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Conductor of Young Men's Division


Conductor of Young Men's Division

Ken Rawdon received his BA and his MA degrees in piano performance at California State
University, Fresno. While at Fresno State, he was the recipient of the Amparo Iturbi Piano
Award. Ken also directed the vocal music program at Mt. Eden High School in Hayward,
California where he taught for 30 years. Over that time his choirs were recognized as some of
the finest high school choirs in the state of California. They were often featured at both CMEA
and ACDA conventions and conferences. Under his direction the Mt. Eden High School
Concert Choir and the Mt. Eden High School Chamber Singers competed annually at the
prestigious GOLDEN STATE CHORAL COMPETITION. Both ensembles were frequent 1st
place winners, and placed within the top five choirs every year from 1997-2017. Ken’s concert
choir from MEHS has performed 3 times in New York City at Carnegie Hall and at the Alice
Tully Performance Hall at Lincoln Center.

Some awards that Mr. Rawdon has received include:

• Teacher of the year, Hayward Unified School District — 1996
• Educator of the year, Harvard Alumni Association — 1997
• Educator of the Year, Hayward Education Association — 2002
• Educator of the Year, Hayward Chamber of Commerce — 2004
• Arts Educator of the Year, Alameda County Arts Commission — 2008
• Choral Music Educator of the Year, California Music Educators Association, Bay
Section — 2012
• John Pappas Humanitarian Award, City of Hayward — 2017

Earlier in his life, from the late 1970’s to the mid-1980’s, Ken was tremendously involved in
contemporary Christian Music and traveled throughout the world developing choral ensembles.
From 1979-1980, he spent a year in India putting together a 60-voice ensemble that literally
traveled throughout India performing in schools, churches, civic organizations, etc. In
November of 1980, the choir he developed performed at the Ashoka Hotel in New Delhi
presenting a concert in honor of the Prime Minister’s birthday. The next day, Ken and the entire
choir were invited to have tea with Prime Minister Gandhi at her private residence.
In 1981, Ken met Mother Teresa of Calcutta, an event which he feels changed his life. He
continued working with Mother Teresa with a group of other American volunteers for the next
two years.
Ken retired from public school teaching in June of 2017, but continues to be active throughout
California and is often in demand as a clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor for high school
choral festivals and competitions throughout the state. He recently was on staff with the
Crystal Children’s Choir. He is currently the Director of Choral Studies at Chabot College in
Hayward, where he also teaches musicianship and harmony, as well as music theory. He has
also served on the California state board of the American Choral Directors association as the
Repertoire and Standards Chairperson in charge of Show Choirs throughout the state of
Ken Rawdon is also an elected Board of Education Trustee for the Hayward Unified School
District. He was recently elected to his second 4-year term on November 8, 2022.

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