Staff & Volunteers
(To email a member of the staff, click on their name)
Denice Beights, Executive Director
Mrs. Beights has many years of experience in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors and has a diverse background in fundraising, training, management, and volunteerism. In addition to her role with the FWCC, Mrs. Beights is Adjunct Faculty for IPFW Continuing Studies, and teaches in the Leadership and Supervision series. She is an active community volunteer and is currently serving as President-Elect of the IPFW Alumni Association Board of Directors. She has been awarded the 2010 IPFW Alumni Citation, is a 2007 graduate of Leadership Fort Wayne and a 2006 Future 40 Award winner. Mrs. Beights is a saxophonist and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from IPFW. During her free time, she loves watching Colts football with her husband Mike and her son Joey.
Jonathan Busarow, Artistic Director
Mr. Busarow has previously served as director of the Valparaiso University Men’s Choir and instructor of voice as well as the sabbatical replacement for his mentor, Dr. Christopher M. Cock. Prior to his appointment at Valparaiso University, he served as a graduate teaching associate at The Ohio State University and has worked at several churches in Ohio and Indiana. Jonathan 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 studied conducting with Christopher Cock, Dennis Friesen-Carper, Lenki Igo, Lilla Gabor, Robert J. Ward, and Hilary Apfelstadt. Mr. Busarow is in frequent demand as a clinician and as a soloist.
Janet Treadway, Director of Operations
Mrs. Treadway, or “Momma T” as the kids affectionately call her, 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. Janet 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 9 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
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, member of the United Way of Allen County Investment Cabinet and early childhood investment team chair, and serves on additional committees for Fort Wayne Community Schools and United Way. 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.
Donna Haywood, Financial/Administrative Assistant
Mrs. Haywood has finished her first year on staff with the Fort Wayne Children's Choir. She has a BS in Marketing from Michigan State University, and an accounting degree from IPFW. She plays the flute in her church choir at Our Lady of Good Hope, and is a member of the Flute Ensemble, Fort Wayne Flutes. She currently has one daughter in the choir, and two children who are alumnae of the choir.
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. Daughters Brianna and Maura, participate in the Concert and Lyric choirs, respectively.
Irene S. Ator, Assistant to the Artistic Director, 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 sixteenth 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 Coutler, 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 Harris 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.
Lois Foote, Accompanist for Lyric Choir
Mrs. Foote has been an accompanist for FWCC for ten years. Mrs. Foote learned to love classical music as a child and took piano lessons throughout her school years. She has taught piano, played for schools and churches, and accompanied students for auditions and contests for many years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and teaching at Wheaton College, where she was privileged to sing in the Concert Choir all four years. Mrs. Foote and husband, Greg celebrated their 30th anniversary this year, and they are thankful for their three adult children.
Heidi Emmert, Director of Whitley County Choir
Mrs. Emmert is very active in her community of Columbia City, where she serves as Director of Music and Worship Arts at Columbia City United Methodist Church. Mrs.Emmert grew up in this area and received her Bachelor of Music Education from Butler University.
Becky Walter, Accompanist for Whitley County Choir
Mrs. Walter has just 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 will be a licensed Kindermusik teacher and business owner by Christmas 2011. Mrs. Walter and her husband, Larry, are the proud parents of a Brady Bunch and four grandchildren.
Steve Snyder, Director of Treble Choir
After discovering his love for vocal music in the All-Ohio Youth Choir, Mr. Snyder received his collegiate musical training at Miami University. He then worked for the Ridgewood school district in Ohio for ten years, serving as choir director for the middle school and high school. In 2008, he began his Master’s degree studies at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He relocated to Fort Wayne in 2011, and was hired by Goshen High School to found the school’s first men’s choir, direct the Crimson Choir and teach beginning guitar. In his spare time, he enjoys Ultimate Frisbee, disc golf, singing with his church choir, and working on the final project for his Master’s degree. He currently resides in Fort Wayne with his wife, Kristen.
Donna Hartleroad, Accompanist for 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.
Ashley Treadway, Chamber Singers Vocal Coach
Miss Treadway is a native of Fort Wayne and graduate of Northrop High School, and is near completion of a degree in music education at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. While at IPFW, she was a member of University Singers, Chamber Singers, and the women's acapella group The Prima Donnas, as well as an officer for the student chapters of ACDA, MENC, and the women's music fraternity, Sigma Alpha Iota. She has been cast in many IPFW Opera Ensemble productions, as well as been in productions at the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre and Arena Dinner Theater. She spent ten years as a member the Fort Wayne Children's Choir.
Board of Directors:
President: Joshua Neal, Barrett & McNagny
Vice President: Diana Bartscht, Community Volunteer
Treasurer: Jenny Lemmon, Andorfer and Co, LLP
Secretary: Ingrid Laidroo-Martin, Fort Wayne Community Schools
Members at Large:
Leslie Carmin, Community Volunteer
Jennifer Fisher, Group Dekko
John Foxworthy, Phillips Financial
Jeff Fritz, Dupont
Jeff Gery, Lincoln Financial Group
George Guido, Carson Boxberger
Charley Hire, Hire's Automotive
Debbie Powers, Kelly Services
Barbara Resch, IPFW
Randy Brown, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
Suzon Motz, Community Member
Barb Richardson, WAJI Majic 95.1
Bob Roets, Wooden Nickel
Music Advisory Board:
Joan Phillips, retired, President
Fort Wayne Community Schools:
Erin Bean, Weisser Park Elementary School
Wendy Bloom, Haley Elementary School
Amy Maupin, Price Elementary School
Janet Piercy, Arlington Elementary School
Kay Bishop, Towles Intermediate School
Antwerp Local Schools:
Mary Smith, Antwerp Local Elementary
Northwest Allen County Schools:
Diane Barton, Hickory Center
Sheila Gagen, Arcola Elementary School
Southwest Allen County Schools:
Anita Kowalski, Summit Middle School
Donna Lehman, Aboite Elementary School
Ken Rogner, Holy Cross Lutheran School
President: Carl Eby
Treasurer: Alice Minnick
Secretary: Jamie Wilsey-Heckman
Fundraising Chair: Tena Crist
Tour Fundraising Chair: Tena Crist
SCRIP Chair: Jen Chamberlain
Social Chair: MaryAnn Baker
Logo Chair: Kristin Eby
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 mission of the Fort Wayne Children's Choir is to provide a choral program exemplifying artistic and educational excellence for...Read More