Solis, Choir of the Sun, (originally Solis Camerata) began in 2011 at Arizona State University as an early music choir. Solis now performs in their ninth season as a professional choir of eight to sixty-six singers in Phoenix, Arizona. Their repertoire draws from a wide variety of early music styles such as chant, polyphony, folk songs, oratorio, video game, and film music as well as contemporary compositions. Phoenix audiences enjoy the alluring elegance of early music through concerts that reveal the historical, aesthetic and philosophical importance of ancient secular and sacred music.
Solis performed three times with Emmy-Award Winning Composer, Ramin Djawadi for the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience (2017, 2018, 2019). They sang with the famous band, The Eagles, in 2021 and Irish band, The Chieftains in 2012. Solis performed with Andrea Bocelli for this "In Concert for Valentine's" international tour in 2022. Additionally, they have performed twice with Arnie Roth and the Phoenix Symphony for Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy (2016 and 2019). They sang for the Phoenix Sing festival, which presented the music of world-renowned choral composer and guest of the festival Morten Lauridsen. Solis appeared with the Phoenix Symphony for the Zelda, Symphony of the Goddesses concert in November 2017. In 2016, Solis Camerata had the honor of performing at the 2016 ACDA Western Division Conference, in February 2016 in Pasadena, California.
Solis collaborates yearly with Catholic Phoenix to produce the Sacred Music Concert Series, a yearly music program highlighting historical music of the church. The ensemble has also performed for and with Bartholomew Faire, Cornua Irae, the Phoenix Symphony, Classical Revolution Phoenix, the Chaucer Festival at ASU, The Irish Cultural Center, the Arizona Bach Festival, Phoenix Early Music Society’s Kaleidoscope Concert, Christ Church of the Ascension’s Second Sunday Concert Series (an ASU Herberger Institute School of Music Community partnership), Arizona ProArt’s program Shakespeare in the Desert, and Pinnacle Presbyterian Church’s Time out for the Arts concert series.
FOUNDER AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Dr. Rugen is an active conductor, composer, and professional soprano. Kira currently serves as choral and musical theatre faculty at Scottsdale Community College where she is music directing RENT in spring of 2023. She is honored to be nominated for a 2022 AriZoni Theatre Award of Excellence for Musical Direction of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder for her work with the SCC Musical Theatre program in Spring of 2022. Now in her twenty-fourth year as a music educator, she is excited to direct and renew the performance spirit in the choir program at Scottsdale Community College. Over the years, Kira has greatly enjoyed being the Music Director of Broadway shows such as Clue: The Musical, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, The Music Man, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Oklahoma, Godspell, Les Misérables (School Edition), Grease, and Once Upon a Mattress.
As a faculty associate at Arizona State University, she conducted Schola Cantorum, the SATB choir for music majors, and Choral Union, the 100+ community choir. In 2011, she founded Solis (formerly Solis Camerata), a professional early music choir in Phoenix which performed in February 2016 at the American Choral Directors Association Conference in Pasadena, California.She previously worked as a faculty member at Grand Canyon University, where she taught Music History, Conducting, and Fundamentals of Music and Culture for Diverse Learners. Additionally, she worked at Arizona Christian University as the Director of Choral Activities and Musical Theater.
Dr. Rugen is in her nineteenth season as a soprano with the Phoenix Chorale. Her album credits include their 2009 Grammy award-winning album for Best Small Ensemble, A Spotless Rose, as a soloist. Additionally, she sang on the 2016 Grammy Award Winning album for Best Choral Performance, Rachmaninoff, All Night Vigil.
As a member of Anúna (Ireland’s National Choir) under the direction of Michael McGlynn, Dr. Rugen has performed in Dublin, and throughout China and Japan.
In February 2008, she sang in the Carnegie Hall Young Artist Concert Series under the direction of Ton Koopman, performing the music of G.F. Handel. Additionally, she has sung as a soloist nationally and internationally at Lincoln Center, Durham University for the Norvis Early Music Festival, China’s National Center for the Performing Arts and in Italy, Ireland, and Korea.
Kira is an emerging film composer and is a recent 2022 award winner for Best Original Score/Best Composer for the short film, MusArt, in twenty different film festivals. These awards include the Cine Paris Film Festival, Berlin Short Film Festival, San Francisco Arthouse Short Festival, New York Cinema Independent Awards, Tokyo Film Awards, Athvikvaruni International Film Festival, Diamond Bell International Film Festival, Dreamz Catcher International Film Festival, Halicarnassus Film Festival, Halo International Film Festival, Nitiin International Film Festival, Oregon Documentary Film Festival, Parai Musical International Awards, Phoenix Shorts, San Diego Art Film Awards, Vegas Shorts, and Moscow Shorts.
As a choral composer, Dr. Rugen’s pieces have been performed by the Phoenix Chorale, Resonance Singers, Northwestern Oklahoma University Singers, Vox Musica, Master Chorale of Flagstaff, Phoenix Chorale, SolisInspirare Nova, ASU Men’s Choir, Pinnacle Presbyterian Chancel Choir, and Orpheus Male Chorus. In November 2017 she traveled to Brittany France to conduct the premiere of her piece, Saint-Brieuc Magnificat, with the children and youth choirs at St. Brieuc Cathedral. They went on to perform that piece in Barcelona for the Congrès de Barcelone 2018 - Pueri Cantores, July 2018,