Cape Fear Chorale Announces and Welcomes Our New
Artistic Director and Conductor
Dr. Aaron Peisner

Aaron Peisner

Dr. Aaron Peisner is Assistant Professor and Director of Choral Activities at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He holds the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from University of Maryland, the Master of Music in choral conducting from Yale University, and the Bachelor of Arts in music from Wesleyan University.

Before coming to UNCW, Dr. Peisner served as Interim Director of Choirs at Goucher College in Towson, MD. He has prepared choirs for performances with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Marin Alsop, as well as the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductors Gianandrea Noseda, Donald Runnicles, and Jeannette Sorrell. Dr. Peisner has also served as chorus master for opera productions with the Maryland Opera Studio and Opera Wilmington.

A bass-baritone, Dr. Peisner 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. 

His research areas include the performance and recording history of Spanish Renaissance music, 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. His awards to date include Daniel L. Pomeroy Prize for outstanding work in 17th- and 18th-century music, University of Maryland, the Lipsky Prize for Choral Excellence, Wesleyan University, and High Honors in Music, Wesleyan University.

Aaron takes over the leadership from Jerry Cribbs, the founder and 24-year artistic director and conductor of the Chorale. According to Aaron, “…  he and I value many of the same things: kindness, dedication to musical excellence, meticulousness, and cultivating community through shared artistic experiences. I will do my very best to bring those qualities to every rehearsal and concert with Cape Fear Chorale. I look forward to making incredible music with you all and sharing that music with our wider community.” 

Welcome Aaron!!!

Cape Fear Chorale Welcomes Our New Accompanist
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 CFCC and UNCW where she serves as a collaborative pianist

Welcome Bettsy!!

With Love and Appreciation for 24 Wonderful Years,
Cape Fear Chorale Acknowledges the Retirement of
Artistic Director and Conductor
Jerry Cribbs

Jerry Cribbs

Mr. Cribbs lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he served New Hanover County Schools from 1980 until his retirement in 2004. He taught choral music at E. A. Laney High School, John T. Hoggard High School, and Winter Park Elementary School.
He also served as Director of Arts Education, Director of Arts Education and Public Relations, and as Director of Human Resources. Mr. Cribbs also served as an adjunct instructor for the Music Department at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and 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 Bachelors of Music and a Masters of Music in music education, as well as a Certificate of Supervision from East Carolina University, inclusively. He has public school teaching experience in choral, instrumental, and general music at all levels, K-12. Mr. Cribbs has taught at the college level in the areas of choral music, choral methods, music fundamentals, and music appreciation.

Mr. Cribbs currently is the Director of Music Ministries at Grace United Methodist Church, Wilmington, NC. He conducts two choirs at Grace, Chancel Choir and Grace Ringers. Mr. Cribbs has served as a church music director since 1968.

He also performs as a tenor soloist within the area.

He is a member of the North Carolina chapter of American Choral Directors’ Association (NC-ACDA) and has served on the board. He currently maintains membership in the Wilmington Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO). Mr. Cribbs is a member of and has held offices in the North Carolina Music Educators’ Association (NCMEA).

In 2008, Mr. Cribbs received the Lara Hoggard Award for Distinguished Service In Choral Music In North Carolina. He was awarded the East Carolina School of Music Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009.

He is married to Cheryl Cribbs, and they have two adult sons, Adam and Neil, and two grandchildren.

Thank you, Jerry!!

Chorale Members

  • Adams, Laure
  • Ahlstrom, Ken
    Amaya, Carol
  • André, Lee
  • Aquilina, Florence
  • Aulidge, Cody
  • Barnes, Denise
  • Borrett, Stephanie
  • Both, Jane
  • Brandon, Gayle
    Bryan, Melody
  • Buck, Damy
  • Burt, Raymond
  • Carron, Susan #
  • Clyatt, Elaine
  • Clyatt, John
  • Conner, Patty *
    Cox, Yeavonne
  • Cribbs, Cheryl ~
  • Dries, Rachelle #
  • Fried, Don #
  • Frye, Jr., John
  • Gallo, Linda
  • Gardner, Susan ~
    Gibson, Bill
  • Graybar, Doris
  • Hanano, Tanya

  • Heuber, Sherry
    Hoefer, Ed
    Hollowell, David
    Hollowell, Terri
  • Houck, Lucinda ^*
  • Johnson, Bruce
  • Kash, Gwyn
  • King, Anjie
  • Kinzly, Beth
  • Laiosa, Caren
  • Leemhuis, Greg
  • Lewis, Jennifer
  • Little, Marion
  • Lusk, Diane
  • Martuscelli, Gina *
  • Matney, Anne
  • Maxwell, Alexis
  • Montgomery, Hank
  • Moore, Lois
  • Morgan, Rita
  • Mory, Javier
  • Moser, G. Vance
    Olsen, Ian
  • Owens, Jeanne
    Petteys, Holly
  • Pipkin, Nancy Jo

  • Powell, Alicia
    Pullum, Jennifer #
    Randall, Katie
    Richardson, Tanina
  • Robinson, Sam
  • Rodegast, Beverly #
  • Roen, Todd
  • Sanders, Charles ~*
  • Sanders, Myrtle ~+”
  • Sclippa, Eva
  • Stahler, Meredith
  • Stephan, Arthur #
  • Tabor, Jenn
  • Thigpen, Liz #
  • Trawick, Jennings
  • Tremlett, Marilee *
  • Ulisnik, Kevin >
  • Whitehill, David
  • Williams, Rob *
  • Withers, Caroline
  • Young, Kristin

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

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