Artistic Staff

Sarah Branton
Assistant Conductor

Sarah Branton teaches choir and AP Music Theory at Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, CO. Under her direction, choirs have performed at numerous state and regional conventions, Carnegie Hall, and have toured around the world. Prior to Cherry Creek, Ms. Branton taught in Longmont, CO and Blaine, MN. She also currently serves as Assistant Director, Section Leader, and sings with Kantorei. Additionally, she has been on faculty at the summer Sitka Fine Arts Camp in Sitka, Alaska, she sings with various ad hoc ensembles throughout the community, and is an orchestral and jazz string bassist. She currently serves on the Colorado All-State Choir board and has previously served on the Colorado ACDA board. Ms. Branton holds music degrees from St. Olaf College and Colorado State University and studies continuing education through Berklee College of Music.

Alicia Rigsby
Collaborative Pianist

Alicia Rigsby fell in love with choral music while singing in the St. Olaf Choir and earning a Bachelor of Music degree at Saint Olaf College. She moved to Colorado in 1997 after receiving her Master of Music degree in piano performance and music theory from Indiana University, Bloomington. She is one of the founding members of Kantorei, and participates both as a singer and a collaborative pianist.

Alicia has attended and performed at the Aspen Music Festival and has also performed with the Estes Trio and the Boulder Chamber Orchestra. She owns Children’s Music Academy in Erie, Colorado, where she teaches group piano classes and shares the joy of music with her students. She is passionate about music as an art form, a teaching tool and an expressionistic medium, and is grateful to have so many musical opportunities in her life. In her free time she likes to get outside in the mountains with her family.

Photos: Scott Dressel-Martin

Administrative Staff

MichaelSara-18Sara Michael
Business Manager

Sara Michael joined Kantorei in 2009. Born and raised in Denver, Sara studied at Hesston College and Goshen College, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance. Sara has performed with Anima Chamber Ensemble, Colorado Bach Ensemble, Summer Choralfest with Howard Skinner, Opera on Tap, Wellshire Presbyterian Sanctuary Choir, Bethany Lutheran Chancel Choir,  Augustana Lutheran Chamber Choir, and various local theatre productions.
Photo: Scott Dressel-Martin

Becca Hyvonen
Social Media Marketing & Communications Manager

Dually trained in opera and musical theatre, Becca Hyvonen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre with a minor in Dance Performance and is a member of Actors’ Equity Association. She was a soprano and featured dancer with the Tulsa Opera for over five seasons and has performed as a soprano and soloist with the Tulsa Signature Symphony Chorale, the Internationale Opernnacht in Rheinbischofsheim, Germany, and the Canticum Novum Singers in New York City. Select regional credits include Columbia in The Rocky Horror Show, Alexi Darling in RENT, and Maria in West Side Story. Outside  of the performing arts, Becca works as a senior development writer and social media manager.
Photo: Tony Li

Courtney Huffman
Director of Community Engagement

Courtney brings over ten years of business management and development experience to Kantorei; spending the last eight years in progressive leadership positions within the arts specifically. Her education in psychology (B.A.) and organizational leadership (M.S.) provide her with a unique perspective into the structural and human needs within each organization, and provide her with insight into what motivates people to give and engage with an organization.

Courtney began her professional career as a wedding and portrait photographer, growing her own business from the ground up. After completing a degree in psychology she took the skills she gained launching and running her own business and moved into nonprofit management. Courtney specializes in helping to create systems and strategies that have led to growth and sustainability in several organizations.
Photo: Katie Martin

Ximena Wheeler
Concert Manager

A graduate of the University of Palermo, CABA, Argentina, with a degree in Show Production, Ximena executive produced Kantorei’s tour of Guatemala with Vocalis in June 2022. In 2019, she founded her production company ThexUniverse Studio, an independent theatre production house focused on topics such as feminism, gender violence, and social justice. As a dancer, Ximena appeared in the ensemble of multiple shows with Saravandah Productions, including Peter Pan, Grease, and Chicago.

Photo courtesy of Ximena Garcia Wheeler

Board of Directors

Jennifer Moore, President

John Bartley, Vice President

Desiree Deliz-Morales, Treasurer

Melissa Menter, Secretary

Members at Large:
Mark Aquilina
Judy Bloomberg Schenkein
Leslie Britton
Josh Corwyn
Scott Horowitz

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