CHORAL STAFF
Debora Utley
Director:    Debora Utley
Debora Utley graduated from Elmhurst College, receiving a Bachelor of Music Education Degree, with a double major in Theatre and a Certificate in Vocal Performance. She received her Master of Music from Northern Illinois University in 2000 and Master of Education from Olivet Nazarene
University in 2010.

Debora received the “Outstanding Music Educator of the Year 2000” award from the Music Educators National Conference (MENC). She has been a clinician and guest conductor for various schools across the nation and Canada and was on the adjunct faculty of Elmhurst College as the Director of Women’s Chorus. In 2011, she earned the “Outstanding Contribution to Education” award from Buffalo Grove High School. 

Debora has served as the ACDA Show Choir Repertoire and Standards Chair for the Midwest and ILMEA District 7 Vocal Jazz Representative. 

Debora’s responsibilities as Director of Vocal Music at Buffalo Grove High School currently include Beginning Treble Choir, Advanced Treble Choir, Men’s Chorale, Chamber Singers, Vocal Director of the Spring Musical, 2 Vocal Jazz Ensembles, and 4 competitive A Cappella Ensembles. Debora’s
ensembles have been selected to perform al the Illinois Music Educators Conference in 2016 and 2018 and travel to Europe every three years to perform and visit sister school, Kundmanngasse Gymnasium in Vienna, Austria. As a performer, Debora has appeared in lead roles in over 30
theatrical productions, was a featured performer at Worlds of Fun Amusement Park in Kansas City, and was a National Anthem performer for the Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Comets.
Help available before/after school – Choir office
DEBORA UTLEY
School Phone: 847.718.4161
Bryan Itzkowitz
band Director:    BRYAN ITZKOWITZ
Bryan Itzkowitz started his work at Holmes Middle School in the fall of 2005. Mr. Itzkowitz teaches the Sixth Grade Band, Jazz Band, as well as the Fifth Grade Beginning Band students from Frost, Twain, and Whitman Elementary Schools. He also directs the “Hornet” Pep Band and the HMS Latin Band. He has also raised over $20,000, and collected over 50 used instruments, for the Holmes Band Sponsorship Program, which refurbishes/purchases new instruments for underprivileged students.

Mr. Itzkowitz has worked with the Expressions ever since he was a member of the Expressions Band his junior year at Buffalo Grove. In addition to his duties as the Expressions Band Director, Mr. Itzkowitz has also served as assistant to the director of the “Bison Pride” Marching Band and as the director of Buffalo Grove’s Jazz Band II.

Mr. Itzkowitz received his Bachelors in Music Education from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2005. While at Illinois, Mr. Itzkowitz studied saxophone with Professor Debra Richtmeyer and performed with Symphonic Band I, II, various saxophone quartets, as well as Jazz Ensembles II and III. Mr. Itzkowitz received his Masters in Educational Leadership from Concordia University – Chicago in 2007. Currently, he plays in the Salsa Chicago Mambo All-Starts, which play all over the Midwest.

In addition to his teaching duties, Mr. Itzkowitz is also an active adjudicator, clinician, saxophonist, and guest conductor. Recently, he was chosen to present a guest lecture at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago.
Bryan Itzkowitz
PAUL LANGFORD
A Chicago based singer, arranger, keyboardist, producer and conductor, Paul Langford has a career that spans over 20 years. His work includes arranging for and performing with groups such as The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Chicagoland Pops, the Pensacola and LaCrosse Symphony Orchestras, and for Walt Disney World.

As a singer and pianist, Paul has performed or recorded with Grammy award winners Celine Dion, David Foster, Kenny Rogers, Yolanda Adams, Abraham Laboriel and Heather Headley, and he’s shared the stage with Michael Buble, Josh Groban and President Bill Clinton.

His voice has been heard on radio and TV commercials for such companies as Ronald McDonald House, Oldsmobile, L.L. Bean, Old El Paso, Nintendo, Frigidaire and Nickelodeon. He has also led and arranged for choirs, rhythm sections, big bands, orchestras and acappella groups all across America and abroad, and is a published choral arranger and composer.

In the Chicago area, Paul can be heard singing and playing keyboards with the Tom VanKanegan and the Z Orchestras. Paul also owns and operates a state-of-the-art recording studio in Chicago’s northern suburbs, where he produces recording artists and composes music for video and film.
Jeannie Workman
jeannie workman
Jeannie Workman has been the Music Director/Organist/Pianist at the First United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights since 1987. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in music from Elmhurst College, as well as Performance Certificates in both piano and organ. Jeannie has also accompanied the choir program at Buffalo Grove High School for over 15 years.

She is the accompanist for the Buffalo Grove Singers, a community choral ensemble. Ms. Workman also does freelance accompanying throughout the Chicago area. She is married to Andy Workman, and has three grown children who all attended Buffalo Grove High School.
Kevin Gentile
kevin gentile
Kevin received his Bachelor of Music from Bowling Green State University in 1975, and has been playing and teaching drums and percussion for over 50 years. A Senior Staff Engineer with Motorola Solutions for almost 25 years, he recently retired and enjoys performing and working with Live Sound around the Arlington Heights area. Kevin lives there with his wife, Jill, and has a son Kyle, who is a Graduate student in Jazz Performance at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Elise Hackl
Elise hackl
An alum of the BG choir program, Elise Hackl began her teaching career in Palatine CCSD15 in 2014 working as an adaptive music teacher and has been there ever since! She received her undergraduate degree in Music Education and Special Education from Illinois State University in 2014. She received her Masters Degree in Educational Technology leadership in 2017 from Concordia University- Chicago, and is currently wrapping up her Masters in Music Education with an expected graduation in 2019. Elise has presented at the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) national conference on multiple occasions, and was recognized under the Illinois State Board of Education’s ‘Those Who Excel,’ part of the Illinois Teacher of the Year Program in 2018. 

In addition to her teaching duties, Elise serves as a producer and training program coordinator for Varsity Vocals, teaches private lessons, and serves as the music director for Big Deal Productions' Broadway Buddies and Choral Buddies programs. Elise serves as an adjudicator, clinician, and arranger for a cappella groups around the United States.
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