June Rauschnabel joined the music department at Concordia in 1974. She grew up in Willow Grove, Pa., and graduated from Westminster Choir College, Princeton, N.J., in 1964.
While serving as choral director for three years in Cedar Ridge High School, Matawan, N.J., she traveled weekly to New York City to study with the noted pedagogue Winifred Cecil.
In 1972 she began working on her Master of Arts degree in vocal performance at the University of Denver where she had a chance meeting with Dr. Paul J. Christiansen, who was in town presenting his Summer Choral School. She auditioned for a spot as instructor of voice at Concordia and Christiansen hired her on the spot.
After arriving on campus in 1974, she taught 45 private lessons each week and a range of courses that included diction, voice pedagogy and special topics in opera history.
She married colleague Denny Boyd in 1984, but he passed away from cancer just 16 months later. After that she took a leave of absence and enrolled in a Doctor of Arts program in vocal performance at the University of Northern Colorado.
Soon after returning to Concordia in 1989 she stepped into the role as music director for Bel Canto and, in 1995, she became the founding director of the newly established Concordia bell choirs Campana and Tintinnabula, which she directed for about 10 years.
For many years, Rauschnabel performed a great deal, often as a recitalist, but also as a soloist at Trinity Lutheran Church, Moorhead. She didn’t perform much during the past decade, but when it came time for the department to present Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” several years ago, she was called upon to take on the soprano solo in that work’s final movement.
As a teacher of voice, Rauschnabel’s influence has been transformative for many of the college’s finest graduates. In 1991 three of her students captured top prizes in the high school, sophomore and senior levels, a kind of Triple Crown for voice teachers.
Rauschnabel’s success can be measured by her students’ admiration. One student said she was like a second mother, and she greatly influenced the lives of many other students.
“June is a clear thinker, practical minded and, over the years, indispensable when it came to something like the logistics of summer registration. She was always on top of that. Without June’s help, I could not have done it,” says Dr. Robert Chabora, chair and professor of music. “She will be missed.”