Author, singer, and voice pedagogue Kari Ragan was the 2012 recipient of the coveted Van L. Lawrence Fellowship. The Fellowship is awarded to candidates who have demonstrated excellence in their profession as singing teachers, and who have shown interest in, and knowledge of, voice science. The award is given jointly by The Voice Foundation (the world’s oldest and leading organization dedicated to voice research, medicine, science, and education) and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).  The topic of Dr. Ragan’s research for this fellowship was “The Efficacy of Vocal Cool-down Exercises for Singers”.

Dr. Ragan earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree (2005) in vocal performance from the University of Washington, and both a Master of Music (1991), and Bachelor of Music (1987) in vocal performance from the prestigious Indiana University School of Music. Dr. Ragan was the recipient of the NATS Foundation Pedagogy Award in 2009; The New York Singing Teachers (NYSTA) Association’s Distinguished Voice Professional Certificate in 2010; and the Wicklund Singing Voice Specialist Certificate in 2011. In the fall of 2010, Dr. Ragan joined the University of Washington voice faculty teaching graduates and undergraduates applied voice, vocal pedagogy, Italian diction, and French art song literature. She also served on the UW Advisory Board of the Musical Theatre Degree program in collaboration with the Dance and Drama Departments.

For over thirty-five years, Dr. Ragan has maintained a vibrant independent voice studio filled with singers from multiple genres. Although her primary performing was is in the classical genre, she has additionally specialized in teaching contemporary commercial music (CCM).  Her avocational and professional students perform in all styles of singing and a variety of skill levels. Many of her students perform with opera companies throughout the U.S. and regularly perform with music theatre productions, including national Broadway tours. They have also won major competitions such as NATSSA and Metropolitan Opera National Council (MONC). Some of her independent artists perform throughout the world.

Since making her operatic debut as the three heroines in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Spokane Opera, Kari Ragan has been repeatedly praised for her sparkling lyric coloratura voice and dynamic stage presence. In addition, she performs as a crossover singer, having the ability to sing beautifully in Oratorio, Opera, and the Musical Theatre genres. Her additional operatic roles include Giannetta in L’Elisir D’Amore with both Opera Idaho and Helena Symphony, Frasquita in Carmen with Washington East Opera, and the Oregon premiere of Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera as Serpetta. In Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, she performed the role of Gretel with both Lyric Opera Northwest and Lake Chelan Bach Festival.

For nearly two decades, Dr. Ragan has worked as a Singing Voice Specialist (SVS) applying her specialized training in collaboration with a medical voice team to rehabilitate singers with voice injuries or pathologies. This specialized training enables her to work in affiliation with the Division of Laryngology in the Department of Otolaryngology, and the Voice Section of the Speech & Hearing Sciences Department at the University of Washington. As a result of her work as an SVS, Dr. Ragan has presented at medical voice conferences such as The Voice Foundation Symposium, Fall Voice, and the The National Center for Voice and Speech (NCVS) Conference.

Dr. Ragan frequently presents workshops and lectures in conjunction with many esteemed voice organizations including the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Pan American Vocology Association (PAVA), the International Congress of Voice Teachers (ICVT), and the Vennard Symposium. As a founding member and organizer of the Northwest Voice: Art and Science of the Performing Voice Conference, she is a frequent presenter this multi-disciplinary conference held annually in Seattle, WA. She is a charter member of the Pan American Vocology Association (PAVA), a founding member of the Northwest Chapter of the Voice Foundation, a NATS Foundation Board Member, and chair of the NATS Advancement Committee. As an author, Dr. Ragan has published in the Journal of Singing, the Journal of Voice, NYSTA’s VOICEPRINTS, and other professional journals. Dr. Ragan has served as the NATS Chat moderator since 2011. Archives of the monthly webinars may be found online at NATS.org or YouTube Official NATS channel. In April of 2020, Plural Publishing released her book A Systematic Approach to Voice: The Art of Studio Application.

Northwest Voice: The Art and Science of the Performing Voice

 National Association of Teachers of Singing National Conference, Inc.

Pan American Vocology Association

The Voice Foundation