Anne Katherine Ragsdale, collaborative pianist and teacher, fell in love with the piano at a very early age. She began her collaborative exploration by accompanying church and school choirs. At the age of sixteen, Mrs. Ragsdale began studying piano with Dr. Joel Harrison, a professor at Mississippi State University, who exposed her to many new opportunities. In 1991, she won the Mississippi Young Artist Concerto Competition, which allowed her to perform with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. The following summer, she attended the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina. While at the festival, she was exposed to even more wonderful collaborative opportunities, such as being a part of a piano trio, learning to coach other musicians and playing in the orchestra. It was at this point that her career path began to take shape.
Mrs. Ragsdale received a Bachelor of Music in Education, emphasis in Piano Pedagogy, from Mississippi State University. A very important aspect of her time at MSU was the privilege of studying piano pedagogy under Dr. Jackie Edwards, which greatly influenced her teaching career.
Mrs. Ragsdale also attended Florida State University where she received a Master of Music in Performance in Collaborative Piano. While at FSU, she studied with Dr. Carolyn Bridger who stretched and inspired her even further. Since her collegiate days, Mrs. Ragsdale has worked for the Knoxville Opera Company and the University of Tennessee Graduate Opera Program as a coach and accompanist. Upon moving back to her home state of Mississippi, she served as an assistant professor of piano at Belhaven University and performed collaboratively with violinist, Xie Song, in the Jackson metro area.
She joined the staff at MSU in the spring of 2019 when she had the privilege to play for MSU’s opera production of Suor Angelica. Mrs. Ragsdale continues to serve as pianist for opera workshop as well as perform with MSU faculty, students and guest artists. She has come full circle in returning to Mississippi State University, her alma mater, which is very dear to her heart.