Keith Colacicco began his musical career as a 7-year-old when he performed the song “Wild Thing” on his electric guitar for classmates and faculty at his elementary school. The experience began a lifelong fascination with musical performance and an appreciation for the role that music can play in child development. Keith grew up in Huntington, New York, in a family that fostered creative expression in the arts. As a teenager, he studied guitar with industry professionals and played at local venues. A passion for the arts led Keith to the University of Southern California, where he studied both music and film. Keith has been teaching music classes at Play since January 2007, and can also be found playing music and hanging out at the beach in his adopted hometown of Venice, California.
Emily Works Part of our PLAY music family since winter 2015, Emily grew up in Northern California where as a child she participated in many musical extracurricular activities including choir, high school musicals, and even the marching band. She received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Arts from California State University Northridge where she performed opera roles and led the alto section in the world-renowned singing group the Northridge Singers. Emily has been a featured performer with musical theatre and opera companies across Los Angeles, including Cabrillo Music Theatre, Center Stage Opera, Pacific Opera Project, and Vineyard Touring Opera. She teaches private singing lessons in her home vocal studio and she is also a professional holiday caroler. Emily has over eleven years of experience helping families provide care for their children. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with a Child Studies specialization at Antioch University Los Angeles, which will allow her to qualify for future licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist. When not teaching, singing, or studying, she enjoys baking vegan treats, practicing yoga, and playing with her cat Charlie.
Cherie Busby Originally from Denver, Colorado, Cherie has always loved music and was producing songs on her grandmother’s Casio keyboard by the time she was in the first grade. Her first instrument was piano. She later picked up violin and, eventually, guitar. Cherie has a Bachelors degree in Music from the University of Colorado at Denver and currently studies Early Childhood Education at Santa Monica College. In her first work experience that married her loves of music and education, she taught parent-and-child music classes and piano lessons for children at preschools and community centers from the South Bay to Porter Ranch as a teacher for the company, Kids Music n’ Motion. In her free time, Cherie writes and performs her own music, including educational tunes for children. However, she has the most fun dancing and can still be found moon-walking and sliding across the floor in her socks. We’re excited to welcome Cherie to our team for Summer 2016.
Willie Aron Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and Los Angeles-native, Willie Aron, began working with Play in 2009 on the development of PLAY music. He continues to be an invaluable part of the PLAY music team, contributing original songs, collaborating on the curriculum, and co-producing Play’s CDs. For more about Willie, please visit curriculum & production bios.
Angie Engelbart is a transplant to southern California from the midwest and has been teaching at Play since March of 2009. A native of Iowa farm country, she previously lived in Kansas City, where she was the soprano apprentice with the Kansas City Lyric Opera. She appeared as Papagena in that company’s production of Die Zauberflöte in the spring of 2008 and has a broad resume of opera and musical theater roles to her credit, including recent stints at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival. Besides stagework, Angie has several years of experience teaching private voice and piano lessons, and maintained a studio of undergraduate voice students at the University of Kansas. She also particularly enjoys working with young children and has worked (and played!) extensively with them at music schools in the Kansas City area. Angie received her B.A. in music from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, MN, and her masters of music from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. When she’s not tackling musical endeavors, Angie can be found hiking, cooking, or flying home to Minneapolis to nurse her inner farmgirl and play in the snow with her family.
After seven years at Play, Angie will be leaving us this summer when she moves out-of-state. While this is sad news for us, we wish her the very best as she begins a new phase in her life with her husband, Matt, and their almost-one-year-old son, Isaiah. We are hopeful that this isn’t the end of our working relationship with Angie but, either way, she will always be a part of our Play family.