STUDENTS TAKE THE STAGE FOR NEW MUSICAL ENSEMBLE!

[Crystal Lake, IL] – March 29, 2022 – On March 22nd, Raue Center School For The Arts students took the stage at Raue Center to perform their first showcase as members of the newly formed Youth Musical Theatre Ensemble (YMTE)!

A small but mighty team, the six YMTE students performed selected songs from beloved stage musicals such as Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Shrek, The Secret Garden, Next To Normal, and Mean Girls, with each student featured several times throughout the showcase. Additional lights and sound were provided by Jarrod Bainter, Technical Director, and supported by staff members Jessica Urban and Billy Seger to help elevate the aesthetic of the performance.

“The beauty of this class is that every session will be different, with material that gives everyone a moment in the spotlight while learning how to be a good ensemble member as well,” says class instructor Alayna DeVar, Education Coordinator/Lead Instructor for Raue Center. “The performance was highly regarded and the kids quite literally wouldn’t leave the theatre. We will be running this class again and I look forward to seeing how this class grows and evolves over time.”

The Youth Musical Theatre Ensemble, geared toward students aged 14-18, focuses on vocal technique that expands beyond solo singing into small and large group ensembles. Students enrolled in the class can look forward to musical theatre songs they’ve always wanted to sing, but have not had the back up vocals to bring them fully to life . The collaborative atmosphere, paired with DeVar’s rich background in vocal instruction and pedagogy, makes for the ultimate experience in group singing.

Risk. Explore. Create. Raue Center School For The Arts looks forward to bringing this class back in the Fall of 2022. Until then, be sure to check out rauecenter.org/education or visit facebook.com/rcschoolforthearts for updates on more exciting opportunities, including a brand new Summer Camp experience aptly called “Camp RCSA.” Those looking to enroll students in RCSA programs should be reminded that the institution’s RaueNOW Family Membership offers a 25% discount on enrollment fees for all RCSA classes and workshops as well as an additional 30% discount on select Raue Center programming throughout the year. Scholarship opportunities are also available by contacting rcsaeducation@rauecenter.org.

Raue Center currently requires masks for all patrons 2+. For more information, visit rauecenter.org/covid/. For questions or concerns, please contact our Box Office at 815-356-9212.

About Raue Center For The Arts

Raue Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of all through the arts. For 20 years, they have provided quality programming – striving to make it pertinent, available, and affordable to all. As a painstakingly restored, 1920s regional showcase theatre named for its benefactor—Lucile Raue—Raue Center has attracted the finest stars, Broadway shows, musicians and artists. Named on the League of Historic American Theatres, Raue Center is one of the finest examples of restored art and decor in the nation. The 750-seat theatre, located in historic downtown Crystal Lake, Illinois, is a gathering place for our region’s citizens and has become a true destination. 

More information and tickets are available by visiting www.rauecenter.org or by calling the box office at (815) 356-9212. For additional information, visit rauecenter.org, facebook.com/RaueCenter, and twitter.com/RaueCenter.

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Teaching is an Art

Amanda Flahive takes a traditional selfie with students after a showcase performance on Raue Center’s stage. 

Teaching artist Amanda Flahive shares why performing arts education is so important to her.

As a kid growing up in rural Kankakee County, IL, I always knew I loved performing…but didn’t have quite the right place to do that.  I sang “The Sound of Music” into my Fisher-Price tape deck for an audience of stuffed animals, I danced through the living room and entertained everyone who would listen with dramatic interpretations of my favorite Little Golden Books—so it was pretty clear early on that I was headed for the stage!

In spite of my performing ambitions, my small community didn’t offer much in the realm of arts opportunities—it was during my time at college studying for my career as a performer that I discovered my love of sharing the magic of theatre with kids like me.  I love teaching all ages of kids about the joy of theatre and how it can make a difference in their lives, or even become their career.  While I am fortunate enough to call myself a working actor, I often say that teaching is the other half of my “theatre soul.”  As much as I love getting on stage in front of an audience, belting a big number, and digging deep into a role, I also love teaching young performers how to harness that same energy that gets them singing into their hairbrushes in their bedroom mirrors and turn it into a compelling onstage moment. 

As we’ve built the RCSA program, I’ve been fortunate enough to witness many of our students grow from their first class as “dramatic personalities” into confident, vibrant young artists…some of whom have already started incredible professional careers.  While not everyone ends up on a Broadway stage, it’s what we learn along the way that shapes us as human beings—and it is such a gift to meet these kids as they discover their path. Teaching them is my honor and privilege—and I look forward to being part of their journey, wherever it takes them!

Amanda Flahive is an actor and instructor with Raue Center School For The Arts. She will be teaching RCSA’s High School Musical Theatre Workshop June 6 – 17, 2022. For more information about this and Raue Center’s other education workshops and summer camps visit rauecenter.org/education.

RCSA ANNOUNCES INSTRUCTORS FOR INAUGURAL SEMESTER

On their 20th Anniversary, Raue Center looks to the next 20 years and beyond to create a welcoming place where students of all ages can let their creativity soar! Youth and adult classes! Private, semi-private, and group workshops! Masterclasses with industry professionals! Raue Center School For The Arts (RCSA) is poised to be your “one-stop-shop” in arts education!

Modeled as a conservatory program, Raue Cenyer School For The Arts encourages students to build a curriculum that plays to their specific strengths and interests within the ever-changing landscape of theatrical and instrumental arts. Meet the amazing roster of instructors lined up for the inaugural semester.

Meet Aldren Briones, Instructor for Raue Center School for the Arts in a number of disciplines! Aldren is a vital member of the Piano Trends staff and a talented musician in a variety of instruments. He studied Vocal Performance at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Aldren has worked as a children’s music director with Children’s Theatre of Elgin, Arts Center of St. Charles, and also works as an accompanist and worship leader for Fil-Am Baptist Church. He is also a frequent guest on “Lifting Spirits Through Music” on Facebook and YouTube. Come “lift your spirits through music” with Aldren as your Instructor through RCSA.

Meet Amy Nelson, our Brass Instructor for Raue Center School for the Arts! Amy graduated with her music degree from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb. Since then, Amy has toured with groups and orchestras both regionally and nationally, including a gig as a member of Adele’s backup orchestra when Adele performed at the United Center in Chicago. She also has a few Broadway tours under her belt, including “Fiddler On the Roof.”

Meet Ashley Beleny, a Piano Instructor for Raue Center School for the Arts!
Ashley has a passion for teaching piano and has been playing since the age of 5. She also grew up singing in professional children’s choirs and started playing the guitar when she went to college (much easier to transport than a piano). She is currently learning to play the cello… a true testament that it’s never too late to learn a new instrument! Ashley plays mostly classical music on piano but has taught a wide range of styles in both one-on-one and group settings for students aged pre-school through adult.
Meet Bruce Waters, our Guitar/Bass/Ukulele Instructor for Raue Center School for the Arts! Bruce is a lifelong resident of the area and a big part of the music scene locally. He has worked with major artists like Ricky Skaggs at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, he is or has been a member of Pirates On 40 and Sweetwater among other bands. Bruce teaches and works with children and adults alike on both acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitar, ukulele, and percussion. Learn from one of the best in the biz with Bruce as your Guitar/Bass/Ukulele Instructor through RCSA.
Education Coordinator and instructor Alayna DeVar is now offering Private Voice Instruction through RCSA, in addition to two exciting Musical Theatre Ensembles: Youth MTE & Adult MTE! Alayna holds a degree in Vocal Performance from Millikin University where she studied Vocal Pedagogy and received excellent ensemble training from her time in the internationally recognized University Choir. She has been teaching private lessons since 2013 and began music directing and conducting for musicals in 2014. She worked as Vocal Director for Celebrity Cruise Lines and occasionally visits Nashville for private coaching with industry professionals.
Realize your full vocal potential with Alayna as your Voice Instructor through RCSA.
Meet John Benedeck, one of our Piano Instructors for Raue Center School for the Arts!
John grew up in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago and has been a pianist since he was six. Since then, he has implemented music in everything he does. Whether he is leading a worship team for his church, accompanying the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field, or creating original music for podcasts and short films, John seeks the joy in music without compromise. Experience that same joy in music firsthand with John as your Piano Instructor through RCSA.

RCSA, your “one-stop-shop” in performing arts education! For enrollment information, please contact rcsa@rauecenter.org or visit our website for more details: https://www.rauecenter.org/education/

About Raue Center For The Arts

Raue Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of all through the arts. For 20 years, they have provided quality programming – striving to make it pertinent, available, and affordable to all. As a painstakingly restored, 1920s regional showcase theatre named for its benefactor—Lucile Raue—Raue Center has attracted the finest stars, Broadway shows, musicians and artists. Named on the League of Historic American Theatres, Raue Center is one of the finest examples of restored art and decor in the nation. The 750-seat theatre, located in historic downtown Crystal Lake, Illinois, is a gathering place for our region’s citizens and has become a true destination. 

For additional information, visit rauecenter.org or call the Box Office at 815.356.9212.