About Our Members

Yehoon Ahn – I came to the states 17 years ago when I was 15. I always enjoyed music as a child. Upon graduating from dental school in 2012 (Loma Linda University in San Diego) I came to New Mexico for a job. After several years of working as a dentist, I began to feel the need for music in my life. I started to take voice lessons and fell in love with singing. Last semester, I joined the Albuquerque Civic Chorus. As a member of that group I sang the solo Pie Jesu, which was nerve wracking and exciting at the same time! It is an honor to be part of Coro Lux and I can’t wait to learn more about singing!

Jolynn Alarid is from Moriarty, New Mexico. She is a senior at The University of New Mexico studying Music Education and studies voice with Dr. Michael Hix. She performed Rene Clausen’s Requiem at Lincoln Center, toured with UNM Las Cantantes in New York, was a member of UNM Concert Choir, Opera Studio, and Chamber Singers. She currently teaches voice privately as well as ukulele and guitar through Albuquerque Guitar School. She looks forward to focusing on her songwriting and many years of music-making.

Larry Allen is a System Engineer at Sandia National Labs. He has sung with Opera Southwest and the University Chorus under Maestro Ellingboe more or less continuously since 1985. Larry feels like he has died and gone to Heaven when he gets to sing a major choral work with such an illustrious chorus as Coro Lux. He is survived by girlfriend, Jacki Judd and son Lawrence.

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 M.r 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.

Kate Austin — My parents were musicians and loved to sing, So, since singing was a family affair, I’ve been singing in a choral setting since I could talk.  I’m newly retired and have become an ABQ BioPark Docent and am loving it and the new singing opportunities in my life. Who would have thought that life could be this grand?

Alfredo Beltran is a lyric baritone and freelance musician currently based in Albuquerque. He is a recent graduate of the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of  Missouri-Kansas City, where he received a Master of Music Degree in Voice Performance,  studying under baritone Dale Morehouse. Before that, he received a Bachelor of Music  Degree in Voice Performance from UNM, where he studied with baritone Michael Hix. His  prior choral experiences include singing in the UNM Concert Choir under Bradley Ellingboe, Quintessence under Matthew Greer, the UMKC Conservatory Singers under Dr.  Robert Bode, and the Kansas City Symphony Chorus under Charles Bruffy. He is also currently a choral intern and assistant conductor at First Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque, working with Dr. James Yeager.

Elysia Bennett is an Albuquerque native who studied at UNM and received her degree in Vocal Performance in 2012. Aside from teaching voice at NDI-Highland and the Little Guitar School, Elysia loves to adventure with her husband Gerald and their son Atlas.

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!

Bill Biffle has recently retired, which allows him to spend his time now on the things that matter most to him: family (wife, daughters and grandchildren), playing golf, trumpet, and singing (in about that order of importance).

Lillian Biffle, a degreed musician, is a golfer, knitter, mother of two and grandmother of five.  With Coro Lux, Lillian Biffle returns to her roots as a choral soprano – an activity at which she excelled before the other things got in the way.

Jan Bowers – is a middle aged, widowed, white woman, doing her best to keep all of her balls in the air! Including golf balls! Managing her commercial rental property and providing for her retired racehorses keeps her occupied most of the time. Jan is blessed with a wide network of friends, and cultivating those friendships is very important to her! She loves entertaining and is fortunate enough to take a couple of trips a year. Jan is involved in her church life as a part of the “Visual Choir” and the Chancel Choir. She has sung for many years in choirs under the waving arms of Brad Ellingboe. Very excited to be a part of this new ensemble, Coro Lux!

Wanda Kidwell Brasgala — A Washington DC area native, Wanda sang Handel’s Messiah in front of the White House with her public high school. An artist, Wanda completed an apprenticeship in the DC area, as well as in San Francisco, before being invited, while still a teen, to northern New Mexico for an artist apprenticeship with Janusz and Nancy (Hebenstreit) Koikowksi. While there, Wanda stayed several months with artist, Georgia O’Keeffe.

Rebecca Brunette graduated from UNM’s music program in 2015 with a focus in opera performance. During an average week you can find her in a choir, on a mountain, or possibly under a pile of books. If you find her elsewhere, you will have seven years of good luck.

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.

Mark Burak is a native New Mexican from Las Cruces and has lived in Albuquerque for 27 years. Married to his wife, Anna, they are busy raising their two baseball crazed boys Griffin (9) and Cooper (7).  He’s owned a Civil Engineering consulting practice in Albuquerque since 1994 and has worked all over the world  Mark’s music background began with a ten year affair with the bassoon achieving a number of soloist medals culminating with a seat with the El Paso Symphony.  Singing as a baritone with Coro Lux, Mark is awed and honored to be creating beautiful music with a great group of like-minded individuals.

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 looking forward to singing with Coro Lux.

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!

Sara Dean is a born-and-raised Mainer who has come to understand, since moving with her husband and two children to New Mexico in 2008, that she has Southwestern genes in her as well.  One of the best parts about her family’s move to Albuquerque in 2016 is being able to sing in Coro Lux.  After careers in music administration and teaching, she believes she has found her true calling as a music therapist.  She, Karen and Brad share an alma mater – Um Ya Ya!

Martin Doviak started singing and strumming publicly as a Peter Yarrow wannabe in his teenage years, which led right into wailing Bob Dylan songs in college, followed quickly by singing and dancing as a Princeton Triangle Club chorister, and in more recent times, having ditched the guitar and dance belt, singing as a member of University Chorus, New Mexico Symphonic Chorus, Quintessence, and Coro Lux.  When not singing, he can be found on local tennis courts, ski slopes, or public parks with his three 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.

Kit Ersfeld — While pursuing a busy career in healthcare management, Kit began singing as a tool for stress reduction. She enjoyed it so much, she continued for the next decade, right into retirement!  Kit now sings with multiple groups and spends time visiting her 3 children and 1 grandchild.

Ennio Fermo — I am Italian and started singing at 1994 with a choir in my home town of Trieste. I have three grown children, who live there. My daughter will be a mother next March, making me a grandfather for the first time.  Most importantly, I found a great person and we married here at ABQ five years ago.  She is the light of my life.  My job is restoring furniture — I like giving it new life.

Amanda Flippo has always had a deep love of music, and singing in particular. Thanks to a string of wonderful music teachers in her life, her love of music grew and she decided to pursue a degree in Vocal Music Education from the University of Oklahoma. She has been teaching elementary music in New Mexico ever since, first at a K-6 school in Santa Fe and now as an itinerant music teacher here in Albuquerque. When she isn’t making music with children at work, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband and son.

Lydia Grindatto will be graduating this coming December from UNM with a degree in vocal performance. For the lat 4 1/2 years, Lydia has pursued an active role in the UNM opera theatre program and the UNM choral and voice areas, and she plans to pursue a masters degree in opera. Lydia currently teaches high school voice students and when she’s not singing or studying, she’s probably wasting time on Instagram. Other than all this classical music stuff, Lydia’s passions include (but are not limited to) Jesus, her husband, friendship, traveling, fitness, songwriting, photography, cappuccinos, plants, fashion, mermaids, and outdoorsy adventures.

Sally Hinkebein has, according to witnesses, created vocal musical mayhem since birth. An Albuquerque native, and a UNM music graduate, she performed and toured with numerous UNM ensembles, church choirs, and the NMSOC, in fully-staged works, large ensembles, and chamber choruses. Family, friends, music, reading, writing and travel constantly subvert her long-held ambition of devising a self-cleaning home!

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.

Rebecca Jackson – My Papaw aptly named me “High-C” when I was 3. I have been singing ever since. I am a graduate of Texas Tech with a degree in vocal performance. I am currently in a group of former Texas Tech choir members who meet every six months in Texas to perform various works – the Ken Davis Chorale. I have been a voice teacher, a lead singer in a rock band, have always sung at church wherever we live, and currently teach elementary choir at Oak Grove Classical Academy. Although, my favorite job is taking care of my three kids.  I’ve been married to my husband, Richard (Albuquerque native), for 20 years. We’ve been in Albuquerque for 8 years and love skiing, hiking, and exploring the area as a family. I’m very excited to be joining locals in making beautiful music together.

Nicholas Jones is a resident musician in Albuquerque. Besides playing  piano at multiple churches around Albuquerque he stays busy by teaching music to children and adults around town. He is excited to debut with Coro Lux this season.

Jane Lawrence – In the midst of a rewarding career as a pastel and oil painter, music has proved to be an avenue for great expansion of artistic dimensions.  Wherever choral music with Brad Ellingboe has taken me, New York, London, Budapest, Prague, or Bath I also find and enjoy artwork of the Great Masters.  A musical and visual high point for me was singing Star Song in Bath Abbey — the joy of the sound, and the vision of the sunlight, suddenly on cue, illuminating the vaulted ceiling.  A moment of bliss. I paint under my given name, Jane Maclean.

Jeff Lawrence — I have been singing in various choirs and choruses, the UNM University Chorus included, for many decades. Now as a retired physicist from Sandia Labs I continue, along with my wife, singing in Coro Lux. But I have been working with colleagues on a 700-page book, which has just been published, describing the history of one of the “niche” areas of physics from the Labs. It took nearly five years, but now it’s out! I view my physics activities as a serving of a basic piece of cake, which can be very good. The music is the frosting. And as we all know, the cake really needs the frosting to make a great dessert—just like music is needed on the “cake of life.”

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!

Duncan MacIvor is an instructional coach for Elementary Literacy at Mission Achievement and Success Charter School. But before his life took a sharp turn towards the world of education, he achieved a Bachelors in Music Theory and Composition from UNM. He began studying piano when he was 5, but he was thoroughly unaware of any singing acumen he possessed until he entered the University and was required to join a choir…. That choir was UNM’s Dolce Suono, but soon, he was placed in Bradley Ellingboe’s Concert Choir, tackling repertoire such as Duruflé’s Requiem, Haydn’s Lord Nelson’s Mass, and his personal favorite, Herbert Howells’s Take Him, Earth, for Cherishing. Since then, music has been relegated to more of a hobby, having pursued a different career path, but no matter where he goes, he will always be twiddling his fingers on an imaginary keyboard and always humming a radiant tune–a tune as threadbare as “That Old Red Shawl.” Hats off to you if you understood that reference.

Elisa McLaughlin is happy to make Coro Lux the latest chapter of her torrid love affair with music. She aspires to one day quit her various day jobs and put a ring on it, most likely in the form of a music degree from UNM and a subsequent music career. Until such a commitment, you can find her in sensible shoes, emitting an aroma of coffee.

Liz McMaster — I’ve been singing in choruses for a long time–since ‘way back in high school. Singing with Brad is a great honor and pleasure. I also weave and knit, poke into political campaigns, work backstage with local community theaters and see my grandchildren as often as busy schedules provide.

Melissa Montoya received her Master’s degree in vocal performance from the University of New Mexico in 2008. She has appeared on stage as the Mother in Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” Larina in Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin,” the Mistress of the Novices in Puccini’s “Suor Angelica,” Praskovia in Lehar’s “The Merry Widow” and as Harriet in Musical Theater Southwest’s production of “The Civil War.” In concert, Melissa has sung solos in Handel’s “Messiah, “Mendelssohn’s “Elijah”, Bach’s “Christ Lag in Todes Banden” and Mozart’s “Requiem.” As a recitalist, she specializes in Spanish and French art song and the lieder of Mahler and Strauss. When not singing classical music, Melissa is singing as part of a French Gypsy Jazz duo around Albuquerque. Melissa has taught voice for over 10 years and is currently teaching at the Albuquerque Institute of Music.

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!

Amilia Notah has loved singing since early childhood. She inherited her musical inclination and admiration from her parents and grandparents and has been singing in choirs since high school. She is a registered nurse and spends her days off traveling, trying new recipes & restaurants with friends and family, going to the cinema, and being a doting mother to three purrfect furbabies.

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!

Wendy Orley was one of four siblings, one for each choral part! Since then she has been lucky enough to sing with fine choruses in England, Germany, and Zimbabwe, as well as several US cities. In all that time, her devotion to the mellow range of Alto 2 has never wavered. She also plays with crabs and sharks at the Biopark, puts things in order at the library, and applauds her actor husband at ABQ theatres.

Ildy Rolfs — It’s a long way from my Hungarian family roots…to being born in Germany…to growing up in Virginia, adding a BA in French to my language repertoire…to becoming a proud New Mexican! An avocational singer for over 30 years: church choirs, University Chorus, UNM Opera Studio Chorus, women’s singing group, and now Coro Lux! What a journey, and one I treasure! If Music is the universal language then Singing is one of the dialects!!! Let us continue to raise our voices in song!!!

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.

Mitchell Sances is an Albuquerque transplant from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Besides working on a PhD in Linguistics, he is very passionate about singing and music in general. In his extremely limited free time, Mitchell enjoys creative writing and hopes to make it a side career in the future.

Lynn Spray — Before coming to Coro Lux Lynn enjoyed singing in the University Chorus for over 20 years. She is devoted to her family and has one son and two daughters along with being blessed with four beautiful grandchildren. On most days you’ll find her entertaining close friends or gardening. She also keeps busy as a professional Massage Therapist.

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.

William Trimble – My music background started with my mother at the piano.  From there it  was the trumpet and baritone and, of course, as with all of us who were teenagers in the 70’s, I picked up the guitar.  With the encouragement of my co-worker/voice teacher Mary Russell, I pursued singing four years ago with the Albuquerque Civic Chorus under the direction of Dr. Gary Pyland, then Renato Estacio and currently Jerrilyn Foster.  I’ve sung with  Matthew Greer the past two summers in his Quintessence summer choral festival,  and also with David Felberg and the Albuquerque Philharmonic. I have a son in Dallas and a daughter in Las Vegas, Nevada.  I also recently became a  grandfather and am thrilled!  Singing has brought so much pleasure to my life.  The best part has been all the wonderful people in the music community.

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!)

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.

Lalie Williamson is a Texas native who has lived in New Mexico for 12 years and still has not tried green or red chile. She has played piano since the age of 3, dabbled at the violin a little, and has sung in various choirs since middle school. She continued on to develop her love of music and received a B.A. in Music from UNM, where she met her husband, a classical guitarist turned software developer. She then received here M.A. in English from NMHU, and is now an elementary school music teacher in Rio Rancho, N.M. In her free time, she can be found knitting, reading, writing, attempting to sew, or trying to learn to play golf.

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.