Gwen received her Bachelor's of Music in Vocal Performance from UNC-G, her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance at LSU, and pursued further training in Manhattan.
Gwen then worked in Manhattan with Metropolitan opera singers, agents and conductors, traveled in Europe working for an opera conductor, and worked as personal assistant to a world renowned opera singer for the last 23 years. These experiences have been incredibly rewarding and have helped Gwen bring a fresh perspective to her voice and drama training. She considers her years of hearing and seeing the best the world has to offer to have been the most excellent and nurturing teacher of all.
Gwen served as choral director for the Charlotte Home Educators Association’s Carolina Youth Chorale for three years, and provided opportunities for these students to experience the joy of musical theatre. The CYC Players’ final production of Little Women was performed at Elevation Blakeney to great reviews.
She is excited to offer this unique set of classes at Eagles' Wings Studio. Dubbed by a colleague as the Ms. Frizzle of musical theatre, she loves unpacking the hidden voice and actor within. She considers it a privilege to nudge, cajole, throw pom-poms, and use comical torture devices so that a student can feel free to be silly or make ridiculous sounds in order to discover those hidden voices. Teaching a student is like leading him on a fantastic journey to seek a treasure chest, that once opened, becomes his inheritance forever.
Music is a powerful element in our lives and in the lives of all humans, and Gwen finds it exciting to share this with others. She says, "Have you ever noticed how we come fully equipped with our own exquisite instrument that identifies us and helps to define who we are and how and where we soar? Think of your mom’s voice…now make that voice sing. Smile!"
From a very young age, Karen fell in love with the performing arts. After graduating with a BFA degree in Dance from the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts, Karen set sail on Royal Caribbean’s Nordic Prince as a dancer for Greg Thompson Productions. Upon disembarking 6 months later, she moved to NYC where she continued to study dance. Eventually, Karen became a company member at the Light Opera of Manhattan (LOOM) where she performed in Naughty Marietta, HMS Pinafore, Give My Regards to Broadway, and The Pirates of Penzance. During this time she had the privilege of being under the musical direction of Todd Ellison. After completing her internship at LOOM, she was cast in Downtown Cabaret Theatre’s (CT) production of The Boyfriend and later, Sugar, for which she understudied the lead role of Sugar Kane. In addition to continuing her dance training, she also studied voice under Ron Cappon, took a musical theatre performance class with Larry Moss, and studied acting at Herbert Berghoff Studios (NYC). Karen is currently studying acting (Meisner Technique) with Kelley Hinman. She is delighted to be a part of Eagles' Wings Studio.
Matt is joining Eagles' Wings this year as acting coach for our senior company show Holiday Inn and vocal coach for senior company young men.
Elijah brings 11 years of acting experience to Eagles Wings studio. He has a passion for putting on good theatre, and helping others reach their full potential as actors. He’s studied various areas and aspects of theatre including the Elements of Theatre, improv, Meisner technique, and 6 years of musical theatre training. In the past several years he has performed as Ephraim in 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, Curly in Oklahoma!, and Harold Hill in The Music Man. Last year he stage managed for Seussical Jr, and was in charge of props and sets. Elijah thoroughly enjoys coaching acting, and is looking forward to training and preparing actors in EW in the 2018-19 season.