Katie Drake is an experienced and dedicated teacher and performer. She began studying piano and violin at a young age. While working toward becoming a classical pianist, she was bitten by the theater bug.  After graduating from Villanova University with a degree in English and Theater, she performed for many years at area theaters, including the Walnut and the Arden. But music, her first love, soon won her back. She can be heard singing swing, jazz, rock, funk, and blues with the Scott Romig Band, a leading Philadelphia society band, and with other area rock and jazz groups. Katie released a CD of original songs in 2001 and hopes someday to have time to do another! She is the proud mother of two daughters (both alumnae) and she is delighted to be working with Sound Start!

Claire Drake Originally from Wales, United Kindom, Claire graduated from Philadelphia University of the Arts with a BFA in Theatre Arts.  She has been acting and teaching theatre skills, creative movement, and music to children for the past 10 years and has extensive experience in performing in children's theatre.  Claire started teaching for us in 2005. Her children are graduates of our classes!

Lauren Krigel is a musical actress, vocalist, and piano/voice teacher in Philadelphia, PA. Since showcasing her own rendition of Madonna’s “Material Girl” at six years old in her neighborhood diner, she has always loved performing. Lauren graduated cum laude from Boston University with a degree in Vocal Performance, and ranked highly in the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition. Upon graduating, she furthered her voice and piano studies at the Manhattan School of Music in New York. Since moving back to Philadelphia, Lauren has performed at the Walnut Street Theater, Bucks County Playhouse and the Washington Crossings Open Air Theatre. Some of her favorite roles include Emma in Jekyll and Hyde, Anna in The King and I, Mabel in Pirates of Penzance, and Meg in Little Women. When she isn't performing or teaching, Lauren loves to spend time with her husband and their young daughters.

Vanda Thomas Originally from Great Britain, Vanda and her husband moved to Philadelphia in 2005. Vanda showed an early talent for performing and gained her first professional role at 11 years of age. After graduating from the prestigious Italia Conti Academy of Performing Arts in London, Vanda performed in musical theater, drama and cabaret productions. She has appeared in BBC television productions and independent film. In addition to performing, Vanda has been teaching children for more than a decade. She loves introducing young children to music, dance and drama.