Music Instructors

Sara Caligiuri

Voice Instructor

Sara-9 1

Sara Caligiuri is a recent graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University with degrees in Music and English. During her time at IWU, Sara participated in the touring Collegiate Choir under the direction of Dr. Scott Ferguson, as well as main stage opera productions, most notably as Marchellia in Le Nozze di Figaro.  She also had the pleasure of premiering three original roles in her time at IWU, including two with Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre. Sara has also directed an original opera entitled Madness Majestica by composer Richie Zola in collaboration with the IWU New Music Series.  In addition to her time at IWU, Sara also spent a semester in Milan, Italy studying opera with the Assistant Director of La Scala, Stefano Simone Pintor. Sara specializes in teaching opera technique, as well as musical theatre.

Dawn Harkins 

Dawn Harkins

Royal Conservatory of Music Certified Teacher

 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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  • School of Performing Arts

    "Where Performers Learn Their Craft"

    Proudly offering classes and lessons in the following categories:

    We specialize in voice and piano. We also offer training in voice and piano via the Royal Conservatory Development Program (Canada)
    Youth Theatre, Improv, and Musical Theatre
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