Ron Kean is Emeritus Professor of Music at Bakersfield College. His Doctor of Musical Arts degree is from the University of Southern California where his conducting teachers were Rodney Eichenberger, James Vail, and Daniel Lewis as apprentice conductor of the USC Symphony. Prior to his advanced degrees, Ron moved to Atlanta, Georgia for a year to accept the position as copyist and singer for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus, Robert Shaw, Conductor. He studied west African drumming from Ghanaian master drummer Samuel Kwaku Daddy and Latin percussion with Marcos Reyes from the renowned group, “War.”
His teaching opportunities included choral and world music. He continues to teach World Music at Bakersfield College and at Kern Valley State Prison as part of the Inmate Scholars Program. Prior experience includes four years teaching music at Valencia and Villa Park High Schools. He received the Norman Levan Scholar of the Year Award in 2017 and was asked to present a Colloquium of his music to the Faculty and Staff of Bakersfield College on March 31, 2017. He was awarded the Howard Swan Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award by the California American Choral Directors Association in July, 2016 and the Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award by his colleagues at Bakersfield College in 2013. He is Past-President of the Music Association of California Community Colleges and Past-President of the American Choral Directors Association Western Division following six years as Repertoire and Standards Chair for Ethnic and Multicultural Perspectives at state, division, and national levels. He was the 2007 California Music Educators Association Multicultural Educator of the Year.
The Bakersfield College Chamber Singers under his direction performed at state, division, and national ACDA conventions. He recently adjudicated choral music festivals at College of the Sequoias, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Cal. State Univ. Long Beach, Fresno State University, Bakersfield High School, Santa Rosa Community College, University of Southern California, and the Bali International Choral Festival. Recent guest conducting opportunities include the Santa Monica/Malibu School District Honor Choirs, Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra with the Bakersfield College Choirs, Hoʻolōkahi Choir Festival and Oahu Sacred Choral Music Festivals in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the world premiere performance of his “Yeats in Love” choral cycle in Sligo, Ireland, the birthplace of William Butler Yeats. He conducted the official world premiere of "Normandy,"at the American Cemetery in Normandy, France on July 4, 2019 as part of the 75th anniversary of the Allied Invasion of Europe. This is a commission from the Cuesta College Concord Choir.