Soprano Laura Rushing-Raynes has appeared on concert, recital and opera stages in the continental United States, Hawaii, Great Britain, and Mexico. Although her repertoire encompasses a comprehensive array of styles, genres and composers, her most avid interest is in singing newer works by living composers – most recently a critically acclaimed run of Ricky Ian Gordon’s tour de force chamber opera Orpheus and Euridice (a collaboration between Opera Idaho, Idaho Dance Theatre, Boise State Faculty Artist Series and the Boise Art Museum) and the 2013 world premier of Idaho composer Eric Sandmeyer’s choreographic song cycle, Now We Are Here: Diaries of a Treasured Land (also with Idaho Dance Theatre).
Dr. Rushing-Raynes has studied vocal pedagogy intensively with leading pedagogues including Richard Miller and Shirlee Emmons. Having also trained in the Nautilus Music Theatre program founded by Wesley Balk, she strives to cultivate a vibrant creative process and learning environment that engages the whole person – body, mind and spirit. Former students have been accepted into premier graduate programs including Indiana University, New York University and Florida State as well as competitive Young Artist Programs – recently Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh and New York Lyric Opera Theatre Emerging Artist Program. Former voice and pedagogy students are teaching successfully in private studios and as choral music educators.
Currently integrating into her teaching various contemplative practices including meditation and iRest Yoga Nidra, Dr. Rushing-Raynes completed two levels (approximately 70 hours) of iRest teacher training in 2012. A long-time practitioner of yoga and associated body-mind techniques, she is one of a growing number of collegiate educators working to integrate these practices into mainstream use in the training of performers and teachers. In this regard, her teaching is on one of the leading edges of current practice in voice pedagogy. Dr. Rushing-Raynes is an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education.
At Boise State, she heads the Voice Area in the Department of Music and teaches graduate and undergraduate voice, including courses in vocal pedagogy. She holds an undergraduate degree in voice and violin performance from the University of Northern Colorado and masters and doctorate degrees in voice performance from the University of Arizona.