In 1999, Dr. Wade Raridon retired from a full-time teaching position in the Vocal Music Department at the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University. When he announced his retirement, several of his vocal students wrote letters asking him to form a vocal group, independent of YSU, so they could continue to sing under his direction. After thinking about this for a short time, “Doc” Raridon decided to form The Wade Raridon Singers. He invited about 25 of his former students to join him in this group, and a new ensemble was formed.
There is a wide range of ages in the group, from men and women in their early 20’s up to a few slightly older “young people” in their 60’s, which contributes to our uniquely mature sound. One member of the group was a member of Dr. Raridon’s original Dana Madrigal Singers from 1964.
From a small beginning in 2000, the group has sung dozens of concerts, primarily in churches around the Youngstown area. Membership has changed slightly over the years as some have moved away and others have joined the group. However, one thing never changed, and that was how much we enjoyed singing good music under the direction of “Doc” Raridon.
A native of Iowa, Dr. Raridon holds BA, MA and DMA degrees from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. He served on the music faculties of Morningside College and Luther College in Iowa before coming to the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University in 1963.
Since retirement from full-time teaching in 1999, he and his wife Rosemary have continued to teach voice on a limited basis at Dana. Dr. Raridon founded both the Dana Chorale and Dana Madrigal Singers. These groups performed under his direction at various state and regional professional music conventions. He also conducted numerous festivals and vocal clinics during his tenure at the Dana School of Music and led various Dana choral groups on three successful concert tours of European music capitals. He is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, an honorary academic music fraternity. He also served a term as President of the Ohio Choral Directors Association. In 1983, Dr. Raridon received YSU’s Distinguished Professor Award for outstanding teaching.
In 2016, Dr. Raridon had to set down the baton due to health concerns. As a result, The Wade Raridon Singers are no longer performing a concert schedule. Doc may not be holding the baton any longer, but his legacy lives on in the wonderful choral performances than you can enjoy here.