Maria Allison has been a member of the Performing Arts Society board since its beginnings. As a resident of Kenai since 1979, she has been involved in music, teaching and performing as well as helping organize concerts. She has performed many solo recitals and chamber music concerts, locally as well as around Alaska and in the lower 48. Recent performances include soloing with the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra, and performing chamber music with visiting artists, the DeVere Quartet and the Madison Quartet. Ms. Allison accompanies for choral groups and festivals in the Kenai/Soldotna communities, works with the Kenai Performers, and plays with the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra and Redoubt Chamber Orchestra on viola and violin. She teaches private piano lessons as well as music courses at Kenai Peninsula College. She is a member of the faculty of the Los Angeles-based Gold Coast Chamber Music Festival. She received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in music from the University of Nebraska, studying piano with the late Audun Ravnan. She and her husband, Tom, live in Kenai.
Benjamin Jackinsky has served as a board member since May 2001. Jackinsky, a resident of Kasilof, was born and raised on the Peninsula. He is currently the owner operator of a used bookstore called Already Read as well as continuing to work as a commercial setnet fisher, a profession he says he was born into. He has also worked as a hospice care giver and as an independent contractor in visual display in the San Francisco Bay Area. Benjamin received his BA from Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin, and his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in California. An active member of the community, Jackinsky was a founding board member and continues to serve on the board for the Kenai Watershed Forum. He is treasurer for the Transfiguration of Our Lord Orthodox Church. Jackinsky also maintains membership in the Ninilchik Native Association, Ninilchik Traditional Council, Ninilchik Native Descendants, Kenai Peninsula Fisherman’s Association, KDLL, and Identity.
Mary Broderick joined the PAS board as treasurer in October, 2011. She has been active in the music community of Kenai and Soldotna, playing cello in the Central Peninsula Community Orchestra, the Redoubt Chamber Orchestra, and Kenai Peninsula Orchestra for a number of years, as well as volunteering her time to help produce concerts. She presently serves on the board of the KPO. She is also an accomplished graphic artist, working in the medium of pen and ink. She is a part of the business community of the Central Peninsula and has worked at First American Title Company for 17 years. Mary has five sons and four daughters and has lived in Alaska for 20 years.
Barb Christian joined the board in the summer of 2008 after her retirement from Kenai Peninsula College, where she served as the liaison between the PAS board and the Arts & Humanities department. Former division chair and full professor of literature and composition, she holds a PhD in literature and criticism as well as an MA and a BS in English. In the 1980s, Christian launched the first public readings by local writers and started the group that became the Central Peninsula Writers Group. Her writing successes include two academic books as well as academic articles, professional presentations, stories, and poems. She still teaches occasional courses at KPC. Arriving in Kenai as new teachers in 1970, Barb and her husband Mike stayed to raise a son and daughter and to promote education, school sports, libraries, and the arts in local communities. They also share a passion for travel, history, and all the arts. Barb’s other hobbies include gardening, reading, and the study of US ethnic and world literatures.
Robert Kuiper has been “living off the land” on the Moose River since 1976. Career pursuits have included building contractor, logger and commercial fisherman. For the last 15 years he has been happily building log furniture as Alaskan Wildwoods. Harvesting raw materials from the Alaskan woods and river banks is the beginning of the musical journey Robert goes on while creating fine pieces of furniture. He and his wife Judy have just opened a new venture called Wildwoods Cabin, a lodging experience closely described as a symphony of wood. While not being able to read a note or carry a tune himself, he is a passionate listener of all music and has supported all such endeavors by local musicians and the Performing Arts Society.
Jeanne studied at the University of Arizona for her undergraduate degree in music education, and then earned her Master’s in Music from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. After teaching in Dutch Harbor for 16 years, she is excited about being the new music teacher at K-Beach Elementary school and is thrilled to be living on the mainland again. She is a member of the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra, the Kenai Performers Pit Orchestra, the Redoubt Chamber Orchestra, and she has performed on French horn with numerous chamber music ensembles around the peninsula.
Jonathan Dillon teaches general music and beginning band at Mountain View Elementary, where he also directs the after-school choir program. A few of his recent professional engagements include: Solo & Ensemble Adjudicator for the 2012 Alaska Region II Music Festival; Festival Choir Director for the 2012 RIFF@N*HOOK Music Festival; Director of Voice and Choirs for the 2011 UAF Summer Music Academy; and long-term substitute positions for both the West Valley High School and Northland Youth Choir programs. Dillon earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he was awarded the Joel Wiegert Award – the highest honor granted by the institution to a senior undergraduate male. His choral conducting mentors include Jaunelle Celaire, Melissa Downes, Marvilla Davis, and Bruce Hanson. Dillon has served on the board of the Performing Arts Society since January 2013.
Lorrene Forbes served as secretary and member of the board from 1999 until retiring in 2013. Ms. Forbes has lived in Kenai since 1971 and in Alaska much longer than that. She received her BA from Alaska Methodist University and a BEd from UAA. A certified teacher, she recently retired as a special services aide for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District after subbing for many years. Lorrene served as a commissioner for the Kenai Library Advisory Commission and is still a member of Friends of the Library. She once produced the Kenai concert for the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra. She has designed and built costumes for Pier One Theatre, Peninsula Dancers, and Kenai Performers. She has also acted, danced and worked as techie for many of these productions, as well as singing in the Kenai College Choir.