The Gallery Performing Arts School 113 West First Street, Dixon, IL 61021 815/285-4924  

Broadening each student's exposure to the many facets of the Arts through Master Classes,
    workshops and performances by professional teachers and musicians.

Kathy Hann

Kathy Hann King, Artistic Director of VIVA Performing Arts School, holds her Bachelor's Degree in Performance from NIU, advanced studies in Early Music and Harpsichord from Converse College, Spartanburg, S.C. and is a Yamaha certified teacher. She has developed a successful, contemporary approach to teaching piano to both children and adults.  For over 25 years she has implemented her programs in private schools and performing arts centers throughout the states of South Carolina and Illinois.

Her students have won many scholarships and competitions, including first place in the Chandler Starr Miller Solo Piano Competition at the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, as well as audition winners for solo performances in one of the largest music festivals, Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, SC. She is a member of the NMTA, IMTA, and the SCMTA.

Tim Boles

Tim Boles, Director of Drama programs, won the All-State Theater Award in 1979. He was one of 20 students chosen from over 1,000 auditioned to perform the new Story Theater Technique at the Krannert Performing Arts Center at the University of Illinois.

He has worked at Timberlake Playhouse and has performed workshops in the Sterling Community Schools. Mr. Boles is currently Artistic Director of the Canterbury Singers, a regional Choral Society devoted to the performance and promotion of English Choral Music.


Lauren Canitia, is a graduate from the Conservatory of Music at Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL), where she earned a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in Pedagogy. She teaches Suzuki and traditional violin and viola, and has worked extensively with the Suzuki program at the Community School of the Arts at Wheaton College. Lauren is certified in the Suzuki Method and Musikgarten, and is an active member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

She has studied violin with Wei-Shu Wang Co, Paul Zafer and Lee Joiner, and did her Suzuki training with Rebecca Sandrok and Nancy Jackson. While teaching violin to young children, Lauren often incorporates her Musikgarten training. Although Lauren's passion is teaching, she has performed all over the Chicago area at various churches and in orchestras such as the Fox Valley Orchestra and Chicagoland Pops Orchestra.

Constance Deal

Constance Deal, violin, began her musical training in Hickory, North Carolina. Her summers were spent in study at Brevard Music Camp, Brevard, North Carolina and later at the National Music Camp, Interlochen, Michigan. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in violin performance from Converse College, Spartanburg, South Carolina. She studied with Varton Manoogian, Jeri Lucktenburg, Gabriel Pegas, and Louise Polay.

Ms. Deal is a registered Suzuki violin teacher with the American Suzuki Association. She teaches ages 2 ½ and up in the Annawan, Geneseo, Peru (at MUSIC SUITE 408).

Ms. Deal is an active member of the Knox-Galesburg Symphony Orchestra and performs regularly at local churches and community functions. She is a founding member of the Piano Trio Music to Remember which performs at weddings and special occassions. She and her students have performed the National Anthem at games for the Peoria Chiefs Baseball team and the Peoria Rivermen Hockey team, recitals at the Hegeler Carus Mansion (LaSalle), the Reddick Mansion (Ottawa), Jeremiah Joes Coffee shop in Ottawa, and not to leave out her "Violins on Tour" at Christmas at nursing homes in the LaSalle-Peru area and the Geneseo Christmas Walk.

Ashley Fitzwater, violinist, is a teacher and performer in the Chicago area. She was appointed concertmaster of the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra in 2011, and holds a Master’s degree from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor’s degree from Wichita State University, both in Violin Performance. Ashley has studied with Mathias Tacke, Richard Young, John Harrison, and Nancy Luttrell. Before moving to Illinois, Ashley was a member of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and she performed occasionally with the Wichita Grand Opera. She has attended the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Brevard Music Festival. Throughout her career, she has been an active chamber musician.

Ashley maintains a private studio in the Sycamore, Batavia, La Salle-Peru, and Dixon areas. Ashley is an active member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and is also trained to teach Music Together classes, and does so, in Sycamore and in the Elmhurst area.

Carolyn Guido

Carolyn Guido, is a graduate of Northern Illinois University. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Studies. She studied in London at Kingston University Fall 2010, and has just moved to Chicago. She attended New Orleans Center for Creative Arts with a concentration in Musical Theatre. She has danced for 18 years and trained in classical ballet, jazz, tap, and musical theatre dance, She danced with the Delta Festival Ballet Company in New Orleans, LA.

She has choreographed many shows for high school and middle school aged young adults. She received a Ginny award from her choreography in Beauty and the Beast in Slidell, LA. Recently she directed and choreographed a shortened version of Singin in the Rain for Northern Illinois University's Summer in the Arts Theatre Camp.

Ashley Mekeel

Ashley Mekeel, holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Iowa in Piano Performance with an emphasis in Collaborative Piano.  She also received her undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa in Music Education and Piano Performance.  Ashley was an active piano accompanist/collaborator in the Iowa City area during her college years.  Her major teachers have included Dr. Rene Lecuona, Shari Rhoads, and Christine Rutledge. Ashley is a registered piano teacher through the Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program. In June 2012, Ashley had ten students successfully pass the piano exam, enrolling from the preparatory level through level 7.

In addition to being employed by Viva! Performing Arts School, Ashley is employed by Illinois Valley Community College as the adjunct faculty piano instructor, and as a piano instructor at Fox River Academy of Music and Art, Inc. in Oswego.  In Ashley's spare time, she enjoys collaborating with vocalists. 


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