American conductor/composer from Ohio (USA), invited to conduct and lecture in Russia, which subsequently provides annual tours throughout the country. In 2009, he co-founded the NACUSA (National Association of Composers USA). This Southeast Chapter serves South Carolina, Alabama, Florida and Puerto Rico. In 2013, Professor Rager was the first American music educator invited to Argentina. He annually conducts and lectures at the Gilardo Gilardi Music Conservatory, among others, in La Plata & Buenos Aries, AR. In 2018 he embarked on a national conducting tour of Argentina performing with a variety of wind-bands and chamber orchestras.

Internationally, Professor Rager is in demand as a composer who annually conducts in Europe, Russia and Argentina. His compositions have been performed and recorded by The Cleveland Orchestra, The Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Frederick Fennell Symphonic Winds, The Washington Winds, The Apollo String Quartet, The Saratov Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, The State Radio & Television Orchestra of Moscow, The Omsk Academic Symphony Orchestra of Siberia, The Fox Valley Symphony (WI), The Volga Wind Band of Saratov (RU), The Amsterdam Windorchestra, The Marine Band of the Royal Navy (Netherlands), The Norway Marine Home Guard Band, The Conservatory of Music Gilardo Gilardi Winds (AR), The South Korean Philharmonic, Banda Sinfonia Municiple (AR), Brandt Brass Ensemble (RU), Case Western University Symphonic Winds (OH), The Lakeland College Civic Band (OH) and countless orchestras and wind-bands worldwide.

Dr. Rager has over 350 compositions and arrangements published by Warner Brothers Publ., Ludwig Music Publ., Deahn Publ., Great Works Publ., BAS Publ., Aamao Publ., and Great Lakes Music Publ. Works include 3 symphonies, 2 concertos, several divertimentos and a large assortment of works for brass, woodwind, percussion and choral. These compositions are in a variety of styles from classical, jazz to contemporary tonal and atonal works. Many are on state required school contest lists’ and cataloged in the annual top 100 published compositions. Cleveland State University publishes his global research through EngagedScholarship and Bepress: His academic music education research papers have remained on the top four world-wide downloads of all time. 

Many of his works are listed in the 'Wind Repertory Project', a comprehensive database of high-level wind literature.

Recordings Produced, arranged, contracted etc:
For Unto Us: Kingdom Brass Quintet, Christmas album (1992) KBQ 101
Bridge To A Millennium: Cleveland Philharmonic Winds, Symphony No. 1 (1999) GLME 1002
Percussion Wonderland: Cleveland Percussion Ensemble, Christmas album (1996)
You’ve Been Verrry Good!: Frederick Fennell Symphonic Winds, Christmas album. (2004)
Colours of Saratov: Double CD featuring 9 international orchestras performing original works of mine. French horn soloist Natalya V. Rager performs my awarding winning concerto, Colours of Saratov. (2010) Vol. 2 & 3
Music for Wind Band * 15: Marine Band of the Netherlands Navy, Keith Brion Condutor (Sousa Collection), (2015) Naxos
Additionally produced, arranged and contracted 20 recordings in multiple genres including Classical, Jazz and Rock & Roll

His research and international experience has contributed significantly in two recent book publications: ‘In Search of the Wind-band’, a detailed history of instrumental wind-bands covering sixteen countries and secondly, ‘Creating & Marketing Your DEMO CD’, an important publication designed for today’s musician who wants to create, record, market, copyright and perform music.

Not all of his books and research are available on this site. A web search will help to locate additional resources. In addition and on another subject, he is considered a railroad historian in northeast, Ohio. His research, articles and six books on the subject continue to be important topics for libraries, clubs, schools and organizations interested in local history. Professor Rager gives presentations on his books throughout the tristate area. For an entertaining and informative talk on one of his books, he can be contacted through email.


Present Music Professor, Cleveland State University

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

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Honors and Awards

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Contact Information or

Articles (10)

Videos (10)

Rager's International Performances: Argentina, Russia, USA, etc.

Albums (11)

Parcial compilation of recordings produced, conducted, composed etc. by Rager