Pittsburgh CLO Academy

Private Lessons

image descriptionThe CLO Academy offers private instruction in Voice, Piano, and Acting & Audition Coaching for those students who would like to strengthen their technique in a supportive, one-on-one environment. 

  • All Private Lessons are offered in 30- and 60-minute sessions
  • Piano and Voice lessons are a full-semester commitment.
  • Acting & Audition Coaching is offered in 8- or 16-lesson packages.


Ages 10+
Instructors: Debbie Boughner, Catie Brown, Roseanna Irwin,
Stephen Totter

Private voice lessons allow each individual to begin or further their singing abilities. Private voice lessons include study in posture, breath support, tone production, vowel placement and diction. These skills are then applied to song literature, with repertoire chosen based on each student's age and ability. Additionally, students may work on musical theater audition preparation. Private study builds vocal technique and musicianship, while instilling self-confidence and independence in the student.


Ages 8+
Instructors: Catie Brown, Roseanna Irwin

Private piano lessons offer an exciting opportunity to not only to develop a solid musical foundation, but also instill in the student a genuine love and appreciation for music.  Students will work on posture, hand position, learn to read music, including notes, rhythms, correct fingering and the analytic structure of the piece. Students are taught a stimulating, thorough, and graduated course of solos, theory, technical studies, and classic piano repertoire based on age and ability.

Acting & Audition Coaching

Ages 12+
Instructors: Daina Griffith, Nancy Mimless

Further your study and develop the skills needed to successfully represent yourself during an audition! Our instructors encourage students to build upon the fundamentals of acting technique, including identifying acting beats and character motivations, script analysis, and how to be present in the work. Additionally, students will learn how to confidently present themselves in a professional setting, develop contrast in their audition package, and choose material appropriate to the type and style of the audition.

Register Now!

Contact Principal Patty Maloney at 412-281-2234 or pmaloney@pittsburghclo.org schedule a lesson day and time. Once your time is secure, you may register below for your selected class.

Pricing and Packages

2018-2019 School Year

Private Voice • Ages 10+
(16) 30 minute sessions • $590/semester
(16) 60 minute sessions • $990/semester

Private Piano • Ages 8+
(16) 30 minute sessions • $590/semester
(16) 60 minute sessions • $990/semester

Private Acting & Audition Coaching • Ages 12+
(8) 30 minute sessions • $390/semester
(8) 60 minute sessions • $590/semester
(16) 30 minute sessions • $590/semester
(16) 60 minute sessions • $990/semeste


Please select your instructor and session length, and confirm your scheduled time in the comments.

First Semester: September 4, 2018-January 12, 2019

Private Voice & Piano

Catie Brown

Debbie Boughner

Roseanna Irwin

Stephen Totter

Private Acting

Daina Griffith

Nancy Mimless

Second Semester: January 21-May 18, 2019

Private Voice & Piano

Catie Brown

Debbie Boughner

Roseanna Irwin

Stephen Totter

Private Acting

Daina Griffith

Nancy Mimless


image descriptionDebbie Boughner (Voice)

Debbie Boughner grew up in the Mon Valley.  Mrs. Boughner holds a M.Ed. in Education from Duquesne University and studied voice and piano performance at Carnegie Mellon University.  Debbie currently serves as Voice/Piano instructor at the Pittsburgh CLO Academy, and is the Music Director at Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church (Elizabeth Township). Debbie has taught for over 40 years both publicly and privately, as well as directed many musical productions at Thomas Jefferson High School, Serra Catholic High School and West Mifflin Area High School. She has also music directed many shows at local theaters including The Grand Theater (Elizabeth), South Park Theater (South Park), as well as performing in many local productions including these theaters, McKeesport Little Theatre, Station Square Theater, among others.  Debbie was a member of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and Pittsburgh.

image descriptionCatie Brown (Voice, Piano)

Catie Brown is a native of Butler, PA.  She holds a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of Cincinnati and B.M. in Music Education from Slippery Rock University.  Catie currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Voice at Robert Morris University, an Assistant Professor and Accompanist in the Conservatory of the Performing Arts at Point Park University, and as an Accompanist for Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.  She is also the Music Director at St. Fidelis Parish in Butler, PA.  At the CLO Academy, Catie teaches private and group voice, private piano, audition techniques, and musical theater classes.  Her public school classroom teaching, music directing, and accompaniment experience is extensive, having most recently performed for engagements with the Pittsburgh CLO, Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center, Pittsburgh Musical Theater, Pittsburgh Public Theater, R.W.S. and Associates, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, the rock band Kansas, West Virginia Public Theater, Keystone State Music Theater, The Pittsburgh Playhouse, New Castle Playhouse, and Slippery Rock University. She’s grateful for the opportunity to work with the fantastic students at the Pittsburgh CLO Academy.   

image descriptionDaina Michelle Griffith (Acting & Audition Coaching)

Daina Michelle Griffith recently received the honor of being named Performer of the Year by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for 2013 and was nominated for the Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award in 2015. An actress on stage, big screen, small screen, print ads and radio commercials, she's originally from Southern Ohio and received her BFA in Musical Theater from Point Park University. Regional/NYC: Gateway Playhouse, Kansas City Starlight, Oxford Village Playhouse, heXtc NYC, Human Race Theatre, NYC International Fringe, among others. Locally: Pittsburgh Public Theater, City Theatre, PICT Classic Theatre, Quantum, The REP, Off The Wall, barebones, No Name Players, Bricolage, Prime Stage, Carrnivale Theatrics, Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh Musical Theatre, and Jewish Theatre of Pittsburgh. Films: The Dark Knight Rises (Foley's wife), Hollidaysburg (Angela), Love and Other Drugs, Civilians (Tilly) and the upcoming Pittsburgh Dad short film, Street Light Stories (Deb). Television: "Guiding Light" (CBS), "Munhall" starring George Wendt (lawyer), webseries "I'll Call You" (Christine), STARZ "The Chair" and WGN's "Outsiders" (Ricki, recurring Season 1). Also numerous regional and national commercials (Exxon Gas, Armstrong Cable, PA Lottery, UPMC, The Stork), radio and television voiceovers (UPMC, Vocelli's Pizza, Dree's Homes, Armstrong Cable) and national and regional print work (Joann's Fabric, Dick's Sporting Goods, Sheetz, Armstrong Cable, Highmark, among others). www.dainamichellegriffith.com 

image descriptionRoseanna Irwin (Voice, Piano)

Roseanna Irwin, Associate Teaching Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, holds both a B.S. in Music Education and an M.M. from Duquesne University, where she taught piano and was administrative assistant to the dean. She teaches voice and piano at the CLO Academy and was the Music Director of the CLO Mini Stars for 19 years. Roseanna was formerly head of the voice department at the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, and was rehearsal and show pianist for the Civic Light Opera's main stage summer season. She was a core member of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and has sung roles in several Tuesday Musical Club operas. She has performed, musically directed and accompanied book shows and musical revues in the Pittsburgh area, Naples, Florida, and the Royal Viking Cruise Lines.

image descriptionNancy Mimless (Acting & Audition Coaching)

A Pittsburgh native and avid Pittsburgh Pirate fan, Nancy Mimless earned her BA in Theater Arts from the University of Pittsburgh. Nancy has worked in theater, television and films for over 30 years, and has appeared in Pittsburgh productions with Bricolage (BUS 6), No Name Players (SWAN DAY), Pittsburgh Playwrights, Carlow, CCAC, South Park, Theatre Factory, Prime Stage, and McKeesport Little Theater–just to name a few. She has recorded numerous voice-overs, commercials and television/film projects, performed in stage productions in Pittsburgh, West Virginia and California, and has appeared on "The Weakest Link" and "The Gong Show." Nancy has also performed in several improv companies including Amish Monkeys, Latshaw Production’s Tony and Tina’s Wedding, and for several Los Angeles-area improv troupes. After spending years in LA working for Barris Industries, Guber Peters Entertainment, and in production on "The Dating Game" and "The Newlywed Game," she returned to pursue a career in Pittsburgh. She can be seen in the films The Umbrella Man, Gearheads and Sofia for Now.

As a performing arts educator, Nancy has coached preschoolers through adults in acting, improv, and musical theater performance, and has toured schools with Gateway to the Arts (On the Wing Theatre and Pittsburgh CLO).
Nancy is proud and excited to be returning to the CLO Academy for her 9th year. www.nancymimless.com

image descriptionStephen Totter (Voice)

Stephen Totter (BFA, MFA in Vocal Performance) has been on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University since 1994 and the Pittsburgh CLO Academy of Musical Theater since 1991. He is an active performer, clinician and teacher throughout the United States and abroad. Stephen made his professional operatic debut with the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh in The Barber of Seville and has gone on to perform leading roles in Opera, Musical Theater and Oratorio as well as recitals, symphony concerts and cabaret performances. Operatic roles include: Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Marcello in La boheme, the title role in Gianni Schicci, and Frank Maurrant in Street Scene. Musical Theater roles include Frederik Egermann in A Little Night Music, Lancelot in Camelot and Harry in Company. Stephen has been teaching voice in the Pittsburgh area since 1990 and his students have gone on to every major conservatory in the country as well as Broadway and opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera and Chicago Lyric Opera. Stephen is an active member of The National Association of Teachers of Singing and served for 8 years as President of the Tri-States Chapter. His international teaching credits include teaching at the National Conservatory of Mexico.

Private Lessons Policies and Procedures

Pittsburgh CLO Academy Private Lesson Policies

  • You are required to keep your lesson time for the entire semester.
  • Unless you register for the full year, your lesson time will not be held from one semester to the next.  Please register promptly each semester and confirm your lesson time with your instructor.
  • If you cannot attend you lesson, you are expected to cancel 24 hours in advance of the scheduled lesson time. If you do not follow this policy, you will not receive a make-up lesson.
  • Private Lesson instructors are responsible for making up TWO student cancellations. Our private lesson instructors have very full schedules; they cannot make up excessive missed lessons.  If an instructor must miss a lesson, he or she will arrange for a make-up at a time mutually convenient for student and teacher.  All lessons are to be made up within the same semester that they are missed.
  • Please contact your teacher directly to change or cancel a lesson.  All the instructors teach during the day; the sooner that they are alerted, the sooner they can adjust their schedules.