Member of the Month - July
Linda Martinson - VP - Finance, Alto
Linda Martinson inherited her love of music from her adopted parents. Her father played by ear, but her Mom said she couldn't carry a tune. Linda attended the Cleveland Institute of Music and diligently created a love for all music.
Another one of her loves are horses and John Zaltowski, her husband. She also teaches children how to stay on and ride a horse, then take care of the most magnificent and beautiful creature God gave us as a "helper", - a horse.
Linda expressed, “Better than the applause of an appreciative audience are the smiles on the faces
boys & girls who bond with their favorite horse/pony.” Linda continues to serve as Vice President – Finance and was formerly, the V.P – Marketing. for CSLKN. Her final quote was, “I sings with the best choir in the Lake Norman area."
Member of the Month - August 2023
Mike Keener - Section Leader Tenor/Bass
Mike Keener said, “Family and friendships are the primary drivers.”
Mike is section leader for the tenors and basses and has sung, solo, duets, and small ensembles. Keener sang in both high school and college.
Mike and his wife, Sue of 47 years, first met in college, Ohio Northern University. Keener then joined the pharmaceutical industry, and they lived in 5 states and finally settled in North Carolina twenty years ago. They have 2 grown children and 6 grandchildren.
Mike's other activities include two senior men's groups in the Lake Norman area, Lakesiders and Southenders, and he enjoys sports like hiking and bowling, as well as dining. Mike is an avid reader and they love to travel - over 30 cruises around the world.
As a tenor/bass, he also wanted to get involved with a singing again after college and in retirement, thus he joined the Community Singers of Lake Norman five years ago.
Kitty Soesbee - VP, Founding Member
Member of the Month - September 2023
Kitty's interest in music began thirty-five years ago when her dad took her to a spring show of the North Mecklenburg Chorus. She was hooked! Kitty joined the chorus next fall and hasn't looked back. She believes “Choral singing is the cheapest therapy a public school teacher could afford.”
Presently, Kitty is the pianist for worship services at Gilead ARP Church. Soesbee was instrumental in the establishment of Community Singers of Lake Norman and is the Vice President of the Board of Directors. She was responsible for hiring Charles Morrow as director of our singing family.
The Soesbee's are major contributors to the finances of the chorus. Kitty also coordinates with the Watchmen of the Streets donation drive, and the procurement of the Charles Mack auditorium and Greg Hensley, sound and light man.
One of Kitty's favorite jobs is working on the production committee and hopes to continue such efforts. Another nurturing effort is to to harass and take care of both Charles and Marla, two very special "children" of hers.
Finally, the Soesbee's farm, houses a shed with inventoried music of CSLKM, plus host gatherings of our musical family on the deck behind the barn. Kitty Soesbee states, “what should you know about me is God is first, family second, everything else third, and I am so happy that one of my families is the CSLKN!!
Member of the Month - October 2023
Betty Arko - Founding Member
Living in NY, Betty Arko sang loudly in a church choir and HS Alumni Choir. She sang at the 1964-65 Worlds Fair and at annual Christmas reunion concerts 1979-1989. The church choir grew into the Glenn Mohr Choral, which recorded original music (CDs).
Subsequently, she traveled with the Chorale to Rome in 1989 and 2009 and sang for an audience with Pope John Paul II for a mass at St. Peters Basilica. In 2009, they were invited by the Little Sisters to sing at all celebrations for the canonization of St. Jeanne Jugan - foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Relocating to NC, Betty continued singing as CPCC offered a choral music class, NMCC and 30 years ago, Arko met Kitty Soesbee there. NMCC became CP Community Chorus, but parted ways with the college. A small group still wanted to sing together so they pooled resources to form a Board and founded the Community Singers of Lake Norman.
Betty is an active member of the North Mecklenburg Woman's Club which supports and volunteers for numerous local charities. She continues to traveled and also enjoy retirement, reading, crafting and making friends.
Member of the Month - November 2023
Lisa Fisher - Alto, Section Leader
Lisa Fisher states, “She can’t remember a time when music wasn’t part of her life–from learning hymns in church to singing along with the radio. She listened to the local stations and learned harmony with groups like the Beach Boys and The Eagles. Fisher discovered a weekly show that played classic Carolina Beach Music and practiced more harmony. Lisa studied dance for ten years and played the violin for seven years. While never having a piano, she would tinker with her family’s pianos. She sang in the church choir and learned more from the long-time music director, currently her neighbor.
Recently retired after 28 years as an elementary school educator, she envisions singing, dancing, exercising, cooking, organizing, and spending more time with her family and friends. With a one-year-old granddaughter, she can’t wait to introduce her to some of her favorite artists…Steely Dan, Billy Joel, Linda Ronstadt, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, and Carole King.
Lisa joined the chorus because of her love of singing, and Ann Rust who invited Lisa to a spring show in 2003. Over the past 20 years, Fisher sang some of her favorite pieces. She's sung in a few different languages, sung solos, duets, and in ensembles, and dancing which she loves. Charles Morrow encourages Lisa and others to stretch and believes we all can do it. Her infatuation is the friendships developed through Community Singers of Lake Norman. Lisa Fisher stated, “It is a truly is a special group, and I’m so glad to be a part of it!
Member of the Month - December
John Zaltowski spent thirty-four years serving our country in the Air Force and retired in 2003 as Senior Master Sargent - E8. He was stationed in the Middle East, Far East, Central America and Europe. His service career began as a jet engine mechanic, then moved on to be as aircraft mechanic. His last sixteen years were as a Quality Assurance Inspector with numerous people reporting to him. One day, a good friend talked John into joining the church choir in Maryland. Singing made him feel great inside as he leans next to another singer.
In 2008, Zaltowski moved to N. C. and he joined the St. Mark's Choir. Shortly after, Marie Heiss encouraged John to join the Chorus which is like a large family to John. It got him through some difficult times as he lost Marie, his wife of 42 years in 2009. He has now sung in a church choir for over 30 years.
John makes things out of wood and loves greeting people at the door. He also sets up the chorus room, and restores the room when everyone else leaves. John is our liaison to Bethel Church and while singing at a CSLKN rehearsal, he noticed Linda Martinson. Well, at the next rehearsal, Zaltowski came in with a bouquet of flowers, offered them to Linda and requested a date in front of 60 choristers. They are now married 8 years. Music is inspiring!
Member of the Month - January 2024
Amy Jacobus - President
Amy Jacobus character developed a tender age filled with creativity, ambition, industriousness, and the joy of learning. As early as kindergarten, she was attracted to the stage, dancing, acting and production which came naturally.
At the age of 12, Amy met a choral director who taught her the fundamental of music: pitch, rhythm, harmony and sight reading. She continued to development through High School and performed in competitive choral singing and in musical theater. Later, Amy sang in local choral groups and performed in the Charlotte area.
Jocobus attended Applachian State University and traveled with a competitive chorus, a glee club, and directed/stage managed student operas. She was a member of the Slam Poetry Team and graduated with a degree in English and Philosophy.
Amy's mother-in-law prompted her to join CSLKN by providing an article about the group. Amy and Peter have two children, Raven and Carson. Her career includes technical writing for construction, preschool teaching, stage managing, drama teaching, and currently works with Autistic and ADHD children.
Amy is now concluding her two year term as President of CSLKN but will continue contributing where her heart resides, Production and Programming. Raven and Carson will continue as well contributing.