Top Billing Entertainment Academy

Where Every Performer Gets Top Billing

Archive for the category “Friday Feature”

Friday Feature ~ Kristina Keener Ivy, Executive Director

 Kristina Keener Ivy

Kristina Keener Ivy is the Founder and Executive Director of Top Billing Entertainment Performance Academy. She is also a former high school choir director turned professional performer and private music instructor. She has performed with various jazz bands, as a member of various church worship teams, on three film soundtracks, and in numerous musical theater productions throughout the South West. Currently she teaches almost 70 private students a week. Her students have competed and won in many local and national competitions including Spotlight Awards at the Music Center, Southern California Vocal Association Vocal Solo Competition, America’s Got Talent, Covina’s Got Talent, California All-State Choir, California Honor Choir, along with various talent shows and musical productions. She has also worked as a musical director for over 25 local musical theater productions including Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, Seussical and High School Musical.

It has been a life-long dream of Kristina Keener Ivy’s to start a performing arts group. After performing all over the country and heading a similar program at West Covina High School for five years, she decided to found her own 501(c)3 nonprofit where she could ensure that each performer is treated with respect, given professional instruction, and given the opportunity for a featured solo. At Top Billing they work with every performer, from ones who have extreme special needs to ones who are Broadway bound. In January 2015, they expanded to a full service performance academy in the Village of Glendora and offer classes for all ages in acting, on camera acting, dance, voice, all instruments, and musical summer day camps. They have classes for ages 2 and up with partner dancing classes for adults.

See the commercial for Top Billing Entertainment Performance Academy

From Kristina, “I think a lot about why I should keep on doing what I’m doing. I had a dream as a child that there was a school I could go to that would help me be a Broadway star, or on TV, or just prepare me to be an awesome performer. I wanted to be in Seattle when the grunge rock scene hit or in Paris after the World Wars with all ex-pat writers and poets. Problem was my family was po’ (so poor we couldn’t afford an r). Then one day while teaching at WCHS I realized I could create a place and time like that. A place where aspiring performers can come and work with master teachers and get professional performance opportunities while inspiring each other to excel. Fast forward and now I have an amazing location, awesome teachers (including Eddie Garcia who danced with Micheal Jackson for two world tours,Christine Ivy who is an amazing dancer and technical teacher, Jamie McMahon who is a choreographer genius and improv impresario, Melanie Rabajante who is a partner dancer wizard and dance cardio goddess, Timothy Jackson who can dance all styles, play piano, teach voice, acting and is the hardest worker I know, Andrew Cristin who is an amazing acting teacher and David Ivy – the best on camera acting teacher I have ever seen.) I have donors to help us cover part of the costs, awesome Board Members (Desiree Cabana, Elisa Field, Kimberly Beaufeaux Krok, Heidi Petersen Leach, and Camilla Danison) and Office Staff/Volunteers (Heather McDowell, Erik Jacome, and Justin McDowell). Just wish we could get more performers to come work with us! It’s hard changing the world one step at a time, but I’ve come so far already and there are so many people who have joined me now. Only thing to do is keep dreaming.”

Top Billing Entertainment has received 23 National Youth Arts nominations and six wins, won “Best Dance School” in the 2014 San Gabriel Valley Tribune Reader’s Choice Awards, “Best Dance School” and “Best Music Instruction” in the 2015 San Gabriel Valley Tribune Reader’s Choice Awards, and won first place for Best Theater Production and second place for Theater Directing in the American Prize National Competition 2014.

Current & past students have:

*Placed in the top three of the Spotlight Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

*Won National Youth Arts Awards

*Won Southern California Vocal Association Solo Singer Competitions

*Won local talent competitions including Covina’s Got Talent, West Covina Talent Show, and various school and district talent shows

*Performed in Honor Choirs & All-State Choirs

*Placed in the top 100 of National Television Talent Shows including America’s Got Talent, American Idol, and The Voice

*Performed as leads and featured soloists in school, local, and national performance events & tours

*Been featured in national television shows, national commercials, and major feature films

*Attended with scholarships & graduated from music or performing arts programs at Los Angeles County High School of the Arts, Orange County School for the Arts, American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Azusa Pacific University, California State University Los Angeles, California State University at Fullerton, California State University at San Diego, & California State University at Long Beach.

Kristina Keener Ivy’s Education & Awards:

Bachelor’s of Music in Opera Performance from Northern Arizona University, Summa Cum Laude with Honors, 2002

Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education Choral Conducting from Northern Arizona University, Summa Cum Laude with Honors, 2002

American Prize – #2 Musical Theater Director in the USA, 2014

National Youth Arts Awards 2011, 2012, 2013

Best of Glendora – Music Instruction, 2013

YWCA Woman of Excellence Award, 2005

West Covina High School Inspirational Teacher, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006

West Covina High School Tireless Teacher, 2004, 2005, 2006

West Covina High School Staff/Faculty of the Month, Dec. 2002, May 2004

West Covina High School Fine Arts Faculty Member of the Year, 2003

Northern Arizona University Golden Axe Award, 2002

NAU New Century Honors Program, 1997 – 2002

Rodger & Eldon Ardrey Scholarship, 2001

Mary Lou Thompson Scholarship, 2001

Choral Dinner Scholarship, 2001

Charles & Ellie Meister Scholarship, 2000

Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, 2000

Carroll Lane & Mildred Adams-Fenton Scholarship, 1999

Year of Education Award, 1997

Regents Scholarship, 1997

See videos of Kristina performing at https://www.youtube.com/user/KristinaKeener

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