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Meet Ms. Katie!

We're excited to welcome Katie Dunn-Rankin to our teaching staff! Some families may have had to chance to meet her during her apprenticeship this spring or at classes where she's been subbing this summer. This Fall she'll be teaching her own classes in Andersonville, East Lakeview, and at our main studio on Ravenswood.


You can read her bio here to learn about her serious teaching skills and musical experiences, but she also took the time to tell us a little about her music background and life outside of the classroom.


Tell us about one of your earliest childhood music memories.

My parents both started singing to me even before I was born, and one of the songs my dad sang to me was one he wrote that starts off, "I love a girl, her name is Katie." I don't remember a time before I knew that sweet song in my dad's kind voice. I also remember enthusiastically strumming his guitar with my toddler hands.


How did your family's music-making shape who you are today?

My mom grew up listening to records of Broadway musicals and looking at the pictures while her mom told the grand stories of the shows. Decades later, I grew up listening to CDs of Broadway shows, with my mom telling me the story between songs. We were always singing--in the car, to get moving in the morning, or marching around the living room with instruments. I learned to love music, stories, and especially stories told through music. I later started performing in musical theatre myself.

What was one of your favorite musical theater roles?

My favorite role to this day is probably still Wilbur the Pig from Charlotte's Web. I originally auditioned for the role of the little girl Fern, hoping that my dad would play my onstage dad. Instead, although my dad got the role, but I played the pig he tried to catch in the opening scene. My sibling, dad, and I also performed together in "A Christmas Carol" every year at our local theatre.


All of our teachers have side hustles and there's a rumor going around that yours involves hanging out with some Disney Princesses.

All the rumors are true! Through Princess Party Chicago, I hang around with several princess friends, but my best friend is definitely Anna, who I always make sure to point out, is the actual main character in Frozen, no matter how cool her sister's ice powers are.