American Soprano Katie Dukes is an experienced music educator and co-founder of Studio Forza. While obtaining her graduate degree at the University of Northern Colorado, Ms. Dukes was granted a vocal teaching assistantship and taught private voice lessons to undergraduate and graduate level students. During her undergraduate degree at San Jose State University, she was the President of Mu Phi Epsilon Professional Music Fraternity (Phi Mu Chapter) and during her term co-founded the MPE Education Outreach Program where she taught the fundamentals of music to local underprivileged elementary school students. Katie is a member and adjudicator for the National Association of Teachers of Singing and she is also Secretary and co-founder of the UNC Opera Theater Society. In Europe, Ms. Dukes has participated in summer training programs at the Tyrolean Opera Program in Maurach, Austria as well as La Musica Lirica International Festival in Novafeltria, Italy. In addition to her teaching experience she is an avid performer. Recently, she made her debut with Roundabout Opera for Kids as the Baker’s Wife in Into the woods (Junior). This season, she is delighted to return as Mooch in the premiere of Mooch the Magnificent. In addition to her roles with ROK, Ms. Dukes frequently performs with Intimate Opera of Indianapolis where she performed Helen in the The Three Sisters who are not Sisters. She also participated in their “Opera On Demand” as Meg in scenes from Little Women and Mrs. Gobineau in The Medium. Ms. Dukes’ ultimate goal is to bring opera to new audiences so they can begin to cultivate a love affair with classical music. With her horn- playing husband Mike Walker, she has created Studio Forza, an organization that brings the power of music to all people. Her studio consists of all ages and levels of students in voice, beginning piano, diction, songwriting, music history and music theory.
California raised hornist Mike Walker is passionate about life, beer, french horn and all genres of music. His ultimate goal is to ignite the power of music in his students and audiences. Mr. Walker has been teaching music for over a decade. Mike earned his Bachelor's degree in horn from San José State University and his Master's degree from the University of Northern Colorado. Currently, Mr. Walker is the Associate Instructor of Horn at the prestigious Indiana University Jacob’s School of Music. Mike is currently pursuing a Doctor of Music degree in horn with a minor in music history and natural horn. Mr. Walker currently studies horn with Jeff Nelsen, Dale Clevenger and natural horn with Rick Seraphinoff. Equally at home in an Orchestra, Mike is currently the second horn of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic. Mr. Walker has also performed with the Utah Festival Opera, Bel Canto Institute, Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, San Jose Wind Symphony and is a performing artist with Melos Music. Mike is excited to team up with his Opera Singing wife Katie to create Studio Forza. Here, he will share his love of music with the Bloomington community.
Brittany Davis is a recent graduate of Indiana University with a passion for expression in many of its forms. These passions drove her to receive degrees in both Studio Art and Art History, with specializations in Photography, Bookbinding, and Classical Art and Architecture. Her adventures in teaching are only just beginning, as she is also a recent graduate of a 200-hour yoga teacher-training program. Her love of all things creative is matched only by her drive to share the things she has learned with others.
Her teaching experience includes several workshops on both bookbinding and photography, and her adventures in marketing have led her to many small business owners, private studios, and burgeoning artists.
Day-to-day life finds Ms. Davis developing her small business, Ohmmygolly Press (a book bindery that operates from her living room), day-dreaming about future world travels, and playing with her cat, Cho. She also enjoys anything/everything related to Harry Potter.
Rose Sciaroni has been teaching violin lessons since 2000 when she was first inspired to pass on her love of music. She recently relocated to Bloomington, Indiana from Austin, Texas where she had a busy career teaching over 40 students and playing herviolin as a freelance musician. While in Austin she enjoyed teaching with the Armstrong Community Music School and offered private lessons at three other local schools including the Austin Waldorf School. She also worked with the Austin Chamber Music Center, serving as a chamber music coach and Adult Division Coordinator for theSummer Festival Workshop, a coach with the In-school Chamber Music Program and a substitute coach for the Academy for Young Artists. Before teaching in Austin, she maintained her own Suzuki studio in Reno, Nevada and served as a substitute teacher for the Suzuki Music Association of Reno/Tahoe (SMART).
Rose is also an active orchestral player, holding contracts with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and, most recently, the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra. Additionally she has held a contract with the Round Rock Symphony and played in the sections of numerous other orchestras including the San Antonio Symphony, Austin Symphony, Monterey Symphony, Reno Chamber Orchestra, Mid-Texas Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic and the Texas Festival Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Rose was a member of the Nightingale String Quartet for two years and has played at the Nevada Chamber Music Festival and the Round Top Festival. When she is not involved in her passion for music and teaching, Rose enjoys cooking, reading and outdoor sports.
Dr. Diana Smith Nixon is a performer, teacher, and scholar. She has performed in several orchestras, has soloed with David Baker’s big band at Indiana University, and is a regular guest artist at the Honeywell House, having played there with Dean Emeritus Charles Webb. As a teacher, she brings twenty years of private music teaching experience to her students, including having taught at the DePauw University School of Music. She is an active clinician, giving master classes at various institutions at both pre-college and college levels, nationally and internationally. Recently she received the honor of being accepted to the roster of Fulbright Specialists, a program that promotes the collaboration of leading U.S. academics and professionals with their counterparts overseas. She earned her doctorate in clarinet performance at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and had the unusual distinction of having been accepted into the Jacobs School of Music graduate school without a bachelor’s degree in music. In addition to her musical talents, Dr. Nixon brings expertise in business, computer science, and multimedia productions to the table. She teaches business computer courses at Ivy Tech Community College and is currently devoted to a music e-learning enterprise: Mpingo Studios. Diana loves to teach all ages of students, and when not teaching she can be found in the company of her three children, golden retriever and labradoodle!
Alex Nelson is a graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he received his Bachelor of Music in piano performance under Edmund Battersby. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Alex began piano at the age of four and later continued with Dr. Janet Favreau for eleven years. In addition to performing throughout California and the United States, Alex has performed in Poland, Austria, Hungary, Canada, and Japan. Since August of 2012, Alex has served as Production Manager of Roundabout Opera for Kids, a non-profit opera-outreach program designed for K-12 area students and the community of South Central Indiana. Alex currently lives in Bloomington, Indiana where he works as an arts coordinator, in addition to teaching privately. He recently sang in the IU opera chorus for the collegiate premiere of the Philip Glass opera, Akhnaten, and is also a member of the Voces Novae chamber choir.
Sarah Hoffmeister - pianist and harpsichordist - began studying in 2012 at the Jacob’s School of Music in the Early Music Institute and is currently pursuing a MM. A native of Southeast Missouri, she received an undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, in harpsichord and piano studies from Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO). At JSoM, she is a Graduate Assistant in the Opera Department as a vocal coach and harpsichordist. Her most recent performances with IUOT have been as a continuo player in the orchestra for Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Handel’s Xerxes. Sarah has worked as a coach and in the pit for several other shows and is an avid chamber musician, collaborative harpsichordist and pianist. Sarah has been teaching music and keyboard privately, with some time also in the classroom, for more than 12 years. Before moving to Bloomington, she taught piano and voice at the SEMO Music Academy, a pre-colligate music school for students of all ages. Sarah has volunteered locally with ROK (Roundabout Opera for Kids) and is an avid advocate for arts promotion both locally and in impoverished communities at home and abroad. Joining Studio Forza is an exciting opportunity and she is looking forward to the many musical possibilities that the future is sure to hold!