Artistic Director and Conductor
Dr. Aaron Peisner

Aaron Peisner

Dr. Aaron Peisner is delighted to direct the Cape Fear Chorale in his first season as artistic director. He serves as Assistant Professor and Director of Choral Activities at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he conducts the Concert Choir and Chamber Choir, and teaches courses in choral music education, aural skills, and voice. Peisner also serves as chorus master for Opera Wilmington, and is a founding member of the newly formed chamber choir, Wilmington Voices. Prior to his time at UNCW, Peisner was Interim Director of Choirs at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.

Dr. Peisner has prepared choirs for performances with the Baltimore and National Symphony Orchestras under the direction of conductors including Marin Alsop, Gianandrea Noseda, Donald Runnicles, and Jeannette Sorrell, including a Medici TV broadcast performance of John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary with the NSO and Maestro Noseda at the Kennedy Center. Peisner holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in choral conducting from the University of Maryland, where he studied conducting with Edward Maclary and James Ross and was awarded the Daniel L Pomeroy Prize for outstanding work in 17th- and 18th-century music. Peisner earned his masters degree in choral conducting from Yale University, where he studied conducting with Marguerite Brooks, Jeffrey Douma, David Hill, and Masaaki Suzuki. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in music from Wesleyan University.

Dr. Peisner’s research areas include the performance and recording history of Spanish Renaissance music, the music of composer Hilary Purrington, Kurt Weill’s Das Berliner Requiem for men’s chorus and wind band, and critical pedagogy and the music leadership practices of collegiate a cappella groups. A bass-baritone, he has sung professionally with the choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington, DC, the San Francisco Choral Artists, Polyhymnia (NYC), and Yale Schola Cantorum. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, serving as co-chair of the newly established NC Collegiate Festival Choir.

Dr. Bettsy Curtis

Bettsy Curtis

Dr. Curtis holds three degrees in piano performance, a Bachelor of Music from Southern Methodist University, a Master of Music from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, and the Doctor of Musical Arts from The University of Texas at Austin.  

She started teaching piano as a graduate assistant at the University of Cincinnati, followed by The University of Texas at Austin.  Full-time professor positions ensued at Baylor University, Howard Payne University, and the University of Texas at San Antonio. 

She has two grown children, Holly & Wesley.  When they were young, she returned to college to become certified in public school music teaching.   After ten years of public-school teaching, she served sixteen years as the Director of Music at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church in Wilmington.  

Dr. Curtis now divides her time between Cape Fear Chorale and UNCW where she serves as a collaborative pianist

Artistic Director and Conductor, Emeritus
Jerry Cribbs

Jerry Cribbs

Jerry S. Cribbs is the founder and former Artistic Director and Conductor of Cape Fear Chorale. Mr. Cribbs has served public schools in North Carolina from 1974 until his retirement in 2004 as a music educator, as Director of Arts Education and Public Relations, and as a Director of Human Resources. He also served as an adjunct instructor for the Music Department of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and in the Fine Arts and Humanities Department at Cape Fear Community College.

As an active guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator throughout the Eastern United States, Mr. Cribbs has conducted well over 100 district choruses, festivals, and school and church clinics. He has a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music in Music Education degrees, as well as a Certificate of Supervision from East Carolina University, inclusively.

Mr. Cribbs is a member of the North Carolina Chapter of American Choral Directors Association and has served on the board. He currently maintains membership in the Wilmington Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Mr. Cribbs is a member of and past president of the North Carolina Music Educators Association. In 2008, he received the Lara Hoggard Award for Distinguished Service in Choral Music in North Carolina, presented by the NC-ACDA, and in 2009 was awarded the East Carolina University School of Music Distinguished Alumni Award.

Mr. Cribbs is dedicated to the promotion of choral music and has encouraged a life-long love of music, learning, and exceptional artistry in countless members of our community. His commitment to the musical education of people of all ages, as well as his service to the citizens of our state, is a legacy which inspires musicians and music educators throughout North Carolina. In great appreciation of these contributions, Cape Fear Chorale is delighted to confer upon Jerry S. Cribbs the permanent title of Artistic Director and Conductor, Emeritus.

Chorale Members

  • Adams, Laure
  • Ahlstrom, Ken
  • Amaya, Carol
  • Andr√©, Lee
  • Aquilina, Florence
  • Aulidge, Cody#
  • Borrett, Stephanie
  • Both, Jane
  • Brandon, Gayle
  • Bryan, Melody~*
  • Buck, Damy
  • Burt, Raymond
  • Butts, James
  • Campbell, Curtis
  • Carron, Susan #
  • Clyatt, Elaine
  • Clyatt, John#
  • Cox, Yeavonne
  • Cribbs, Cheryl ~
  • Detterman, Becca
  • Dries, Rachelle #
  • Dubin, Carol
  • Frye, Jr., John
  • Gallo, Linda V.
  • Gardner, Susan ~#
  • Greenland, Kelly
  • Hagendorf, Victoria
  • Hanano, Tanya

  • Hoefer, Ed
  • Hollowell, David
  • Hollowell, Terri
  • Hoover, David
  • Hudak, Katherine
  • Ingold, Jeffrey
  • Johnson, Bruce
  • Kash, Gwyn
  • King, Anjie
  • Kunze, Victoria
  • Laiosa, Caren
  • Leemhuis, Greg
  • Lewis, Jennifer
  • Link, Tami
  • Little, Marion
  • Luck, Amy*
  • Lusk, Diane
  • Mabee, Michael
  • Martuscelli, Gina *
  • Matney, Anne
  • Maxwell, Alexis
  • Melton, Sam
  • Miller, Corey
  • Montgomery, Hank
  • Morgan, Rita
  • Morton, Taylor
  • Mory, Javier
  • Moser, G. Vance
  • Nelson, Kahla
  • Novelly, Nancy
  • Olsen, Ian
  • Owens, Jeanne
  • Peters, Suzanne
  • Petteys, Holly
  • Pipkin, Nancy Jo

  • Powell, Alicia
  • Randall, Katie
  • Richardson, Tanina
  • Robinson, Sam
  • Rodegast, Beverly #
  • Sadanaga, Amanda
  • Sanders, Charles ~*
  • Sanders, Myrtle ~+”
  • Sclippa, Eva
  • Stephan, Arthur #
  • Tabor, Jenn
  • Thigpen, Liz #
  • Trawick, Jennings
  • Tribley, Danielle
  • Ulisnik, Kevin >
  • Van Nynatten, Aaron
  • Vedder, Alexander
  • Vedder, Tabitha
  • Vega, Rhonda
  • Vernon, Todd
  • Whitehill, David
  • Wiedemer, Anne Marie
  • Williams, Catherine
  • Williams, Melissa
  • Williams, Rob *~
  • Withers, Caroline
  • Yates, Taylor
  • Young, Kristin

  • # Board Officer
  • ~ Charter Member
  • ” Honorary Director’s Assistant
  • + Previous Attendance Secretary
  • * Previous Board Member
  • > Stage Manager
  • ^ Wardrobe Assistant

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