Click on names to see biographical information and photos.
As a strategic thinker, leader, coach and facilitator, Pam Cash has a passion for making positive things happen. Pam is co-founder of Next Ascent where she uses a strength-based methodology to strategic planning, team building, employee engagement, and executive coaching. Her approach empowers individuals, teams, and organizations with the ability to harness the power of appreciative inquiry and the discovery and development of strengths for creating breakthrough successes and preferred futures. Pam serves as the club administrator for the Rotary Club of Greensboro, finance director for Guilford Green Foundation, trustee for Greensboro Opera Board, member of the State Employees Credit Union Advisory Board, and treasurer for Triad Coaching Connection. Pam is certified in Appreciative Inquiry, is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, and is a graduate of Leadership Greensboro and Guilford NonProfit Consortium’s Board Academy. She earned a B.S. from Clemson and a M.S. from UNCG. Previously, Pam had a distinguished career at the UNCG Bryan School, most recently as assistant dean.
By profession Porter Aichele is an art historian whose publications place modern art in a broader cultural context, including relationships between the visual arts and opera. She moved to Greensboro in 1990 to take a position as administrative head of the Art Department at UNCG, where she also taught courses in art history and museum studies. Now happily retired, she does volunteer work at the Wesley Long Cancer Center. Having turned an overgrown acre in Danville, Virginia into a garden, she is now cultivating her urban garden in Greensboro.
Tom was born and raised in High Point. He graduated from Haverford College then received his law degree from UNC-CH. He has practiced law at the same Greensboro law firm since 1975. He is a founding member of the Choral Society of Greensboro, held leadership positions, and is currently President. He has sung in choruses including GO, most recently in L’elisir d’amore, Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale and Eastern Music Festival. He serves on the board of Bel Canto Company. In addition to vocal music, he is a classical guitarist, and has recently taken up the violin(!?). Tom has served for many years on the Board of Trustees for Friends Homes, Inc., including as Board Chair. He is the President of New Garden Cemetery Association, Inc., and serves on the Board of Friends Fiduciary Corporation as the Chair of the Charitable Services Committee. He actively pursues his interest in windsurfing and sailing, plus many other activities. He and his wife Sarah have two grown sons, who are each musically talented.
Afrique I. Kilimanjaro is an award-winning journalist and managing editor of the Carolina Peacemaker newspaper in Greensboro. She leads a newspaper staff of reporters, photographers, graphic artists, undergraduate and graduate student interns in covering community news, events, politics, sports, arts and entertainment. Afrique is a magna cum laude graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University with a B.S. in Professional Biology and earned an M.P.H. in Environmental and Occupational Health from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. She is a proud pet parent of two Bichons Frises, Teddy and Moshi.
International Concert and Opera singer, Mezzo-Soprano Elvira Green, is a native North Carolinian. After spending 30+ years based in New York City, primarily with The Metropolitan Opera, Greensboro Symphony invited Elvira to perform in their concert presentation of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Subsequent performances have been with the Charlotte and Durham Symphonies, Bel Canto, and Greensboro Opera. As an advocate for Young people in the Arts, Elvira served as Music Director of the Greensboro Summer opera camps from 1996-2012. Elvira is presently serving a third term with the Education Committee on Greensboro Opera’s Board of Directors and is spearheading Greensboro Opera Youth Opera (GOYO.)
Anna Clare Allen was a voice major at Wesleyan College & Conservatory for Women in Macon Ga. She studied voice at Hollins College and later worked with the opera coach at Curtis Institute. She was married for 61 years and has 4 sons, 6 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. She is a member of the St. Francis Episcopal Church choir, is a volunteer at Urban Ministries, and has served a number of years on the Bel Canto Company Board and served a term as president of the Board. She has been involved for many years with Greensboro Opera, serving first as VP of Education and serving two terms as Board President. She has also served as President of Greensboro Opera Companions.
Norman is a lifelong North Carolina resident. He holds his undergraduate degree in history from UNC at Chapel Hill, and his law degree from Harvard University. He has practiced law continuously in Greensboro from 1965 until retiring in 2019. He is a former member of the board of directors of Bel Canto. Norman is the author of two books, American Constitutional Rights (co-author), a textbook on that subject, and Christianity in a Doubting Age, a book of Christian apologetics. He is a member of the Board of Elders at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, where he has commissioned a number of paintings and other works of art for the church. Norman and his wife Carolyn are big opera fans, having attended operas at the Metropolitan, the Lyric Opera, Covent Garden, La Fenice, La Scala, Verona’s Arena, Teatro San Carlo, Vienna State Opera, and Hungarian National Opera.
Cliff was born in Greensboro, and attended all 12 years at the Curry School. He graduated from Emory University and earned a MS in Strategic Public Relations from The George Washington University. Previously, Cliff worked for Burlington Industries and The Polymer Group. In 2012, he established XEdge Communications Design & Sustainability with a focus on digital platforms and collaboration. He is currently a Contributing Faculty Member, at Walden University for Media, Marketing and Public Relations, and a Board member for GSI3, an intellectual properties company. He has served as a Board member for Sustain Charlotte, and as a Visiting Board Member for UNCG – corporate relationships. He and his wife Ann were the owners of Little Women stores in N.C., they have three grown children and nine grandchildren, and together they share a keen interest in entertaining, travel, theater, and gardening.
Charlene Marchant is a voice faculty member of The Music Academy of NC. She graduated Harvard College with an AB cum laude, and has an MM in vocal performance from The Catholic Univ. She has served as adjunct faculty at Hampton Univ., Chowan Univ., and The Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, VA. In Greensboro, she has taught voice at Bennett College, and music at several area schools. She sang professionally in the choruses of over 30 different operas with Washington (National) Opera, Washington Concert Opera, Virginia Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and Opera Ayr (Scotland). She is a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, former member of British Equity, and a lifetime member of the music fraternity, Sigma Alpha Iota. She is specialized now as a voice teacher for those seeking a good foundation in singing technique. She has a son in Seattle, and a daughter, son-in-law, and two lively grandsons in London.
John L. Palmer is a NC Central University graduate with a BA in music. He concentrated in voice under Dr. Charles Gilchrist and Dr. Gene Strassler. Dr. Earl Sanders taught him violin. He spent his childhood in High Point and Greensboro and graduated from Page High School where he studied violin under Luis Hrabovsky and Minnie Lou Raper. John attended the Governors School of NC in 1977 at Salem College. He studied music theory and voice under Sam Doyle. After college, John started a 38-year career in insurance, 23 of them as owner of the John L. Palmer Insurance Agency. John served as a Board Member at Mt. Zion Baptist Church for two terms during the planning, implementation, and construction of the new edifice as we know it today. He currently serves as President of the Greensboro Alumni Chapter of NC Central University. John and his wife Paschelle of 27 years have one daughter, Erin who is following her father’s footsteps in the Insurance Industry
Katherine Davey is a native of Greensboro. She spent almost 20 years in Atlanta, Georgia, before moving back to Greensboro 5 years ago. She has enjoyed a career both as a professional artist and an Art Educator. She currently sits on the Board of the Weatherspoon Art Museum, The Women to Women Board of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro (CFGG), the Public Arts Endowment (CFGG) and the Guilford Basics Advisory Committee. Katherine enjoys travel, entertaining, reading, and all things related to the visual, performing and culinary arts. Community involvement, an 85 lb. black lab, three grown children and a new grandson, James to keep her engaged and excited about life.
I was president of the Opera Companions for three terms and am now VP. This is my third year as VP of GO Special Events Committee. I grew up in rural NC and graduated with a BA from Guilford College, a MSW from LSU (Baton Rouge); and did further graduate study at UNC Chapel Hill and Pan American University, Texas. Teaching in public schools was one of my careers, both high school, elementary reading and fifth grade Title 1 Mexican American students. My main career was as Program Director/Child Placement Director for protection of children in South Texas which entailed a lot of court work and anguish at what adults do to children. I also worked in the costume shop in Cherokee for the outdoor drama “Unto These Hills” and eventually became manager. I have two children, a son in Florida and grandson in Paris, and a daughter and granddaughter in NC. Besides my love of opera, I am a jazz fan with an interest in traveling, having visited fifty countries and Antarctica.
Travis W. Alexander received Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from UNCG. He has completed further summer study and master-classes in organ performance and conducting at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Harvard University’s Appleton Chapel. He is a professor and Director of Choral Music in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at North Carolina A & T State University. He has conducted performances at the WHITE HOUSE twice, at the John F. Kennedy Center, National Theater in Ghana and throughout London, Wales, Italy and Canada. A GRAMMY Educator of the Year nominee, he’s prepared choirs for Maestro James Meena and Opera Carolina, was National Conductor of the 105 Voices of History HBCU National Concert Choir and was the feature of a 3-part documentary by Black Issues Forum “A Maestro and His Chorus” on UNC-TV & on PBS. He has received Letters of Commendation for Musical Excellence from The White House, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, the late Senator Kay Hagan, Columbus Ohio City Council, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, KAAMaCC and NC Music Educators Association.
Bill Allred, a native of Greensboro, is a choral director and organist. Bill’s educational background includes a B.M. from Westminster Choir College; Master of Music from The NC School of the Arts; and a Doctor of Musical Arts from UNCG. Bill is the Organist-Choir Director at Guilford Park Presbyterian Church and the Director of the Burlington Boys Choir. He has prepared treble singers for the EMF Orchestra, Greensboro and Winston-Salem Symphonies, Greensboro Opera, and Capitol Opera. He has served on the board of the NC United Methodist All-State Youth Chorus and as Repertoire and Standards Chair for Boy Choirs for the NC American Choral Directors Association. He is a past dean of the Greensboro Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. For over twenty-five years, he has been the volunteer director of the Friends Homes Ringers. He lives near Saxapahaw in southern Alamance County with his wife Alicia and their two rescued dachshunds.
I am a Professor at UNCG. My scholarship in the area of large-scale, standardized language testing has been recognized through awards such as the ETS TOEFL Outstanding Young Scholar Award and the UNCG School of Education Outstanding Senior Scholar Award. I have founded/co-founded associations/boards and currently serve as President of the International Language Testing Association. Greensboro has been home for 15 years. I have made a life in many places, including Beirut, London, Columbus, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Iowa City. On my travels, I tend to visit university campuses, holy sites, art museums, and opera houses. Occasionally, I do something crazy like bungee jumping! The Oslo Opera House and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden are special for me. My other passions include reading, riding my Vespa, playing tennis, and hiking. Scotch is my favorite beverage and my canine companion. I joined the Board because communities matter and opera helps create vibrant environments. Vive l’opéra!
Reverend Odell Cleveland founded America’s first faith-based community action agency, the Welfare Reform Liaison Project, two decades ago in Greensboro, North Carolina. What started out in a side annex of Mt. Zion Baptist Church, where Odell now serves as chief administrative officer, grew into a $100 million nonprofit organization with an outsized impact on North Carolina’s most marginalized. Today, Odell is responsible for the day-to-day management of Greensboro’s 7,000-member Mount Zion Baptist Church. He handed over the reins of the Welfare Reform Liaison Project in 2013, two years after Oxford University Press published a history of WRLP that Odell co-authored, Pracademics and Community Change: A True Story of Nonprofit Development and Social Entrepreneurship During Welfare Reform.
Bob Dixon is a native of Greensboro and an alumnus of Davidson College. He was an investment banker for 45 years. His diverse interests include choral singing, antique car restoration, playing “at” golf and international travel.
Born in upstate NY, graduated from the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY with a degree in Music Education. Graduated from State University of New York at Potsdam with a Master of Science in Education. Currently in her 33rd year of public-school teaching, she has taught math, science, drama, chorus and band. Team Advisor /Mentor of student teams in science competitions sponsored by the U.S. Army, Student Spaceflight Experiment Program and Boy Scouts U.S.A. Flew two experiments in space. One aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour and One on the International Space Station via Cygnus. Presented at the Smithsonian Institute and worked on a project for NASA. Director of award-winning choirs. Girl Scout Gold Award winner and lifetime member. Music Director at various churches. Winner of the William D. Mendenhall Humanitarian Award. Recognized by Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who of American Women and Who’s Who in the World.
My love of opera started when I was around age 4. Saturday afternoons were spent listening to MET Radio Broadcasts. I even attempted to sing along, my favorite aria being “Una Voce Poco Fa”. My first opera I saw on television was, yes, Amahl and the Night Visitors and my first live performance was Aida in Atlanta during college when the MET was touring. The first opera I had a role in was Suor Angelica and I played a Novice. I love singing with others, for others, listening to others and teaching others. It is this connection with singing that has motivated me to support organizations with my time and finances. For many years, I was privileged to sing with Bel Canto Company and am currently a member of First Presbyterian Church Greensboro Chancel Choir. In every city I have lived in, I have found many ensembles to sing with or direct. I hold three degrees in music and belong to several professional organizations that help me be a better singer, teacher, and director. I look forward to another exciting year for Greensboro Opera.
Pat Haywood is a commercial litigator who leads the Carruthers & Roth Construction Industry team. He represents owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and other industry professionals in wide range of construction-related matters – from transactional contract development and disputes to contract and lien claims tried in the courts or settled through arbitration. In addition to his active practice in Construction Law, Pat is experienced in zoning, land use and property tax valuation issues – representing his clients both in litigation and before local governing boards. Pat received his B.A. from North Carolina State University and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Hallie Coppedge Hogan is an Associate Professor at Elon University where she is the Chair of the Music Department and teaches studio voice to Music and Performing Arts students. Applauded by the online journal Classical Voice North Carolina for her “warm mezzo soprano” and her “gamut of emotions,” Dr. Hogan has appeared as a soloist with organizations such as Illinois Opera Theatre, the Louisville Bach Society, the Oratorio Society of Champaign-Urbana, Prairie Fire Theatre, Stage II Children’s Theater, the Mozart Society of Winston-Salem, and the Fayetteville Orchestra. Dr. Hogan has performed internationally in a series of American and French art song recitals and as a featured soloist at the Vancouver International Song Institute. She also participated in “The Songs of Franz Schubert,” a tour of the entire collection of Schubert’s songs accompanied by the world-renowned vocal collaborator, John Wustman. In recent years, Dr. Hogan served as director of the Elon Opera Workshop overseeing productions of Gianni Schicchi by Puccini and Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinck as well as several opera scene studies. Dr. Hogan resides in High Point with her husband Charles Hogan who is the Music Director at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. Her daughter, Tess, will be graduating from Elon University in 2021 with a degree in Policy Studies.
Channelle D. James Ph.D. is a faculty member in the Bryan School of Business and Economics at University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she teaches and does research in social and sustainable entrepreneurship. She is a Registered Parliamentarian and serves as the UNCG Faculty Senate Parliamentarian. Dr James is also the President and Executive Director of Community Ventures Inc., a nonprofit startup focused on creating social good in Greensboro North Carolina through entrepreneurship and social innovation. She publishes based on her research in sustainable/social entrepreneurship, diversity, and community support of entrepreneurship for vulnerable communities. Dr James is also a content creator focused on podcasts and online training to support sustainability and social justice.
Walter Johnson has consistently performed in the Triad and surrounding area since 2011. Some of his most memorable past productions include Color Purple, Crowns, Smokey Joe’s Café, Black Nativity, and The Gospel According to Broadway. The minister and magna cum laude graduate of NC A&T State in music is a recording artist, playwright, vocal trainer, health wellness coach and professional trainer for The Children’s Home Society, NC. He is the founder of Adam’s Place, a transitional program for homeless men and the C.E.O of Ready to Work, Job Placement Company. He is most proud of being a wonderful family man to Sharon, his lovely wife of 25 years and to his three children Walter III, Alayna, and Olivia.
Gerald R. Knight, tenor, is a graduate of The Florida State University (Ph.D. in Music Education and Conducting); the University of South Carolina (Master of Music Education and the Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance); and Benedict College (Bachelor of Science in Music Education). Knight is an Associate Professor of Music and serves as Coordinator of Music Education, Director of the Elon University Chorale, and Director of the Music in the Village, a successful community outreach project that received the Chapter of Excellence Award from the North Carolina Music Educators Association and the National Association for Music Education. Knight has sung in master classes during the Mozarteum Internationale Sommerakademie at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg in Salzburg, Austria. In the summer of 2012 Knight appeared in recital for the 2012 season of the Salzburg International Chamber Music Concert Series in Salzburg, Austria. The recital was dedicated to the works of American and African American composers. In addition, he has studied voice with renowned opera singer and Kennedy Center Honoree Grace Bumbry for the past 8 years. Knight’s scholarship focus is the research and performance of music of Black composers, multicultural music, the music of lesser-known or unknown composers of color, and newly composed music.
Cellist Samuel Magill is a native of Chapel Hill and attended UNCSA for high school. He holds degrees from Baltimore’s Peabody Institute and the Shepherd School of Music of Rice University. He was a pupil of the late Zara Nelsova. Magill is the former Associate Principal Cello of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He was also a member of both the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Houston Symphony. Sam has been an active soloist and recitalist in the U.S., Japan, France, and Belgium, and has been a featured soloist in Tokyo’s famed Suntory Hall, and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Magill has received rave reviews for his 18 CDs, including his world premiere recording of Vernon Duke’s Cello Concerto, Franco Alfano’s Cello Sonata, and recordings of rarely heard works like the Sonata by Paul Paray. Fanfare Magazine enthused about Magill’s “…superb technique and range of color…” while the American Record Guide stated that his recording of the Duke Concerto was “…flat-out magnificent…”.
Ben McIndoe, a long-time payments industry professional, is President and CEO of Excelsior Payment Solutions. Ben focuses on strengthening and developing partnerships with small to medium-size businesses and evaluating new business to drive strategic growth. Prior to his career in Financial Services, he was an Executive with Karastan Rug Mills, now Mohawk Industries in various sales and product management roles. Ben has been attending operas in the Triad area for the past 25 years. He first remembers taking his 2 now grown children, whom his wife Janet homeschooled, to the opera as part of their home-based education to experience live Opera performances. They would do a Unit Study based on the opera they attended Since then, he and his wife have taken hundreds of high school-aged youth to the opera. He enjoys touring the areas Viticulture regions, is a devout backyard ornithologist and is a Deacon at Christ Covenant Church. He is also on the Board of Trustees at Magnalia Foundation in Stokesdale.
I grew up in Shelby, NC, where I studied piano with a Latvian concert pianist from the Riga Conservatory and played brass in the high school band. After nine years I came to the realization that good intentions and hard work could not overcome a paucity of talent so I gave all that up. My first opera, Tosca, at age 10 brings back fond memories. After graduating from Yale and UNC and spending time at UK and UVA, we settled in Greensboro in 1979 where I practiced dermatology. With my late wife Sallie we became involved early on with the Greensboro Opera Company. Previously, I served several years on the board with several years as treasurer. In the mid 90’s, Sallie and I were directors of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions for NC for three years. My other interests have been the NC Museum of Art and the English-Speaking Union. I’m looking forward to getting involved again.
Barbara Ann Peters has enjoyed a varied career as performing artist, collaborative artist (piano and organ), college instructor and arts administrator. Currently on voice faculty at UNCSA in the School of Drama, Barbara also maintains a private studio in Greensboro. The soprano completed the B.M. in Vocal Performance at Boston Conservatory at Berklee; the License de Concert Chant at L’école normale de Musique, Paris, and the M.M. at UNCG in Vocal Performance. A Boston native and a New York City transplant, Barbara and her late husband, artist R. David Westfall, settled in Greensboro in 1997. Barbara has sung on operatic stages, in concert halls, recital venues, college campuses, museums, churches and cathedrals across the US and Europe for over 45 years. Former students from her years of teaching and clinician work at UNC-CH, UNCG, HPU, Elon University, Meredith College, Boston Conservatory, Texas Christian University, among others, are now enjoying performing careers of their own. A founding faculty member of Berkshire Choral International (BCI), Barbara has served BCI for over 35 years. Long involved in the NATS (Natl. Assoc. of Teachers of Singing) organization, she has served as President and District Governor of NC-NATS and Regional Governor of the Mid-Atlantic Region. A Certified McClosky Voice Technician (CMVT), she works with clients to rehabilitate their voices and leads seminars in vocal health for The McClosky Institute of Voice. She remains an active advocate for the Arts at the local, state and national levels. Barbara returns to GO’s Board having served as its President in 2008 and Executive Director of the Company 2009-2011. She is the proud creator of “The Barbara Ann Peters Create Your Own Opera!” Contest.
Garrett Saake has been connected with Opera in Greensboro since arriving in town in 2008 to begin his Doctoral degree in Choral conducting. Garrett served as chorusmaster for several productions while attending UNCG and worked with Greensboro Opera as the conductor of Hansel and Gretel. Garrett and David Holley worked together to forge the relationship between Greensboro Opera and Well-Spring and continue to partner together to support the arts throughout the Triad. Garrett is happily married to Samantha and they love their two daughters, Brynn and Calla.
Brandon Scott, born 1995, grew up in Troy, NC as a lover of music and theater. This love was further promoted by his first visit to a Greensboro Opera production, The Daughter of the Regiment, while he was a student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has since attended multiple Greensboro Opera and UNCG Opera productions and now brings his appreciation for opera to younger generations as an English teacher at the Early/Middle College at GTCC-Greensboro. Though the youngest member on staff, he has been able to bridge the generational divide between his students and his fellow coworkers and was even elected the school’s “Teacher of the Year” during the first year he was eligible. Brandon hopes to bring his love of opera, his understanding of younger generations, and his passion for stories to his position on the Board.
Shayla is an Event Producer and co-owner of Sharpe Pursuits, Inc., a Full-Service Event Company based in Greensboro, North Carolina. She has 22 years of event experience and brings a creative ‘out-of-the-box’ approach to each event project. Shayla is an Alumna of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and is married to Desmond Sharpe. In her personal time, she enjoys great movies and spending time with friends and family.
I served for several years on Piedmont Opera’s board in the early 1980s, despite knowing little about opera but keen to learn. I became involved with Ed and Anne Ritchell, who organized the Met Opera auditions held at UNCSA. I enjoyed hosting young performers and listening to their auditions – an education in themselves. I moved to Greensboro in 2007 and have attended GO productions. Prior to Covid, I was a volunteer helping first and second graders with their reading skills, at Hampton and Bluford-Peeler Elementary Schools. I also served on the Excellence Foundation at UNCG for 6 years and the Dean of Arts and Sciences Advancement Council for 6 years. I created a program fund in memory of my late husband, Gene, to support the photography and art department. Through this, I brought visiting photographers to the university to hold workshops, photography portfolio reviews and give a public lecture. I brought several photography exhibits to the university, the next opening in September 2023. I look forward to helping with the Education Committee.
Nancy Walker was born and raised in Nebraska where she went to Hastings College and taught K-12 vocal music in a small town. After earning the MM in voice at University of Colorado she taught at Stephens College in Columbia, MO and met Tim Lindeman. After marrying, they went to Indiana University and finished their doctorates on the “out-patient” plan (every summer for 7 years). She taught at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota for 2 years, then arrived in Greensboro to teach at UNCG from 1985-2018. She has a great love for teaching young (and sometimes not so young) people to sing. Nancy is a member of Euterpe Music Club of Greensboro and sings in the New Garden Friends Meeting choir. Tim and Nancy have performed together (piano and voice) since they met, and they love to travel. They have two grown daughters, Kelsey and Chloe, who live in Greensboro and Chicago respectively.
David is a mid-westerner (Indiana, Ohio, Michigan). He received a BBA from University of Michigan and MBA from Harvard. He worked for General Motors in California and Detroit, for Borden in Columbus and later held position of Treasurer at Cone Mills. He is a charter member of GO serving as both treasurer and as president. He was treasurer and VP of Greensboro Symphony Orchestra. He served on United Arts Council board and received the Vanguard Award. He served as treasurer for Chamber of Commerce. He served as President of Cerebral Palsy Board, Presbyterian Counselling Center, Child Care Ministry and is an elder of First Presbyterian. He is married to Nancy for 57 years and they have 3 children, Scott (CA), Jim (MD) & Laura (CT).
Vanessa Carroll is an active community volunteer in a wide spectrum of organizations and works on special projects for The Carroll Companies. She serves on the Board of Trustees at UNC Greensboro, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Board, the Greensboro Symphony Board of Directors, the Family Services of Greensboro Board of Trustees, the Triad Stage Board of Trustees and many more. Vanessa also holds leadership roles with the Tocqueville Society, Foundation Fighting Blindness, Operation Smile, and Make-A-Wish- Foundation.
Diane Conrad is a musician, arts enthusiast, community activist, and retired Special Education teacher. Diane earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UNCG, and later earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Elon University. She has two children, both of whom live in Greensboro. She is a lover of many types of music including classical, opera, folk, and bluegrass, with a special interest in the music, dance, and culture of the Appalachian Mountains. Diane continues to expand her understanding and skills through participation in classes, workshops, private lessons, and playing music with informal and formal groups within our area. She plays the Hammered Dulcimer as her personal performance instrument. Fun Factoids: Sang and played guitar in a folk singing group in high school, was a certified fitness instructor and danced with a clogging team, “Country Spice Cloggers” in the 80s and 90s.
Born in Northampton County, North Carolina, graduated from Jackson High School and from Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina with a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice and Music Education. She was one of two members of the first Opera Program at Woman’s College School of Music. She met her husband while at Woman’s College and remained in Greensboro until her move to Climax, NC in 1976. She has taught piano, Kindermusic, children choirs and was a soloist in the Chancel Choir of Christ United Methodist Church for many, many years as well as other venues. Jane served on many music related boards including Greensboro Opera where she won the Jane Armfield award in 2006. She served on the board of Greensboro Lecture League and as Regent of Guilford Battle Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution. After her retirement she has become a community volunteer using her computer skills where needed and works with the Board of Elections as Chief Judge in her Precinct. She is married to Doug Curtis, owner of Curtis Packing Company, maker of Beefmaster franks, etc.
Keith Cushman grew up in Salina, Kansas, where his father was the public librarian. After graduating from Harvard, he spent a year in India on a Fulbright teaching program and a year teaching at a university in Bangkok. After receiving his Ph.D. in English from Princeton he taught at the University of Chicago before teaching in the English Department at UNCG from 1976 through spring 2014. His academic specialty is the writings of D. H. Lawrence. He has lectured on Lawrence and modern American poetry in Finland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, India, Japan, and Korea. He is married to Deb Bell, a costume designer and Professor of Theatre at UNCG. His two daughters and their families live in the western suburbs of Boston. He writes the Greensboro Opera newsletter and the program notes for both Greensboro Opera and UNCG Opera Theatre. In early 2021, he presented three virtual talks titled “Porgy and Bess: From Novel to Play to Opera” for Greensboro Opera. He has seen 226 different operas (but who’s counting?), most of them multiple times.
A native of Greensboro, Bert Davis Jr. graduated from Page High School in 1979 and earned his BM in piano performance from the Oberlin Conservatory in 1984. After a brief stint as a staff accompanist at the NC School of the Arts, he realized the music profession wasn’t for him and eventually became a CPA in 1995. Since then he has worked with nonprofits, governments and healthcare providers around the country as an auditor, CFO and consultant. Bert is currently the owner of Davis Forensic Group which provides financial investigation services to attorneys and their clients. He is also a partner in Smith Davis Advisory Group which provides investment banking services to small businesses. Bert has served on numerous local nonprofit boards including Greensboro Opera, Rotary Club of Greensboro, Greenhill Center for North Carolina Art, Greensboro Symphony and the Guilford Green Foundation. In addition to a lot of classical piano playing, Bert enjoys hiking, attending classical music performances and studying American history.
Frank grew up in a musical family from a small town in Georgia. He has a degree in economics from NYU, a masters degree in economics from the University of Chicago and a JD from the University of Georgia School of Law. In the course of his career in business he practiced law then held various jobs including CFO, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Harza Engineering in Chicago. He retired as acting CEO from Arc One in Winston Salem and loved the city so much he made it his permanent home. His most rewarding job of his career was after he retired and went back to work as Executive Director of the Piedmont Opera. He had been a life-long lover of opera and there he learned about the business and the artistic side of a small not-for-profit opera company. He has retired again but loves working with both the Piedmont Opera and the Greensboro Opera.
Born and raised in Eastern North Carolina and following my graduation from UNC-CH, I attended New York University Law School of Law where I received my law degree. From 1961-1967 and 1996-2017, I practiced law in Greensboro. In the interim, I served as a Superior Court Judge, an Associate Justice on the North Carolina Supreme Court and, finally, Chief Justice of that Court. I was a founding member of the Elon University Law School Advisory Board and a member of the faculty, retiring in 2017. Having long enjoyed music of almost every genre; theater; ballet and contemporary dance, I have come lately to opera. With knowledgeable friends, I am enjoying the Met’s Saturday HD performances in local theaters and recently attended performances of The Rheingold and The Valkyries at the Met in NYC. Although a novice myself, I know enough to believe it important to share widely this profoundly beautiful art form.
Born in Winchester, VA, graduated from Converse College in Spartanburg, SC. Was the National Alumnae President and founder of Converse Showcase and Alumni House. Received the Distinguished Alumnae and Converse 500 Award. Founded Classic Interior and Landscape Designs in 1990. A founding board member of Greensboro Opera and Co-President in the Falstaff year. Began the Jane Armfield Award which was written by Alice Isaacson and received the award in 2005. Girl Scout leader. Chaired several committees: Soirees, Playbill, Meet the Artists Events, Nominating, Membership, Development, Production, Hospitality, Opera Camp at Bennett College. Served as President and Co-President of the Opera Companions. Served on various committees at First Presbyterian: Elder and Chair of Lay Ministry, Outreach Committee, Nominating, New Members. Other committees: Chair of Jr. Great Book Classes at Junior League; Chair of Art on Paper and Teas at the Weatherspoon Art Museum. Served as 2nd President of Parents Council at Greensboro Day School. 1st Green and Gold Day fundraiser. Co- founded Greensboro Junior Assembly Dance for Youth which is still going
International Concert and Opera singer, Mezzo-Soprano Elvira Green, is a native North Carolinian. After spending 30+ years based in New York City, primarily with The Metropolitan Opera, Greensboro Symphony invited Elvira to perform in their concert presentation of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Subsequent performances have been with the Charlotte and Durham Symphonies, Bel Canto, and Greensboro Opera. As an advocate for Young people in the Arts, Elvira served as Music Director of the Greensboro summer opera camps from 1996-2012. Elvira is presently serving a third term with the Education Committee on Greensboro Opera’s Board of Directors and is spearheading Greensboro Opera Youth Opera (GOYO.)
A native of Ahoskie, NC, I moved to Greensboro from NY City with my late husband, Lawton, in 1955 to teach art in the public schools. I graduated from St. Mary’s and UNC. I have been involved with Greenhill Center for North Carolina Art, the English-Speaking Union, the Junior League, and the Greensboro Branch of the Institute of American Archaeology. I was on the original steering committee that organized Greensboro Opera in the 1970s. I have served as Membership Chair, Head of the Personnel Committee, member of the Artistic Concerns Committee, Chair and member of the Nominating Committee, and President of the Opera Board for two years. I served as a Trustee of Opera America. In 1998, I received the Jane Armfield Award. After several years off the board, I returned in 2014 until 2019. I served on the Nominating Committee and enjoy sharing opera lore and community contacts with board members. What a joy to see Greensboro Opera Company alive and flourishing through the years!
Janet Hendley grew up in England and moved to Goldsboro, NC in 1985 for a 3-year work assignment with her former husband. They spent 13 years in the Bay Area before moving to Greensboro in 2001. She became a US citizen in 2009. She has an adult son and wife in Chapel Hill who produced Janet’s first grandchild in 2020, and another son in NC. Janet first joined GO board in 2008 and has served until 2022 as: President, Secretary, Treasurer, VP of Special Events, VP of Education, Co-Chair of the Nominating Committee. She has no musical ability but is passionate about opera, dance, symphony and the theatre. Originally a high school and college English teacher, Janet was an entrepreneur before coming to work at UNCG School of Nursing from 2006 until she retired in 2017. She mentored several UNCG Guarantee students, was a breast cancer mentor with Cone Alight program, and remains an avid gardener, seamstress and a woodworker
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have been on the GO board for several terms. I have served as President (1998), VP Education involved with Opera at the Carolina, and VP Special Events for Go Gypsy (2016) and Go Barber (2017). Favorite activities over the years have been hosting visiting artists appearing in performances, volunteering with GOC Opera Camp 1993 to 2000 and attending rehearsals where talented artists and directors bring an opera from the libretto to a thrilling multimedia performance. Thankfully, music in all of its forms continues to be essential in the 21st century. I teach students of all ages in my piano studio, am a past President of the Greensboro Symphony Guild and volunteer with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra’s Concerts for students. A native of Montgomery AL, I have been in Greensboro since 1966, and have 4 adult children and 5 grandchildren!
Born in Paris, Texas, moved to San Antonio for high school where I was cast as Cleopatra in the Senior play, which led me to Trinity University to study drama. Met my husband on a blind date, left school after 3 semesters to marry my pilot in 1969 and begin exploring the world. We lived in Omaha, Savannah, Portsmouth NH with the AF then 4 years with 2 sons in Berlin with Pan Am. We started Priba Furniture in 1972, and I finished my degree at UNCG while studying and keeping up with 2 teenagers! My involvement with GO started as a super in Aida and two other productions. I worked in wardrobe, props, and any odd “jobs” that would keep me backstage! I also was active with Preservation Greensboro and was President of the Guild. I sing in the choir at First Presbyterian and love my book clubs, but Greensboro Opera has been my first love!
Bill Latture is a native of Lexington, VA. He served in the Navy from 1943 to 1946, “retiring” as a Lt(jg). After graduating from Washington and Lee University, he was employed by Blue Bell, Inc. for 33 years, finally settling in Greensboro with Louise, Sarah and Richard in 1963. He has been an active member of their church, Planned Parenthood, President of the First Nighters of UNCG Theatre, President of the Greensboro History Museum, treasurer of Greensboro Opera Companions and a member of the Nominating Committee of Greensboro Opera. He is an Eagle Scout and a longtime Scouter and Council Board Member. He and Louise are ten-year residents of Well•Spring. He is a former president of the Residents’ Association and currently serves on the Worship and Budget Committees as well as Coordinator of the Fourth Tuesday Discussions. He enjoys exercise classes, walking, bridge, biographies and dining with friends.
Jane Levy is the daughter of Frances (a founding member of GO) and Edward Loewenstein (the architect) and the granddaughter of Laura (Mrs. Julius) Cone. She is married to former Board member Richard Levy, has two children, and six grandchildren. She is a graduate of Duke University with a BA in French literature. After college, she worked for the Experiment in International Living in Vermont developing a lifelong love of travel. She was a professional photographer and was an artist in residence in Randolph County. Recently she was actively involved in raising money for the Edible School Yard at the Children’s Museum and the Healing Garden at Cone Hospital. She has been involved in the arts for decades, especially the Weatherspoon for which she is a former President of the Foundation, a docent, and is an Emeritus member of the Association Board. She has enjoyed her involvement behind the scenes with the Greensboro Opera.
Richard Levy grew up in Greensboro. He and Jane have a daughter and her family in Greensboro, and a son and his family in London. He has a degree from Carolina and a Master’s Degree from North Carolina A&T. He is currently a Trustee of the National Humanities Center, the Weatherspoon Art Museum Foundation and the Friends of UNCG Libraries. He has been a member of the NC Arts Council and the NC Humanities Council as well as the Greensboro Opera and Piedmont Opera boards. He has served on the Trustee Boards of two colleges and has taught African American Literature.
I became a part of Greensboro Opera after attending the first performance in 1981. I remember spending several Sundays the next few years having afternoon tea at Jane Armfield’s home to discuss promotion and audience development. I have been on the Board or Advisory Board from 2003-present. (and a “go-fer” for several years before that). I have served as chair of the following committees: Special Events, Search Committee for General Manager, Personnel Committee, & Finance Committee. I served on the Nominating Committee, Artistic Concerns Committee, By-Laws Committee, & Playbill Committee. I served on the Executive Committee for 3 years, 1 year as Treasurer. I reached the rank of Silver Life Master in Bridge. I played on the tennis team in college and hybridized daffodils for many years.
I was born and grew up in Greensboro. I went to the UNC at Chapel Hill as an undergraduate, stayed to complete a Masters in Education. I have been a school counselor in Baltimore County, Guilford County, and Henry County schools. I don’t remember a time in my life when I did not love music. My grandmother had a beautiful voice, and I grew up knowing that everyone in my mother’s family sang and played the piano. My daughter, Kate, is presently an actress in New York City and auditioning for plays, doing voice-overs, and being artistic director of her theater company, Ground Up Productions. I have always enjoyed opera, and I’m so proud to have been a part of the Greensboro Opera Board. My personal experience of singing was only with the Grimsley choir, so I don’t think that counts for a lot except that back in the day we really worked hard to be a part of that choir.
1950s— Suburban NYC childhood, prepared for future GO service(!) by seeing original casts of plays from Golden Age of musical theatre.
1960s—After Cornell,’60— taught at colleges in Boston and Ann Arbor. Married Bill Moran.
1970s—Raised four children on college campuses for twenty-five years, Bill as chancellor, first in Michigan, then North Carolina. Mentored eight inner-city children for a decade.
1980s, ’90s— Professional storyteller, programs for children and adults. Published essays, reviews, poems, stories. Taught children’s literature, UNCG, gave teacher workshops.
2008—published Voices of the Silent Generation (Avisson Press), also poetry in anthologies, periodicals.
2021—Collection of 130 poems and stories in a verse called What Just Happened was published in spring of 2021 by Bonventura Press.
Nancy J. Sanquist retired to Greensboro in 2019 from Del Mar, California to create a writing studio for her art and book collections. She has spent the last 40 years working in architecture and technology from offices in Santa Monica, Boston, New York, London, Tokyo and Amsterdam, as well as speaking at global conferences and writing for numerous publications. Nancy previously served on the Board of Directors of the Watts Towers, Friends of the Schindler House and the Del Mar Village Association. She is currently a Sr. Advisor to the Board of the IFMA Foundation and a member of the IFMA Research Advisory Committee based in Copenhagen. Music has always played a big part in her life as she grew up near New York City and was able to take advantage of the theater, concerts and jazz venues from an early age. One of her latest research projects involves the work of Brian Eno and Hip-Hop architects and their influence on the built environment.
Born and raised in California, Kathryn Troxler holds a BA from UC Berkeley (History) and a Masters in Clinical Psychology from the Sonoma State College Humanistic Psychology program. Involved in the arts since childhood, she sang with UC Berkeley’s Collegia Musicum and was a church soloist. In 1982, she, her husband and two daughters moved to Greensboro where they designed and built their home. She served on local non-profit boards, the Guilford County Watershed Study Committee and several statewide environmental committees. She practiced psychotherapy and clinical hypnotherapy from 1992 – 2015. She sang with the Bel Canto Company, New Garden Choir, and the Spiritual Renaissance Singers of Greensboro. She co-founded the New Garden Poetry Group and her collection of poems, Tuning, received a Five Star Reader’s Favorite rating and Silver Medal in the 2017 Reader’s Favorite Contest. She took classes and workshops in art and had a solo show at The Artery Gallery in Greensboro in 2018. www.kathrynbeamtroxler.com. She served on the GO board from 2016 – 2022 and as VP Nominating Committee from 2017.
Dave was born in Fountain, NC. His family moved to Chapel Hill, NC where he graduated in 1950 from Chapel Hill High School. He graduated with an advanced degree in mechanical engineering from NC State College of Engineering. Earning a commission as a 2nd Lt. in the US Air Force, he was assigned peace-time duty in Germany for two years. Returning home to civilian life and further graduate study, he was employed by Bell Laboratories. Later he became a teacher and administrator with Alamance Community College in Burlington, NC until his retirement. Love of opera begin while listening to the Saturday afternoon broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera. While not a musician, he has developed a love of opera by attending numerous performances in Europe and America. He has served as a member of the Greensboro Opera Board since 2014. Dave is currently involved with many activities in the Elon community and Elon University.
Laurie “Lollie” Lake White is a native of Greensboro. She has been a member of the Opera Board since 2010 and has been active on many committees: Nominating, Education and Special Events. She is keenly interested in helping with Opera Camp under the leadership of Elvira Green. She received the Jane Armfield Award in 2017. She and her husband, Walter Beale, sing in the First Baptist Church choir. Both are retired from UNCG, where Walter was a professor in the English department and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Lollie was a Lecturer in English, Assistant Director of the Honors College, and Director of Development for the College.