DAPA Instructors

Dakota Academy of Performing Arts Faculty

Music Institute Chamber Instructors

Beverly Gibson | Woodwind Chamber Coach

Contact Bev for private lessons: Email cruisengroove@gmail.com | Phone 605-261-7282 

Dr. Beverly Gibson is the woodwind ensemble coach for the DAPA chamber music program. She is a clarinet professor at Northwestern College (Orange City, IA) and Dordt College (Sioux Center, IA). She serves as Principal Clarinetist with the Northwest Iowa Symphony and bass clarinetist with the South Dakota Symphony. She also has extensive experience in the jazz/commercial fields, performing on all of the saxophones, clarinet and flute aboard the Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, Carnival, Costa and Holland America Cruise Lines. She has performed in the orchestras for such entertainers as Andy Williams, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, the Temptations, and the Guy Lombardo Orchestra. She has presented recital tours in Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Switzerland. Recently she recorded a CD in London with vocalist Michel Chartier. She is an artist/clinician for the Boosey and Hawkes Company, representing Buffet Crampon clarinets. Her education includes a DMA in clarinet performance from Louisiana State University, an MM in multiple woodwind performance from the University of North Texas, and a BM in music education from the SUNY at Fredonia.

Karren Melik Stepanov | String Chamber Coach, Piano Trio & Piano Quartet Coach

Contact Karren for private lessons: Email kjmlik@q.com | Phone 605-274-5407 

Cellist Karren Melik-Stepanov has appeared as a recitalist, a soloist and a chamber musician in America, Southern Europe, North Africa, the Baltic Republics and the Caucasian Republics. In addition to playing with leading chamber groups and being a principal of several orchestras in Russia, Dr. Melik-Stepanov was a recognized teacher of cello and chamber music with a thirty-year education career. He was professor of Music at the National Conservatory of Music in Baku (former USSR). Many of his former students are now pursuing musical careers in the USA, Spain, Germany, Russia, Mexico, Finland, the Baltic Republics, Israel and Armenia. Dr. Melik-Stepanov continues today his role as a cello professor at Augustana College and Dordt College. His cello students have been top prizewinners at many competitions including SDMTNA and SDMTA (1996-2010) and they frequently take leading chairs with SD All-State Orchestra.

He earned his BM and MM degrees with honors and also an Artist’s Diploma in Cello Performance. He later earned his DMA degrees in Cello Performance and Chamber Music from Yerevan National Conservatory of Music and counts one of the greatest cellists in cello performance history, Mstislav Rostropovich, as his principal cello teacher.

Sarah Richter| String Chamber Coach and Trio & Quartet Coordinator

Contact Sarah for private lessons: Email sarahanne.richter@gmail.com | Phone 605-521-4860 

After studying briefly with Sue Sidoti and continuing study with Ray Sidoti throughout high school, Sarah Richter won prestigious violin scholarships from DePaul University and the Cleveland Institute of Music and graduated with a violin performance degree from CIM in 2009. At CIM, Sarah studied violin with Linda Cerone and was coached by members of the Cleveland and Cavani Quartets and the Cleveland Orchestra. She was active in CIM’s Chamber Music Program, playing violin and viola in recitals and outreach programs in countless venues throughout the area. She also performed frequently in concerts with the CIM Orchestra at Severance Hall. Sarah is well-acquainted with DAPA’s music program, as she was a vital part of it during her school years in Sioux Falls.

She was concertmaster of the DAPA Youth Orchestra and a frequent solo performer with the group. She was first violinist of the DAPA String Quartet, which performed extensively in the Sioux Falls community. She now collaborates frequently with various DAPA ensembles in the capacity of faculty mentor. Sarah is a regular member of the South Dakota Symphony’s first violin section and of the Sidoti Trio and Quartet. She has given numerous successful solo and chamber recitals throughout the Midwest. She has returned to Sioux Falls to continue musical study and collaboration with Ray and Sue Sidoti, and is actively involved in expanding DAPA’s music program.

Raymond Sidoti | Conductor, Large Chamber Ensemble and Chamber Coach

Contact Raymond for private lessons: Email sdso.personnel@gmail.com  | Phone 605-332-1404 

Violinist Raymond Sidoti earned plaudits for numerous solo performances in the US and Europe, many sponsored by the US State Department. After a New York Town Hall recital, a New York Times critic wrote: “Raymond Sidoti produced an evenness of tone and reliability of intonation that made the listener comfortable from start to finish...Not surprisingly, his interpretations were products of intelligence, stylistic acuity and taste.” After a Vienna recital a Vienna Express critic wrote: “Exquisite interpretations, with dash and temperament—always present was a wonderfully lyric tone with the power to enchant.” Ray received BM and MM degrees from Cleveland Institute of Music and a DMA degree from The Ohio State University, where he was elected to musical honorary, Pi Kappa Lambda. A Fulbright scholarship afforded him the opportunity to study at Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome, perform on European radio and TV, and premier contemporary violin works at the American Academy in Rome. He was violin/viola professor at several colleges and universities including Baylor, Northern Michigan, Stephens, and Capital, and was first violinist of resident string quartets there. He was conductor of orchestras at Capital and Augustana, where he was Associate Professor of Violin and Viola. Dr. Sidoti is listed in Who’s Who in the East and Who’s Who in American Music, is a violist in the SD Symphony and edits the SDSTA newsletter.

Sue Sidoti | Assistant Conductor, Chamber Ensemble and Chamber Coach

Contact Sue for private lessons: Email sdso.personnel@gmail.com  | Phone 605-332-1404 

Sue Sidoti studied violin and viola with Robert Gerle and Raymond Sidoti, organ with Donald McDonald and Jean Langlais, and piano with Reynaldo Reyes and Betty Oberacker. After preliminary study at Peabody Conservatory of Music and University of Michigan, she received her Bachelor of Music degree in organ from Westminster Choir College in Princeton and her Master of Music degree in violin and viola from The Ohio State University, where she was elected to the music honor society, Pi Kappa Lambda. Mrs. Sidoti has performed extensively in the US and Europe and has been violist of the Shiras String Quartet, Capital University String Quartet and Academy String Quartet. She has performed as soloist with the Rome Festival Orchestra in Italy and has taught at Baylor University, Rome Festival Institute, Stephens College and Augustana College. Formerly Associate Principal Violist of the South Dakota Symphony, she has been Principal Violist of the Rome Festival Orchestra, the Superior Chamber Orchestra, the MOSSPAC Chamber Orchestra, the Northwest Iowa Symphony, and the Sioux City Symphony. She is violist of the Sidoti Trio and Quartet and is violist and Personnel Manager of the South Dakota Symphony. A former newsletter editor and President of SDSTA, she is listed in The International Who’s Who of Women.

Theatre Institute Instructors

Sara Crosby | MSW, CSW-PIP: Plays for Living Facilitator/Asst. Director Plays for Living

Sara Crosby received her BFA from Stephens College in Theatre in 1976 and enjoyed a varied acting career based out of New York City. Her roles brought her to Off Broadway, television and film as well as regional theaters. Most notably Ms. Crosby starred in Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap for the Barter Theatre at George Mason University opposite Kevin Spacey and off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre as Wilhelmina in The Passion of Dracula. On television she appeared on All My Children. In 1984 Sara left NYC for Chicago where she began the Graduate Social Work program at Loyola University of Chicago. Since graduating in 1986 Sara has worked as a psychotherapist with individuals, couples and groups in the Chicago area and Madison, Wisconsin. She has given many workshops on several issues including, women’s issues, prejudice and discrimination, and suicide prevention to name a few. In 2001, Sara co-founded The Dakota Academy of Performing Arts (DAPA) and later DiverseCity. Presently she is the lead facilitator and a director for DAPA at the Pavilion Plays for Living Theatre Company. Sara also sits on the Board of Directors for the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation and works in the field of Social Justice.

Rose Ann Hofland | Theatre Instructor/Director

Rose Ann is the Director of the Community Learning Center at the Washington Pavilion and enjoys leading all of the wonderful variety of education opportunities that the Washington Pavilion has to offer.  She received her degree in Theatre and English from the University of South Dakota and has since built her career on providing arts opportunities for South Dakotans.  As a touring artist with the Children’s Theatre Company of Sioux Falls, Rose Ann acted and directed throughout the state.  In her work with DAPA and with the Washington Pavilion, she has worked to build positive, challenging theatre experiences for youth.  She has been acting since she was 4, appearing in roles for The University of South Dakota, The Aberdeen and Vermillion Community Theatres, The Black Hills Playhouse, Olde Towne Dinner Theatre and the Storybook Land Theatre and has directed for the Sioux Empire Community Theatre, DAPA at the Pavilion, and the Children’s Theatre Company of Sioux Falls.

Bob Wendland | Theatre Instructor/Director

Bob Wendland received a degree in Theatre and another in Communication Studies from Augustana College in 2010. He now serves as the Dakota Academy of Performing Arts Coordinator. Bob has been performing from a very young age and began directing in high school. He has performed with Augustana Theatre, Bare Bodkins Shakespeare Company, Accidental Genius Theatre Company, South Dakota State University Theatre, Sioux Empire Community Theatre, Arlington Community Theatre and the Dakota Academy of Performing Arts. Some of his favorite roles have been mark in RENT, Ariel in THE TEMPEST and Adam/Noah in CHILDREN OF EDEN. He has directed for DAPA at the Washington Pavilion's youth productions and Plays for Living Troupe, Augustana College Theatrical Society, Sioux Empire Community Theatre, Arlington Community Theatre, and for his own theatre company, Accidental Genius.

Molly Wilson | Theatre Instructor/Director

Molly is a full-time Elementary Art Instructor with the public school district and and adjunct professor of Art and Theatre at the University of Sioux Falls. She earned a B.A. in Fine Arts with a minor in Theatre from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD, and a Masters degree in Education from the University of Sioux Falls. She is a highly qualified arts instructor with a strong background in cross-curricular development for preschool, elementary, middle school, high school and adult learners.