Richard Dale Sjoerdsma received his AB degree from Calvin College, an MM in voice from the University of South Dakota, and a PhD in musicology from The Ohio State University. His research and dissertation on the music of Franz Christoph Neubauer (1760–95) have rendered him an authority on this composer, resulting in contributions to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and The Grove Dictionary of Opera. Additionally, he has written articles for The NATS Journal, penned reviews for NOTES and The Piano Quarterly, and has authored a book on Neubauer published by A-R Editions.
He recently has retired from a 39-year career at Carthage College, Kenosha, WI, where he taught studio voice, opera, vocal literature and diction, voice pedagogy, and directed opera productions. During that time, he served almost three decades as Chair of the Department of Music and eight years as Chair of the Fine Arts Division. Dr. Sjoerdsma, a tenor, also has performed widely in opera, oratorio, concert, and recital, both in the US and in Western Europe, principally in Germany, but also in Sweden, Hungary, Austria, and France. Additionally, he has appeared frequently as guest clinician and adjudicator, has conducted symphony orchestras, and has led a number of voice master classes.
After having managed the "Bookshelf" column since 1972, begun under editor Harvey Ringel, Sjoerdsma was appointed Editor in Chief of Journal of Singing in 2001, a post that occupies a significant part of his retirement. He has been a member of NATS since 1971, and was invited into membership of the American Academy of Teachers of Singing (AATS) in 2002.