Alfred E. Sturgis

Music Director

Alfred E. Sturgis is a highly sought after conductor whose versatility and extensive background allow him to journey comfortably into a wide variety of musical experiences. He currently serves as Music Director of the North Carolina Master Chorale, the Carolina Ballet and the Tar River Orchestra. Known for being a strong collaborative artist, Sturgis has also enjoyed a great deal of experience in Opera and Musical Theatre.

Sturgis has served as Guest Conductor for the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center, North Carolina Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Carolina Chamber Orchestra, Raleigh Civic Symphony, National Opera Company, Capital Opera, Long Leaf Opera, and North Carolina Theatre. He has conducted orchestral and opera performances overseas in France, Bulgaria, and China. Early in his career he performed a number of roles in musical theatre, opera, and oratorio, in addition to touring and recording in Southern France with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers.

Under his skilled artistic leadership the Master Chorale has made appearances at state and regional conferences of the American Choral Director’s Association, recorded three Christmas CDs, and several television broadcasts on WRAL and UNC-TV. They have also been involved in numerous successful collaborations with the Carolina Ballet and the North Carolina Symphony. In recognition of his dynamic musical leadership, Sturgis was awarded the 1996 Raleigh Medal of Arts.


Christine Kastner

Executive Director

Christine Kastner is an accomplished and successful leader with a demonstrated history of organizational expansion. After an extensive national search, she was selected as our new Executive Director and joined our team in July 2019.


Chris’s personal and professional achievements reveal her talents in the areas of fundraising, marketing, and strong community engagement. In her previous position as President and CEO of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, she stabilized a struggling nonprofit and led them through remarkable and rapid growth. Kastner’s guidance established FSO as a leading musical agency in the southeastern region of North Carolina.


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Susan McClaskey Lohr is a native of Kentucky where she began piano studies at age seven and soon discovered a passion for accompanying. She received degrees in Choral Music Education and Piano Performance at the University of Kentucky.

Susan was a staff accompanist at the National Music Camp in Interlochen, MI and served on the piano faculty of Meredith College. She has collaborated with such musical luminaries as conductors Robert Shaw and Robert DeCormier and soprano Gwendolyn Bradley of the Metropolitan Opera.

Susan became the accompanist for the North Carolina Master Chorale in 2002 and since that time has participated in the preparation and performance of dozens of choral masterworks. Highlights of her stint with NCMC include duo piano performances of Carolina Ballet’s Carmina Burana, Brahms’ Liebeslieder and Neue Liebeslieder Walzerwith the Chamber Choir, and Stravinsky’s Les Noces.

In 2009, she was a featured soloist with the Tar River Orchestra in a performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. In 2014, she was featured in the Master Chorale’s performance of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy. 

Susan is pianist at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Raleigh, is a staff accompanist at Campbell University and maintains an active schedule as a freelance artist.

Stephen Aber

Director of Marketing and Operations

Stephen Aber joined the staff of NCMC in the fall of 2015 as Operations Manager. Since then, his role has expanded to include all aspects of chorus management, Box Office operations, venue contracts, graphic and web design, and office administration.


Stephen holds graduate degrees in Music and Communication and is an alumnus of Baylor, Belmont, and Queens Universities. He has worked with religious, education, and arts organizations since 2004. In addition to his work with the Chorale, he is Associate Director of Creative Arts at Hayes Barton UMC, a licensed REALTOR, and a partner in Customerized, a boutique communications and marketing firm in Raleigh.


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Diane Covington
Education Consultant
URW Headshot_Deb Dewey.jpg
Deb Dewey
Box Office Associate
Susan Baldwin
Marketing and Social Media Consultant



Jeff Hensley, President

Kay Pellack, Vice President
Lee Wagner, Treasurer
Evelyn McCauley, Secretary


Alfred Sturgis, Music Director

Christine Kastner, Executive Director



Chris Anderson

Francis Cianfrocca
Tesia Harrison

Leslie Heavey

Keith Kapp

William Lee

Rahsaan McNeill

Charn Reid

Ann Robertson

Rob Tiller
Michael Trexler