Kantorei's Volunteer Singers come from all walks of life and share a common passion for choral music. Our singers
have a wide variety of occupations, including music educators, doctors, realtors, lawyers and bankers. Many of our singers come from
schools with strong choral music programs, such as Augustana, Brigham Young, Concordia, Luther, St. Olaf, Wartburg, and the University
of Northern Colorado. Click on the singer's name below to view a short biography.
Michael Pohlenz, Kantorei's Assistant Conductor, is Director of Music at Wellshire Presbyterian Church with previous experience as Guest Conductor of the Bethany College Messiah Festival in Lindsborg, KS, and as founding Music Director and Conductor of the Wichita Chamber Chorale, an auditioned adult community choir in Wichita, KS. Significant performance achievements of the Chorale included the 1989 National ACDA Convention and the 1996 Joan of Arc Festival in Orléans, France, plus major works represented by Bach’s Passion According to St. John, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, the Western U.S. premiere of Gretchaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, and the Kansas premiere of Pärt’s Berliner Messe. The Wichita Eagle critic wrote that the Wichita Chamber Chorale "'...routinely responds with a professionalism that’s unrivaled locally."
Michael has taught choral music and voice at the college level, and vocal and instrumental music at the high school level. He holds choral degrees from Friends University in Wichita, KS, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, and the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. In his continuing study of choral music, he sang in three Robert Shaw Choral Workshops at Carnegie Hall, sang and studied conducting with Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival, and is a performing member of The University of Northern Colorado's Summerfest Choir, conducted by Dr. Howard Skinner. When not making music, Michael is an avid fly fisherman and tier.
Alicia Rigsby came to Colorado in 1997 after completing her Master of Music degree in piano performance and music theory at Indiana University, Bloomington. She reconnected with some St. Olaf Choir alums and together they started daydreaming about creating a small chamber choir. Under Richard Larson’s leadership, Kantorei grew and Alicia sang and played with them until 2004 when she took some time off to spend with her family.
During the interim, she also performed with the Estes Trio, the Aspen Music Festival and the Boulder Chamber Orchestra. She has been teaching music at the Children’s Music Academy, based in Littleton, for fifteen years; Alicia also accompanies Eurythmy classes at the Denver Waldorf School. She is passionate about music as an art form, a teaching tool and an expressionistic medium and enjoys having all of those musical opportunities in her life. In her free time, she likes to hike, camp, ski and cycle with her husband and two daughters.
Theresa joined Kantorei in 2005. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Voice from North Park University in Chicago, and her Master of Music degree in Voice from the University of North Texas in Denton. Since 1998, she has been the music specialist at Centennial Academy of Fine Arts Education, where she teaches general music for children in grades K-5 in addition to conducting the primary choir, intermediate choir, and dulcimer ensemble. Theresa maintains a private voice studio and is on the staff at Littleton United Methodist Church as the Children's Choir Director, and sings in the Chancel Choir, frequently as a featured soloist.Juliane Dowell, Soprano Kimberly Dunninger, Soprano
Kim is an accomplished singer and teacher having taught choral music, K thru college, for the past 20 years in NH, OR, ND and CO. She holds a B.M. Education with distinction from the University of Maine and an M.M. in choral conducting from the University of Oregon where she conducted the Women’s Choir and studied conducting and sang with Helmut Rilling in the Oregon Bach Festival. Kim has sung with many choirs including the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, the Robert Shaw Carnegie Hall choral workshops, The Durango Women’s Choir and Durango Choral Society, and the Varna Music Festival in Europe. As a soprano soloist she has performed with the Durango Bach Festival, the San Juan Symphony, Music in the Mountains and Animas Music Festivals and the Colorado Recorder Ensemble. Having recently moved to the Boulder area, Kim has sung in the Boulder Bach Festival chorus, Summer Choralfest, the Boulder based Seicento Baroque Ensemble and currently sings in the St. Martin Chamber Choir. Kim taught M.S. and H.S. choir and orchestra in the Durango School District for 12 years and currently teaches choir and orchestra at Trail Ridge Middle School in Longmont.Beryl Fanslow, Soprano Wendi Sue Grover, Soprano
Wendi joined Kantorei for the 1999-2000 season. She attended the University of Northern Colorado and graduated with a degree in Vocal Performance. Wendi works as a Business Operations Manager for a large telecom company in Denver, and is known for her wonderful nicknames.Heather Gunnerson, Soprano
Heather joined Kantorei in 2006. A native of Colorado Springs, Colorado, she graduated from Colorado State University in 2003 with a Liberal Arts degree. She has been singing in choirs since the age of 7, growing up in the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale and joining every college choir she could. Heather now works as a massage therapist for University of Colorado Hospital.Stacie Hanson, Soprano
Stacie joined Kantorei in 2005. She attended Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA, where she sang with the Choir of the West for three years. Stacie is a social worker at the Butler Institute for Families at the University of Denver,where she works with child welfare agencies around the country to improve their services for children and families. She and her husband spend their spare time enjoying life in Colorado, rehabbing their 100-year-old house, and chasing around two busy little girls.Judy Larson, Soprano Sara Michael, Soprano
Sara joined Kantorei in the spring of 2009, and is so grateful for the privilege to sing with this amazing group of musicians. She graduated from Goshen College in Indiana with a degree in Vocal Performance. Sara is the pianist at First Mennonite Church of Denver, and recently opened a private voice and piano studio at her home in Littleton.Pearl Rutherford, Soprano
A member of Kantorei since 2002, Pearl is on the voice faculty of the Colorado Christian University School of Music and also maintains a very busy private voice studio in her home. She earned a BMus in vocal performance from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu, and has also received vocal instruction at the University of Northern Colorado. Ms. Rutherford’s performance experience includes opera and musical theatre roles as well as active involvement in choral groups in Hawaii, Wyoming and Idaho. She lives in Littleton with her husband David and their children Emily and Evan.Becky Scott, Soprano Christianna Sullins, Soprano
Christianna Sullins joined Kantorei in 2010. Prior to singing with Kantorei, Christianna performed throughout the Denver theatre circuit at such places as The Denver Center For the Performing Arts (A Christmas Carol), Boulder’s Dinner Theatre (Z’s Favorite in The Will Roger’s Follies and Maria in The Sound of Music), The Arvada Center (A Year With Frog and Toad), and others. Christianna is a stay-at-home momma to her 3 year old daughter and 5 month old son. She is a Colorado native and holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Colorado State University.Emily Alexander, Alto
Emily joined Kantorei in 2010 and has loved every minute of it. She graduated from Colorado College in 2010 with her BA in Music and MA in Teaching. Currently, she teaches choir to the crazy, awesome middle schoolers at Cimarron MS in Parker.Jan Ankele, Alto
Jan Ankele is a founding member of Kantorei, back from a 5 year hiatus now that her children are launched to college! Jan graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. She is a manager in financial services in the retirement industry.Lizabeth Barnett, Alto
Lizabeth joined Kantorei in 2001. Originally from Atlanta, Lizabeth graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelors of Music in 1997 (Go Dawgs!). Lizabeth currently teaches general music, choir and music theatre at the Slavens School in Denver.Lyn Berry-Helmlinger, Alto Hillary Foster, Alto
Hillary joined Kantorei in the fall of 2012. She is a recent transplant from Iowa City where was employed at the University of Iowa. She received her BA in Music and Music Management from Luther College. She is currently pursuing her MBA with a concentration in non-profit organization at the University of Denver.Shannon Lemmon-Elrod, Alto Jenny Marsden, Alto Melissa Menter, Alto
Melissa is a founding member of Kantorei. She majored in political science and Russian studies at St. Olaf College, where she sang in the St. Olaf choir and met her husband, Alex (Tenor II). They have three kids under the age of five. Yes, they're busy and tired. Melissa works as an international corporate tax attorney for a major public accounting firm. She aspires to win the lottery.Erin Meyerhoff, Alto
Erin joined Kantorei in the Fall of 1999. She is a native of Colorado. Erin attained her undergraduate Nursing degree from the University of Rochester in New York and then returned to Colorado for her graduate degree in Nursing. She currently works as a Nurse Practitioner and Diabetes Educator at the University of Colorado Hospital in the Endocrinology Practice.Jennifer Moore, Alto
Jennifer joined Kantorei in 2005. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Colorado State University, and her Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley College. Jennifer spent fourteen years on the Western slope teaching band, choir and general music. At present she is the choral specialist at The Music Box in Denver.Michelle Tombre, Alto Andrea Ware, Alto
Andrea joined Kantorei in 2009. She earned degrees in Secondary Education and English from Drake University in Des Moines, IA, where she sang with the Drake Choir and Drake Chamber Choir. She is currently working toward her Master's degree in Counseling at the University of Colorado Denver.Lindsey Whitaker, Alto
Lindsey has been a Kantorei member since the 2004-2005 season and is a Colorado native. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Lindsey is a Relationship Manager for US Bank Corporate Payment Systems and is also a US Bank Annual Pinnacle Award Winner.Kai Berry-Helmlinger, Tenor
Kai joined Kantorei in the fall of its inaugural season, after getting to know Dick Larson through an earlier stint with the Cherry Creek Chorale. He grew up in La Verne, CA where he caught the music bug early and sang in choirs all the way through school. Kai moved to Colorado for college, later earning a degree in mathematics and economics from the University of Colorado-Boulder. He’s been gainfully employed for 10 years at Lockton Companies, where he’s a Senior Programmer/Analyst. Kai lives in Denver’s venerable Park Hill neighborhood with his lovely spouse, Lyn, and a persnickety Siamese cat.Michael Bizzaro, Tenor
Michael joined Kantorei in 2012. He received Bachelor of Music degrees in Music Education and Music Composition both with distinction from Ohio Northern University in 2010. He is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Michael is the Choir Director at Fountain-Fort Carson High School. When he is not devoting his life to music, Michael enjoys traveling, reading, skiing, golf, sports, video games, good beer, and good conversation.Keith Ferguson, Tenor Evan Glaser, Tenor Kevin Gunnerson, Tenor
Kevin joined Kantorei in 2004. A native of Fort Collins, Colorado, Kevin attended Colorado State University and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration while singing in the University Singers and Chamber Singers under Dr. Lee Egbert. Kevin currently works as a Branch Manager for Elevations Credit Union in Boulder. Kevin and his wife (and fellow Kantorei member) Heather live in Northglenn with their dogs, Baylor and Stella.Keith Harrison, Tenor
Keith joined Kantorei for the 2006-2007 season. Born in Pretoria, South Africa, Keith moved to the United States in 1998 to get a Ph.D. in Physics from CU, Boulder. Keith now works as a planetary scientist.Steve Howie, Tenor
Steve joined Kantorei in 2003. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in choral and instrumental music education from Bethany College, Lindsborg, KS and a Master of Music degree from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ in choral conducting. Steve currently serves as Minister of Music at Saint Peter Lutheran Church in Greenwood Village where he directs a variety of choral and instrumental ensembles. Before Kantorei, he was bass section leader for Ars Nova singers in Boulder, a frequent student soloist for the Messiah Festival at Bethany College, and has played a number of lead roles in community theater.Gari Jensen, Tenor
Gari Jensen has been a chorister and soloist with many groups and churches in the Denver area. He especially enjoys the classical and baroque periods as well as opera and art song. He has four wonderful children and by day is an oncology nurse at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. Besides family and music his passions are Spanish, history and literature, and hiking and biking.Brad Larson, Tenor
Brad joined Kantorei fall of 2005. A graduate of St. Olaf College, Brad received his degree in Music Composition with a principal performance medium in voice. Brad is the founder, President and Owner of IFCo, LLC, a full-service dealer/distributor of commercial and institutional furnishings.Alex Menter, Tenor
Alex Menter and his wife Melissa have been singing with Kantorei since its inception in 1997. Previously, he attended Cherry Creek High School and sang with Dick Larson in the Cherry Creek Meistersingers from 1989-1991. After that he attended Saint Olaf College in Northfield Minnesota, where he sang with Anton Armstrong in the Saint Olaf Choir. After graduating from Saint Olaf in 1995, he attended medical school, residency and fellowship at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He currently practices Medical Oncology in Denver. Alex and Melissa live in Denver with their three children, Forest, Jasper, and Daphne.John Redford, Tenor
John lives in Highlands Ranch with his wife, Brenda, and four kids, Steve, Rachel, Carolyn, and Alyssa. He grew up singing and performing with his dad, five sisters, and brother while his mom accompanied them on the piano and organ. He has sung in school choirs starting with junior high and continuing through college. He sang with Utah State University Chamber and College Choirs, as well as Ricks College A Cappella Choir. For the past 12 years he has been singing with a men’s a cappella quartet where they performed frequently at community events and church meetings. Currently, he enjoys singing with his daughters and is pleased to have recently joined Kantorei, starting in the 2011-2012 season.Robert Suits, Tenor David Weaver, Tenor Ryan Wright, Tenor Ken Atkinson, Bass
Ken joined Kantorei in February of 2003 and currently serves as the choir's "Spokesmodel." A native Coloradoan, Ken graduated from Metro State with a degree in music education with an emphasis in choral music. Ken and his wife, Nancy, have been the directors of Geneva Glen Camp in Indian Hills since 1982.Michael Boender, Bass
Michael started singing with Kantorei in 2002 after 20 years of no formalized singing. He sang with the Wartburg Choir from '78-'82 under the direction of Dr. James Fritchel. Michael is an Optometrist and has worked in the Denver area for over 15 years. Michael, his wife Donna and their two young boys love Colorado and can't imagine living anywhere else. He looks forward to each season with Kantorei!Garth Criswell, Bass
One of the original six Kantorei members, Garth grew up in the Denver area, attending Cherry Creek High School before heading off to California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA. Garth is a realtor working across the Denver metro area, and feels honored to be a part of Kantorei, and grateful to all the individuals who have helped make Kantorei the ensemble it is today.Andrew Halladay, Bass
Andrew Halladay joined Kantorei in 2011 and is the Minister of Music at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church. Andrew received his master of music degree in composition from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. Over the past several years, a number of his choral and instrumental compositions have been commissioned and performed by a variety of ensembles throughout the metropolitan area.Stephen Hooper, Bass Brad Jackson, Bass
Brad joined Kantorei in 2007 after many years of audience enjoyment. Brad's formative years were spent in Memphis, Tennessee and his informative years were spent at Baylor and the University of Denver. Brad is a psychologist working at The Children's Hospital and in private practice. He is a Scorpio and enjoys snowboard runs, wooded hikes, and camp (in all senses of the word).Karl Johnson, Bass
Karl joined Kantorei in 1997, after singing with Cherry Creek Chorale for eight years. He graduated from CU in 1983 with a degree in Civil Engineering and sang with the CU Buffoons for the four years he was there. He graduated from Cherry Creek HS in 1979 and sang in Meistersingers for two years. Karl and his wife have two girls and live in Highlands Ranch. Karl is in technical sales for a national industrial concrete flooring contractor.Robert Larson, Bass
Robert joined Kantorei in 2000. He received his BA in music education/vocal performance from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, before performing in an a'capella male quartet, World A Fair, for 2 years in Berlin, Germany. He sang in theatre for 2 seasons in Honolulu, Hawaii before serving as the children's music director/handbell director for Central Union Church in Honolulu. Currently, Robert is in his 3rd year as conductor of the Chancel Choir and Director of Music for Hope United Methodist Church in Greenwood Village, CO, and has recently been selected as one of the conductors of the Mountain Children's Chorale. Robert has performed/worked in various theatrical productions in Denver, both as an actor and music director.Michael Lewis, Bass
Michael joined Kantorei in 2011. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney where he sang under the direction of Dr. David Bauer. He also holds a Master of Education degree and a Master of Arts degree from Lesley University and the University of Denver, respectively. He has taught choral music at the middle school and elementary school levels, but decided to make a career change recently. For the past two years he has been working in the Financial Aid/Student Loan industry and currently is a Financial Aid Counselor at Metropolitan State College of Denver. He and his partner live in Aurora with their four dogs, 2 boxers-Titus and Winston, an English Bulldog-Olivia (a.k.a. the Boss of All), and a Boston Terrier-Bean.John Ludwig, Bass
John Ludwig has been singing with Kantorei since its inception in 1997 and currently serves as board Vice President. When he is not singing, John is usually out selling residential real estate, traveling, skiing, or playing golf. John is a Denver, Colorado native and a Cherry Creek High School graduate, where he and other Kantorei members sang and toured with the Meistersingers under Dick Larson’s direction many moons ago. After graduating with a degree in music and geography from Middlebury College in Vermont, John returned home to Denver where he has lived since.Larry Meerdink, Bass
Larry has been singing with Kantorei since 2002 and for Maestro Larson since 1982. Under the tutelage of Dr. Jerry McCollum he graduated from Metropolitan State College of Denver in 1991 with a Bachelors degree in Music Education and is the Director of Vocal Music for Westminster High School’s Academy of Visual and Performing Arts. He is also the Colorado ACDA R&S Chair for Men’s Choirs. When not singing, teaching, or towing the Kantorei trailer, he can be found woodworking or on a Colorado stream or river with a fly rod.John Schaak, Bass Matt Weissenbuehler, Bass
Matt is proud to have joined Kantorei during its first season and is honored to serve as section leader for Kantorei’s fun and gifted bass section. Matt studied music at Wartburg College and has been singing ever since. He has performed operatic roles and appeared in recital in the Denver area, but his first love continues to be a cappella choral music. When not singing, Matt works as a director in Information Technology for Jeffco Public Schools.