Lucas Pastrana BFA - Musical Theatre UW-Milwaukee Graduated 2016
“I had never really studied voice before coming to the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and I could not have asked for a better start. Tanya has helped me not only understand my own voice and or “real voice” but she has also pushed me and tested me every step of the way. Voice lesson where not only challenging they were the most rewarding class I have had at UWM. Without her constant support and push in the right direction I would not be the performer I am today. Tanya has helped me understand what it means to be not only a singer but a performer as well. Unlike other voice teachers she does not only focus on the voice she focuses on why we are singing the words we are singing and why we are even signing them at all. As a Musical Theater major acting and being present in a song is just as important as sounding good. She helps me find dramatic beats in pieces and always gets me to take risks which is always important not only as a singer but as an actor as well. While working with her I have done almost everything from a Jazz standard to a classical aria. She always says the more you know the better, and I know more now then I ever thought I would. With this extra knowledge it would allow me to audition for a wider range of shows which is always important as a performer, you never really want to have any restrictions. She has an anatomy-based approach so the singer actually understands what is happening in your body when you open your mouth to sing. This type of knowledge was great to get when I started out, it helped me have a better-rounded education when it came to my voice. Tanya has helped me not only with my voice and performing work she has also helped me throughout my time here at UWM, she really cares about each one of her students and that extra support is always appreciated. Tanya is one of the best teachers I have ever had.” -Lucas Pastrana
Biography Lucas was a 2016 Encouragement Award winner in the International Lotte Lenya Competition and is a recent graduate from the UW-Milwaukee (UWM) Peck School of the Arts as a Musical Theater Major. During his time at UWM, he was seen in Urinetown, Little Women, Damn Yankees, and more. Lucas has also been part of productions outside of UWM such as Spring Awakening at Greendale Community Theatre, and Dogfight at All In Productions. Most recently (June 2017) he was in Skylight Music Theater's production of Sweeney Todd, where he played the role of Anthony.
Raven has been performing professionally in the midwest area for 3 years. Her love for singing started at a young age and she soon grew to love being involved in musical theater. She received her B.F.A. in Musical Theater in 2013, and after graduating, Raven's career took off.
Some of Raven's favorite roles include: Dragon/Mama Bear in Shrek the Musical (First Stage Children's Theater), Woman 2 in Songs for a New World (Kalliope Vocal Arts), Ensemble in Rent (Paramount Theatre), Dionne in Hair (Skylight Music Theatre), Sarah in Ragtime (DSHA Community Theater), Ensemble in Hair (Barn Theater), Narrator in Murder Ballad (Kalliope Vocal Arts), Asaka in Once on this Island (Skylight Music Theatre), Joanne in Rent (Kalliope Vocal Arts), Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors (All in Productions), Ensemble/Effie's Understudy in Dreamgirls (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre) and Velma in Crowns (Skylight Music Theatre). Raven has also performed in numerous cabarets and concerts around the Milwaukee area.
Raven is thankful to Tanya for everything she has done both technically as a voice teacher and spiritually as a mentor. Psalm 139:14
"Studying with Tanya has been a life changing experience. She has helped me to develop more awareness of my body, which is so important to have when building onto the technical aspects of singing. In addition to the this, she also challenges me to be emotionally vulnerable in order to effectively tell a story when singing. Throughout lessons, she has given various methods for helping me to have and maintain a consistent and healthy technique. She is also such a very supportive and caring individual. Her passion for the science and art of the singing voice plus her love for people make her an extraordinary teacher." -Tiana Sorenson
Biography Tiana Sorenson, soprano, is under the study of Dr. Tanya Kruse. In the summer of 2017, she was one of four chosen to be in the Project Inclusion Fellowship program with the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago. Earlier in 2017, Tiana was Bricktop in Red Hot and Cole (revue of Cole Porter) with the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Eklund Opera Program as an invited professional soloist, and First Lady in Milwaukee Opera Theatre’s Zie Magic Flute. During December 2016 she was the soprano soloist in UW-Parkside’s Gloria by Poulenc. Also in 2016, Tiana placed 3rd in the Advanced College division of the Wisconsin NATS competition. Previous performances include Second Woman in UWM’s Dido and Aeneas, First Alms Sister in Suor Angelica, and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte. Tiana also has been in operatic scenes as Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Nannetta in Falstaff, and Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte. In 2015, she made appearances as Madame Goldentrill in The Impresario and Mrs. Nordstrom in A Little Night Music with the Up North Vocal Institute in Boyne City, Michigan. Tiana has also been a featured soloist with UWM’s Community Orchestra and Fond du Lac Symphonic Band. In fall 2017 she will be pursuing her Master of Music in Voice and Opera at Northwestern University and will study with W. Stephen Smith.