Gwen Berger

Director

Jr./Sr. Company Instructor

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!"

Karen Vitco

Assistant Director

Jr./Sr. Company Instructor

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.

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Raina Johnston Headshot

Raina Johnston

Jr. Company Dance Instructor

   Raina began her pursuit of classical ballet at the age of six.  While studying ballet, she also discovered her love of other styles of dance, including jazz and tap.  Raina initially joined Eagles’ Wings Studio as a student in 2015 and appeared in Oklahoma!, The Music Man, She Loves Me, Holiday Inn, and Tuck Everlasting!  When the Directors approached her in 2019 about teaching dance for the Jr. Company, she was overjoyed to be able to pour into her students what had been poured into her.   When not at Eagles' Wings Studio, Raina enjoys dancing, painting, sketching, reading, & writing.

 

Marni Arnold

Administrative Assistant

Marni has been involved with EWS since 2018 with her son, Christian. She has a High School choral background and enjoys the theater arts, musicals, and music in general. She holds an undergraduate science degree from Liberty University in Religion and has an extensive academic background in Biology. While her career background is in EMS/Fire, she has been a homeschooling mom to her son since 2009. She has been married to her husband, Jack, for 18+ years and has lived in the Charlotte area since 1997 – relocating to the area from Arizona.

 

She is currently pursuing Biblical Counseling Certification through IBCD (Institute of Biblical Counseling & Discipleship) Training and is an avid volunteer (as an Advancement Mentor for the older youth) in a local Trail Life USA Troop. With an administrative backbone, since 2018 she has brought her abilities to Eagles’ Wings as a volunteer in communications and photography (which is a hobby of hers). In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors (particularly the mountains), hiking and camping, as well as crocheting and knitting. She enjoys being a part of the Eagles’ Wings staff to support the mission and vision of this program and ministry.

 

She can be reached for any Eagles' Wings admin-related inquires by phone or email at: (704) 890-4799 or info@eagleswingsstudio.com between the hours of 10AM and 4PM (M-F). For voicemails/text messages, and emails, please allow 24-48 hours for a response. 

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