Board of Directors

NEWBURYPORT CHORAL SOCIETY BOARD OF DIRECTORS

PresidentSolomon Berman, North Andover, MA

Founder and Lead Teacher of Quantum Prep which provides tutoring services to high school and college students throughout the Boston and southern NH areas particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Solomon holds degrees from Bates College (Bachelor of Science, Chemistry and Music), Boston University (Masters of Arts Degree in Science Education, Masters of Arts Degree in Theoretical Chemistry), a Professional Development Certification from Harvard University, and has studied at Boston College as a visiting scholar.” He brings extensive business and technology expertise to NCS. Solomon joined NCS during the in 2006-07 concert season, returning as a member in the Fall of 2013, and becoming a section leader for the Bass section in 2014.

Vice PresidentMary Ann Lachat, Exeter, NH

Brings organizational development, management, and grant writing expertise to the NCS Board. She has a Master of Arts Degree in Music History from the University of Connecticut and a Doctorate in Education from Columbia University. She was the Founder and President of the Center for Resource Management, Inc., (CRM) which provided professional development, organizational management, and technology services to state education agencies, school districts, and non-profit organizations across the nation. Dr. Lachat has written several publications on equity issues for diverse learners. When living in the NY City Area, she was an auditioned member of the NY Choral Society and Dessoff Choir, performing at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. She has been a member of NCS since 1987.

Past President: Joanne Johnson, Newbury, MA

Brings extensive business, financial planning, budget development, and strategic planning expertise and experience to the Board. Retired as Senior Vice President from Bank of America and recently completed several years as a Project Manager for TD Bank. She has a BA degree from Wells College and a Master’s in Retail Bank Management from the University of Virginia. She serves as an Honorary Trustee of Wells College, and past President of Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts and is currently a member of the Finance and Investments Committees, as well as, Co-Chair of the Long Range Property Planning Committee. Joanne has been an NCS member since 1971.

Treasurer: Beth Rogers, Topsfield, MA

Has a BA in Economics from Mount Holyoke College and has worked in the business world for 45 years. She brings considerable business and financial experience to the Board. For the past 25 years, Beth has been a Certified Financial Planner, specializing in tax and estate planning as well as family fiscal health. She was elected to the Topsfield School Committee for six years, two as chairman. She was also treasurer of the Masconomet ABC program for several years. Beth has served two previous terms as Treasurer of NCS and three years as president. She has been an NCS member since 2002.

Secretary/Historian: Sandra Starr, Georgetown, MA

Has a BS in Elementary Education. She brings management and technical experience to the role of NCS recording secretary. As the retired Director of a Municipal Department in the public health field Sandy’s responsibilities included secretary for the board, recording, transcribing, and directing all activities in the health department. She has created quality system manuals, and been a software technical writer. Sandy has been an NCS member since 1982.

Sponsorship DirectorMary Dissette, Newburyport, MA

Mary Linnehan Dissette has worked in non-profit organizations, large and small, national and local, for the bulk of her career, with emphasis on membership, marketing, and program development. A graduate of Boston College (B.A.), she later earned a J. D. From George Washington University and an M.Ed. From Harvard University. She has practiced criminal law in Middlesex and Essex counties but prefers the creative and collaborative processes and broader impact of her non-profit work. A lifelong choral singer, Mary first joined NCS in 1990, and while parental duties have sometimes kept her away, she always finds her way back to the soprano section.

Development Director: Anthony Grassi, Salisbury, MA

Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. Anthony brings considerable business expertise to the NCS Board, drawing from his involvement in sales and sales/marketing management. In 1984, he founded his own independent manufacturers’ representative business, representing seven companies involved in the electro mechanical and electronic industries. He has two grown children and five grand children. His membership in NCS began in the 2014 Fall semester.

Concert Manager: Philip Smith, Newburyport, MA

Brings extensive analytical, technical computing, and project management expertise and experience to the Board. Holds undergraduate and advanced degrees in physics, engineering, and business finance, and held a wide variety of positions during his career in the electric utility industry. Phil has designed power plant systems, coordinated the work of individuals across disciplines of large and small matrix organizations, assisted in managing the operations of business units, and developed listening and negotiation skills during two decades of work focused on regulatory affairs. Phil’s love of singing began as a boy soprano in a church choir, was further developed in school choruses, and has continued as a male tenor. He is pleased to lend his time and energy to helping to maintain the NCS, which he joined in 2009, as a high caliber community chorus.

Membership Director: Sarah Hall, Newburyport, MA

Sarah Hall has a Masters in Elementary Education from Smith College and a BA in Psychology from Bates College. She has extensive teaching experience in a variety of settings, including public and private schools, museums, and Mass Audubon nature centers. Currently, Sarah is a substitute teacher in the Newburyport Public Schools and a teacher-naturalist at Joppa Flats Education Center. She has been a devoted choral singer since the age of eight, when she joined a local church choir. She is excited to bring her love of choral singing to the next generation, including her two sons. She has been a member of NCS since 2013.

IT Director: Carol Yunker, Groveland, MA

Carol is retired from ACT where she managed and maintained all the data systems for videoconferencing (both hardware and software.), and brings extensive technology and database experience to the BOD. She currently coaches swimming and diving and manages all the data for two local high school teams. She is involved in New England Masters swimming as a competitor. She has served on the BOD previously in several roles including, Membership, Vice President, and President. She has been singing with the Choral Society since 1987.

Media/Publicity DirectorBrian Greenberg, Newburyport, MA

Has a M.Ed. in Adult and Continuing Education from Boston University and is currently assisting NCS with ongoing fundraising projects, and also brings skills in strategic planning and grant development. . Brian was an educational program manager with AARP in Washington, DC for 26 years before moving “up north” to be closer to his daughter and her family. He currently works as a speech-to-text transcriber for college students who are deaf or hearing-impaired. Brian has been a member of NCS since 2014.

Fundraising Director: Tom Clark, Newburyport, MA

Following graduation from Dartmouth and Cornell Law, Tom practiced as a civil and criminal trial attorney for 41 years in Connecticut. He also served in the CT House of Representatives as a legislator, Clerk of the House and counsel to the House screening committee. He was chairman of the Board for Protection and Advocacy for the Handicapped and the Connecticut Sentencing Commission. He has served on numerous other boards and commissions during his career. He lives in Newburyport with his lovely wife Lori and their lively golden retriever Charlie.

Printing DirectorMargaret McQuillan, Newburyport, MA

Margaret McQuillan has a B. A. in English and an M.F.A. in Theatre from the University of California as well completing graduate programs in education. She brings extensive experience as a retired Elementary School Principal, a K-12 Arts Administrator (visual and performing arts), a curriculum developer for The Aesthetic Education Program/CEMREL in St. Louis, and a faculty associate/teacher trainer at Illinois State University. She has always been committed to the arts through multi-cultural education, creative writing, and directing student drama productions. Most recently, she has been collaborating with “The History Group” in Luneburg, Germany who has published her book, “An Orange In Winter”, which tells the story of her father’s family in Nazi Germany. She has been a member of NCS since 2016.

Community Outreach: Kerri MacLennan, Haverhill, MA

Kerri has a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the University of New Hampshire, and is working on her masters in Music Education. She brings teaching, performing, and outreach experience to the NCS Board. Kerri shares her passion for music, theatre, and culture with her students at Pentucket Regional Middle School and High School, where she serves as the Choral Director. Kerri has been a member of NCS since 2016 .

Logistics Director: Ralph Johnson, Newbury, MA

Has a B.A. in Economics from Columbia University, worked in the banking industry for many years, and brings extensive business and financial planning experience to the Board. Is President and Treasurer of Pert Lowell Company, Inc., a marine equipment manufacturer founded by his father-in-law which has produced custom wooden boats and authentic nautical furnishings for more than 80 years. He serves on the Board of the Howard Benevolent Society of Newburyport as well as the Investment and Outreach Committees of his church. Ralph is a member of the NCS Finance and Music Committees, and has served on the NCS Board as Treasurer (12 years), President (2 terms), Vice President, and Historian for 13 years. Ralph has been a member of NCS since 1969.

Member-At-Large: Brenda Rich, Amesbury, MA

Brenda Rich has a B.A. in English from Oberlin College and a master’s degree in Environmental Studies from Montclair State University, as well as library teacher certification. She worked for twelve years as the Environmental Education program coordinator for Patriots’ Trail Girl Scout Council in Boston, and for the past ten years has been an elementary school librarian in the Lexington Public Schools. She serves as a Library Trustee for the Amesbury Public Library. She has done both grant-writing and grant-reading for educational and environmental non-profit grants. Her enjoyment of choral music began in elementary school, and she has sung with many choruses throughout high school, college and beyond. She sang with NCS for several seasons over twenty years ago, before her children were born, and is thrilled to have recently returned.

Member-At-Large: Maryellen Moreland, Newburyport, MA

Holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in education from Boston College, where she was a member of the University Chorale. She has been a special education teacher for more than twenty years, and serves as Special Education Team Chairperson at Pine Grove School in Rowley, MA. A chorister for more than thirty years, she is also a trained Cantor and music minister, serving for many years at the Paulist Center in Boston. She has assumed leadership roles throughout her professional and performing careers. In recent years, her musical endeavors have involved actively volunteering in her children’s musical pursuits with the Newburyport High School Band and Theatre. A soprano, she has been a member of NCS since 2016.

Member-At-Large: John Moreland, Newburyport, MA

Holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona. John has decades of experience in the financial services industry, specializing in institutional retirement plans and pensions, investment strategies, regulatory compliance, and public policy. John is an accomplished guitarist, who also plays bass and mandolin. He has sung in choirs since childhood. An experienced church musician, John has performed with a number of contemporary liturgical music composers, including Tom Booth, Marty Haugen, and David Haas. His favorite musical experiences include playing bass with the Archdiocese of Boston Black Catholic Choir and performing at Fenway Park. John has been a member of the NCS tenor section since 2016.

Ex Officio: Penny Lazarus, Newburyport, MA

Has a MA in Education & Music and coursework completed for a doctorate in the Philosophy of the Arts from the University of Pittsburgh. She has also been an Adjunct Professor of the Arts at Carnegie Mellon University and has taught music to all age groups. She was awarded the Ed Molin Award for Exceptional Volunteer Teaching and works with piano students from 13 Essex County communities. As a longtime resident of the area, she is well connected in the community with an extensive network of business leaders and individuals. Penny has been an NCS member since 2000, is an alto section leader, serves on the Music Committee, and has been a soloist in several concert performances.

If you need to contact any of our Board Members, please click on their job title.