“We can’t thank you and Rafik enough for giving our daughter such a wonderful ballet education filled with great opportunities. You provide such a fantastic environment that develops their skills in such an encouraging and positive way. She truly, truly loves it. She’s constantly at her barre doing her combinations and stretches, always asking what ballet production we are going to see next. Her love for ballet and Gainesville Ballet is so great. We are so blessed to be a part of the Gainesville Ballet family.” Chris B.
“That was one of the finest performances my husband and I have ever seen at HPAC, and we are series subscribers for Hylton Presents, Manassas Ballet, Manassas Symphony and Manassas Chorale! Your guest performers were mesmerizing, and the choreography and dancing for Carmina Burana was superb. Kudos for an unexpectedly memorable evening.” – R.S.
“My daughter LOVED your classes in the Advanced Summer Intensive, she says they were far superior than any she has ever attended, thank you for being here for her!! ” Stephanie H.
“Thank you! We are so honored to be a part of the Gainesville Ballet Family. You and Rafik and your company of instructors are so inspiring to students. you should be proud of everything you and your students have accomplished. I brag to my friends any chance I get about the caliber of your dance school!” Mary B.
“Throughout our daughter’s life, she has explored a good handful of activities, but nothing comes close to her passion for ballet. We are so fortunate that your school is nearby and can help her develop and excel at what makes her happy. During the summer intensive, every single morning, she surprised us with an enthusiasm that we haven’t seen before! I think we have really come upon something we are going to help her follow and let her passion see where it takes her. She loves every minute of her classes and continues to develop. Again, thank you so much. My wife and I couldn’t be more happy with your school and your wonderful staff.” Thomas D.
“My daughter had her first skating competition of her season yesterday. I have to tell you that so many people ask me if she does ballet after seeing her skate. And then, I get comments that she looks like it or they say you can tell she does ballet. Most skaters do ballet, but I think the instruction she receives at Gainesville Ballet company makes it so noticeable on ice. And….she won the gold. She took first place from all five judges. Thanks again for giving these kids such an amazing ballet education. I make sure everyone knows where she dances and how highly I think of the school when I am asked about it.” – Michele A.
“Thank you for the wonderful opportunity you have given to our daughter with your annual Nutcracker production. It is fantastic that you put on such a quality production, in a real theater with professional dancers no less! It is a real service to your students and to the community.” Paul B.
“Truly, the entire production was so amazing. The dancers were so mesmerizing and exceptional, and I heard nothing but compliments and absolute awe over the entire production. Rafik’s vision and choreography were breathtakingly spectacular!” – Heather J.
“I just want to say congratulations and thank you. The Nutcracker experience was absolutely fabulous and enjoyable from all perspectives…student, parent and audience. All are well deserving of congratulations including the two of you. I can’t say thank you enough for running a fabulous program!” – Carol R.
“My daughter is dancing 5 hours a week at Gainesville Ballet. Their ballet instruction is AMAZING! All instructors last year were fantastic. All of the instructors have degrees in dance and several are professional dancers with extensive backgrounds. Excellent technique, they teach the Vaganova method of ballet. Elysabeth and Rafik are so kind and great to work with. I only know about their pre-professional ballet classes, but my oldest is going to do their hip hop class. Elysabeth is a professional Opera singer and is also offering voice and piano lessons in the studio. Definitely worth looking into for recreational dance, and amazing for serious ballet instruction.”
– Amy C.
“We were very pleased with our experience and I can’t say enough positive things about how you are running the studio.” -Carol R.
“I have been so impressed with your school. From the costumes, to the instructors, to the recital, everything was so classy. The recital was just so special! Thank you for everything.” -Michele A.
“The hip hop choreography was done so well – so tasteful for the young girls, yet true to hip hop. We are excited to be part of a wonderful ballet company. Looking forward to many more recitals!” -Brandy J.
“I LOVED and was most impressed with Saturday night’s performance. I loved the senior dancers, the theater type dance, and the voice performance. What really struck me is the LEVEL of all the dancers in the school and how much everyone has improved in the year you took it over. Thank you and your husband, it is a wonderful school and the quality has so increased.”
– Ellen B.
“Our daughter has loved dancing this semester. She talks about it every day. I am so happy to see her passion growing. Thanks for keeping her love of dance alive.”
– Tonya P.
“My daughter LOVED attending Gainesville Ballet this year and is looking forward to next year. Thanks again for a great year, you all do a great job!”
– Christina B.
“We really love having the girls dance at this school. Amazing teachers and owners.”
– Beth G.
“I am so glad that you have been committed to the support of families with special needs in the community. I am deeply grateful you have created this program to share the arts with a population of children who could benefit so greatly from your training.”
“Congratulations on a wonderful performance last weekend. All of the girls did so well! We were tremendously impressed, and so pleased that our daughter is participating with such a wonderful, well-trained troupe of talented people.”
– Catherine J.
“Thank you again for a wonderful evening. The performance was outstanding and the girls had so much fun! We appreciate your positive energy and creativity. We are looking forward to another great semester. Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication.”
– Tonya P.
“We wanted to thank you again for working with our son. He has really grown as a singer while working with you. We were so proud of him tonight, and can’t believe how well he can sing!”
– Violaine R.M.
“I began private voice lessons with Elysabeth when I was sixteen. My prior voice teacher had become ill and had suspended her teaching indefinitely. I thought I knew it all; I just needed someone to give me some lessons while my “real” teacher got better. Boy, was I wrong! Thank God I found Elysabeth! I didn’t have the first idea of what world-class international level singing was, but Elysabeth could not only demonstrate it with her own singing, she could teach it! We worked hard, from the ground up and in two years I was accepted into every school where I auditioned, including The Juilliard School where I earned my bachelor’s degree. I can truly say I wouldn’t be the singer I am, or where I am today without Elysabeth’s teaching. On top of that, Elysabeth is a wonderful person with a great sense of humor, and I count myself lucky today to have her as a friend and mentor.”
– Matthew M. http://www.matthewmorris.biz/
(Matthew has sung Papageno in The Magic Flute directed by Peter Brooks in France, Apollo in Alceste at the Santa Fe Opera, Vocal Fellow concerts at Tanglewood, appeared at SongFest as a Distinguished Alumnus, and will be singing lead roles in upcoming productions at the Theatre de Caen, France. He has also been a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra. Matthew just signed a contract with New York City Opera to cover a leading role in La Perichole.)
“My encounter with Elysabeth changed my life. It accelerated me into what would be the real beginning—the birth—of my operatic career. I attended the Peabody summer voice program five years ago and following our brief studies there, she took me into her private studio for weekly lessons. I took the 3 hour round trip to Baltimore to see her every week because it was in our lessons where I learned how to really begin to prepare myself for this world of music that can be so overwhelming. Elysabeth is an incredible teacher and under her guidance I found myself accomplishing things that I alone didn’t know how to manifest. She introduced me to almost everything musical and was my living example on how to achieve my goals. Armed with her preparation, I was accepted to every conservatory that I auditioned for with scholarship. Now in New York City, she continues to be a fantastic mentor from a distance—giving me advice and attending my performances when possible. I couldn’t recommend her enough.”
– Gina P., Mezzo Soprano www.ginaperregrino.com
(Gina is currently a scholarship student at Manhattan School of Music.)
“Since I was three years old, I was determined to be an Opera Singer. Throughout my Elementary and Middle School years, I sang along to Opera recordings and participated in chorus in order to satisfy this desire to sing. It was not until my freshman year of High School that things began to take a different direction. I started taking lessons with Ms. Muscat. She quickly made me realize the incredible amount of work and discipline needed to learn how to sing. At the same time, she believed in me and encouraged me to keep going even when I lacked the confidence in myself. She has been there for every audition, competition, every tear, and every “click” moment when everything she told me came together. Needless to say, I would definitely not be the singer or performer I am today if it were not for the four years I studied with Ms. Muscat. She taught me the technique, the ear, and the discipline needed to pursue a career in Opera. But most importantly, through her incredible teaching, I knew that singing was the only thing I wanted to dedicate my life doing.”
– Sarah H.
(Sarah Hayashi, senior at Peabody Conservatory, recently accepted to the Royal Conservatory of Music in London to the Diploma Program.)
“Over four years of study at Peabody Preparatory, Elysabeth guided me through a huge transition from young high school student to motivated classical singer. She provided first class vocal training, performance coaching, and career guidance and, through sharing her own experiences, showed me a window into the world of opera. Elysabeth’s teaching style is meticulous and challenging- I would sometimes be stopped 3 or 4 times before finishing one line of a vocalise, but her attention to detail and accuracy helped me break old habits and improve quickly. She would constantly tailor her language and imagery to make sure that the vocal concepts resonated with me and she balanced critique and praise well. I particularly enjoyed the time we spent in character coaching and interpretation of songs and arias. With her guidance, I was accepted to every conservatory to which I applied (Oberlin, Northwestern, UMD) but ultimately decided to attend Stanford University. Upon arriving to college, I was ahead of my peers and well prepared to excell in my undergraduate vocal studies. I look back fondly on my time at the Preparatory and the amazing opportunities offered to me. I had a great experience with Elysabeth and am so grateful for her expertise!.”
– Annie S., junior (music major) at Stanford University
“Thank you for the incredible guidance you have given me this year. I have learned so much from you and I can’t wait to learn even more from you next year! Thank you for everything!.”
– Corrieanne S.
(Corrieanne was a cast member of Billy Elliott on Broadway for one year., won 3rd place in the NATS Mid-atlantic Region Voice Competition and accepted to Brevard Summer Music Festival)
“Thank you for inspiring my daughter and giving her encouragement. We know she is learning and growing so much from your teaching. Thank you for believing in her.”
– Dan S.
“I want to once again tell you how successful the voice camp was for my daughter. She walked away every day with such enthusiasm and energy. I applaud you for making it both motivational and enjoyable for her, and she is looking forward to resuming lessons with you in the fall.”
– Sue K. (Student accepted to Washington National Opera Summer Institute and received Voice Honors at Peabody Preparatory.)