Janet Stotts
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 as internationally.

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 including:
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.

Amber 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 Wisconsinite 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!
Jodie Anderson plays 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!

Rosemary 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!

Originally 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 gardening.
Leisa Carrick is a new member of the choir. After hearing beautiful music form the building next door to where she lived, she knew she had to 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.
Melanie 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 side.
Deborah 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.
Paula 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.
Hedwig 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.
Born and 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.
Candace Gleason is 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?”

Noel Guinotte was born in Colorado and moved to Palmer, Alaska in 1971. She is a graduate 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.

Carla 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 continuing 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 Cantora 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.
Cynthia 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.
Heather 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!
Heather 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 talented women!
Gerry 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.

Autumn 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!

Joyce 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.
Laura 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 real 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 since.
Born 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.
Jessica 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.
Laura 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!

Mary 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.

Janna 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.

Judy 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.

Patty 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.

Patty learned 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 waters.

Stacie 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.

Sue 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.
Shannon 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.
Jan Walton has lived in 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 to perform when she has the time.