Music Director and Organist: Ryan Fitch earned his Master of Music degree from the Hixon-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Vocal Music, Opera, and Sacred Music. Prior to UNL, Ryan attended Midland Lutheran College and completed a B.A. in Music Performance and Music Education. At Midland, Mr. Fitch studied piano, voice, organ, and theatre. Mr. Fitch has extensive experience in sacred music, performance, and choral music. Mr. Fitch has sung with the Midland Lutheran College Choir, Midland Lutheran College Chamber Singers, Clef Dwellers Jazz Choir, University of Nebraska-Lincoln's University Singers, The Omaha MasterSingers, The Omaha Chamber Singers, and The Alexandria Choral Society. Mr. Fitch is an active singer in the Washington, D.C. metro area and sings countertenor, recorded, and toured with the Choir of the Men at The Washington National Cathedral and the choirs of St. John the Beloved Catholic Church. Mr. Fitch has also performed numerous roles in musical theatre and opera. Some include: Jud in Rodgers and Hammerstein's OKLAHOMA!, Professor Harold Hill in Meredith Willson's The Music Man, Snake in Stephen Schwartz's Children of Eden, Balthazar in Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Sarastro in Mozart's Die Zauberflote. Ryan has taught High School music in Arlington, Nebraska and collegiate voice at both The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Midland Lutheran College. Currently, Mr. Fitch teaches music in Arlington, Virginia at Barrett Elementary School, is the accompanist and assistant for the Arlington Honors Chorus, and accompanies for the Swanson Middle School Chorus and Washington-Lee High School choirs. Ryan is a member of the National Association of Church Musicians, American Guild of Organists, National Association of Teachers of Singing, American Choral Directors Association, and the National Education Association. Outside of music, Ryan enjoys biking, swimming, movies, gardening, thrifting, and enjoying time with friends and family. Ryan and his partner Gary live in Alexandria and enjoy spending time with their cat and dog - Butch & Maria, respectively!
Director of Spiritual Formation for Children and Youth. A life-long Arlington native, Toni Buranen has an M.A. in Pastoral Ministry and Religious Education from Boston College. She has joyfully worked primarily in religious education (as a high school theology teacher) and youth ministry. She has also worked in other areas of education (administration and libraries). Toni is married to another teacher, Franz Misch, and together they have three children.
In her spare time (ha!), Toni likes to hang out with her family and friends, read, walk, play games, practice good enough parenting, and contemplate radical simplicity. Someday, she hopes to walk the Camino de Santiago and travel the world with her hubby and kids.
Parish Administrator: Kelli Corts.
Administrative Assistant / Receptionist. Karen O'Hern is a native Long Islander who has been a resident of Alexandria since 1989. She graduated from Alfred University in western NY with a degree in Marketing and Business Economics. Karen is married to Bob and they have boy/girl twins, Andrew and Kelsey, who are young adults in college. She enjoys outings with family and friends that revolve around nature and good food. She is very happy to be part of the thriving and welcoming community at Emmanuel.
Nursery Caregiver. Lilian Urrea.
Nursery Caregiver. Rosa Alarcon.