Meet the Chorale: Jeff Martin

“My wife, Claudia Kauma and I have been married for 18 years and parents to three kids of the furry kind. We spent most of our adult lives living in Minneapolis living on a lake before our Montana friends introduced us to the Flathead Valley 15 years ago. We purchased land in Lakeside about 12 years ago and planned to build our retirement home there. The opportunity arose in mid-2017 to purchase the home and land from our friends across the street from our property, so we decided it was time to make the move to Lakeside.

I have always enjoyed the outdoors so I have taken advantage of every opportunity to ski, hike, and enjoy lazy days on Flathead Lake in our boat. We love to have visitors and treat them to the beautiful sites around us and great food of the valley.

Claudia has been retired for a while and enjoys her kinship with the local deer, time spent with the dogs and cat and relaxing evenings on our deck overlooking Flathead Lake and the mountains.

Singing for me started at a very early age in Catholic grade school, when in sixth grade I filled in for the funeral singer who was sick one Friday. That grew into a very diverse musical and performance career over the next 20 years. Throughout high school and college I played many roles in musical theater productions and fell in love with the stage. I was fortunate to study music at ST. Olaf College and tour with the world famous ST., Olaf choir. I graduated with a BA in Music Vocal education performance.

I started my professional singing  career with the Minnesota Opera Company during the spring of my senior year at St. Olaf College and from there spent the next nine years on stage playing many enjoyable roles, guest soloist with civic symphonies, modeling and TV commercial work.

I had the privilege of being mentored by some of the top musicians and artistic the industry and studied voice with tenor Donald Hoiness for nearly thirty years until his recent passing. The fellow cast members and =great conductors helped me experience the real power of music and the theater. For what was to follow it couldn’t have been better training. I continued to sing as an avocation with some of the top professional choirs in the nation while living in Minneapolis.

I left the theater and music as a vocation, in my early thirties and decided to follow my second love of architecture and construction. That path led me to my present career as a marketing executive in the engineering filed. Over the past thirty years I have built and owned companies in the control system integration business which led me to project throughout the US and abroad. I was always amazed to find new musical experiences in my travels from the Gaucho festivals in Venezuela to the jungle church choir in the Fijian islands. Music is truly the universal language.

My life long goal was to return to singing and performance in my retirement and the Choral is a great place to continue a high level of musical artistry with great friends. Led by Micah’s inspiration and love for the voice it is wonderful group to sing with.”

– Jeff Martin, Chorale Member / Lakeside, Montana