MMS Member-Singers

Emile Augustine

Emile has held jobs in page layout and illustration for a few small Chicago newspapers and also worked freelance as a graphic designer (not nearly as glamorous as it sounds!). In his youth, worked in Southern Illinois, clearing timber stands for the National Park Service. .Most recently, he’s been involved in the Aviation Security and Hazmat at USPS.

Christie Clayton Buralli

Christie has been singing in choirs all her life and is an alum of the Homewood-Flossmoor High School Viking Choir and went on tour to Russia with them. She has a degree in Music from Indiana University where she sang in the Singing Hoosiers. Christie owns an insurance agency in Homewood, Illinois.

Ellen Devine*

Ellen attended Augustana College and received a Bachelors of Music Education. She is the vocal music teacher at Meadow Lane Intermediate School in Merrionette Park and is the choir director at the First Lutheran Church in Blue Island. Ellen sang with the South Suburban Madrigal Singers for 15 years.

Franklin B. Divila

Baritone Franklin Divila is a retired lieutenant colonel in the US Army and a retired Customs and Border Patrol Protection Officer. He has a Master’s degree in Slavic Linguistics from the University of Chicago. In addition to high school choirs and choirs at the University of Illinois, Franklin has sung in both Russian Orthodox Church choirs and Roman Catholic Church choirs.

Russell Hansen

Russell has sung in the Rutgers Glee Club as well as KC Chapel choir and Collegium Musicum. He sang with the New Jersey State Opera chorus. And has lived in the Chicago area since 1994. His favorite color is green and has an abiding love for early music. While singing in a chapel choir, he met his wife, Ruth.

Ruth Hansen

Ruth has enjoyed performing many roles, including Katisha (The Mikado), Ouiser Boudreaux (Steel Magnolias), and Mrs. Potts. She has sung with the chorus of the New Jersey State Opera, the William Ferris Chorale, Three in a Chord vocal trio, and Rutgers University’s Kirkpatrick Choir. KC also lent her a (bari-)tenor – her husband, Russ; they have two beautiful, musical daughters. Ruth is a member of Saint Xavier’s University Advancement team and a doctoral student at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Althea J. Hopp

Althea is retired–she held positions as a staffing coordinator and data processor. She has been singing, dancing and acting for many years and is still occasionally involved in community theater in Chicago Heights and Oak Lawn. She sings in her church choir and in several smaller women’s vocal ensembles.

Peter B. Irvine

Peter comes to us by way of Pittsburgh and has sung with the Pittsburgh Camerata, Schola Cantorum (David Hurd) and Calvary Episcopal Church and is a fine pianist and organist. He is an Episcopal Priest and ministers to hospice patients.

Jean Scott

Jean has been a choral singer for 50+ years, singing in the past with the Grande Prairie Singers, Grant Park Symphony Chorus, and the IPO.In addition to singing with the MMS, she currently sings with the South Suburban Chorale and recently toured Austria with them, performing in Salzburg, Vienna and other locations. Jean is the proud Mom of 5 grown children and 10 wonderful grandchildren, and wife of Stewart “Santa Claus” Scott.

Kari Coventry Smith

For the last 17 years Kari and her husband Dan have lived in Blue Island raising two children. She works as a desktop publisher at home, is involved with knitting and quilting guilds, church choir and is busy with parent/school support groups. Many years ago she accumulated vocal music degrees from Illinois Wesleyan University and Colorado State University and studied with Gisela Goettling for several years. Her husband is a middle school mathematics teacher.

Cynthia Westerman

Cindy has a Bachelors of Music Education degree from Wartburg College in Waverly, IA and a Masters in Special Education. She is a retired administrator from Thornton Fractional High School District and is the choir director at Trinity Lutheran Church in Park Forest.

Francesca Whitlock

Soprano Francesca “Frankie” Whitlock comes to us from the wilds of Beverly with 25 years of choral singing under her belt. She has a degree in Tech Theater (Stage Management) but works in Immigration Law and is a Chicago transplant. She grew up on the base of a VA Hospital Mental Institution and in addition to living in Illinois, has lived in Kansas, Colorado and Texas. She’s an avid reader and history buff and is active in community theater.