Lisa Rainsong's musical life integrates composition, education, vocal performance and natural history. She was appointed to the CIM Music Theory faculty in 2000, and teaches undergraduate and graduate theory courses. She also is Coordinator of the Doctor of Musical Arts program.
Dr. Rainsong holds a DMA in Composition from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Margaret Brouwer. Her undergraduate and master's degrees in composition are from Cleveland State University, where she studied with Bain Murray, Edwin London and Howie Smith. She is particularly interested in writing for solo voice, vocal ensembles and mixed chamber ensembles of voices and instruments, and her vocal music includes numerous pieces that are settings of her own texts. Her catalog of works includes instrumental pieces ranging from solo instruments to full orchestra, and her commissions of both secular and sacred works include many from churches and choral ensembles in Northeast Ohio.
A soprano as well as a composer, Rainsong is an active performer of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music as a soloist and a choral musician. She is a member of Quire Cleveland, a professional chorus specializing in medieval and Renaissance music.
In addition to her work in education, performance and composition, Rainsong is a professional naturalist who specializes in the music of Earth’s first musicians: bird song, insect song and the songs of amphibians. She earned a Naturalist Certificate from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in 2008 and now uses her ear training teaching skills in programs that help people learn and understand the music of the natural world. She teaches classes for the general public at the Holden Arboretum, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and numerous Ohio park districts. She also gives advanced workshops for natural history professionals and presents at conferences across the state. 2015 was her fourth year as a workshop presenter at The Biggest Week in American Birding, a national ten-day birding festival held in northwestern Ohio. She has been a keynote speaker at the Midwest Native Plant Conference, a program presenter at the Ohio Ornithological Society and a workshop co-leader on singing insect identification at the Cincinnati Museum Center’s Advanced Naturalist Workshop series in its Edge of Appalachia preserve. She will be a speaker at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s annual Conservation Symposium in September, 2015.
Rainsong is an active field naturalist who makes her own recordings of bird songs, insect songs, and amphibian songs. She has done four summers of field research grant work on cricket and katydid populations the Geauga (County) Park District; research work that is done primarily by ear. She is now expanding her study to include all the counties in NE Ohio with additional work around the state.
Rainsong seeks to inspire an understanding and appreciation for the oldest music on earth and protection of the avian, insect and amphibian musicians and their concert venues at a time when their music is in danger of being silenced by climate change and habitat destruction.
Her field observations, recordings and upcoming programs and classes can be found at Listening in Nature.
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