Karen Bruno - Director

Karen Bruno has been the director of the Academy since 2010 and a member of its teaching staff since 1996. In addition to her administrative duties, she teaches the Bel Canto Girl Choir singers and is the artistic director of the Girl Choir program. She received the Bachelor of Arts degree in both economics and music from Smith College, a teaching certificate from Lawrence University's Conservatory of Music, and the Master of Music degree in music education from Boston University. She has taught choral music in the Appleton and Oshkosh school districts and at an international school in Senegal, West Africa. Bruno has been a guest speaker and adjunct professor in a variety of Lawrence Conservatory music education classes and has served as both cooperating and practicum teacher for students from Lawrence and St. Norbert College.

As a guest conductor, Ms. Bruno has been invited to work with the South Dakota All-State Children's Choir, numerous regional honor choirs, the Singing in Wisconsin festival and is a past staff member of the Wisconsin School Music Association's Treble Honor Choir. She served for six years as the repertoire and standards chair for Children and Community Youth Choirs in the North Central Division of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), is a member of the VoiceCare Network and serves on the committee advocating the Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance (CMP) teaching model. She represents the Academy within the Fox Arts Network, writes an arts-focused column several times per year for the Post Crescent newspaper and has served on music scholarship selection committees on behalf of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region.

Ms. Bruno is a two-time recipient of the WCDA's Five-Star Award, a recipient of Lawrence University's Pi Kappa Lambda award for excellence in music education, a Rotary Scholarship Award winner and was recognized by the Danbury (CT) Music Centre for providing outstanding musical opportunities for youth in the United States. Under her tutelage, Bel Canto was awarded Second Place in the national American Prize competition and has performed, by invitation, on state and divisional conventions of choral conductors.

Cheryl Boyle - Registrar

Cheryl Boyle handles all billing and registration processes for the Academy of Music. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in education, with an emphasis on special education, from Indiana State University. She continued her education at Purdue University and Loyola University focusing on Educational Leadership.

Mrs. Boyle is an experienced educator and administrator. She taught students in grades 1-12 with emotional and behavioral issues in Indiana, Illinois and California, served as a consultant to five school districts serving students with physical disabilities in northwest Indiana, and was the Dean of Students at Glencoe (IL) Middle School, where she was in charge of all scheduling and discipline issues.  

Upon moving to Wisconsin, Mrs. Boyle worked as a special education teacher in the Appleton Area School District. She was also the co-owner and co-founder of KC Candies, where she developed recipes, created marketing plans and budgets, and sold and distributed the company’s products. Her gourmet caramel pears won a Best of Cleveland Award and were featured at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Ashton Vicente - Program & Marketing Assistant

Ashton Vicente assists each of the Academy's programs in various administrative tasks and marketing projects and manages the Academy's website and social media pages. She also coordinates Academy print jobs with the university's Communications department and sends all Academy email messages. She is the current manager of the Academy's Allegretto Girl Choir and was in the Girl Choir program herself for seven years.

Ms. Vicente received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature and gender & women's studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017. She has enjoyed singing since elementary school and is passionate about choral music, once being in four separate choirs at one time. Her other hobbies include digital art and graphic design, which she is happy to utilize for marketing projects in her position at the Academy.