David Rayl Professor of Music, Director of Choral Programs, and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research


  • Conducting

211 Music Practice Building
East Lansing, MI 48824

(517) 353-9122


David Rayl is professor of music, director of choral programs, and associate dean for graduate studies and research at the Michigan State University College of Music. Over the past 17 years he has mentored and served as principal conducting teacher and advisor to over 100 doctoral and master's students in choral conducting. Under his baton the University Chorale has appeared at the national conference of the American Choral Directors Association (2007), the Central Division conference of ACDA (2006), and the national meeting of the College Music Society (2002). He has also prepared the Chorale for eight sets of performances with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and regularly serves as guest conductor with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, leading large-scale choral-orchestral works.

Prior to joining the MSU faculty in 2002, he was director of choral activities at the University of Missouri-Columbia for 12 years, where he conducted the University Singers and Choral Union and taught in the undergraduate and graduate conducting programs. Under his direction, the University Singers sang at the national conference of the American Choral Directors Association (1995), Florilège Vocale in Tours, France (1998), and Maggio Musicale in Florence, Italy (2000).

Rayl has appeared as guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator throughout the United States and has presented at the national conferences of NCCO, NAfME, NATS, and MTNA, and regional and state conferences of ACDA. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall three times, leading performances of Beethoven Mass in C, the Fauré Requiem, and Schubert Mass in A-flat.

His international engagements include performances and presentations at the Church of the Madeleine in Paris; the National Center for the Performing Arts and the China Conservatory in Beijing; Maggio Musicale in Florence; the Busan International Choral Festival in South Korea; the national conference of the Associação Brasileira de Regentes de Coros, Goiania, Brazil; the VII Festival Internaçional de Música de Camera do Pará, in Belem, Brazil; the II Festival de Corais in Brasilia, Brazil; and the Painel Unicanto de Regencia Coral in Londrina, Brazil.

Several of his articles have appeared in the Choral Journal, the Journal of the Conductors' Guild, and Fontes Artes Musicae. A-R Editions of Madison, Wisconsin published his editions of “Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Nine Settings of the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary” in the series Recent Researches in Music of the Baroque Era.

Rayl is the recipient of MSU’s Simmons Chivukula Award for Academic Leadership (2019), the University Distinguished Faculty Award (2013) and the College of Music’s Dortha J. and John D. Withrow Award for Excellence in Teaching (2009). The University of Missouri-Columbia awarded him the Provost's Outstanding Junior Faculty Award (1993) and the Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence (1996).

He holds a B.M. from Illinois Wesleyan University; a M.M. from the University of Oklahoma; and a DMA in choral conducting from the University of Iowa.

For information about the MSU choral program, please see 

To listen to performances by various MSU choral ensembles, please see

For questions about the MSU graduate program in choral conducting, please email rayld@msu.edu.