Faculty Profile

Ryan Ellis

Ryan Ellis

Assistant Professor of Music; Director of Choral Music

Email: ellisr3@spu.edu
Office: Nickerson Studios 112

Education: BM, Louisiana State University, 1999; MM Composition, Longy School of Music, 2002; MM Choral Conducting, University of Massachusetts, 2005; DMA, University of Washington, 2017

When Ryan Ellis joined the faculty of Seattle Pacific University as director of the Men’s Choir, he brought much experience working with voices and choirs. In addition to leading choral ensembles at the University of Washington while in residence as a doctoral student, he is also the music director of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Bellevue, and artistic director of Choral Sounds Northwest of Northwest Associated Arts. 

Dr. Ellis’ choral method and joy in working with choirs of all ages and abilities has delighted choristers and audiences in the greater Seattle area for four years. 

As a pre-doctoral teaching associate, he lectured at the University of Washington’s Seattle and Tacoma campuses. Prior to starting a doctorate at UW, Dr. Ellis was director of the Bermuda Chamber Choir and co-founder of the Bermuda Festival Orchestra. He led an active performance season with those two ensembles that included several national television spots. As choirmaster and organist of the Bermuda Cathedral, he had the opportunity to lead a Matins service for the visiting Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip during the country’s 400th anniversary year.

Dr. Ellis has most recently studied choral conducting with Geoffrey Boers and Giselle Wyers, and formerly with Wayne Abercrombie and as a chorister under Kenneth Fulton. His organ studies have been with Herndon Spillman and Peter Sykes. He holds a Bachelor of Music in both Composition and Organ Performance and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting. He is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association and American Guild of Organists. He completed his DMA in choral conducting from the University of Washington in June 2017.

Ryan Ellis' CV (PDF)

Ryan Ellis

Why I Teach at SPU

Ryan Ellis, Director of Choral Music

I teach at SPU because of the strong values and tradition in excellent choral performance and education. The fellowship and community formed through quality ensemble experiences are shaping the lives of our talented and thoughtful students. Their time in choirs here will certainly influence their care and empathy toward colleagues in any profession. I feel honored to lead our students through careful listening to the voices around us, while ensuring our own voice is effectively contributing to the whole.