Randy Pagel, conductor of the Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society, is a native of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He embarked on his career directing the Peace Lutheran Church choir at age 13. He earned a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a Master of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, then moved to Las Vegas. After two years at Madison 6th Grade Center, he opened Thurman White Middle School in Henderson, Nevada, where the choirs were nationally renowned, performing several times under his direction at Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D. C., Orchestra Hall in Chicago, and at several state, division, and national conventions for both the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Education.
The choirs won several national choral competitions and performed for President Ronald Reagan at his Presidential Library. At Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, President Jimmy Carter exclaimed, “This is one of the best choirs I have ever heard!” after the choir completed their performance. They sang at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Birthplace, were invited to sing in the White House in 2001 and performed for many other dignitaries. Thurman White Middle School’s choral program was inducted into the World of Music Hall of Fame.
The choirs also entertained at numerous events in the Las Vegas community, often sharing the stage with Las Vegas Strip headliners. They released several choral albums and are featured on other professional albums with original choral works, many expressly written for them. The choir is featured in the music video Love Sees No Color which aired on national networks and presented at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival in France. They provided the soundtrack for downtown Las Vegas’ Fremont Street Experience Christmas Shows for many years. The choirs sang in various major musical events including J. S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, G. F. Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus with the Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society, with the national touring company of Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and A Walt Disney Musical Spectacular. They performed all over the Las Vegas Valley at virtually every hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Moreover, the choirs amiably and graciously performed for various local charity events.
Mr. Pagel has received numerous awards for educational excellence. He was awarded the Oshkosh “Boy of the Year” twice, was given the “Key to the City” of Oshkosh and the Las Vegas Strip, was named an “Outstanding Young Alumnus” from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and was inducted into Oshkosh North High School’s “Hall of Fame” and Clark County School District’s “Excellence in Education Hall of Fame”. The University of Wisconsin-Madison honored Mr. Pagel by displaying his achievements and artifacts in the Mills Concert Hall lobby. “Randy Pagel Day” was proclaimed by the Mayors of Oshkosh, Henderson, and Las Vegas.
He served as principal at Sunset East High School for ten years and received accolades for turning it around into a school with high academic achievement, increased graduation rates, award-winning music and art programs, and consistent civic participation and volunteering by its students.
He continues to conduct many honor choirs and music clinics around the country. His popular Ritchie Valens Medley is published by the Hal Leonard Corporation, and his book, The Choral Director’s Guide to Sanity…and Success! published by Heritage Music Press, is the Lorenz Corporation’s #1 all-time best seller. Recently, Mr. Pagel received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for his national leadership in the education field.
He coaches football at Mater Academy Bonanza, plays tennis regularly, walks 9 miles daily, hikes Red Rock Canyon, and travels throughout the world covering 57 countries so far.
For Randy Pagel’s resume, click here