Ryan Sheeler is a guitarist, songwriter, composer, and music educator from Ames IA. He is co-author of From Bakersfield to Beale Street: A Regional History of American Rock 'n Roll (Kendall-Hunt) with David Stuart and Scott Anderson. Ryan is also author of Playing for Eternity: Resource Guide for the Electric Guitarist in Worship (Amazon exclusive). He received his M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (major: Music Composition/Musicology) from Iowa State in 2006, and his B.A. in Music from Iowa State in 1997. He also studied Music Theory/Composition at the University of Iowa School of Music from 1997-98. He has studied guitar with Kathy Stuart (Harmison), Howard Nord, Kent Neuman, and Todd Seelye, composition and theory with Jeffrey Prater, Craig Weston, D. Martin Jenni, and David Gompper, low brass with David Stuart, Michael Short and Robert Yeats, and conducting with James Hannon.
Ryan has performed professionally in bands, musical theater, recitals, church worship teams, and in many other settings. He has performed in the pit orchestra for the Broadway tour version of "Chicago", and for the ISU VEISHEA musical productions of "Fiddler On The Roof", "RENT", "Grease", and "Pippin". Ryan has also taught guitar in Central Iowa for many years, both independently and with Rieman Music and Ames Music Studios (both Ames IA). While on the staff at Ames Music Studios with Al and Melita Biela and Randy Baumeister, Ryan helped found the first Iowa School of Rock sessions in. Since 1991 he has served on the worship arts ministry at Christ Community Church in Ames IA.
Ryan has composed music for many ensembles large and small; and has won awards from ASCAP and the Iowa Motion Picture Association. He also has a number of independent CD releases and recording projects. Ryan's research interests are varied: American popular and roots music (especially blues, country, early rock, and Gospel music of the 1930s-1960s), the 1959 Winter Dance Party tour, Christian worship arts and theology, and guitar pedagogy. Ryan is a member of the Ames Community Arts Council, Central Iowa Blues Society, the Iowa Composers Forum, and the Iowa Rock n' Roll Music Association.