In 1990 Barbara Yokom took her strong business sense and expertise in the Fine Arts and opened a dance school in the basement of the West Bank Financial Center in Naperville IL. Naperville Dance Center was formed. The school began to grow and in 1994, the integration of the Music Department took place. It was in 1994 when the Naperville Dance Center moved into its current location and The School of Performing Arts, Inc. was established.
Since then The School has integrated the Theatre Department to provide a strong curriculum in the areas of Performing Arts: Dance, Music, and Theatre. The tiny little school that began in the basement of a bank has become a leading center in the community for education in the Fine Arts, and boasts a student enrollment of over 1,000.
The School of Performing Arts is recognized as one of the area’s premier centers for arts education. Our Naperville facility, located at 1112 South Washington, features several dance studios with sprung Marley floors and glass viewing windows, private and group music studios, a music lab, as well as additional space dedicated to theatre programming, and administrative offices. In 2013 The School became a Steinway School of Distinction. This distinction is shared by just more than 150 universities, conservatories and schools worldwide, and has placed The School of Performing Arts in a class of its own as the only All-Steinway School in this area. All-Steinway Schools demonstrate a commitment to excellence by providing their students and faculties with the best equipment possible for the study of music.
We are proud of the outstanding credentials and extensive teaching background of our professional faculty. The School of Performing Art’s faculty consists of individuals who have completed bachelors and masters level education in pedagogy as well as performance. Our faculty has studied and trained with the most respected professionals in their fields and each member has been selected for his or her ability to nurture interest and develop skill.
The School of Performing Arts is also proud of its talented students. Both alumni and current students are using their gifts to pursue professional careers in the Joffrey Ballet company, cruise ships, national Broadway touring companies and the American Girl Theatre, just to name a few. Alumni students can be seen on television appearing in shows such as Even Steven, Summerland, Phil of the Future, Stuck in the Suburbs, ER and more! We are pleased to see our students graduate from The School in pursuit of furthering their arts education at top colleges and universities across the nation. The tools and life lessons they have learned here at The School of Performing Arts will follow them as far as their dreams will take them.
THE SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS PROVIDES EXCELLENCE IN ARTS EDUCATION THROUGH A DIVERSE CURRICULUM, WHILE FOSTERING CREATIVITY, BUILDING SELF ESTEEM, DEVELOPING OUR STUDENTS’ LOVE FOR THE ARTS AND PREPARING THEM FOR LIFE. SPA SURVEY We want to hear from you!
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All-Steinway Schools demonstrate a commitment to excellence by providing their students and faculties with the best equipment possible for the study of music. That is why the only pianos owned by the institution, from the practice room to the recital hall, are designed by Steinway & Sons.
The School of Performing Arts celebrates a new era of music distinction when it accepted delivery of eight upright pianos and two grand pianos designed specifically for the school by Steinway & Sons in New York. This distinction is shared by just more than 150 universities, conservatories and schools worldwide, and has placed The School of Performing Arts in a class of its own as the only All-Steinway School in this area.
All-Steinway Schools demonstrate a commitment to excellence by providing their students and faculties with the best equipment possible for the study of music. Students of The School of Performing Arts will benefit from the All-Steinway distinction not only in playing or performing to the level of excellence inspired by the Steinway instruments, but also because the investment reflects a commitment to a Steinway-approved program to maintain their pianos in performance-quality condition whether being used in the practice room or the concert hall.
“We are thrilled to become an All-Steinway School of distinction and join the ranks of some of the most prestigious schools in the world. I am personally excited for our distinguished faculty and students who will have the privilege of performing and practicing on the Steinways for years to come. A partnership with Steinway allows our students access to amazing master class teachers and concerts in the Chicago area. This is very exciting!” – Barbara Yokom, Executive Director and Founder of The School of Performing Arts.
Gordan McNelly, Barbara Yokom, Joni Wiltz-Berkley, Mary Ann Covone, and Judith Brodhead