Membership Site

Who’s who in the NCMC

Joining the Chorus, as either a performing or non-performing member, introduces you to a lot of really great people. You will certainly see most of these people at rehearsals, so get to know them and say, “Hello!”

Artistic Staff

Richard Cole, Artistic Director

Photo by Jim Greenfield

Rich Cole

Artistic Director and Interim Executive Director

Richard Cole has served as the Artistic Director for the North Coast Men’s Chorus since the second half of the 1997/98 season. He joined the chorus as a singer in 1989 and got actively involved from the beginning by serving on the Board for several years. In addition to the full chorus, Rich also directs The Coastliners, NCMC’s small ensemble. Rich was the Chair for the wildly successful Band and Choral events for the 2014 Gay Games hosted in Cleveland. In 2015, Rich was the recipient of an LGBT Heritage Day award by the City of Cleveland for his contributions to entertainment in the city. NCMC has flourished under his leadership and guidance. In addition to annual increases in attendance at our concerts and growth in membership, his enthusiasm, energy, and creativity have been the driving force responsible for bringing guest artists in to perform with the chorus, including Brian Stokes Mitchell, Michael Feinstein, Maureen McGovern, Leslie Jordan, Armistead Maupin and Bernadette Peters. Rich graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education and frequently arranges and/or transcribes pieces of music for the Chorus.

Ron Palka, Coastliners Accompanist

Ron Palka

Coastliners Accompanist

Robert Day, Principal Accompanist

Bob Day

Principal Accompanist

Ron Palka is a full-time librarian as well as an active and versatile musician. He earned his MM at Manhattan School of Music and his MLS from Kent State University. As an accompanist, he has performed at Carnegie Hall and Severance Hall. He has served as music director for several area churches and has taught privately and as a faculty member of the Oberlin Community Music School. Ron’s performances have taken him as far afield as Brazil, where he was invited to teach and perform.

Recent performances include a June 2018 concert at The Bop Stop with classical saxophonist, Javier Oviedo. He makes his debut with The Cleveland Philharmonic in October with a performance of Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals with long-time piano duo partner, Coren Estrin Mino. The duo has been featured on WCLV’s program, Cleveland Ovations. Ron can be heard accompanying cellist Catherine Clyatt Schroth on her debut CD entitled “Songs for My Son.”

Robert Day began his tenure as NCMC’s Principal Accompanist in the June 2000 “Touching Hearts, Changing Lives” concerts. Since then, he has accompanied the chorus in all concerts, NCMC benefits, at six GALA Chorus Festivals, and on their five CDs. A native Clevelander, Bob holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Otterbein University, and a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance from The Ohio State University. Bob is retired from 30 years of public school teaching in choral music, but still serves as Organist at The Church of the Saviour in Cleveland Heights.

Lora Workman, Choreographer

Brad Speck

Production Manager

Brad Speck holds a BA in Theater and Dance with a minor in Music from Ohio University.  Some of his production and design credits include:  Phoenix Theatre, Glendale Community College, South Mountain Community College, National Dance Authority, Kalliope Stage, and  Lyric Opera Cleveland.  In his spare time he plays in the Cleveland Pride Band, Cleveland's LGBT+ concert and marching band. He supports his arts habit by selling real estate and has starred in four episodes of the hit HGTV show HOUSE HUNTERS.  

Lora Workman


Lora Workman, a graduate of Baldwin-Wallace University’s Conservatory of Music,has worn many theatrical hats throughout the Greater Cleveland area, but she is probably best known for her role as choreographer with the Chorus since 1997. She has performed in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas with Barbara Eden, The Student Prince with Jerome Hines, Cedar Point Amusement Park, and The 24-Hour Project at Dobama Theatre. Shestudied the genre of cabaret in Italy, New York and was selected to participate in the 2007 Cabaret Conference at Yale, where she worked with Tony Nominee Tovah Feldshuh, Jason Graae, and the late Julie Wilson. She was a semi-finalist in the 2003 San Francisco Cabaret Competition, performed at Don’t Tell Mama’s in NYC and created the Cleveland Cabaret Project where she directed/produced the Cleveland Premieres of Miss Gulch Returns & A Cabaret Sampler. She created Class by the Glass, a cabaret/wine tasting event at Playhouse Square, producing such sold out shows as: Twisted Sisters and Misters, What a Fool Believes and the popular Halloween show Cadaveret.  Lora directed the critically acclaimed The Will Rogers Follies at Berea Summer Theatre. By day, Lora is the Community Relationships Manager at Playhouse Square where she brings in over 50,000 students and teachers each year for field trip experiences as well as creates the resource guides that relate common core standards to the Children’s Theatre and International Children’s Theatre Festival shows.

Doug Braun, ASL Interpreter

Doug Braun

ASL Interpreter

Doug Braun has been part of the NCMC since its beginning. Braun graduated from Oberlin College and received his sign language training at Cleveland State University. Braun earned his master’s degree in social work in 1991. He provides in-home counseling for Cleveland elders. A ham radio operator for twenty years, he volunteers with the Amateur Radio Emergency Services.

Debi Epstein

ASL Interpreter

Debi Epstein has experienced Deaf culture as an interpreter through many venues, working everyday within the Deaf community, facilitating communication, culture, respect and empowerment for the Deaf. Her experience as a teacher of the Deaf brought her closer to deaf children with Autism. Always a dancer, Debi has been fulfilling her love of dance and language through ASL on stage as a member of the theatrical group, The Heard. A mother of three and wife of the love of her life, Debi is happy to join the North Coast Men’s Chorus on stage.

Administrative Staff

Andy Zupcsan, Business Manager

Andy Zupcsan

Business Manager

Andy Zupcsan has served as Business Manager for the North Coast Men’s Chorus since the fall of 2010. Prior to accepting that position he served 5 years on the Board of Directors, including 2 years as Treasurer. He has been actively involved in many aspects of Chorus administration since he joined as a singing member in 2002.

He holds a BS in Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and a Master of Urban Planning from Cleveland State. He currently works in client relations and operations for Records Central, Inc., a Cleveland based information management company. When not working, he volunteers with the Gay and Lesbian Family Ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland and serves as President of the Madison High School Alumni Association. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, weight training, and playing Euro-style strategy games.

Sherry Thaler, Administrative Assistant

Sherry Thaler

Administrative Assistant

Sherry Thaler, Administrative Assistant

Sherry Thaler

Volunteer Coordinator

Wade Tolleson, Music Librarian

Wade Tolleson

Music Librarian

Board of Directors

Todd Narvin, President

Todd Narvin

President and Member at Large

Photo Not Available


Vice President

Rob Syto


Rob Syto serves as a lawyer on the Philanthropy Institute’s Gift Planning Team of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation assisting donors in a creative process of integrating their values with their charitable, family, and financial goals.

Although a California transplant, Rob has grown to love raising a family in Ohio and supporting the breakthrough and innovative research at the Cleveland Clinic. Continuing the spirit of support and since Rob does not sing within anyone’s earshot, he looks forward to supporting those that bring musical joy to the world.

James McPeak


Donald Butchko

Membership Chair / Member Advocate

Donald Butchko has been singing with NCMC since 2013. He sang in community, school, and church choirs throughout his youth. He is currently the Manager of Marketing for Bowen—a Cleveland architecture firm—and the 2022/2023 President of SMPS Northeast Ohio, a professional organization for marketers of architecture, engineering, and construction services.

R. Stephen Gracey

Associate Membership Advocate

R. Stephen Gracey is a content strategist by day—he does “web stuff”—and joined the Chorus in 2018.

He holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Richard Miller and Gerald Crawford. He has also studied with Eleanor Pudil Anop at the Cleveland Institute of Music and with Daniel Teadt at Carnegie Mellon University.

Most recently in 2022, he portrayed Julius Rosenbaum in the Cleveland premiere of The Sparks Fly Upward, a Holocaust opera by Cleveland composer Cathy Lesser Mansfield. He played Edward Rutledge in three productions of 1776 and the Priest in Man of La Mancha. He’s also sung in the operas La Traviata, Die Fledermaus, and the Opera Cleveland’s productions of Les pêcheurs de perles and Pagliacci.

Adam Stobinski

Member at Large

Adam Stobinski is a Senior IT Report / Business Intelligence Developer at University Hospitals in Cleveland, OH. He enjoys creating meaningful easy to understand information reporting solutions to provide value and insights for improving business decisions and improve patient experiences and outcomes.

When not digging into data to create reporting solutions, Adam is a singing member of the North Coast Men’s Chorus and has been a member since 2015.

Adam has also been a singing member of multiple vocal music groups during his academic career that has had performances at multiple venues around the Midwest including several statewide music educator conferences in both Columbus, OH [OMEA] and Springfield, IL [IMEA].

Christina Melton

Board Member

Christina Melton is a Human Centered Design Director at KPMG, one of the “Big Four” largest professional services firms in the world. She enjoys crafting digital experiences for people that provide value, are simple to use, and lead to successful outcomes. Her work centers around improving outcomes for citizens and elevating government employee experience within Health and Human Services for Federal, State, and Local entities.

When not solving the world’s user experience challenges, she spends most of her time outdoors with her husband Nicholas and their labrador, Mickey. She is the world’s okayest runner, amateur gardener, and muscle car enthusiast.

Joseph Hollings

Board Member

Joe Hollings has been passionately connected with NCMC for many years as an audience member, friend, advocate, and current board fundraising chair.

He manages a team of extraordinary public relationships and social media professionals at Adcom, a premiere marketing agency in Cleveland where he helps lead positioning, media relations, influencer marketing and social media strategy and execution projects for wide range of clients.

Joe is member of the Cleveland Composers Guild, a pianist, a provider of dog treats and a work-in-progress husband.

Natalie Leek

Board Member

Natalie Leek has over 30 years of experience in non-profit and corporate environments focused in
business development, program design, data and outcomes measures, advocacy, marketing, fundraising, and, education.

Since 2001, Ms. Leek has been the CEO and President for Providence House, Inc., a non-profit
family preservation crisis nursery for infants and children focused on keeping kids safe and families together. During her tenure at Ohio’s first licensed crisis nursery, Natalie has quadrupled the organization’s service capacity and revenues, engaged broad audiences in support of her agency, and
has positioned Providence House as a nationally recognized leader in child abuse prevention, family
preservation, and foster care prevention.

In 2019, she and her Board launched “Giving Hope for the PHuture” – a $15 Million capital campaign to expand the organization to Cleveland’s near east side.

The North Coast Men's Chorus is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. P.O. Box 770664, Cleveland, OH  44107-0664
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