Board of Directors


The day-to-day management of NCS is overseen by an active 16-member volunteer Board of Directors made up of current NCS singers. These individuals bring a wealth of experience to the table including business and financial management, administrative expertise, grant development, technology, community relations, fundraising, media, and professional music performance. NCS is fortunate to benefit from an extrordinary amount of Board management expertise.

President: Dr. Mary Ann Lachat, Exeter, NH 

Dr. Mary Ann Lachat brings organizational development, management, and grant writing expertise to the NCS Board. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music and 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. 

Vice President: John Moreland, Newburyport, MA 

John Moreland brings management and investment experience in the financial services industry, specializing in institutional retirement plans and pensions, investment strategies, regulatory compliance, and public policy. John has sung in choirs since childhood and also plays guitar, bass, and mandolin. An experienced church musician, John has performed with a number of contemporary liturgical music composers, including Tom Booth, Marty Haugen, and Michael Joncas. His favorite musical experiences include playing bass with the Archdiocese of Boston Black Catholic Choir and performing at Fenway Park. In addition to his work on the NCS Board of Directors, he is also the Treasurer for the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival. John holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Arizona and has been a member of the NCS tenor section since 2016.

Treasurer: Andrew Heaton, Groveland, MA 

Andrew Heaton brings to the Newburyport Choral Society a variety of executive experiences in accounting and management. This experience is in industry, elected and appointed public service and education. It includes installing, maintaining and auditing accounting systems; financial budgeting and reporting; monitoring and reporting grants; leading school building projects and managing school district cash. Andrew is a graduate of Iona College in New York where he earned a BBA in Accounting and an MBA in Management Systems and is a Certified Public Accountant. Andrew has been a member of the NCS since 2006. 

Secretary/Historian: Sandra Starr, Georgetown, MA 

Sandra Starr brings management, technical and writing experience to the role of NCS Secretary. As a retired Director of a Municipal public health department, she directed all administrative, regulatory and inspectional activities of the department, created and wrote regulations, reports, educational brochures and news articles promoting and explaining public health duties. In a previous incarnation as a technical writer she has written software user manuals and quality system manuals. She has a BS in education and has been an NCS member since 1982.

Outreach Director: 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. A soprano, she has been a member of NCS since 2016, and a member of the Board of Directors since 2017.

Media/Publicity Director: Brian Greenberg, Newburyport, MA 

Brian Greenberg has a M.Ed. in Adult and Continuing Education from Boston University and a B.A. degree in Literature. For 26 years, Brian was an educational program manager with AARP in Washington, DC and worked in areas of development, training, promotion, media relations and administration of national educational and community service programs. He currently enjoys doing remote work as a classroom captioner for college students who are deaf or hearing-impaired. Brian has been singing bass with NCS since 2014, has been a board member since 2015 and has been the Media Director since 2017.

Advertisement Director: Al Cox, Newburyport, MA 

Al Cox brings extensive business, leadership, management, and community experience to the Board. Now retired, he previously worked as a technical sales/service representative for both small and privately owned companies and large international corporations, interacting with all levels of management. He has served in a leadership position with the Boy Scouts of America, been a member of the School Advisory Board of the Immaculate Conception School, and volunteered with the International Medical Equipment Collaborative (IMEC) formally based in Andover, MA. Al is a member of the Greater Newburyport / Bura Alliance, a Sister Cities organization which supports orphans, schools, and medical clinics in the village of Bura, Kenya. He is a volunteer of the Firehouse Center for the Arts, has been a member of NCS since 2010, and previously served on the NCS Board as Fundraising Director. 

Sponsorship Director: Mary 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 a 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: Victoria Leal-Bushey 

Victoria Leal-Bushey graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Moving for her husband’s career, Victoria always managed to find a chorus to join in her new community. She is the past president of the “other” NCS, Neponset Choral Society in Foxboro, MA. She moved to Newburyport and joined “this” NCS in 2015. In addition to singing, she finds time to volunteer with Yankee Homecoming festivities in Newburyport. Victoria will shortly be retiring from VOYA Financial where her most recent position was as an Operations Specialist supporting the Tax-Exempt markets for Retirement Plan Services. Her responsibilities have included compliance oversight of agents working with plan participants, and reviewing new business submissions for new tax-exempt plans. Victoria is married with two grown children and grandmother to three grandchildren. 

Fundraising Director: Tom Clark, Newburyport, MA 

Following graduation from Dartmouth and Cornell Law, Tom Clark 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 wife Lori and their lively golden retriever Charlie. 

Membership Director: Susan Murphy, Newbury, MA 

Susan Murphy holds a B.S. in Biology from Northeastern University, and has completed work towards an advanced degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island. She worked for the National Marine Fisheries Service (U.S. Department of Commerce/NOAA) for 39 years working directly with the commercial fishing industry in Rhode Island and Connecticut, and led the Groundfish Fishery Management Plan at NOAA’s Regional Office in Gloucester, MA. Susan is a dedicated watercolorist and has been studying under several local artists in the community. She sang in her church’s choir and, upon retirement, joined the Choral Society in 2017. 

Concert Manager: Philip Smith, Newburyport, MA 

Phil Smith 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. He 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 maintain the NCS, which he joined in 2009, as a high caliber community chorus. 

It Director: Carol Yunker, Groveland, MA 

Carol Yunker 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 local high school teams and is involved in the New England Masters Swim Club. 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  

Logistics Director: Ralph Johnson, Newbury, MA 

Ralph Johnson 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.

Printing Director: John Moreland, Newburyport, MA  (Note: Is now Vice President; New Printing Director will be elected as part of 2020-21of Board of Directors) 

John Moreland has 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. 

Member-At-LargeBrenda 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 14 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 many years ago, before her children were born, and is thrilled to have returned now that they are older.

Member-At-Large: Terrie Harmon, Exeter, NH

Terrie Harman was awarded a piano performance degree from Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Realizing that her great love is playing the organ, she studied theory and composition with Harold Stover, and is currently a student of organist Ray Cornils.  She studied choral conducting at the Westminster Choir College summer institute. Her greatest musical moments (so far): she has concertized on Portland’s Kotzschmar organ, one  of the most celebrated pipe organs in the world; she played a concert for Archbishop Desmond Tutu at his home church in Cape Town, SA;  she played an Evensong service at Saint Michael and All Angels Cathedral  in Bridgetown Barbados.  She is the founder of the Portsmouth (NH) Men’s Chorus and The Three Sopranos.  Terrie is the director of music and organist (seasonal) at Trinity Episcopal Church in York Harbor, Maine, and is the director of music at Exeter Congregational Church, Exeter, New Hampshire.  She is an attorney, having earned a JD degree from the University of New Hampshire school of law, and practices at her office in downtown Exeter, New Hampshire.

Member-At-Large: John Belchers, Ipswich, MA

John holds a Bachelor of Business Science from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and is qualified as a Chartered Accountant and Management Accountant.  He emigrated to the US in 1988 and has enjoyed a long career in C-level positions with a number of public and private companies in the US and abroad, specializing in operational management, strategic planning, process re-engineering and raising capital. John sang with two performing choirs in South Africa before joining the NCS and served on their committees in a business capacity. He is passionate about classical music, particularly choral and opera, and has enjoyed performing in both genres.

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