Champlain Business Journal, March 2015
By Joyce L. Carroll
Skill acquisition in dance, voice, and theater— often referred to as the triple threat — no longer requires a parent to drive to three different lesson locations. Students wishing to perfect their skills in the performing arts now need only turn to the Vermont Musical Theater Academy (VTMTA) in South Burlington.
The VTMTA is a partnership between Bill Reed Voice Studio and Spotlight Vermont, a venue known best for its dance classes. Reed, who said he has often collaborated with Spotlight Vermont owners Tim and Jen Barden, said VTMTA had been in the talk stages for years.
“Tim had asked me if I wanted to go in on the space with them [years ago], but I didn’t need it. I have a home studio. But I said I’d rent space when I needed it,” he said.
All three instructors have extensive experience, including having worked in NYC. Sally Olson joins the trio as managing director. Reed has seen a number of his students advance to Broadway, with some even winning Oscar, MAC, Emmy, and Tony Awards. He has taught a summer intensive program in musical theater for three decades, often inviting Broadway performers as guest instructors for workshops. The summer program draws participants from across the country, Reed said.
Students age 10-18 were invited to participate in auditions for the VTMTA in January. So enthusiastic was the turnout that a second weekend was added. Two eight-week sessions are currently scheduled to coincide with the school year, with the next session beginning on April 4. The Saturday classes are three hours long, with an hour dedicated to each of the three performing arts. Participants have come from as far as Montpelier, Stowe and Rutland.
Musical theater popularity hit a groundswell in the 1990s following Disney’s “High School Musical.” “Then came ‘Glee,’ and absolutely awakened a sleeping giant,” said Reed, adding that like sports, the performing arts create life-long skill development for young people. “It’s about the discipline of showing up, being prepared, learning how to collaborate.”
The VTMTA is located within Spotlight Vermont at 50 San Remo Drive, South Burlington, VT 05403. The phone number is 802.862.7326. Class hours are 1-4 p.m. on Saturdays.
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