Dr. Jan Nelson (she/her)

Digital Communications Manager and Chorale Director

Role at Messiah

Jan serves Messiah as the Digital Communications Manager and Chorale Director.


Jan grew up in Troutdale, Oregon, where she graduated from Reynolds High School in 1998. She has lived in various cities in Oregon and Washington, as well as briefly in Fishers, IN and Chicago, IL, but at heart she will always be an Oregon girl.


Jan attended Western Oregon University where she earned a degree in Vocal Performance in 2002 and returned to complete a second degree in Finance in 2005. She received a Masters in Vocal Performance & Pedagogy from Central Washington University in 2007, and went on to earn a Doctorate in Vocal Performance and Arts Administration from the University of Oregon in 2013. Jan teaches voice at her private vocal studio, Vaulted Voice, and currently serves on the music faculty at Highline College. She has previously served as a faculty member at Central Washington University, Western Oregon University, and Seattle Pacific University.


In her work at Messiah, Jan is most passionate about racial justice, participatory music experiences, and fostering inclusive spaces where people feel safe to express their authentic selves. Her passions as a musician and music educator are contemporary singing pedagogy, racial and gender equity (including gender identity) in the classroom, and breaking down the hierarchical divisions between classical and contemporary vocal music.

Jan’s other passions include filmmaking, feminism, and fiber arts. She is also an advocate for the Oxford Comma and every kind of cheese.

Fun Facts

Jan lives in Kent with her two children, Mercury and Cassidy. She does not have any pets, but she does have a giant stuffed unicorn that lives on her couch.