The American composer and conductor, Ralph Nelson, is a graduate of Amherst College and subsequently a composition and conducting student of Nadia Boulanger in France.
Ralph Nelson is in demand as an Artist-in-Residence throughout the Portland area. He has served in many capacities since moving to Portland, Oregon over 25 years ago. For 22 years, he was a member of the administrative staff of the Oregon Symphony Orchestra, and then became Executive Director of the Portland Symphonic Choir. During the summer of 2008, he studied conducting with Helmuth Rilling, Tom Davies and Tim Sawyer at the Oregon Bach Festival in Eugene.
In addition to composing and teaching, Ralph Nelson is the the founder and Artistic Director of the Bach Cantata Series of Bach Cantata Choir of Portland, Oregon, Choir Director at First Immanuel Lutheran Church in NW Portland and Director of the Holladay Park Plaza Singers (30 seniors). He was also Organist at Rose City Park Presbyterian Church and and Director of the Bravura Young Men's Ensemble of the Oregon Repertory Singers. Both Ralph and his wife Susan sing with the Portland Symphonic Choir. In the summer, he sings with Mastersingers USA, an all-male group under the direction of former Amherst College Professor Bruce McInnes.
Ralph Nelson's passion is working with and composing for children. He has written numerous shows for children. In 2002, he gave up his career in orchestra management in order to devote his full time to working with children. With literally hundreds of original songs, plus 5 one-hour shows, he works with 20 schools per year as an artist in residence, reaching over 2,000 children each year.