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Elizabeth Ragsdale

Elizabeth Ragsdale image

Artist • Composer • Lyricist • Publisher

Artist • Composer • Lyricist • Publisher

With their lyrical melodies, distinctive treatments, and timeless messages, Elizabeth Ragsdale’s vocal solos and hymn medleys are comfort music for performer and listener alike. The wide-ranging styles and accessible scores make these pieces ideal for church musicians who want to explore new music with minimal preparation.

As a lifelong learner, Elizabeth has expanded on her university music studies with online courses and private instruction. The piano has been her constant companion through careers in teaching, publishing, and art. The meticulous aesthetic she has honed as a book designer is evident in her beautifully crafted compositions.

As music co-chair at her church, Elizabeth recognized the need for vocal and instrumental music that speaks to contemporary audiences while honoring tradition. Fun to perform and inspiring to hear, her vocal solos feature memorable melodies, clear notation, and sight-readability. She writes most of her lyrics, reflecting an in-depth study of Christian literature.

Each of her hymn medleys includes at least one hymn from the Christian Science Hymnal and one or more tunes in a variety of genres such as classical, pop, folk, and gospel. A wide variety of styles are woven together in cohesive yet surprising ways. Numerous transition points in the medleys allow the church musician to readily meet the needs of any service.

Elizabeth lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and loves to dance and draw almost as much as she loves to write music. She dedicates these compositions to her mother, who supported her every creative endeavor.

Audience and Press Reviews

  • “I am a church musician and require new material that is appropriate for preludes, postludes, and communion on a regular basis. I was delighted to find this collection of hymn arrangements for piano to use in this context. They are lovely, inspirational, and memorable in every sense. AND they are quite playable. I can sight-read many of the arrangements, which is really helpful. Every time I play one of the arrangements, some member of the congregation will comment on how beautiful the piece was. Music is such an important part of worship, and these arrangements open the airwaves for prayer. I have adapted some arrangements for the organ, and they work very well. Keep writing, Elizabeth. I am ready to play more of your work!”

    — Elaine Mischler, Waunakee, WI

  • "What an amazing and wonderful collection of hymn medleys! Thank you so much for all your dedication to this task?it is so worthwhile. Somehow your selections are both soothing and exhilarating. When I see or hear something really beautiful, tears usually well up at some point, and that happened toward the end of listening to the medleys, as I realized what you have managed to creatively, musically accomplish."

    — Thomas Young, Middleton, WI

  • "Your devotion to each aspect of the hymn project echoes a sort of divine unity that brings healing as we hear familiar hymns in new ways. As a lover of hymns I find your work to be spontaneous, soul-filled, and fun. Great work and thank you for sharing."

    — Ginger Mack Emden, Middleton, WI

  • "Seeing and hearing are believing. When you see how playable these scores are and hear how rich and varied they are, the only question left to answer is which one to play next!"

    — Michael Butkus-Bomier, Madison, WI