Metro East ACE Award

Robert Ragoonanan

By Michael Skar

Photo L-R: Robert Ragoonanan,  Cherner

On Facebook, Robert’s media specialist describes him as “a Minneapolis-based conductor, pianist and organist.”

His press agent used Instagram to open the window a bit more using the titles:

Knight of the Jedi Order, Master of Music & Foodie (the order may be interchangeable).

EWON (Egan Women Of Note) states he has found success as a conductor across the United States and Europe, conducting orchestras, choirs, new music groups, and wind ensembles.

The Embodied Conducting Institute lists Robert as a freelance conductor, pianist, organist, and harpsichordist in the Twin Cities area.

A 2016 summer online issue of The Saint James’ GOOD NEWS WEEKLY posted about a new masters graduate in Orchestral Conducting from Bowling Green State University. He had just accepted a call to serve as their Minister of Music. This was on the heels of conducting his first ballet for the Black Swamp Fine Arts School.

Digging back to his undergraduate work at Luther College, Dr. John Strauss reveals him as a Principal Oboist, leading numerous ensembles. He is the recipient of scholarships from The Theodor Pressor Foundation at Luther College and received Honorable Mention at the 2022 Orquestra de Camara de Cascais e Oerias Conducting Competition.

Over the past 10-15 years, he has held quite a list of positions, not limited to:

  • Roseville Middle School
  • Concordia Academy
  • Roseville High School
  • Chaska Valley Family Theatre
  • Food Shelf Benefit Concerts
  • Luther College (various positions)
  • First Lutheran Church & First United Methodist Church (both in Decorah)
  • Minnesota Public Radio
  • Sacred Heart Parish (New Bavaria, OH)
  • St. Mary’s Church (Holgate, OH)
  • Performing Institute of Minnesota (Eden Prairie)
  • Eagan Women Of Note
  • Oak Knoll Lutheran Church (Minnetonka)
  • University Lutheran Church of Hope (Mpls)

He is constantly preparing piano and organ recitals, often in collaboration with other local artists. All of this, while maintaining a small piano and voice studio!

More personally known to many of us as Bobby, he has become a first-call professional throughout the twin cities. Festival or concert accompanist, Solo/Ensembles or Auditions are side gigs and more importantly, SUBBING! His vacations seem to be European conducting masterclasses and appointments. He always seems to make schedules work, is always reliable and plays exactly as needed. He should be allowed a grand ego, yet he gets up from the bench congratulating you and beats you to offering thanks.

So without hesitation, congratulations Bobby! Please accept the 2023 ACDA-MN Ace Award for exemplary community impact in our music community.