Mrs. Ratigan


Welcome to the K.O. Knudson Middle School Orchestra Department! My name is Lisa Ratigan, and I am the Director of Orchestras here at K.O. Knudson Middle School Academy of the Arts.

I grew up in Las Vegas and have seen it grow from the time there were no orchestras in the schools. I graduated from Arizona State University (on full scholarship) with a Bachelors degree in Violin Performance. I then moved back to Las Vegas where I worked for Mirage Resorts Inc. for the next 15 years where I met and married my husband. We have two beautiful grown daughters who were also heavily involved in music when they were in school. You can see them visiting and helping out at some of our concerts.

Both my Mom and my Grandfather were also professional Violinists. My mom played show bands on the strip while I was growing up and would often times bring me to work with her to watch from the Light Booth. She owned and ran her own music studio and just recently retired.

I have been a contract Violinist with the Las Vegas Philharmonic for the last 20 years as well as the Upper Strings Coach at Clark High School for 12 of those years. During this time, I went back to school to pursue my Masters Degree in Music Education. I got licensed to teach in the school district and am currently starting my sixth year as the Director of Orchestras at K.O. Knudson Middle School Academy of the Arts.

I taught Violin and Viola privately and have had many students that participated in the Las Vegas Youth Orchestras which is by audition only. I also coached for the Las Vegas Youth Orchestras.

I encourage all my students to attend the American String Teachers Association Instrument Days - Violin Day, Viola Fest, Cello Day, and Bass Workshop as well as Solo & Ensemble Festival each year where they have gained knowledge and performing experience by doing so. Many of my students have gone on to have music careers of their own.

I am also a member of the National Association of Music Educators (NAfME), Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), the Las Vegas Music Teachers Association (LVMTA), the American Viola Society (AVS) and the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) and served a term as Secretary for the Las Vegas chapter of that organization.

I play on a 1764 Agustin Chappuy Violin, and a 2012 Gunther Prager Viola.