Founder and Artistic Director
Janet Stotts has served as the director of the Alaska Children's
Choir since 1984. In her work with The Alaska Children's Choir,
Janet has educated South-central Alaska children in the art and
technique of choral music. As a result audiences locally, regionally,
and internationally have been entertained, uplifted and inspired
by the performance excellence of this remarkable choir.
In 2001 Janet organized a women's choir in the Matanuska Valley,
Cantora Arctica. Cantora Arctica is a group of approximately
40 women from South Central Alaska.
The music performed by Cantora Arctica, under the direction of Janet Stotts,
is as eclectic as the women themselves. Cantora Arctica has performed in
various venues throughout South-central Alaska as well
Janet has served as a clinician and guest conductor for local
and regional vocal and choral events. In addition to her
work with the Alaska Children's
Choir and Cantora Arctica, Janet teaches in the Midnight Sun and Fronteras
Charter Schools. She also teaches private voice and piano lessons in her
Wasilla studio. Janet has performed with the Anchorage
Opera, Renaissance Singers and
has served as Musical Director of numerous Valley Performing Arts productions.
Janet is an active member of several professional organizations
Alaska Music Teachers Association
International Society for Music Education
Music Educators National Conference
Music Teachers National Association
National Association of Teachers of Singing
In 1996 Janet received a Woman of Achievement Award presented
by BP Exploration and the YWCA
In 1997 she was the recipient of The Distinguished Alumna Award from St
Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota
In 2006 was awarded the Governor's Arts Award for Arts Educator as sponsored
by the Alaska State Council on the Arts.
Janet's hobbies include hiking, biking, cross country skiing,
reading ,sewing and Nordstrom's. She resides in Wasilla
with her husband, Gene Stotts.
Janet is a breast cancer survivor.
Anderson is a mother/home school teacher/homemaker of 9 lively
children ranging in ages from nearly 20 to 2 years old. She is a native
that married a native Minnesotan and have adopted Alaska as their homeland
for the past eight years and forever more! She has performed in numerous
choirs, ensembles, and solos since she was in elementary school. Her most
noted choir was the Mormon Youth Chorus in Salt Lake City, Utah. She plays
piano, flute, and dabbles with the violin. Her 2 oldest daughters Aubrey
and Rosemary are also members of Cantora Arctica She loves to sing and
perform. Cantora keeps her sane!
the role of a 2nd Alto within this fine Flock of Rockin' Women.
Years of accomplished shower solos and car radio sing-a-longs
as well as concert-level 8-track, record (BOTH 78 and
45 rpm), cassette, CD, and radio playing instrumental skills moved
Jodie to join this women's ensemble in the spring of 2006. Jodie
loves trivia and would like you to know that she has the smallest
feet of all in Cantora Arctica and is trying to change the formal
uniform to something in Carhartt. When not using her hot air to produce
somewhat musical tones, Jodie is a faculty member of the University
of Alaska Fairbanks, a Ph.D. student in soil biochemistry, all around
science geek and nature lover, as well as a mother to an actually
trained singer in the Alaska Children's Choir, and very happy to
be a small part of this fantastic Flock!
Anderson is 18 years old and is the youngest member of Cantora Arctica.
She has been in choirs all her life and absolutely loves to perform.
Rosemary's first solo in front of an audience was at the age of four.
She has participated in All-State all four years of high school and
participated in local, regional, and state voice competitions. Singing
is her absolute "life" but she also is studying to become
an Egyptologist; with painting, drawing, and writing on the side. Rosemary
has finished writing her first book and is unsure about attempting
to get it published; as well as toying with the idea of selling some
of her paintings. She has been an admirer of Cantora Arctica ever since
her mom has been a member. She is very excited to finally become a
part of this incredible group!
from Michigan, Julie Bennett has lived in Alaska since
1998.Since childhood music has been a large part of her life. She has
sung in various choirs, small ensembles, and musicals. She and her husband
have one son, whom she home schools. Julie became a Certified Massage
Therapist in 1990 and currently works part time for chiropractic offices.
When she has time, she enjoys sports, walking, reading, crafting and
Carrick is a new member of the choir. After hearing beautiful
music form the building next door to where she lived, she knew she
check this choir out. With the encouragement of a friend, who is also
a choir member, she got enough courage to drop by. The rest is history
in the making.
Cole has been involved with music in some capacity for her
entire life. She finds it wonderful to have a place to continue no
matter the current age. She hopes to be singing and playing for many
years to come and one day continue it right on over to the other
Cooper is what they call, “Alaskan Grown” She
is a true product of the Valley. Currently Deb teaches music to the
K-5 munchkins at Larson
Elementary School. Having taught music in grades k-12 she is now where
her heart really loves to teach. The Cantora Flock needs this loud low
honker to keep them moving and grooving.
Davies is currently an elementary music teacher at Meadow
Lakes Elementary. She is passionate about teaching students, meeting
new people, exploring new places and learning about other cultures.
She was born and raised in a small town in Ohio, a daughter of two
school teachers. After high school, she went to Wheaton, IL and earned
a bachelor's degree in Music Education. After college, she lived and
worked in downtown Chicago, enjoying the many events and volunteer
opportunities. During college she began dreaming about moving to Alaska.
After teaching for two years in Illinois, she traveled to Alaska to
work at a Christian summer camp with junior high, high school and college
students. She quickly fell in love with Alaska, found a job teaching
in Wasilla and moved permanently. One of the things she loves about
Alaska are the many outdoor activities. She enjoys skiing, hiking,
hockey, and soccer.
Faber began her musical studies in a small mountain community
in Austria. There she performed for numerous weddings and social functions.
She continued her studies here in Alaska and in 1990 won first place
in the Anchorage NATS competition. Hedwig has sung with the Anchorage
Concert Chorus, the Anchorage Festival of Music, and numerous Anchorage
Opera choruses. Hedwig has given recitals in Alaska and Austria, and
also enjoys singing with the Dinner Opera. She has been a member of
Cantora Arctica since April of 2002 and Bel Canto since 2003.
raised in Wisconsin, Jennifer Forsberg has had the opportunity
to study and work in many parts of the country. She has been a physical
therapist and certified athletic trainer since 1993 and is pursuing her
clinical doctoral in physical therapy through Washington University School
of Medicine in St. Louis. After several visits to Alaska for work and
pleasure Jennifer moved here in 2004 and has been a member of Cantora
Arctica since 2006. She has been involved with vocal and instrumental
music in various capacities since kindergarten and is blessed to perform
with this wonderful flock of rockin’ women. In her down time Jennifer
likes to spend time with friends and family, travel in the US and abroad,
eat cheese, and cheer on the Green Bay Packers.
a Family Nurse Practitioner who has owned her own business, Neighbor
to Neighbor Health Care, for 13 years.
She made her musical debut in The Fantastiks. She played The Mute,
which may explain her current level of vocal expertise. Candace is
thrilled to be part of Cantora Arctica because, “without a
song or a dance, what are we?”
Guinotte was born in Colorado and moved to Palmer, Alaska in 1971. She is a
of Palmer High School. She went to Hawaii with the high
school choir. She attended Beauty School in California alone at 18. She
returned to Palmer and worked as a Hairdresser in the same shop she now
owns. Noel sang in the church choir and took a break to raise her daughters
and now has the time to enjoy singing again. She enjoys yoga, guitar,
sewing, the arts, book club, and although she is fearful of bicycles
she has trained and participated in a triathlon summer of 2008.
Krupa originally hails from a rural community in northeastern California,
but has called Alaska home
since 1983. She currently resides in Wasilla with her husband, Richard,
and her mother, Marion. She has three grown children who also reside
in Alaska, and enjoys spending time with her family and friends when
not working. Favorite pastimes include sharing good books with her
book club, walking or biking with friends, light gardening, and pursuing
education opportunities. Carla has worked as a school-based speech-language
pathologist since 1993, serving children with communication disorders
in the public schools. With a background in piano, she has always enjoyed
opportunities for choral singing, especially with Cantora Arctica since
2002. Other past musical endeavors include singing with the Mat-Su
Community Chorus and the liturgical music team at her church. Carla views
Arctica as a terrific continuing education experience for women of
all ages and counts it a great blessing to “make a joyful noise” with
other musical women under the leadership of such a talented director.
Lee has lived and prowled the valley for over twenty years.
She has spent thousands of dollars to obtain a BA in Theater so that
she might speak with a better Irish accent. Her pursuit of excellence
in foreign accents has led her to perform in a multitude of plays
and movies in Anchorage, Fairbanks and the Valley. She lately discovered
she could sing in key and persuaded Janet Stotts that she would be
a special edition to the choir especially if she didn't sing too
loudly. Janet was compassionate enough to allow Cynthia to sing (quietly)
with Cantora Arctica for the past four years.
Lee is intimidated by the idea that she has to write a bio
that will be published in any form. She really is just thankful that
she gets to sing with this amazing flock of women and hasn't yet
been asked to leave, or worse, play the tambourine in lieu of singing.
Her singing experience includes years of performing in showers (the
one at the pool is the best!) and to huge rush-hour traffic audiences
while alone in her car. The highlight of her career occurred when
her four-year-old son told her that he loved her voice, could she
sing some more? Heather hopes to enjoy many more years of flapping
her wings as hard as she can to keep up with the flock!
Lehe grew up in Michigan and worked in rural Alaska as a Nurse after
college. She met her husband in the village of Unalakleet, and moved to the
Mat Su Valley
21 years ago to raise their four children. She now works as an Elementary School
Nurse. Heather's musical past has involved playing the clarinet and dance.
Her hobbies include various aspects of the arts, including dance, painting,
writing, and gardening, as well as enjoying Alaska's beautiful outdoors. She
is loving the opportunity to sing, dance, and get to know such awesome and
Lentz was born and raised in Southern California and moved
to Alaska the first time in 1965. She moved to Alaska the second
time in 1990. Gerry married Mat Valley Colonist, Joe Lentz, in 1991.
Together they have 10 children and 30 grandchildren. She enjoys hand
work of all kinds but spends most of her time quilting. She joined
Cantora Arctica a year ago and is enjoying every minute of it.
Liston is a 19 year old born and raised; Alaska Grown. She
is the oldest and only girl
of four children. She has grown up in a really "BAM...in
your face" atmosphere with her father a member of a heavy metal
rock band. She would like to pursue a career based on eco-friendliness.
She has always enjoyed singing and all forms of expressive creativity.
She is thrilled to join such a supportive and close knit group, otherwise
known as Cantora Arctica!
Lund is a veteran
elementary school teacher of thirty-eight years. Joyce enjoys singing
with “Canora Arctica.” She plays a variety of
woodwind and keyboard instruments and has directed numerous musical programs
with her second graders at Finger Lake Elementary in Wasilla, Alaska. The
Lund family has been associated with the Alaska Children’s Choir
since 1987. Both of her sons, Eric and Doug were members of the Choir.
Eric graduated from The George Washington University in Washington D.C.
with a business degree and currently owns an event promotion business in
the D. C. area. Doug is deceased. Joyce and her husband Karl reside in
Wasilla, Alaska where they both teach for the Mat-Su School District.
Lundin is a native California girl and has lived in Alaska since 1999.
She has been everything from a horse shoer to a transit bus driver to a
cowgirl on a cattle ranch. At the moment she is a licensed civil engineer,
a college instructor, a professional mom and an obsessive knitter with
way too much wool. She comes from a musical family and has played flute
(and later oboe) since she was 7 years old. She discovered she could
sing, with the help of Janet, a few years ago and hasn’t stopped
and raised in the Midwest, Patty McKay left the Chicago
area in 1977 with her husband and two young daughters on a trip to Alaska.
Enjoying a more rural setting, the family settled in Palmer. Patty is a Mother of
four and grandmother to seven. She enjoys spending time with her family.
along with gardening, biking, walking, reading, and "horsin'
around". Patty works in the Surgery Department at Mat-Su Regional Hosptial. She
resides in Palmer with her Husband, horse, and two golden retrievers.
Milwicz is a life long Alaskan whose interests include history, art,
music, fishing and travel. She has three young children
and a wonderful husband all of whom she enjoys spending time with. She
has been a member of Cantora Arctica Since the fall of 06’. Jessica
feels incredibly blessed to be surrounded by an amazing group of talented,
loving and gracious women.
Mitchell is in her second year in Alaska and can't wait
to finally qualify for the PFD check next year. She grew up in Cincinnati,
Ohio, and is a special education teacher at Tanaina Elementary in
Wasilla. She has two cats named Chester and Tiger who think they
rule her apartment. Apart from singing, she likes to dance, play
soccer and travel!
Olsen began singing quite by accident. At the insistence
of one of her neighbors she made an appointment with Janet Stotts.
Janet ran her through some vocal exercises and said, “I think
we can probably do something with you.” Since that time Mary
hasn’t quit singing either physically or spiritually. She has
performed with Cantora Arctica since 2002, has soloed in performances
of the Messiah both in Anchorage and in the Valley, and sings with
the Bel Canto Singers of Alaska. She has served as the Music Director
in the Matanuska Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints since 2004. Mary is a physical therapist and resides in Palmer
with her husband, Dale and his two Golden Retrievers.
Preston is a lifelong Alaskan. She earned a B.A. in Music
from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA and is a freelance
accompanist for local instrumental and vocal students in a variety
of venues, including the Alaska Children's Choir. She also enjoys
playing chamber, gospel, Irish, Spanish and worship music with various
ensembles. She and her husband Glenn have two grown children. Her
hobbies include dog-walking, swimming, camping and spending time
with family and friends.
Stahancyk moved to Alaska in 1982 and enjoys everyday, the
beauty Alaska has to offer. Seeing the mountains everyday, is a reminder
why she still lives here. Joined Cantora Arctica to fulfill a dream
of studying music, voice and to sing with this wonderful group of
ladies. She works for a local church in Palmer as their administrative
assistant. When not working or singing with Cantora Arctica she enjoys
singing with her church choir, quilting, sewing, reading and being
grandmother to her three beautiful granddaughters.
Taylor was born in Houston, TX, and later moved with her
husband Richard to his native town of Chincoteague, VA, where she
taught 4th grade for six years before embarking on the adventure
of a lifetime in 1979 – teaching in the Alaskan bush. They
spent seven years between two native villages before moving with
their young daughter and infant son to Bethel. Patty retired from
teaching in 2000 and has been a credit union receptionist since moving
to the Valley in 2002.
to sing harmony with her tenor dad and alto mom while on car trips.
She has never had any formal music training but has sung in high school,
church, and community choirs and choral groups. Since 1993 she has
been very active in Community Theater with close to 30 stage performances,
several being musicals. Her other passion is snorkeling in tropical
Todino a second soprano, has her degree in music theory
from Georgia State University. When not teaching piano, Stacie enjoys
kayaking, hiking, and biking. She also stays busy by home schooling
her 9 year old daughter. If there is any time left over, she loves
training her 2 Newfoundlands and Pomeranian.
Tubbs grew up in a home filled with music. Her father and
mother played the piano and organ, sang in church and community choirs,
and taught their six daughters to do the same. She and her sisters
sang as a group where she learned to sing parts. They performed often
in Church with her mother playing the piano. Sue grew up in Pocatello,
Idaho and participated in school choirs and operettas beginning in
the seventh grade through high school. She started college seeking
a degree in music but put these plans on hold when she married and
had children. Sue moved to Palmer, Alaska with her husband and four
sons in 1970 where she continued singing in small groups and choirs.
Throughout the years, she has sung solos in many community churches
and in the annual community Messiah performances.
Uschmann was fortunate to have been introduced to Cantora
Arctica in 2004. Shannon loves to sing with Cantora Arctica because "singing
with a flock of amazing talented musicians gives me a chance to challenge
myself". She appreciates the focus and professionalism that
make being in Cantora Arctica the best kind of hard work. Shannon
and her husband, Shawn, have three wonderful girls. She grew up
in Alaska and is happy to have made Palmer their home.
Alaska since 1981, and belonged to several
different singing groups, as well as performed in many musicals
both in Palmer and
Kodiak. Jan’s father sang, played the violin and taught music
in South Dakota. Her grandmother also played violin and played with
the San Gabriel Symphony in California. Jan’s great-grandparents
were artists and musicians living in Paris during the 1800’s.
Jan’s mother is still singing in church and did local community
theatre in the 1950’s. At the age of eight, Jan started the
violin, then later played the piano. In high school she started singing
in the chorus and hasn’t stopped. She's lived in a total of
eight states, and sung in a church choir or community chorus
in each. She is currently a substitute teacher, and with husband,
three children and four grandchildren, she keeps busy and still loves
has the time.