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. For thirty 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 music. He has conducted honors choruses, acted as both an adjudicator and a clinician, and currently serves as the Artistic Director of Espressivo. He holds a bachelor's degree from Southeastern Louisiana University, a master's degree from Florida Atlantic University, and is presently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Kentucky. He 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. He has worked 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.
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.
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.
Olga Bacher - Alto
Olga Bacher was born in the Czech Republic as the youngest of five children of two professional musicians and music educators. Growing up in Germany, she spent much time rehearsing and performing a wide variety of music, vocal and instrumental, with her family. She graduated from conservatory as a flute principal and went on to teach early music and movement, chorus, recorder, flute, ensemble playing and music theory in a community music school for 14 years while continuing to perform with various vocal and instrumental formations. After marrying Neil, an American jazz musician, the family moved to South Florida with their two sons. Olga taught at the Music Learning Center of Miami Dade College for some years, held the position of the general music and strings teacher at St. Ann Catholic School in West Palm Beach for one year and then earned her Bachelor of Music at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Since 2013, she has taught general music and band at Highland Elementary School in Lake Worth.
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.
Jessica Beauleaux - Alto
This is Jessica’s first season performing with Espressivo. She serves as the general music teacher at Pine Grove Elementary School in Delray Beach, and has previously taught elementary music in other Florida public schools. Prior to moving to south Florida, Jessica taught at Pizzo K-8 in Tampa, where she graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s of Science in Music Education. While studying music in Tampa, Jessica has had the opportunity to perform for the community in several settings, one of which was in a barbershop quartet at Busch Gardens. She has also performed in the chorus for St. Petersburg Opera Company in a variety of shows, including Madame Butterfly and Pagliacci.
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!
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.
Christina Colletti - Soprano
Christina Colletti, originally from Ohio, grew up in Boynton Beach Florida. She has been teaching music education for thirteen years in Palm Beach County to students ranging from age 3 to 21. She has specialized in teaching elementary school, band and chorus. Although she has experience on nearly every instrument, her primary instrument is flute. She is also a vocalist. She regularly performs for local community and university ensembles. She has studied music education at Palm Beach State College, the University of Florida, Salzburg College and The Mozarteum University in Austria. When she is not teaching and performing, she has taught professional development courses for music educators in the county, helps interns graduating from college in music education, and has done volunteer work for music camps in Haiti and Europe. Her elementary chorus students have regularly been invited to participate with all-state and district honors ensembles. Additionally, all of her ensembles have had the opportunity to perform in the community. She has also helped build high school and non-profit independent world-class bands that have regularly achieved accolades from adjudicators at the Florida Marching Band Association competitions and Winter Guard International Wind competitions. Her love for music and students have been undeniable among the communities she serves.
Emmanuel Fergile - Baritone
Emmanuel received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Master of Arts in Choral Conducting at Florida Atlantic University, and received
his Orff Level III Teacher Certification in the Orff Pedagogy Approach from the American Orff Schulwerk Association (AOSA). He currently teaches K-5 general music, and directs chorus, handbell choir, and world drumming ensemble at Highland Elementary. A past Fine Arts Chair, he currently serves as the Teacher Ambassador and Volunteer Lead Mentor on campus, and on several occasions was Highland’s Palm Beach County Dwyer Award for Excellence in Education Nominee and Teacher of the Year. Currently, he serves as the President Elect for the South Florida Orff Chapter (SFOC), and as a member of many music educators professional organizations. He served several times as the conductor and manager of the Elementary Honors Chorus and the Honors Handbell Choir at Palm Beach County’s Annual Spotlight on Young Musicians. Emmanuel has presented many times for the School District of Palm Beach County (SDPBC) Music Educators Professional Development Workshops and South Florida Orff Chapter (SFOC) Chapter-Share. He continues to provide educational experiences for his students in the community.
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.
Scott Houchins - Tenor
Scott A. Houchins has sung with Espressivo since 2019. He is a 20+ year veteran of teaching in Palm Beach County, and has been the Director of Choral Activities at Palm Beach Central High School for 19 years. An active clinician and adjudicator, Mr. Houchins teaches Voice and Piano privately. He also serves as the Director of the Palm Beach Coastmen Chorus, a chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Scott holds both the Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Arts in Educational Leadership degrees from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL. He has also studied at Florida State University, Palm Beach State College, and Florida Atlantic University. From 2004-2006, Mr. Houchins served as District Chair for District 14 of the Florida Vocal Association, and in 2011, he conducted the High School District Honor Choir at the Spotlight on Young Musicians at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. He is happily married to his high school sweetheart, Diana. Together they have three wonderful, grown children - Alexandria, Jessica, and Joshua.
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. 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 at Wynnebrook Elementary School 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 has served as a coordinator for the American Choral Directors Association honor choirs at both regional and national levels. In 2015, Alex served as the conductor for the Spotlight on Young Musicians Elementary Honors Chorus at the Kravis Center. 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. 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. She was the 2022 recipient of the William T. Dwyer Award for Excellence in Elementary Education. Also an instrumentalist, Katie's primary instrument is the clarinet, and she has also performed on the bassoon, saxophone, and flute. Katie holds a Master of Music Education degree from the University of Florida and a Bachelor of Music Education degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Montevallo. Katie and her husband, fellow Espressivo member Alex, live in Greenacres, Florida, with their son Aaron.
Marie Lineman - Soprano
Marie began singing in choir in kindergarten, and has been doing so ever since! Originally from Pennsylvania, Marie has spent the last few years in Ohio attending Kent State University and receiving dual bachelor’s degrees in vocal performance and music education with a general/vocal music emphasis. This year, she moved to West Palm Beach where she is working as an elementary music teacher with Palm Beach County Schools. This is Marie’s first concert with Espressivo Singers, and she is so excited and grateful to have found such a wonderful group of people to sing with!
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.
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.
Brittany Milito - Alto
Brittany, typically a mezzo-soprano, is singing alto this season with Espressivo, after joining the ensemble in 2020. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Palm Beach Atlantic University and studied voice under Dr. Moon-Sook Park. Brittany spent four years teaching elementary music at Atlantic Christian Academy. She has held the role of music director for several musicals, been the director of her school's elementary concert choir and led music for chapel. Brittany enjoys working with her students in extracurricular activities and has also been involved in coaching various sports after school. Brittany has been a teacher for nearly a decade and currently teaches 5th/6th grade history. She has always had a deep love for music and is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this group.
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.
Carlos Plaza - Tenor
Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Carlos obtained his Bachelors of Arts degree in Music from Palm Beach Atlantic University, and his Master’s in Vocal Performance from the Shenandoah Conservatory under the instruction of Dr. Byron Jones. Carlos is currently working as a music educator at
St. Joseph Catholic School and is responsible for the elementary program, the middle school choir, and the St. Joseph Catholic School church choir. In addition, he is also the principal cantor at Our Lady Queen of the Apostles and sings for St. Edwards Catholic Church.
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 has sung with Espressivo since 2021. 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 principal 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.