20 Year Anniversary Look-Back

I hope you’ll indulge me for a few moments. I’d like to share some wonderful memories that have brightened my life over the last twenty years. In 2002 I left an incredibly successful role in corporate America to pursue a passion of mine – helping others experience the joy of performing. It was a big step that I’ve never regretted. I’d performed ever since I was a kid and had always loved it. Bel Canto Studios was launched with only two students, one in Grayslake and one in Barrington. At the time I was also teaching private and class voice in the Willow Creek Artz Center. There have been a lot milestones over twenty years, but here are some of the biggies:  

  • In 2004, I opened my own space that had two teaching studios, 217 Park Avenue in downtown Barrington. Didn’t look like much until we fixed it up. Everyone loved it. It wasn’t long before I needed a second location and lots of teachers!
  • The Better Business Bureau has endorsed the studio since 2007.
  • Over the years students have signed with agents and managers in Chicago, LA, and NY.
  • Our alums have pursued performing careers at Juilliard, Belmont, Indiana, New England Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, and USC.
  • Entertainment moguls like Disney, Universal Studios, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Creative Studios have sought out our talent.
  • ComEd, Chanel, Vogue, Calvin Klein, American Girl, Abercrombie & Fitch, Target, Kohl’s, and Claire’s have featured our alums in print and commercials; also NY and Paris runway
  • Students have been featured in CBS and NBC series’.
  • They’ve starred in shows on and off Broadway and in national tours.
  • Alums have been cast in supporting roles with film super stars, others as leads.
  • We even have a Grammy winner and Tony nominee who has emerged from our midst.

It’s been quite a ride for the last twenty years…fast-paced growth for such a long time, then all the inevitable change caused by a pandemic. I’ve completely re-vamped how I teach and moved to an online presence. All that change is starting to pay off. FaceTime lessons are reaching students across the country. The studio’s YouTube channel and video showcases allow families everywhere to enjoy performances they would not otherwise have been able to see. It hasn’t been easy, but Bel Canto Studios has survived Covid. Now it’s time to rebuild.

A huge thank you to everyone who has shared this journey with me. I consider all of you family.

~ Jeanie Carter

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