Music Instructors

Gretchen Canfield

Voice Instructor

Gretchens pic reduced

Soprano Gretchen Canfield began her singing career as a member of the singing Albrecht family, awarded the Ohio Music Family of the Year, in 1977. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, she made her New York debut in the title role of the musical Lola at the York Theatre. Ms. Canfield has appeared with the Brevard Summer Opera, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Kansas City Starlight Theater, and was a soprano soloist with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. She was joined by John O’Hurley singing together in Joshua Logan’s autobiographical story, I Remember It Well, and toured in the National Broadway production of The Pirates of Penzance, performing the role of Mabel. In the Chicago area she has appeared at the Goodman Theatre, the Forum Theatre, and with the Chicago Gilbert and Sullivan Society. 

Ms. Canfield has served as the director of choirs and as a soloist at the Naperville Congregational Church, now the New Covenant Church. A member of the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, she specializes in classical vocal training and technique.

Dawn HarkinsDawn Harkins

 Voice & Musical Theatre Instructor

Dawn Harkins is a professional singer/actress with a wide vocal range and colour. She’s been seen on stage for Theatre Building Chicago’s Monday Night Musicals, Northbrook Theatre, a 2-year run with American Girl Theatre as a principle adult actor playing multiple roles, including GrandMary. Dawn has sung internationally in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Japan, the Philippine Islands, China... and The Loire Valley, France. In May, 2009 she debuted her cabaret, “DAWN OF A NEW DAY!”, presented at Davenport’s Cabaret in Chicago and released her solo album of the same title January 2010. Her album, “DAWN OF A NEW DAY!” was recently featured along with an interview on KPOV FM radio’s “Curtain Call” with DJ Patty Davis. Other recording credits include featured solos on Heartland Voices’ Christmas CD, HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS. She is a graduate of the International Cabaret Conference at Yale University. Dawn released her second solo album, "THIS IS ROMANCE" in September 2011.

To listen to clips, purchase either album, or view her portfolio, please visit her website at 



Robin Rotela

Voice InstructorRobin piano

Robin has a masters in music education from Vandercook College of Music, along with several years experience in voice teaching and performing! She is classically trained but primarily sing in music theatre/cabaret styles. She is able and willing to teach multiple musical styles. Robin offers a safe, comfortable environment where students will work to improve their vocal skills but also have fun and enjoy their passion for singing!!


"Robin Rotela is an excellent voice teacher who knows how to balance the technical with the artistic. She not only has been successful at teaching my daughter the musical skills needed to be a better singer, she also has an excellent ear for the artistic nuances that make the most of my daughter's technical improvements. But perhaps best of all,she does an excellent job of working with my daughter to find music that notonly works as a teaching tool but also keeps my daughter excited to sing."

"After many years of singing professionally, in only a handful of lessons with Robin, my voice has opened up and I have reached a new level of confidence in my instrument. Working with Robin has allowed me to explore new vocal possibilities and has renewed my passion for singing."

"My 14 year old son had the good fortune to take private voice lessons from Robin Rotela for over two years. Robin prepared him for numerous auditions and plays where the vocal work has been quite complex. We saw tremendous growth vocally as a direct result of the work Robin did with him. She is dedicated to helping her students learn, improve and excel vocally in a relaxed and fun atmosphere."

Richard Trost
richard trost Piano Instructor

Richard's love of music started at an early age and can be heard throughout every performance. Richard Trost was born and raised in the Chicagoland area and has performed both instrumentally and vocally throughout his high school

and collegiate career at North Park University in Chicago. A natural born singer and musician, Richard has accompanied musical theatre performers and instrumentalists since high school and has performed in a variety of venues in the Chicago and San Francisco Bay areas. When Richard isn't playing or singing, he likes to spend time teaching Spanish, piano, voice, ESL, volunteering and spending quality time with friends and family. Richard is plays for many events and specializes in weddings.



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