If you’re curious about who I am and what I do in the world, the answer is fairly easy, if not exactly simple: a lot of different things. If you’d like the more staid professional recap, keep reading or scrolling, it’s down there waiting for you or you can visit my LinkedIn profile.
As a kid, I knew I wanted to do a lot of things, like we all do. I loved playing the piano and my clarinet and singing and listening to music. I relished stringing words together and teasing them into stories. I enjoyed and enjoyed enjoying art, whether it was art I made for myself or things created by other people that I wanted everyone else to appreciate too. I revered the teachers that taught me these things and so many other things that fired up my mind and brought me joy.
When it came to deciding what I wanted to do in the world as I grew older, a path made itself clear: going to school for music was an excellent choice since I’d already honed my skills for it for so long, and I was extremely fortunate to have the chance to do so at a great school with fantastic teachers and colleagues. When I landed in Washington, D.C. after graduating from college, the path began to go in varied directions and take different shapes: Play? Write? Teach? Design? Manage? As is true for most lives lived in service of art, the answer was never one path at a time, and I’ve pursued skill in all of them.
From a basis in classical symphonic and opera music, I began to branch out into theater work and rock music as well as spend time as a touring musician, learning new instruments (so many new instruments), drafting artwork for show promotion and for its own sake, honing the craft of writing about art and as art itself, better understanding everything I did as I explained it to those learning from me and working with me. Every time I was given a chance to expand my skills, I leapt to do so, experiencing art both as performer and audience and also shaping the dreams of those I worked with and for by bridging that connection through careful administration and innovative marketing. All of those paths form an inextricable weave of understanding and experience which brings depth and nuance to every step in the process from first thought to final applause that I strive to pass on to those I teach.
Why am I relating this here? Because if you work with me in any of these facets of my life, you’re going to get a little bit of all of them. I believe that we as people are not and should never, never be made a singular facet of what we love and what we do. People are too interesting when you get to know more of the things that make them tick for that to hold any interest for very long, and that’s the energy and purpose I bring to everything I do.
If you’re still here and still reading this, I’d like to hope that’s something that sounds interesting to you. If you’d like the roadmap and history of how I got here, my professional bio is below. If you’d like to see if our paths align moving forward and where that path will take you, get in touch with me on the Contact page.
Katherine Ravenwood is a passionate and active multi-instrumentalist, writer, educator, and music administrator currently based in the Washington, D.C. area.
As an accomplished musical theater, chamber and orchestral musician, she has appeared in performances across the United States. She has served as the principal clarinetist with the Mantovani Orchestra, and has appeared as a soloist with groups such as the Maryland Chamber Orchestra and Great Noise Ensemble. Performing on woodwind instruments from the flute, clarinet, and saxophone families as well as on oboe and English horn, keyboards and vocals, much of her performance work takes place in pit orchestras for various local and touring musical theater and opera productions. As a founding member of Great Noise Ensemble, she has performed in the world, national and regional premieres of works by composers such as Louis Andriessen, including commissions by composers Armando Bayolo, Sarah Horick, and Michael Finissy. Currently she performs on keyboards and woodwinds with the Magical Mystery Girls, an all-woman Beatles tribute band, and performs regularly at theaters and with ensembles in the Washington, D.C. area. She appears on the recordings eXchange: China, performing Kawai Shiu’s Winter Tide and on Great Noise Ensemble’s Guerrilla New Music.
She maintains an active teaching studio throughout the year and regularly serves as an adjudicator and clinician for area competitions and school music programs. Her students perform in recitals and concerts throughout the year and have participated in many festivals, competitions, honors bands and orchestras, and have gone on to pursue successful careers in the arts and other distinguished fields. Since 2015 she has served as the Director of the Clarinet Choir for Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras.
As an arts administrator, she has worked with a diverse selection of performing arts organizations to support various functions including communications and marketing, development, board building, web design and social media presence, performance logistics and internal staff administration. As an arts consultant, she works regularly with area performers to coordinate their marketing and PR campaigns, design websites, and plan performances. She has also served as the Managing Director of Great Noise Ensemble, overseeing the growth of Washington D.C.’s premiere new music ensemble from a grass-roots community collective to a nationally-recognized presence in the arts, and has coordinated their performances from intimate venues such as D.C.’s Sitar Center and Sumner School to internationally recognized spaces such as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and New York’s Symphony Space and the legendary Bang On A Can Marathon.
She received her Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance from Arizona State University, where she studied with Robert Spring.