John Weatherspoon - Artistic Director/Co-Founder
With a teaching career spanning over thirty years, John Weatherspoon’s impact on the music community cannot be overstated. Along with teaching music classes, he has conducted honors choruses, has acted as both an adjudicator and a clinician, and currently serves as the Artistic Director of Espressivo. His interest in conducting first sparked during a warm-up for a middle school music elective, when he first connected motion to sound. Not only a career, conducting became a way for John to express who he is. Throughout his educational career, he was blessed with teachers who poured into him and helped him develop his technical skills while also developing a love for expressing poetry through music. After pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Southeastern Louisiana University, John began teaching. Later, John went on to earn a master’s in Choral Conducting from Florida Atlantic University. For over twenty-five years, he has served as choral director at Lake Worth Community High School. His greatest joy in teaching is to foster connections between his students and songs. In the 2021-2022 year, he is on sabbatical leave from Lake Worth High School while pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Kentucky. John and his wife, Althea, whom he claims is responsible for helping him to come out of his shell, have four incredible children who help fill their home with laughter. John has also served our country in the United States Marine Corps.
Steven Fabian - Pianist
Steven has been playing classical piano since 1993 and has lately been studying the style of early 1700s classical composers (no pedal, for any music enthusiasts out there). He went to Florida Atlantic University in 2001, and he has hopes to return to school at Barry University for continued learning of the great classical masterpieces within the next few years. A graduate of Lake Worth Community High School, Steven has been working with John Weatherspoon (albeit with a 7 year hiatus from graduating) for over 23 years, and working with Espressivo for quite a few years as well as helping out with the Lake Worth High School chorus program, accompanying. He wishes to thank his family for their continued support, and would like to acknowledge the singers of Espressivo for their amazing dedication to singing as an art form.
Rana Agaoglu - Alto
To follow her passion of studying and teaching music, Rana Agaoglu moved to the United States from Turkey in 2005. After completing her internship with Mr. John Weatherspoon at Lake Worth High School, she received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Florida Atlantic University. Currently she is enjoying her position as the Choral Director of Santaluces High School and teaches private lessons in the central Palm Beach County area. Rana is an active member of American Choral Directors Association, National Association of Music Education, Florida Music Education Association, and Florida Vocal Association. She is also a professional photographer focusing on nature and landscape photography.
Brett Bailey - Tenor
Brett has sung with Espressivo since 2021. He has directed the choirs at Emerald Cove Middle School since 2012, and he directed the Quail Ridge Chorus from 2016-2020. Among his achievements are a GRAMMY-nominated recording with Seraphic Fire and the Professional Choral Institute. Outside of singing, Brett is an avid runner and aspiring home chef. He lives in Westlake with his three beautiful children: Sutter, Grant, and Quinn.
Rachel Begleiter - Soprano
Rachel Begleiter is thrilled to sing with Espressivo. She is the General Music Teacher as well as the Choir Director at South Grade Elementary School. Before, she studied Music Education at Westminster Choir College. There, she developed her vocal technique under the guidance of Zehava Gal and Elizabeth Sutton. Rachel has had the privilege to perform under the direction of Alan Gilbert and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, performing at venues such as Lincoln Center and Kimmel Center. Rachel is so proud to be a member of this ensemble!
Catherine Briggs - Soprano (President and Co-Founder)
As an impetus of the conceptual group that founded Espressivo, Catherine is driven by a desire to produce quality choral music. After graduating with her bachelor's degree, she went on to pursue a master's degree in Choral Conducting through Florida Atlantic University and received her Kodaly certification at Silver Lake College. Currently acting as the choral director at West Boca Raton Community High School and adjunct music education faculty at Florida Atlantic University, Catherine enjoys both the joys and challenges of her profession. Catherine serves as President on the Espressivo Board of Directors, and the conductor for the 2021-2022 season.
Bonnie Butterfield - Alto (Vice President)
Bonnie Butterfield, originally from Virginia, has truly enjoyed making Florida her home. She is the chorus director at Watson B. Duncan Middle School in Palm Beach Gardens. One of her favorite things about the job is watching students grow from beginning musicians to capable and mature ones in just a few years. She also teaches Vocal Technique through the choice program at her school. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree at Bridgewater College in Virginia, and her Masters of Education at Auburn University. She has loved being part of this group since its inception and continues to learn and grow as a singer. She loves the beach, going to shows, exploring Florida, and spending time with her daughter, Violet, and husband, Matt.
Kaleb Coicou - Baritone
Kaleb Coicou is the Choral Director at Congress Community Middle School in Boynton Beach, FL. Mr. Coicou has a Bachelor’s degree in Music with a performance concentration, and a Bachelors of Science Degree in Health Science from the University of South Florida, in Tampa, FL. Kaleb began singing when he was 5 and knew even then that it was an innate gift given to him. Kaleb grew up primarily singing in church where he was able to grow in his gift and he has not stopped singing. With the encouragement of his family, church, and a college professor; after several back and forth degree changes, Kaleb went on to pursue a degree in music. Kaleb performs professionally and has been able to have noteworthy experiences and opportunities which include singing at Busch Gardens, Disney World’s Epcot, St. Petersburg Opera, and now he sings with Palm Beach Opera. Kaleb has sung on a Florida Tour with Josh Groban twice and has sung the National Anthem for the Tampa Bay Rays. Kaleb indulges himself into his craft and stays very busy. Additionally, Kaleb directs his church choir and teaches vocal lessons. Kaleb is a proud member of the Florida Music Education Association, and the Florida Vocal Association. A fun fact about Kaleb is that he has over 20 cousins, many of whom who are in involved in music and singing. Kaleb is excited to be singing in concert with Espressivo.
Emmanuel Fergile - Baritone
Emmanuel is the music director at Highland Elementary, Palm Beach School District, FL. He was a 2019 William T. Dwyer Award Nominee for Excellence in Education and the 2020 Teacher of the Year Nominee for Highland Elementary. Emmanuel teaches general music, and directs a chorus, handbell choir, and world drumming ensemble. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education (2006) and Master of Arts degree in Choral Conducting (2009) at Florida Atlantic University. He has conducted Palm Beach County’s Spotlight on Young Musicians Elementary Honor Chorus in 2011, 2016, and 2019. Emmanuel also conducted the Spotlight on Young Musicians Honor Handbell Choir in 2017. He is certified in Orff, Levels I and II. He is a former FAU TOPS Piano Camp director and was the assistant director from 2003-2009. He continues his affiliation with the camp as the world drumming teacher. Emmanuel was the competition manager for the Michael and Madelyn Savarick Annual Music Competition at FAU for many years. He has played in multiple musicals in the Bahamas and Florida including Once on this Island, South Pacific, and West Side Story as well as a chorister for a Bahamian Opera entitled “Sammy Swain.” He is Bahamian of Haitian heritage, a former member of the Bahamas National Youth Choir, the Nassau Renaissance Singers, the Bahamas National Dance Company, and the Royal Bahamas Police Force. Emmanuel has presented at the local South Florida Orff chapter workshop and The Palm Beach School District, Music Educators Professional Development Meeting at the Kravis.
Karen Fowler - Soprano
Karen was born and raised on Long Island, New York. She enjoyed singing in the Church Choir and Community Singing Groups in her home town. Karen received a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from SUNY Geneseo. Karen moved to Palm Beach County in 1984. She received a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Florida Atlantic University. Karen has worked for the Palm Beach County School District since her move to Florida and is currently a Special Education Coordinator for the district. Karen met her husband, Steve, while singing in a local Community Group. They have been married since 1989 and have 2 grown sons. They both started singing with Espressivo in January 2022. Karen continues to enjoy singing, she sang 12 years at Bethesda-by-the-Sea and has sung with the United Methodist Church of the Palm Beaches since 2000. She is thrilled to have joined this group of wonderful people and to have the chance to grow as a singer.
Steven Fowler - Tenor
Born and raised in Palm Beach County, Steven began studying piano at age 6 and was active in chorus, band and orchestra programs growing up. He performed with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus on numerous occasions while earning a Bachelors in Music Education in Choral Music degree from Florida State University. He has sung with the Master Chorale of South Florida, and has sung professionally for Palm Beach Opera and various local churches. He and his wife, fellow Espressivo singer Karen, have two sons and live in Wellington. He enjoys reading, bonsai and playing golf.
Dawn Hutchins - Alto
Dawn, a Florida native, was raised in the John I. Leonard music program. She worked as a percussionist in the band and served as a student leader/section leader and soloist in chorus. With a heavy background in church music, Dawn sang in various choirs and ensembles and toured throughout the South with family and ensembles. She eventually became a choir director/worship leader for several area churches. Dawn still sings in various ensembles. Dawn has an Associate of Arts Degree in Biology from Palm Beach State College and a Bachelor's Degree in History from Florida Atlantic University. She then earned a Master of Arts in Early American History, with an emphasis on Indian Removal, the study of the early American family, and Early Republic America. Dawn, thereafter, worked as the historian for the Seminole Tribe of Florida's Tribal Historic Preservation Office. She is currently on sabbatical as a PhD student at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she explores Native American removal on the Trail of Tears. She has published several academic articles, book chapters, and writes encyclopedia entries for academic compilations. She also finds her passion in teaching students at Palm Beach State College and Palm Beach Atlantic University, tutoring students from elementary to college in many subjects, and proofreading/editing. Richard and Dawn have homeschooled their nine children and have five grandchildren. Dawn enjoys reading, intellectual challenges, is an avid South Florida sports fan, and anything family-related! This is Dawn's seventh season with Espressivo.
Richard Hutchins - Bass
A Florida native, Richard was raised in the Lake Worth music system from middle through high school. He was involved in band as a percussionist, bassist, and pianist. He was also a member of chorus and the show choir. Richard is an alumni of Lake Worth High School. He then pursued his college degree in General Education at Palm Beach State College with an emphasis on jazz instrumental ensembles. He now plays piano, keyboard, and bass at various Palm Beach County churches. Richard sings bass for Espressivo and is finishing up his eighth season with the ensemble. His passion is for family time and the loves the great outdoors! He enjoys hunting, fishing, and teaching the younger generation proper wildlife conservation and hunger safety. He is married to fellow Espressivo member, Dawn, and they have nine children and four grandchildren together.
Adina Kerr - Alto
Adina, a NJ native, has lived in South Florida since 2005. She has always had a love for music, and started playing the piano at 3 years old. Throughout school she performed in many stage productions which encouraged her to pursue music as a career. She is a graduate of Immaculata University with a Bachelors in Music Therapy. Adina has taught in Palm Beach County for the past 14 years and is currently the music teacher at Citrus Cove Elementary in Boynton Beach. She directs the chorus, Orff Ensemble, and the theater department at Citrus Cove which has performed numerous musicals at Santaluces and Boynton Beach High Schools. She is proud to lead her award winning theater students, chorus and xylophone ensembles. Adina is a member of the National Association for Music Education and the Florida Elementary Music Educators Association. She also teaches private vocal and piano lessons to children ages from 8-15 years old. In her spare time, Adina volunteers with the local Scouts BSA Unit 296 in which she is the Charter Organization Representative. Both her children are active members of the unit. She has sung with Espressivo since 2021.
Alex Kovalsky - Baritone (Secretary/Webmaster)
Alex Kovalsky is the Chorus Director at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, Florida, where he teaches chorus, keyboard, and AP music theory. Additionally, Alex is a Teaching Artist for the De George Academy for Performing Arts in affiliation with the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida. Alex serves as co-coordinator for the Palm Beach County District Honor Choir and the secondary choir at Spotlight on Young Musicians, and as the co-coordinator for the American Choral Directors Association Southern Region Junior High Honor Choir in 2018, 2020, and 2022. In 2015, Alex served as the conductor for the Spotlight on Young Musicians Elementary Honors Chorus at the Kravis Center. Prior to beginning his tenure at Spanish River, Alex was the Chorus and Keyboard Director at Lake Worth Middle School in Lake Worth, Florida, and taught elementary general music at Wynnebrook Elementary School in West Palm Beach, Florida. In addition to voice, Alex is an active pianist and regularly collaborates with numerous choirs throughout Palm Beach county, as well as summer camps and private students. Alex holds a Master of Music degree from Kansas State University and a Bachelor of Music Education degree with a minor in Spanish from the University of Montevallo. He is an active member of the National Association for Music Education, Florida Music Education Association, Florida Vocal Association, and the American Choral Directors Association. Alex resides with his amazing wife, and fellow Espressivo member, Katie, and their son Aaron in Greenacres, Florida, along with their two cats, Treble and Clef. Alex has sung with Espressivo since 2013, and is grateful for the privilege of making music with so many talented individuals.
Katie Kovalsky - Soprano (Librarian)
Katie Kovalsky is the music teacher at Royal Palm Beach Elementary School, where she teaches general music, handbells, and chorus classes to students in grades K-5. Previously, Katie has been on the faculty of The Conservatory School at North Palm Beach and Turtle River Montessori School, where she taught classes in preschool music, elementary music, junior high band, and junior high choir. Katie has sung with Espressivo since 2014, and credits the collaboration with these accomplished musicians as the main reason for her success as an educator. Also an instrumentalist, Katie's primary instrument is the clarinet, and she has also performed on the bassoon, saxophone, and flute. Katie has previously performed with the Family Church orchestra in West Palm Beach and the Riverbend Community Band in Jupiter, Florida. She serves as the 2018, 2020, and 2022 co-coordinator for the American Choral Directors Association Southern Region Junior High Honor Choir. Katie holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Montevallo and a Master of Music Education degree from the University of Florida. She is an active member of the Florida Music Education Association and the Florida Vocal Association. Katie and her husband, fellow Espressivo member Alex, live in Greenacres, Florida, with their son Aaron.
Bree Lukosavich - Alto
Bree has studied voice since she was a child and has sung in school, church, and community settings for 30 years. Following her graduation from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY with a Bachelor's degree in Music Therapy, Bree moved to South Florida for an internship in hospice care. With a degree and board certification in Music Therapy and 13 years experience working in medical and community settings, Bree is highly respected for her clinical work as well as her success in creating jobs in the field of creative arts therapies. Bree has served as the co-owner and clinical director of Creative Arts Therapies of the Palm Beaches since 2012, staffing and developing clinical music, art, and drama therapy programs for over 100 organizations throughout South Florida. Bree has also worked as a freelance church musician throughout Palm Beach and Broward counties for 13 years. When not working, Bree enjoys spending time with her husband, 3 children, and golden retriever.
Karista MacRostie - Soprano
Karista Lee MacRostie, a South Florida native, is currently teaching in Palm Beach County, Florida as the choral director at Palm Beach Gardens High School. She also teaches private voice lessons to students of various ages. Karista did her undergraduate studies in music education with a vocal concentration at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, and graduate studies, receiving a Master’s in Music Education from Mississippi State University. Besides teaching choir, Karista has participated in the Palm Beach County Schools and Discovery Education STEM training program, The Florida Music Educators Association Emerging Leaders Program, and the Florida Schools of Music Association Summer Leadership Institute. Recently she was the recipient of the 2021 Florida Vocal Association’s Rising Star award. In addition to teaching, Karista has performed in the Young Adult Honor choir at Carnegie Hall, as well served as a consultant for several choirs around Palm Beach County. She is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Florida Music Education Association, the Florida Vocal Association, and the Florida Schools of Music Association.
James McInnis - Bass
Jim loves to sing and that’s a common thread in his family: His father was the premier soloist in the church choir at Lakeview Baptist Church in Delray Beach, FL for more than twenty five years, as was his uncle at his church near Ocala, FL, and his younger sister has that title at her church in Alabama. Jim sings as much as he can and continually works to improve his skills. He currently sings in the choir at First Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, FL. He also shares his talents with Espressivo. Jim’s other interests include playing golf and taking drum lessons.
Lisa Moss - Alto
Choral music has been a big part of life for Lisa, either as an accompanist, singer, or both. She worked for many years as a church musician and while in college participated in University Singers, University Concert Choir, and musical theatre at Auburn University. She received a graduate degree from The University of Alabama before moving to Florida with her husband and two sons. Lisa enjoys working as a collaborative artist with local middle and high school choirs and teaching piano lessons. She serves as a board member of Grace Notes Music Foundation working to provide music education to underserved young people in Palm Beach County.
Forest Rose - Tenor
Born in West Palm Beach, a true Florida native, Forest has lived solely in Palm Beach County. His love of music was born in sixth grade when he learned to play the trumpet, enjoying years of participation in marching and concert bands throughout junior and senior high school. Following graduation, an apprenticeship in the electrical trade as a Journeyman Electrician resulted in a sixteen-year gap in his musical career. Ready to return, he switched instruments and joined the choir at First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach (now known as Family Church). That choral experience spanned thirty years, including intensive musical preparation for and participation in the popular Singing Christmas Tree, a South Florida tradition requiring months of rehearsals and more than a dozen performances each season. Singing in the choir on Sundays led to a friendship with John Weatherspoon, who subsequently invited him to join Espressivo. He is honored to be part of this amazing group of "semi-professionals" as a 2021 inductee. When he is not practicing for Espressivo, Forest enjoys helping others with his professional skills as a retired Journeyman Electrician, serving at church, playing golf, bicycling, photography, and nature hikes with his wife, Linda.
Mary Catherine Salo - Alto
Mary Catherine is thrilled to finally be a part of Espressivo! Originally from Massachusetts, she attended the New England Conservatory of Music, earning degrees in both Applied Voice and Music Education. Her first job was at the Musicana Supper Club right here in WPB. Dinner theater and national tours followed, eventually leading her to a dream job on the luxury ship, MS Sagafjord. Onboard, she sang, served as the social directress, sailed literally around the world and met her husband, Steve, who was a music teacher and drummer from Fort Lauderdale. After the wedding they returned to Broward County where she began Act 2, as a chorus teacher at Coral Springs High School. She had a wonderful time teaching hundreds of students every year while also continuing to travel with the USYE to concerts in Europe, assisting the Florida Vocal Association in administering music education opportunities for all Florida students and singing at St. Paul’s Delray for the past 30 years. As she begins Act 3 (retirement!) she would like to thank John and all the wonderful board members and singers of Espressivo for welcoming her so graciously to their magical music making!
Sarah Sparrow - Soprano
Sarah Sparrow is thoroughly enjoying her first year with Espressivo. Though she has performed occasionally in Palm Beach County in other contexts, she has missed the choral setting and is excited to be back in it. Graduating from East Carolina University (‘11) with a BM in Music Therapy, Sarah studied voice with Sharon Munden as a principle concentration and piano with Charles Bath as a minor concentration. She sang under the choral direction of Dr. Daniel Bara with the East Carolina University Chamber singers, who recorded an album with Gothic Records, Eternal Light, in 2009, and were chosen to perform at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Convention in 2010. Sarah is a board-certified music therapist at Creative Art Therapies of the Palm Beaches (CATPB), creating treatment plans utilizing music therapy interventions for individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s, substance abuse, neurological impairments, and end of life care. Sarah is happily married to a musician and loves reading, cooking, gardening, and homeschooling her three children.
Allen Webber - Bass
Mr. Allen Webber has been a Professor of Music at Palm Beach State College since 1989. He also served as the Visiting Director of Choral Activities at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia from 1986-1988. Allen has also been an integral part of the Palm Beach Post Pathfinder Scholarship program, serving as a vocal music judge for the past twenty years. In 2013 and 2018, he taught choir and music theory at week-long summer music camps in St. Marc, Haiti. Allen has had various comprimario roles with the South Florida Opera Company in Rigoletto. The Barber of Seville, Madame Butterfly, Tosca, and Carmen (2000-2006). He sang the role of Dr. Spinnelloccio in the Palm Beach Atlantic University Opera Workshop's production of Puccini's Gianni Schicchi in 2006. Allen has worked with a variety of churches as a professional choral section leader and soloist. He is the percussionist, a founding/current member, in the Orchid City Brass Band (2012-present). Allen is a member of first-place Palm Beach State College Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee team (2005, 2013; participant 2001-present). He is the author of The History of Music Expounded in Verse, (Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt, 2010). He has a Bachelor of Arts in church music from Cedarville University, a Master of Music degree in music theory from Miami University, and completed doctoral coursework toward a PhD in music theory at The Florida State University.