Buffalo Grove High School Choral Department
Director: Ms. Debora Utley
Help available before/after school – Choir office
School Phone: 847.718.4161
Ms. 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 and Master of Education from Olivet Nazarene University.
Ms. Utley 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 Illinois and Michigan schools and was recently on the adjunct faculty of Elmhurst College as the Director of Women’s Chorus. In 2011, Ms. Utley earned the “Outstanding Contribution to Education” award from BGHS.
Ms. Utley’s responsibilities at Buffalo Grove High School include, Beginning Choir, Treble Choir, Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, Vocal Director of the Spring Musical, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and of course, The Expressions.
Randy Sage is a freelance choreographer residing in Los Angeles, CA. Originally from Chicago, Randy graduated from Millikin University in Decatur, IL, earning his bachelors in Choral Music Education. He currently choreographs for many award-winning high school and junior high show choirs around the United States. Some of his groups include the “Choraliers” from Fairfield High School in Fairfield, OH, “Insync” from Burbank High School in Burbank, CA, and “The Expressions” from Buffalo Grove High School.
Throughout the year he also works as a clinician and adjudicator at numerous competitions and workshops. Some of his performing experiences include a dancer at Six Flags Great America, as well as a number of musicals in college and throughout the community. In the past, Randy has collaborated with dancers who were a part of the top 50 in the Fox TV series “So You Think You Can Dance?” This past August, Randy taped a pilot episode with Burbank High School, entitled “The Real Glee.” Filmed by E!, the week taping focused on the rigorous rehearsals of the high school show choir, and featured some of Randy’s choreography.
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.
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.