Staff & Volunteers
Jonathan Busarow, Executive Artistic Director
Jonathan Busarow is the Executive Artistic Director of the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir and directs the Treble Choir, Concert Choir, and Chamber Singers. Mr. Busarow also serves on the voice faculty at Indiana University - Purdue University - Fort Wayne. Previously, he served as director of the Valparaiso University Men’s Choir and instructor of voice. Additionally, he served as the sabbatical replacement for his mentor, Dr. Christopher M. Cock, directing the Valparaiso University Chorale. Prior to his appointment at Valparaiso University, he served as a graduate teaching assistant at The Ohio State University and has worked at several churches in Ohio and Indiana.
In frequent demand as a clinician and as a tenor soloist, Mr. Busarow has been invited to conduct at the American Choral Directors Association National Conference, the Indiana Music Educators Association Convention, and the Bach Institute at Valparaiso University. He also serves as the Reading Session Chair for the American Choral Directors Association Central Division Conference and as the Children's Choir Repertoire & Standards Chair of the Indiana Choral Directors Association.
Mr. Busarow holds a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Valparaiso University, and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from The Ohio State University as well as a Kodály Certification from the Kodály Institute at Capital University. He has music education licensure from Ohio State University. Mr. Busarow has studied conducting with Christopher Cock, Dennis Friesen-Carper, Lenki Igo, Lilla Gabor, Robert J. Ward, and Hilary Apfelstadt.
Janet Treadway, Director of Operations
Mrs. Treadway has been dedicated to the choir for over sixteen years, both as a volunteer and an employee. Her two daughters are alumni of the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir. Mrs. Treadway is an active participant on the Northrop Choral Association Parent Board and has served as co-chair of the Classique Show Choir Invitational as part of the Northrop Choral Association for the past 10 years, even though her children have been out of Northrop High School since 2007. She still follows the show choir circuit and enjoys seeing current and former FWCC members in the local show choirs.She holds a degree in management from Akron University and is a 2011 graduate of Northeast Indiana Nonprofit Alliance’s Emerging Leaders Program. Emerging Leaders is a program that helps to strengthen the leadership and organizational skills of mid-level and senior executives in northeast Indiana’s nonprofit industry sector. In her spare time, she is a member of the Junior League of Fort Wayne and sings in her church choir with her father!
Susie Peirce, Director of Outreach, Community Choir Liaison
Mrs. Peirce is known in the community for her collaborative work with nonprofit organizations. Although it has been several years since she played saxophone and marched in her high school band, she loves music and has an appreciation of music performance. Mrs. Peirce has worked with parents and children as a Fort Wayne Community Schools elementary school media clerk and television producer and as WFWA PBS39 Education Outreach Coordinator. Her work at the television station included collaborative community programs and projects. Educated as a professional registered nurse, she worked at Parkview Hospital and Orthopaedics Northeast. Currently Susie is a School Buddy for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Married to John Peirce, she is the mother of two adult children. Her spare time includes watching football, reading, walking, needlework, sewing, and playing with her two dogs, Joey and Riley.
Nancy Swanson, Executive & Financial Assistant
After a three-year position as administrative assistant with Love In Deed - Sharehouse, Mrs. Swanson has returned to the FWCC as financial manager and executive assistant, a position she held from 2004-2010. Her previous experience includes four years at the University of Saint Francis and three years with all for One, productions. She is an active member of the Grabill Missionary Church and can often be found preparing meals for families in need. Mrs. Swanson holds a B.S. in Organizational Management from Goshen College. Her husband, Jon, is an active supporter of the FWCC, often seen taking photographs and assisting at performances. Mrs. Swanson's daughter, Hope, is an alum of the Fort Wayne Children's Choir Youth Chorale.
Tena Crist, Volunteer Coordinator
Mrs. Crist is a native of Fort Wayne and is currently pursing her MBA with a concentation in health care administration. She graduated from IPFW with a degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. Volunteering has been a part of her life. While employed at KUS she served as the company coordinator for the Junior Achivement Bowl-A-Thon and March of Dimes fundraisers and United Way workplace campaign. She also has volunteered with her church and other activiies in the community. The mother of five daugheters, she still finds time to volunteer for FWCC having chaperoned two tours and servnig as chair of the Parent Organization fundraising committee. Mrs. Crist, and her husband, Jeremy, still have three daughters at home. Daughter Brianna participates in the Youth Chorale.
Irene S. Ator, Artistic Assistant and Concert Choir, Youth Chorale and Chamber Singers Accompanist
Mrs. Ator has been accompanying the Fort Wayne Children's Choir since she traveled to Shrewsbury, England in 1999. Marking her twelfth year with the FWCC, she traveled with the Concert Choir to England for the Canterbury Festival this summer. With many tours and concerts in between, she feels extremely privileged to work with our talented singers and directors. Mrs. Ator is in demand as an accompanist and as a private piano and organ instructor. She spent twenty-five years in church music ministry. Since the early 1980s, she has been organ instructor at IPFW and the organist and harpsichordist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Her Music Education degree was earned at Indiana University and further piano and organ study took place at the Eastman School of Music in her hometown of Rochester NY.She is married to Dr. James Ator, retired Professor of Saxophone, Composition and Theory at IPFW and one of our 2008-2009 FWCC commissioned composers.
Susan LaCroix, Director of Apprentice Choir and Preparatory Program
Mrs. LaCroix is in her seventeenth year with the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir. A native of Minnesota, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Concordia University in River Forest, IL. She received additional training in the child’s voice, conducting, and Level One Kodály Certification at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She has operated a private piano and flute studio and taught music education at IPFW, Unity Lutheran School, and with Southwest Allen County Schools. She is currently a music education specialist and band director at Holy Cross Lutheran School. Her oldest two daughters are alumnae of the FWCC, and her youngest daughter is a member of the FWCC.
Kathy Coulter, Accompanist for Apprentice Choir
Mrs. Coulter has been with the FWCC for seven years. She received a Bachelor of Music at the College of Wooster in Ohio and a Masters of Art in Music Education at Montclair State University in New Jersey. She taught music for many years in New Jersey, New York, Iowa, and Indiana, most recently at Canterbury School in Fort Wayne. She is currently teaching preschool at the SonShine Christian Academy in Fort Wayne, thoroughly enjoying her class of three year- olds. She lives in Auburn with her husband, Scott, two of their three adult children, and four cats.
Phyllis Boester, Director of Lyric Choir
Mrs. Boester received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. She teaches general music at Weisser Park Elementary School. At First Wayne Street United Methodist Church, Mrs. Boester is the Associate Choir Director and Director of Children's Music. She has completed Levels I & II of Orff-Schulwerk and is a member of the NIOSA Chapter. She completed three levels of Kodály training at Capital University and two levels of Creating Artistry for Choral Conductors at Butler University. She is the Area 2 Middle School Coordinator for the Circle the State with Song Festival and a dedicated member of Heartland Chamber Chorale. Her two sons are both alumni of the FWCC program.
Donna Hartleroad, Accompanist for Lyric Choir & Treble Choir
Mrs. Hartleroad was the former accompanist for Concert Choir working with Mr. Fred Meads, former FWCC Artistic Director. She also accompanies at IPFW where she assists students in preparation for performances, competitions, and degree recitals. She also maintains a private piano studio. Mrs. Hartleroad serves as the Director of Music at Shoaff Park Baptist Church. Previously, Mrs. Hartleroad was coach and accompanist for the IPFW Department of Music, was Assistant Musical Director for the IPFW University Singers, Chamber Singers and Opera Ensemble. Mrs. Hartleroad has a degree in piano performance from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio and has done post-graduate work at Ohio State University. She and her husband Randy, an engineer, have two children.
Becky Walter, Director of Whitley Community Children's Choir
Mrs. Walter is retired after 30 years of teaching elementary music in Whitley County. She is now focusing her energies on creating musical and artistic opportunities through the Whitley Arts Partnership for people of “all ages and stages”. She earned her music education degree from Western Michigan University and her Masters degree from IPFW. She has completed Levels I and II of the Orff-Schulwerk training, is an Endorsed Trainer with Education Through Movement, and has a certification in First Steps in Music. a music literacy program for the very young. Mrs. Walter and her husband, Larry, are the proud parents of a Brady Bunch and six grandchildren.
Tavis Schlicker, Director of Youth Chorale
Mr. Schlicker is the director of choral activities at Concordia Lutheran High School in Fort Wayne. He has lead quality high school vocal programs in Wisconsin, Texas, and Indiana. The Concordia choral program frequently garners gold ratings “with distinction” at Organizational competition and was honored to earn a spot at the Indiana State Finals and receive the ISSMA “All-Music Award” for the past two years. In Texas, choirs under the direction of Mr. Schlicker were annual sweepstakes award winners and competed successfully at regional and state levels. Mr. Schlicker was nominated twice for Texas private school director of the year honors. He is an active regional and national ACDA member and serves on the ad-hoc ISSMA jazz committee as the ICDA District 2 Representative and All-State Coordinator. He also participates on the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir music advisory board. Mr. Schlicker and his wife, Jennifer, have four musical children, of which two are in Apprentice and Concert Choirs, respectively.
Board of Directors:
President: Carrie Minnich, Dulin, Ward, and DeWald, Inc.
Vice-President: Justin Shurley, TinCaps
Treasurer: Tony Strickler, Sweetwater
Secretary: Meg Ryan, Bishop Luers, Educator
Members at Large:
Diana Bartscht, Community Arts Volunteer
Kevin Christianson, Sweetwater
Kathryn Lemish, Lincoln Financial
Mitchell McKinney, Fort Wayne Police Department
Alex Richardson, Northwestern Mutual
Tim Robinson, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church
Michael Ross, Carson Boxberger
Stephanie Taylor, Child Protective Services
Music Advisory Board:
Erin Bean, Heritage Elementary - President
Fort Wayne Community Schools:
Wendy Bloom, Haley Elementary School
Amy Maupin, Price Elementary School
Janet Piercy, Arlington Elementary School
Northwest Allen County Schools:
Diane Barton, Hickory Center Elementary School
Sheila Gagen, Arcola Elementary School
Southwest Allen County Schools:
Anita Kowalski, Summit Middle School
Krista Swaidner, Covington Elementary School
Vannessa Proulx, St. Therese Catholic Elementary
Antwerp Local Schools:
Mary Smith, Antwerp Local Elementary
President: Jamie Wilsey-Heckman
Vice President: Seema Reddy
Treasurer: Alice Minnick
Fundraising Chair: Jamie Wilsey-Heckman
SCRIP Chair: Alicia Davis
Social Chair: Jennifer Balkenbusch
Logo Chair: Tracey Wahl
Board Liaison: Charley Hire
Staff Liaison: Tena Crist
The Parent Organization was formed to support the social activities of the choir and help provide fund raising opportunities to defray tuition costs and tour expenses for the singer and the organization. The success of the Parent Organization depends on volunteers to serve on the social committees, fund raising committees, committee chairs and choir representatives.
The Preparatory Program is designed to help our youngest students, 6-7 years old, develop their vocal talent by building skills...Read More