The Stand in the Light Memory Choir is led by a specifically trained music director and accompanist. It is a welcoming, inclusive, and accessible learning environment that helps provide a goal and a sense of accomplishment for each member. We provide music notebooks, sheet music, and a practice CD for each member. The choir has Dementia-aware volunteers to assist with the needs of the singers and care partners.
Cathy Reitz, Artistic and Musical Director
For over 40 years Cathy has taught choral and vocal music in the Midwest. She holds a Bachelor of Music from St. Norbert College, a Master of Education from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse and is a National Board Certified Teacher and Master Educator. Stand in the Light Memory Choir is one of the community choirs that Cathy directs in the Chippewa Valley. She believes in the power of music and of singing together.
"This choir is directed by Cathy Reitz, a singer herself who has the incredible ability to insist on quality while ensuring that people have a good time." - Caregiver Choir Member
Anne Kubiatowicz, Accompanist
Anne Kubiatowicz has a piano performance degree from UW-Eau Claire. She is a former home educator who now spends most of her time teaching a private studio of thirty piano students. Anne enjoys collaborating with her colleagues and UWEC music students for their recitals. She is the pianist for the Chippewa Valley Community Chorus and area middle and high school choirs, and plays color keyboard with the band for the Valley Gospel Choir. Anne has been blessed to be a part of her church music ministry over the years and is excited to join the Stand in the Light Memory Choir. She and her husband Mike have 5 grown children and 3 grandchildren.
Board of Directors
Jessica Manthe has been part of the medical community for 18 years in the medical/pharmaceutical sales arena. She is currently an Account Executive for St Croix Hospice throughout Northwest Wisconsin and manages a business consulting business, Creative Insights LLC. Jessica is a servant leader and was drawn to the choir due to its exceptional mission, vision, and focus. In her “free time,” Jessica has a very active family that can be found biking, skiing, camping, and more…outdoors. Jessica is a ballroom dancer and has been an instructor for nearly 23 years.
Lynn is an Occupational Therapist at HSHS Sacred Heart/St Joseph's Hospital for the past 30 years. Lynn has attended Stand In the Light Memory Choir concerts for the past 3 years and witnessed the power of music. She looks forward to serving the organization, its members and the community. Lynn plays handbells and flute at Hope Lutheran Church.
Lou is the Business Intelligence and Analytics Manager at Royal Credit Union in Eau Claire. She has been blessed to be the Music Director for Zion Lutheran Church of Cleghorn for many years. Lou has several family members affected by Alzheimer's and Dementia and believes in the power of music to engage memory.
David is the pastor of Plymouth United Church of Christ in Eau Claire and has been with the choir since its beginning. He was immediately attracted to the idea of the choir because of the healing power of music, the importance of safe spaces and singing together, and social time for choir members and caregivers.
Reverend David Huber
Valerie Evans is a vocalist, trombonist, and educator based in Eau Claire, WI. She has worked with our choir since 2020, helping out both musically and technologically. She is beyond thankful to witness how music can nourish those affected by memory loss. A graduate of UW-Stevens Point with dual degrees in Vocal and Trombone Performance in 2020, Val runs a private lessons studio, and is a member of the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association. In addition to her classical training, she explores the genres of jazz, R&B, soul, folk, and pop. She performs regularly with a number of groups in the area, including Mélange, an all-female vocal trio supported by guitar with soulful three-part harmonies, the Chippewa Valley Jazz Orchestra, Chorale à Nouveau, and a guitar/guitar/voice trio called Third Wind that performs a variety of smooth and easy-listening covers.
Lynn is a retired first grade teacher who now enjoys volunteering at her church and in our community. She loves to read, travel, do yoga and her daily walks. Having members on both sides of her family affected by Alzheimer’s, she is impressed with the joy and power of music with the Stand in the Light Choir. She is excited to serve on the Board of Directors.
Wanda Miller has admired the work of The Stand in the Light Memory Choir since its inception and is honored to be a part of making lives richer, through music, in the Chippewa Valley. Wanda teaches music at Northwoods Elementary School in Eau Claire, where she loves making music with her students. She has sung with Master Singers of Eau Claire and currently sings in a local duo, Wandarlie. Wanda also enjoys playing French Horn and singing at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Eau Claire.
With a Bachelor’s degree in Instrumental Music Education from UW-Eau Claire, Sharon was the band director for Fond du Lac School District where she also taught instrumental instruction, jazz studies, music theory, general music and marching band. Sharon has performed throughout the United States, Canada and parts of Europe with several orchestras, concert bands and wind ensembles. In Eau Claire, she substitute teaches music and art for area schools and also established the Seymour Studio for Winds where she taught private lessons. Sharon has been on the boards of the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra, the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association, the Fond du Lac Symphonic Band, and a founding member of the Wisconsin Youth Band Directors Association. Having had several family members with Alzheimer’s and Lewy Body dementia, Sharon is thrilled to have the opportunity to share her love of the arts to enrich the lives of those who live with dementia through Stand in the Light Memory Choir.
A retired office manager, Jan has been a resident of Eau Claire since her time at UW-EC as a music major-oboe and education. She was a member of the Chippewa Valley Symphony for nearly 30 years and remains active in many choral and instrumental groups in the Valley including as a singing partner in the Stand in the Light Memory choir.
Connie is a native of Eau Claire, retired from Eau Claire County Human Services. Music has always been a part of her family. Her parents sang in the church choir and her dad was a Barber Shopper. Growing up Connie and her sisters took piano while her brother took guitar (These days Connie enjoys going to hear her brother's band play!). Connie's mother had Lewy Body Dementia and loved to sing. At assisted living they were working on her singing one more time with her church choir. "After hearing SITLMC I knew it was something I wanted to do."
Carolyn is a retired nurse who has always had music in her life whether it be singing in church, folk groups in college, singing in community groups or local musical theater. She has been married to her husband Don for 49 years they and have three beautiful, talented daughters and three exceptionally brilliant grandchildren. In Carolyn’s spare time (when she’s not involved in music) she loves to craft, sew, read, travel and volunteer. Carolyn is excited to be serving on the Stand In The Light Memory Choir Board.
Admininstrative and Support Staff
Lisa has been with the Aging & Disability Resource Center of Eau Claire County, WI for 17 years and has been in the aging/dementia field for more than 32 years. Ms. Wells provides support for individuals with dementia and their caregivers, offers memory screenings, evidenced based-programs, assistance with care planning and connections to support and resources. She assists in developing dementia friendly communities, civic awareness of dementia related issues, and trainings.
Lisa Wells, MA,CDP
Dementia Care Specialist Liaison
Kobi has been a professional performer the bulk of her life, with music being at the core for many years. She has also been a writer, a storyteller and a teaching artist among many other things. She currently works with her husband as the comedy juggling duo In Capable Hands, presenting their educational Circus Science Spectacular show throughout the country. Kobi has had multiple family members affected by Alzheimer’s and truly believes in the healing power of music.
Barb coordinates the refreshments for social time for the choir, both weekly and at the concerts. Barb & her husband, Larry, own the Bed, Bath & Drapery in Eau Claire. She is retired from Premium Finance Corporation.
Singing Care Partners
Do you love to sing and help others? Some choir members may not have a care partner and could use a little help. A singing care partner is paired with a person living with memory loss and assists the member during rehearsals and performances. Training is provided before the start of each semester for singing care partners.
Supporting The Choir
Stand in the Light Memory Choir is a 501 (c)(3) supported by generous donations from the community and many volunteers. Donations are tax deductible. Stand in the Light Memory Choir is a part of the Giving Voice Initiative (GVI) in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. GVI inspires and equips organizations around the world to build choruses for people with dementia and their care partners. For more information visit: www.givingvoicechorus.org