currently serves as a lecturer of voice at Texas State University after terms at the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of the Incarnate Word. Originally from Southern California, she received her doctorate in vocal pedagogy at the University of Texas at Austin under Darlene Wiley and Ruth Ann Swenson. She also has a master’s in Opera Performance from UT Austin under the direction of Dr. Robert DeSimone. Dr. Cates began teaching in 2007 and specializes in vocal health, age-appropriate material, musical interpretation and applying classical vocal technique to many genres, including opera, classical, pop, folk and musical theater. An active soloist with many orchestras and ensembles, she has most recently performed with the Inland Master Chorale, Missouri Symphony, Riverside Opera, and the Texas Music Educators Association. She has performed operatic roles in , , and and has extensive experience in performing musical theater.