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.