Voice pedagogue, author, Singing Voice Specialist (SVS), and soprano 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. Dr. Ragan works in affiliation with the University of Washington Laryngology program as an SVS to collaborating on a voice team in the rehabilitation of singers with injury or pathology. She also served on the UW Advisory Board of the Musical Theatre Degree program in collaboration with the Dance and Drama Departments. Dr. Ragan’s articles are found in leading voice journals including the Journal of Voice and Journal of Singing. In April 2020, Plural Publishing released her book A Systematic Approach to Voice: The Art of Studio Application.
For over thirty-five years, Dr. Ragan has maintained a vibrant independent voice studio. Although her primary performing was in the classical genre, further training has enabled her to specialize in cross-training singers from other genres such as pop, rock, R&B, jazz, Indian Classical, and more. 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 in multiple genres.
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 at 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. 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. Dr. Ragan will serve as a Faculty Master Teacher at the NATS Intern Program in June of 2021.