About Our Members

Joseph Alcorn played several musical instruments since childhood, found choral singing at Pomona College and spent 25 years in and out but mostly in the University Chorus. He is retired now from molecular biology and medicine to various follies on a farm in Bernalillo well aware of the GBShaw observation that “Hell is full of musical amateurs…” but hopeful that Professor Ellingboe will put in a good word….

Katy Anderson grew up with a UNM music alum as a mom, so singing made perfect sense. After graduating from Cibola High School, she earned a Vocal Performance degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. She also met her husband at Vanderbilt, a talented trumpet player and guitarist. After additional music and choral studies at the University of Georgia, she began a career in non-profit work and continues to this day. Three wonderful little girls joined the family starting in 2009, and yes, they also love to sing!

George Arthur — When George was an undergraduate at UNM he was an active member of the University Chorus. After 50 years living in Connecticut he has returned full circle to Albuquerque and singing under the direction of the former music director of that same group.

Bill Artman — I began singing in a Men’s Glee Club at St Bonaventure University (in western New York), 50 years ago.  SPEBSQSA, Mannergesangverein in Landstuhl 1966, numerous church choirs, the UNM University Chorus, and Bob Boughton’s Madrigal  Singers bring the total number of groups I have sung in to 10.  I am so pleased to once again sing for Mr. Brad Elllingboe in Coro Lux!   I recently received a new aortic valve donated to me from a Mexican Fighting Bull.  As a result, I find I feel more aggressive towards Swedes and Norwegians now.  Love to sing, ride motorcycles, and all the other activities which help you gain weight.

Elysia Bennett – Elysia received her Bachelor of Music degree from UNM in 2012. She continues to teach private lessons part time and works in the financial industry full time. She has a 4 year old son who absolutely loves dinosaurs. Her hobbies include watercolor painting, being outdoors and spending time with family.

Gerald Bennett – Greetings! You can call me “g”. I have had varied and somewhat related musical experiences, but suffice it to say, “I did things… now I’m here.” During my lengthy pursuit for papers proving I can do music, I lost my passion for doing so! What you’re seeing here is an attempt to reinvigorate the once cherished passion to ‘phonate on a properly shaped vowel.’ See what I mean? Enjoy the show!

Jan Bowers – I was born into a musical family! My Mom was a very talented pianist and my Dad was a fine singer and loved listening to his extensive record collection!! I have inherited their love of music! For decades I have treasured the camaraderie and the pure joy which are undeniable while singing in a choir! Over the years I have been fortunate enough to have sung in numerous ensembles under the ever so capable, waving arms and tutelage of Brad Ellingboe. Being a member of Coro Lux is a privilege which I do not take lightly!

Jo Browning – I can’t remember a time when there wasn’t singing and music in my life. My parents were both singers and soloists and our home was filled with music. We learned harmony, rhythm and meter, singing things like “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt” (tra, la, la, la, la, la, la. Didn’t everyone sing in the car while traveling?!) I’ve sung in choirs my entire life, and particularly enjoy a cappella singing and enjoy the privilege of singing with Coro Lux.

Linda Buffett – I spent my childhood in a divided home:  Mom couldn’t sing at all, but Dad certainly could.   He taught my brother and me to sing harmonies to his tenor, especially around a bonfire on the beach on a summer’s evening. I joined a  church choir in third grade and kept singing in choirs, ensembles and musicals  until I finished college. For a while, family activities took over,  but about 25 years ago I found music again. Singing with Brad Ellingboe I have had wonderful experiences, including singing at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center,  and in venues in Rome, Edinburgh, Budapest,  Bratislava, Prague, London and Bath Abbey. I love the joy that comes from rehearsing and performing wonderful music, and singing in Coro Lux presents a new and greater challenge.

Paul Bushnell — Paul owns and operates assisted living facilities in Albuquerque because his CD’s didn’t sell. He has sung low bass for a long time and once… just once,…one time…he’d like to sing the melody!

Bryan Butler has sung in church, school, community, and professional choirs since a very young age. He is a staff astronomer at the Very Large Array and has been in New Mexico for more than 20 years. He has sung locally with Quodlibet, Polyphony, and Quintessence, and is happy to be singing with Coro Lux now.

Jonathan Davidson, tenor, is the current director of choirs and performing arts at Mountain View Middle School in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Jonathan enjoys singing a variety of styles from opera all the way to Lady Gaga. He has a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Eastern Oregon University and a Masters from UNM in Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting. Basically, I love to sing high and wave my arms!

Martin Doviak started singing and strumming publicly as a Peter Yarrow wannabe in his teenage years, which led directly into wailing Bob Dylan songs in college, while also singing and dancing as a Princeton Triangle Club chorister. In more recent years, he has been seen and heard singing with the University Chorus, Albuquerque Festival Singers, New Mexico Symphonic Chorus, Quintessence, and Coro Lux. When not singing and dressed all in black, he can be found more colorfully and casually attired on local tennis courts, ski slopes, or public parks with his two dogs trying to avoid Animal Control officers.

Elizabeth Dwyer swears she came out of the womb singing alto because she heard her family singing and alto was the only voice they were missing. She lives with her cat, Sebastian, named after Johann Sebastian Bach, who adopted her on her 45th wedding anniversary.  After 40 years of working in the people businesses of Social Work and Government, she loves waking up to the melodies of the birds in her backyard wildlife habitat.

Karen Ellingboe wishes to abstain from listing anything here in a public way, as she is currently in the witness protection program, having served time in several of the conductor’s previous ensembles.

Angelynn Gomez is the director of choirs at James Monroe Middle School on the westside of Albuquerque. She earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree from UNM in 2014. She enjoys teaching 11 through 14-year olds during the week and singing with fellow professionals and music enthusiasts in Coro Lux.

Aubri Gonzales – born in Minnesota and raised in Albuquerque, she began her love of music by surprising her parents by singing all of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and playing “Twinkle, Twinkle” on the piano at 2. She has sung in various types of choirs over the last 10 years and has directed a children’s chorus and a community choir. She earned her Bachelor’s of Music Education from UNM in 2014 and has been teaching in the classroom since then. She is currently an elementary general music teacher in the Belen Consolidated Schools, but still hopes to teach middle school or high school choir someday. She is married to a handsome tenor and has two wonderful boys (and a baby on the way!) and is thrilled to be a part of the Coro Lux family.

Gabriel Gonzales – I am in my thirties and a business professional in the healthcare field. I am happily married to a beautiful soprano and a proud father of two boys. I studied voice privately through high school and was a vocal performance major at UNM. Music has always been a major part of my life and am honored to be a part of the musical experience of Coro Lux.

Vicki Hontas is a retired ER and critical care nurse who manages to stay busy playing cello in four orchestras along with several chamber music groups. She sang 2nd alto with Brad for the last 20 years, first with the University Chorus and is now thrilled to be singing at present with Coro Lux. Besides singing and playing the cello, she plays classical guitar, enjoys square dancing, does genealogy research, scrapbooking and is currently writing a family history book.

Kristen Miller Hutchinson received her Bachelors Degree in Music Education from New Mexico State University in 1998. During the past twenty years, Kristen has been a public school teacher, choral director, and elementary music teacher. Kristen is an accomplished singer and musical theatre vocal director in many local productions. She is a mom to two amazing young men who keep her very busy! Kristen is grateful and excited for the opportunity to perform with Coro Lux.

Ashley Jonkman began making music early in childhood, taking piano lessons, playing the clarinet and singing in choirs all the way through school. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Choral Music Education from Azusa Pacific University in the Los Angeles area, and came to New Mexico shortly after. She earned her Master’s in Secondary Education at the former College of Santa Fe, and taught middle school choir and elementary music for 6 years. Now, she has 3 kids (who are also musically inclined!) with her bass and piano-playing husband, works part-time in the children’s ministry at her church, and enjoys spending time outdoors. She has sung with Polyphony, and is thrilled to be a part of Coro Lux this year!

Garrett Keith is the choir director at both Cleveland Middle School and McKinley Middle School in Albuquerque. He’s a recent graduate from UNM with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. Garrett says, “Singing is one of my true passions in life and getting to sing in this ensemble is a true honor.”

Camille Kelly is a music teacher of 7ish years. In the fall of 2018, Camille decided to take a 6 month hiatus from teaching music and taught English in Europe while traveling to 13 countries- a time in life that changed her forever. To make things interesting, Camille met her fiance RIGHT BEFORE she left on her journey to Europe. It only made their story more romantic. They are to be wed in September 2020 coronavirus style (the big, real shindig is in 2021…fingers crossed). Finally, Camille just accepted the middle school choir director position at Tres Volcanes Community Collaborative and cannot wait to begin! A random tidbit is that Camille loves barbershop and acapella music! Ask about her old, barbershop quartet sometime (the good old days!).

Sharlotte Kramer is a research mechanical engineer at Sandia National Laboratories and has been a musician her entire life. She studied classical piano as a child; has been in choirs since middle school; and studied voice with Desiree LaVertu in Pasadena while earning her Ph.D. in Aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology. She has been leading the worship music at High Desert Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque since 2012. She joined Coro Lux in September 2019. When she is not running experiments in a structural test lab at Sandia Labs or singing, she is baking and spending time with her husband, Richard, and daughters, Grace and Evelyn.

Cynthia Lashley grew up with a loving balance of classical music (from mom’s side) and gospel music (from dad’s side). She has always loved singing in school, college, and community colleges—in Connecticut, Boston, Chicago, New York, and again in Albuquerque. In the 80s Cynthia was one of the founding mothers of Albuquerque Women’s Choral Ensemble. We sang in cathedrals to full audiences in the Tuscany area of Italy including in Il Duomo in Firenze. Cynthia sang the Swing Low alto solo for that tour. Cynthia plays a little cello, piano, guitar, and auto harp. She has her PhD and is full-time faculty at CNM. She is pleased to sing with Coro Lux and to learn from Brad yet again!

Brenden Laughlin is a native New Mexican and professional pianist who loves a good burrito smothered in red chile. He opened a piano studio in Albuquerque after obtaining his degree in piano from OBU and now happily makes music alongside his students. He also performs with multiple APS choral departments as an accompanist. Brenden started singing in kids choirs at a young age and has sung in various groups ever since. He finds great joy in singing with Coro Lux and loves sharing brilliant works of art with his hometown community.

Shelly Ley is back in New Mexico after 10 years in New York. She always tries to live in states that are New. Shelly sang with Brad in a choir about 15 years ago, and when he saw her at the Flying Star unexpectedly this summer, he made her promise she would sing with him again– this time in a new chorus. While in New York Shelly sang with the New York City Master Chorale, helped start a new music charter school, and later had her own music education business in the Hudson Valley. Being back in New Mexico not only gives Shelly a chance to reunite with former choir directors, but also lets her work with the best Fine Arts team as an APS music teacher!

Yasmeen Lookman received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of New Mexico. She continues her love of music and the performing arts at The Lensic Performing Arts Center where she works in Development. Yasmeen enjoys singing with various local choirs and is thrilled to be singing with friends, old and new, as a part of the wonderful Coro Lux.

Nicole Lopez discovered a joy in singing at an early age, which was fostered by her very patient parents who never discouraged her from singing along (as loudly as possible) with every Disney soundtrack and 90’s pop tune she heard. She is nearing graduation from UNM with a B.A. in Music, and aspires to become a choir teacher for a middle school or high school. When she isn’t singing, Nicole can often be found teaching swimming lessons, cliff jumping, or hiking with her fiancé and their two very spoiled cats.

David Milford, bass, started singing in the Albuquerque Boy’s Choir at the age of 10. He then sang in the choir, as well as a small madrigal group, at Highland High School. Following graduation, he sang at Oberlin with the College Choir, the Musical Union, and the Obertones (acapella). Upon returning to ABQ he sang for a short time with the UNM Choir, and then the NM Symphony Orchestra Chorus for many years. David studied solo voice with Paul Barrientos for 10 years, and had roles with MTS, OSW, and Teatro Nuevo Mexico (Zarzuela at the NHCC). Looking forward to more ‘making a joyful noise unto the world’!

Joe Mitchell started his musical career in Belen, New Mexico playing the trumpet in 6th grade. This led to high school marching band, choir, talent shows, and musicals. While pursuing his Bachelor of Music Education at UNM, he sang with the Men’s Chorus, Dolce Suono, Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and Opera Studio. He graduated in 2017 and is now the middle school Choir and Exploratory Music teacher at Tres Volcanes Community Collaborative School. Joe believes everyone’s lives should be filled with musical experiences, and is excited to share some of those experiences with Coro Lux!

Lori Nash has been singing since I was five years old, first at home in Minnesota, and later here in ABQ. I am a widow of three years, have two wonderful daughters and their spouses. Since retiring from Medical Technology, I stay busy with my bridge groups, book club, knitting scarves for cancer patients, and playing scrabble with my three sisters! I also love being on the board of Coro Lux!

Kirsten Norman – As a native New Mexican, Kirsten has been singing in choirs for almost 30 years. She thanks her high school music teacher for getting her involved in the best of hobbies. Kirsten prefers to sing next to fellow altos Kristen and Kristin to keep the conductor on their toes.

Neal Ohle – this converted Tuba player found his voice at UNM. Being around music his whole life, he loves to be apart of any ensemble. He can’t wait to be a part of such a wonderful group this coming year!

Vinnessa Martinez Ohle – Well… I really started my musical career as a babe. My first words were “la la la”! In the real world, I started singing in the middle school choir in Belen. What an awkward time in our lives right??? Well good thing I had singing. I continued to be actively involved in choir and music throughout high school and into college. I attended UNM and sang in the Concert Choir since freshman year under Brad. I currently teach in Los Lunas Public Schools as an Elementary General Music Teacher. I now subject my students to the world of singing. It’s good for them! I am so excited to be singing in a choir again!

Walter Polt — Music has brought health to humans since long before biblical times. I owe any fragments of sanity and health to singing with groups since I was a little boy. I sang in church choirs, schools, colleges, and community groups and choruses including the Yale Russian Chorus, where I did a double-bass solo in between shots of the chorus’s vodka. I feel grateful to conductors and teachers who have helped me improve my singing to the present day. One high point was singing Whitman’s inspired words in Brad’s Star Song with an immense choir from around the country at Lincoln Center.

Chester Sakura — I am 74 years old and have sung with Brad for 20 years or maybe more. At my age I can’t remember how long. Ha Ha I am a retired doctor who still like golf, tennis and skiing.

Jody Spalding is a retired audiology professor. She plays flute and has sung in church choirs since childhood. She and Peter have been singing together for church choirs in Iowa City IA, Chapel Hill NC, New Orleans LA, Ann Arbor MI, Lincoln NE and are now very happily singing under Brad’s leadership at the United Church of Santa Fe. She is overjoyed to be part of the amazing group of Coro Lux singers! “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato

Peter Spalding is a retired orthodontic and pediatric dentistry professor who has sung in his church choirs since childhood when he was the only boy in the choir. Although most of his musical training was as a cellist, he has found his voice is much easier to tote around and is thrilled to experience Brad as conductor for both his church choir and Coro Lux!

Sue Spaven — Music came into my life with classical piano lessons, playing in the high school band and singing in my church choir.  After a career as a computer scientist, I was drawn back to my musical roots, playing keyboards and vibes in jazz and church bands, learning ballet and modern dance, and singing with the Quintessence summer festivals and the Laughing Spirit and Frabjous Day choirs.

Emily Steinbach — A native New Mexican, Emily is the district music resource teacher for the APS Fine Arts Department. Previously, she taught elementary music for the APS Fine Arts Department from 2006-2019. Emily earned her Master’s in music, with an emphasis in music education in 2008 from the University of New Mexico and her Educational Leadership Certification from the University of New Mexico in 2019. Emily has a passion for jazz and running but especially loves being a mom to her son, Sebastian Miles.

Peter Stoll first sang in a chorus in first grade, for a room full of school principals, and has seldom stopped since. When he got to MIT in 1967, John Oliver was the assistant Glee Club director, which eventually got him into a couple of years with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and a summer job at Tanglewood. Though distracted from music by decades of design engineering and other gainful employment with Intel, he has sung with Quintessence, de Profundis, and Canticum Novum.

Susie Tallman graduated UCLA with a BA in voice performance. Susie followed her passion to work with musicians by working at A&M Studios with the producer Jimmy Iovine. She then left A&M with Jimmy Iovine and a few others to become a founding employee of Interscope Records. Susie was fortunate enough to work with world class musicians including NIN, Tom Jones, Dr. Dre, Ron Sexsmith, A Very Special Christmas albums, Tracy Chapman and so many others. One incredible experience after the next provided Susie with the knowledge to venture out on her own to start Rock Me Baby Records. Wanting to live and study abroad before recording, Susie further evolved her voice in France, singing with the Choeur International and the American Chorus in Paris. Upon her return to the states, Susie honed her classical training at the New England Conservatory Workshop in Boston and worked at the extraordinary indie label Q Division Records. She has sung backup for such acts as Ronnie Spector, Darlene Love and Cheap Trick, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Rose Bowl, the Los Angeles Forum and Pauley Pavilion as well as in commercials for Taco Bell, The Coca-Cola Reunion commercial and the movie Beaches. She is a former member of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and The New Mexico Symphony Chorus. Susie is currently raising three children while teaching, singing & recording. Videos from her DVD can be seen on PBS between shows around the country.

Kristin Thelander is excited to begin a new musical chapter as a member of Coro Lux.  She returned to ABQ after retiring from the University of Iowa as horn professor and Director of the School of Music.  She and her husband Wayne have been dear friends with the Ellingboes since she taught at UNM in the 80s.  As a St. Olaf grad, she appreciates great choral music and singing, but hasn’t been a member of a choir since she was 18!

Wayne Thelander was a school orchestra director for 40 years before retiring and returning to his native ABQ.  As a double bass player, he has been a member of NMSO, Santa Fe Symphony, and Cedar Rapids (IA) Symphony.  At St. Olaf he sang for two years in the men’s chorus, and now he looks forward to singing again with Coro Lux.

Natalie Tiesi— I am so excited to be a part of Coro Lux. Originally from Georgia, I came to Albuquerque to study Spanish and Latin American Studies at UNM. However, after a few years working, I decided to return to my first love of music. I went back to school at UNM, got a music education degree, and now I spend my days singing, dancing, and teaching wonderful children at Maggie Cordova Elementary School in Rio Rancho. When I’m not singing (which must mean I’m asleep), I’m hanging out with my husband and our beautiful daughter, Annabelle (and we are probably singing too).

Quynh Truong — After my high school and university years of singing in concert choirs, I journeyed through my career as a nurse and have recently rekindled my love for singing. I’m still a full time nurse, but I greatly enjoy my other full time job – being a part of Coro Lux! It brings me joy to be part of this amazing and fast growing ensemble of great musicians.

Antoinette Utsinger is a life-long resident of ABQ and has sung with Brad for about 16 years. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to do two of my greatest passions…work with animals (I own a pet-care business), and sing! (Sometimes even singing to the animals!)

Jamie Villanueva — I grew up as one of those “California Girls” when the Beach Boys were still performing in my local supermarket parking lot!  I studied education and music at a UCLA and soon began singing “I Get Around” as I explored the Southwest making a career as a special educator.  A few times the universe said “Woudn’t It Be Nice” to have “Fun Fun Fun” and I also found myself teaching music and theater to children. Loving the “Good Vibrations”, I continued singing here in Albuquerque with Westside Concert Chorale, Albuquerque Civic Chorus, Quintessence Summer Festival Chorus, and now, Coro Lux.   “God Only Knows” how grateful I am to my incredible mother, a gifted pianist, accompanist and singer, for instilling in me the love of choral music!

Krista Vrapi has been singing her whole life, but mostly Disney songs,  hence she started her own company Singing Princess Parties. Now she can pretend to be a  princess on other days besides Halloween. When she is not singing Disney songs, she puts her vocal performance degree to good use singing for Coro Lux.  Though Colorado State University awarded her a Bachelor’s degree, what she was really after was an MRS degree, which she promptly got at the end of the summer she graduated. The Mrs. degree produced 3 young kids (and counting) whom she loves to homeschool. When she isn’t homeschooling or singing for Coro Lux, you can find her crafting away which is sure to solicit an “oh great, another project” look from her husband’s adoring face.

Vicky Wood is an elementary music teacher with Albuquerque Public Schools. She originally hails from Maryland but has been living in Albuquerque for over ten years and has no plans to leave. She is Secretary and Volunteer Coordinator for Coro Lux as well as Treasurer for New Mexico AOSA, so it’s a good thing she has summers off to regain her sanity! During her free time, she prefers to either travel the world or hang out at home with her cats.

LaVonne Yazzie – I am an Albuquerque transplant from Phoenix and a member of the Navajo Nation. I am the mother of a wonderfully talented daughter and a newlywed wife to the most amazing husband. As a child, I studied violin as my primary instrument while singing in various choirs throughout my life. While at UNM, I studied English Pre-Law and Spanish, and I sang with the UNM Madrigal Singers. By day, I am a Service Coordinator for individuals on the DD Waiver with developmental disabilities. In my free time, I serve Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church as a member of the parish council, a catechism teacher and a soprano in the church choir. I also sing with the Albuquerque Madrigal Singers under Juan Hernandez. This is my first time singing with Coro Lux and for Bradley Ellingboe, and I am so grateful to be a member of such a talented and passionate choir.