Voice and Piano Instructor
Soprano Catherine Thorpe received her training at Peabody Conservatory and The Juilliard Opera Center and has been praised by The Washington Post as having “a voice of liquid silver.” She has enchanted audiences throughout the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific in numerous operatic roles, orchestral concerts and solo recitals. A versatile musician and vibrant and engaging presence on stage, Catherine Thorpe is equally comfortable performing numerous vocal styles, from Opera to Early Music to premiers of new works to Big Band standards. For many years, she was the featured Girl Singer with the famous Swing-n-Sway with Sammy Kay Orchestra on stage and appearing on specials broadcast by PBS stations across the country.
In the Choral Boosters program, Ms. Thorpe currently teaches on Thursdays from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. She offers 30-minute voice lessons for students in grades 5 and up, and 30-minute piano lessons for beginning and intermediate students in grades 2 and up.
Voice and Piano Instructor
Soprano Kathleen Allen has been singing and teaching professionally throughout the United States for 35 years, in opera, operetta, recital and musical theater, and in concert, chamber, and choral music. She specializes in new music, musical theatre and French mélodie. Educated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Peabody Conservatory of Music, she received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance from Wisconsin. Dr. Allen has held professorships at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, Auburn University in Alabama, and Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. Dr. Allen sang with the Central State University Chorus on its tour of Spain, Germany, France and the Czech Republic, performing solos from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess on the Prague Summer Proms. She has also performed such diverse works as Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, Le Marteau sans Maître by Pierre Boulez, and Ravel’s Shéhérazade with conductor Olev Viro. Dr. Allen maintains a private studio specializing in preparing musical theatre actors and opera singers for professional careers.
In the Choral Boosters program, Dr. Allen currently teaches on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. She offers 30-minute lessons in voice and 30- to 45-minute lessons in beginning and intermediate piano for students in grades 5 and up.
Pianist Leslie Spitz-Edson received her B.A. with a major in Music from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where she studied piano with Sanda Schuldmann Clark. She also holds an M.A. in Music History and Musicology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. When Ms. Spitz-Edson first moved to this area, she worked at Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and later for the Folk Masters Concert and Radio Series. She believes that music is a language that everyone can learn, and she loves helping students make it their own. Her children are both graduates of George Mason High School (now Meridian High School). Ms. Spitz-Edson has taught piano privately in Falls Church City since 2003.
Beginning in January of 2023 (depending on student enrollment), Ms. Spitz-Edson will offer 30-minute piano lessons for beginning through advanced students in grades 2 and up through the Choral Boosters program.