Faculty Highlight on Nancy Della


SPACE is proud to highlight music faculty member Nancy J. Della for her newly published children’s book. The book is a German children’s book titled “Das Wort das Bauchschmerzen macht” or best translated as “The Word That Makes the Tummy Hurt.” In the story Luke settles down for his favorite activity, story time. As his teacher reads aloud she says a word that causes him discomfort. “It is a book in close connection with a political debate in Germany concerning the use of discriminating language in youth literature and its psychological affect. The book is meant to be an intervention for teachers and parents, as well as giving suggestions on how to support children who face discrimination,” said Della.

“The Word That Makes the Tummy Hurt” is the first of a series to be written by Nancy with the second addition to the series is anticipated to be released in October 2014. The book is currently only available for purchase on the German Amazon website, but don’t be disappointed, you may have an opportunity to purchase copies from the author herself as Nancy plans to have a Chicago reading sometime in May 2014 (date to be announced). As of now, the book is only available in German, however, Nancy’s publishers are in the process of contracting U.S. publishers to print an English version.


Nancy is a German native that relocated to Chicago in the 90’s. She has played the violin since she was a child becoming the youngest member of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra in history. In addition to teaching violin and “Sing and Play” at SPACE, Nancy has also taught at the University of Chicago.

For more information on Nancy Della please visit the SPACE website at http://www.southportarts.com/faculty/nancy-della

Faculty Highlight on Philip Torre

Philip Torre


SPACE is proud to recognize Faculty member Philip Torre for his performance in Cedar Rapids Opera’s production of Carmen.  Torre performed with “bravado,” the role of Escamillo, the bull fighter and love interest of the lead character Carmen. Carmen is often described as the quintessential Spanish Opera. The opera is known for its gritty and non-traditional characters.

Philip teaches Voice, Theory and Solfege at SPACE while maintaining a healthy music career.

He has studied at the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center, the Manhattan School of Music, as well as the West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Philip boasts a lengthy list of accomplishments including performances as a featured soloist at the Calgary Philharmonic and at the De Vive Voix Festival d’Art Lyrique in France.

See the trailer of Cedar Rapids Opera’s production of Carmen here (See if you can spot Philip):

For more information of Faculty member Philip Torre, see his bio on the SPACE website:


Faculty Highlight on Antoine McKay


We would like to start off the new blog by highlighting one of our talented faculty members, Antoine McKay. SPACE is proud to have had McKay teaching improv and drama classes for several years. McKay has appeared in numerous television series such as ER, Sports Action Team, and recently on Review with Forrest MacNeil a new series on Comedy Central. Antonie’s talent and work in improv earned him appearances with Second City, the leading name in improve sketch comedy.

His love for improv shines brightly; he makes compelling statements on how improve can change your life during an interview on I am Bigan on-line inspirational talk show.

“Improve forces you to look at yourself. It forces you to make decisions. It forces you to analyze what it is you truly believe at the core of you”

When you see how passionate he is about his work, it is easy to understand how his enthusiasm enables him to be an excellent teacher. It’s hard not to share his joy when you hear him speak.

McKay is also the founder of McKay Arts, a private theatre company which offers improve and acting at SPACE. McKay Arts offers ongoing shows every Friday at Pressure Cafe 6318 N. Clark, in Chicago, visit McKay Arts for more details.

See a small snippet of McKay’s SPACE students performing at the 2012 Spring Recital on our Youtube channel below:

Check out McKay’s extensive list of acting gigs on IMDb and Stewart Talent Agency. You can also keep up to date with McKay happenings by following him on Twitter.