Biographies of Board of Directors and Staff

CVNC Board of Directors

William Weisser, PhD, Chairman

Dr. William J. Weisser now retired as Minister of Music at Edenton St. United Methodist Church in Raleigh, NC where he had been responsible for seven singing choirs, three handbell choirs, three dance ensembles and instrumental ensembles with over 460 participants for over 35+ years. He was the Conductor and Artistic Director of the Capital Area Chorale, a mixed voice community choir for 11 years. He was an Adjunct Assistant Professor on the faculty of North Carolina State University where he directed the University Singers for 5 years. He served as Interim Director of Music at Centenary UMC in New Bern, NC 2011 – 2012.; as the Interim Music Minister at First UMC in Rocky Mount, NC 2012 – 2013; an most recently Interim Director of Music and Organist at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Raleigh, NC, and Interim Organist at Hayes Barton UMC in Raleigh, NC. Dr. Weisser is now substituting as needed in churches of various denominations in the Raleigh and Wilmington areas.

He has served as Dean of the Joliet, Ill. and Central North Carolina Chapters of the American Guild of Organists. He is a member of the Chorister's Guild serving as President of the Eastern North Carolina Chapter; The American Guild of English Handbell Ringers;  The National Association of Teachers of Singing;  The American Choral Director's Association;  and the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts which he served as National President and many other Conference, Jurisdictional and General Church agencies having served as the Chairperson for the North Carolina Conference Worship Commission.

Dr. Weisser has performed with the Chicago Symphony and the North Carolina Symphony. He has performed many organ recitals in the Southeast and is in demand as an accompanist for oratorios as well as a Choral Conductor. He has served on the faculty of Louisburg College and was Interim Conductor of the Raleigh Oratorio Society.

He was the founding Director of the Children's Choir of Duke Chapel. He has published with Abingdon Press. Dr. Weisser was invited to give a pre-concert lecture on the life of Felix Mendelssohn and his Elijah for the North Carolina Symphony.

In August, 1986, the Edenton St. UM Church Chancel Choir sang the publisher's premiere of John Rutter's Requiem, with the composer conducting. In May, 1989, his Chancel Choir was invited to sing at a Memorial Day Concert at Carnegie Hall performing Mozart's Requiem with the Manhattan Philharmonic conducted by George Albrecht of Hamburg, Germany. In 1993, his Chancel Choir was invited by the Russian Government to sing on a special state sponsored concert series in Moscow. The Chancel Choir was invited to sing at the International music festival, Piccolo Spoleto, USA in Charleston, South Carolina during May 2001, 2002 and again in 2006. For Memorial Day 2008 the Chancel Choir sang Randall Thompson’s Testament of Freedom at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. under the direction of Andre Thomas.  In 2011 the Chancel Choir sang the Requiem by Maurice Durufle at the historic Christ Church Episcopal in Savannah, Georgia.

He was selected to appear in Who's Who in the South and Southwest and Who's Who in Religion, and named International Man of the Year for 1992/1993 and 1996 by the International Biographical Center in Cambridge England. In 2001he released a CD of 20th century organ works titled “Music for A Sunday Afternoon”

George Jack, Vice Chair

George Jack is a college professor and a working actor and director. Since moving to Raleigh almost twenty years ago, he has performed frequently with several local companies, including Burning Coal Theatre Company, Honest Pint Theatre, Sweet Tea Shakespeare, Raleigh Ensemble Players, Theatre in the Park, African-American Cultural Complex, Second Avenue South, and Delta Boys Theatre. Elsewhere in North Carolina, he spent three summers at The Lost Colony along the coast and one summer at Highland’s Playhouse in the mountains. He has worked in regional theatre from the Virginia Shakespeare Festival in the East to Chicago Dramatists in the Midwest. He is an Associate Professor of Humanities at Saint Augustine’s University, where he also designs and directs theatre productions. He holds a BA from The College of William and Mary, an MFA in Performance from the University of Louisville, and has finished everything but the dissertation for a PhD in Theatre History and Criticism from Indiana University – a dissertation he promises to finish soon, but he’s been saying that for a very long time.

Paul Gilster, Treasurer

Paul Gilster is a full-time writer who focuses on space technology and its implications. He is one of the founders of the Tau Zero Foundation, an organization that grew out of work begun in NASA's Breakthrough Propulsion Physics program and now supports research into advanced propulsion for interstellar missions. Gilster is the author of seven books, including Digital Literacy (John Wiley & Sons, 1997) and Centauri Dreams: Imagining and Planning for Interstellar Flight (Copernicus, 2004), a study of the technologies that may one day make it possible to send a probe to the nearest star. He tracks ongoing developments in interstellar research from propulsion to exoplanet studies on his Centauri Dreams Web site ( In past years, Gilster has contributed to numerous technology and business magazines and has published essays, feature stories, reviews, and fiction in a wide range of publications both in and out of the space and technology arena. He is a graduate of Grinnell College (IA) who performed graduate work in medieval literature at UNC-Chapel Hill before going into commercial aviation (flight instructor specializing in instrument and commercial training). He turned to full-time technology writing in 1985.

Joel Adams, Secretary

CVNC Director Joel Adams, retired Enloe High School choral music teacher, 1991 recipient of the Raleigh Medal of Arts and former state chairman of the choral section of North Carolina Music Educators Association, served as the founding general director of Capitol Opera Raleigh, and is on the board of the North Carolina Master Chorale.

Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell has been a journalist with The News & Observer and its affiliated publications for the past decade. He’s currently serving as editor of the paper’s NCInsider State Government News Service, which covers state government and political topics for an audience of government affairs professionals and business leaders. He also writes a weekly column on state politics that appears in newspapers across North Carolina.

Colin is a 2009 graduate of the journalism school at UNC-Chapel Hill and a native of Charlottesville, Va. He’s a longtime supporter of the arts scene dating back to his time as the host of a classical radio show on WTJU-FM in Charlottesville.

Colleen Cannon-Karlos

Colleen Canno-Karlos

Colleen Cannon-Karlos is a visual artist and educator:

Born in Los Angeles, raised in New York City, I currently reside in Durham NC after living on the Big Island of Hawaii for 20 years where I was inspired by the Kilauea Volcano. I have studied many forms of art, both formally and informally including painting, drawing, photography, graphic design, fabric design, ceramics, sculpture and jewelry making. As an educator my focus is on STEAM education – using art to articulate concepts in science and math.

I consider my work an amalgamation of many years of experimentation with different forms of media and creative expression coupled with my philosophical interest in metaphysics as well my love of physics. Over the years I have exhibited in galleries and museums in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, South Carolina, Albuquerque, NM, Hawaii, and North Carolina.

Her website is here:

Joseph S. Kahn, Ph.D.

Joe Kahn

Joseph S. Kahn, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at North Carolina State Univeristy. A member of the NCSU Biochemistry Department for 28 years, active in both research and teaching. He has eighteen years of experience writing program notes for music organizations around the country. From 1991 to 2001 he was, together with Elizabeth, classical music reviewer for The Independent Weekly. For ten years he hosted the classsical music request program for WCPE in Raleigh, NC. He organized the pre-concert lectures for the North Carolina Symphony's classical concert series in Raleigh for ten years, as well as presenting some of these lectures with Elizabeth. Their musical writings are geared to the interested lay person and aim to be both informative and accessible.

Jim Waddelow, DMA

Joe Kahn

Jim Waddelow is one of the most versatile conductors in the South. A native of Oklahoma, he is Music Director and Conductor of the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Oklahoma Haydn Festival. Jim also serves Meredith College as Director of Instrumental Activities, conducting the Meredith Sinfonietta, Meredith Opera, and musical theater productions for Meredith Ensemble Theater. In 2010 he founded White Iris Light Opera in Raleigh, and the following year he led Meredith musicians on a concert tour of Tuscany, Italy. Guest appearances have included Summerstock Productions at the University of Central Oklahoma, Lubbock Moonlight Broadway, Capitol Opera Raleigh, Durham Savoyards, the Triangle Youth Symphony, and numerous all-state and all-region orchestras. Equally at ease with music for the stage, Jim has conducted over 300 performances of more than 70 musicals and operas at the professional and college level. Previous conducting affiliations include the Oklahoma Youth Symphony, Lubbock Youth Symphony, Texas Tech University, Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony in Eureka Springs Arkansas, and the University of Central Oklahoma. A strong advocate of music education, he has conducted orchestras, choirs, and musicals for youth music camps in Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and North Carolina. He is currently the Director of Strings of the Next Generation Summer Music Camp in Joplin, Missouri. He is a passionate proponent of the new music of younger composers and is known for innovative programming. Press reviews have referred to performances as "bright, articulate, and beautifully balanced", and "astonishing precision and polish; a joy from start to finish." He holds a doctorate in orchestral conducting from Texas Tech University.

Jeanie Wozencraft-Ornellas, DM Vocal Performance

Dr. Jeanie Wozencraft-Ornellas, lyric soprano, made her professional debut with the Cleveland Opera in the role of Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi. Since then she has performed recitals, opera and oratorio throughout the United States and abroad. Twice a regional finalist and award winner in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, she has performed in 13 countries including China, Spain, New Zealand, and Indonesia. In addition to her professional appearances, she has performed numerous benefit concerts to raise money for schools for the handicapped in Venezuela, Chile and Micronesia. Reviews have described her voice as "extraordinary" and “sublime” (Jakarta Post).  La Estrella of Iquique, Chile labeled Dr. Wozencraft-Ornellas "a soprano with extensive range, with notes lyrical, dramatic and an exceptional agility."  After a recent performance in Santiago, Chile "the audience in the theatre gave 'la Wozencraft' a standing ovation, wanting more." The El Paso Times applauded her "outstanding versatility" calling her artistic instincts "unimpeachable."

As a founding member of the Trio Encantada (soprano, oboe and piano), and a member of the Terpsichory Trio (horn, soprano and piano), Dr. Wozencraft-Ornellas regularly appears in chamber concerts.  Both of the trios specialize in performing new musics, and has performed world premieres of chamber works such as Mark Dal Porto's "Song of the Night," and the first performance of Paul Stanhope’s “Songs for the Shadowlands” outside of Australia. Jeanie is also a frequent soloist with Concordia, Santa Fe and the Southwest Symphony.

Dr. Wozencraft-Ornellas, listed among “Outstanding Musicians of the Twentieth Century,”  served on the faculty at Eastern New Mexico University for the past 32 years, teaching voice, vocal pedagogy, vocal literature, and directing opera and music theatre productions. She received degrees from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music (B.M. Vocal Performance), Bowling Green State University in Ohio (M.M. in Vocal Performance), and Florida State University (D.M. Vocal Performance).  She is a frequent clinician and judge for choral and vocal festivals in the southwest.  Her service to music education has been recognized with her induction into the New Mexico Music Educator's Hall of Fame in 2008, and her receipt of the NMMEA Rollie V. Heltman Distinguished Service Award in 2016.


CVNC Staff

Carolyn Kohring, Executive Director

Carolyn Kohring

Carolyn Kohring joined in November 2005 and assumed the position of Executive Director on July 1, 2012. Carolyn has worked for many years in nonprofit administration in organizations both large and small. Her graduate computer science education in computer graphic design and networks has served her well as website manager for CVNC. She has more than 40 years of technical editing experience, including her work on scientific manuscripts for a NASA contractor. BA Mathematics, Southern Illinois University; graduate work in Computer Science, University of Houston - Clear Lake

Maggie Pate Duffey, Music & Dance Editor

Maggie Pate Duffey

Maggie Pate Duffey is a native North Carolinian with an extensive background in the performing arts. Maggie holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Pedagogy from East Carolina University, attended Berklee College of Music, and obtained a M.S. Ed. from Sunbridge College, New York.

Having been on both the North Carolina and Washington State Visiting Artist rosters, Maggie has performed throughout the United States in both classical and jazz genres and as well in musical theatre and dance. Some of her most noted local performances include the soprano soloist of Stravinsky’s Les Noces and spearheading a concert for Sights and Sounds at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Maggie is a member of the North Carolina Master Chorale.

Maggie has worked for professional organizations within the arts including the Thelonious Monk Institute, WHR-Wilmington, Performance Support Services of Seattle, Long Leaf Opera Company. She also held several positions with Crossroad Herder Publishing for six years. Maggie is currently the North American Sales Representative for Oxford University Press Music.

Matthew Hager, Theatre Editor and Intern Coordinator

Although a native of Louisville, Kentucky, Matthew Hager has called North Carolina home since 1998. Matthew is a graduate of UNC-School of the Arts (High School, Drama, 2005) and UNC-Chapel Hill (BA Dramatic Arts, 2011). He also has trained at Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, MA and DePaul University in Chicago. Matthew has acted with local theatre companies including Burning Coal, Manbites Dog, Theatre in the Park, Koka Booth, Urban Garden Performing Arts, and Bare Theatre.

Andrea McKerlie Luke, Calendar Editor

Andrea McKerlie Luke

Andrea McKerlie Luke earned her BM in Music Performance with a concentration in flute, along with a minor in Professional Writing and Presentation Media, from Meredith College, where she began with CVNC as an intern in 2011. She now also serves on the board for the Raleigh Area Flute Association and directs youth flute choirs, as well as maintaining an active flute studio in Chapel Hill.

John W. Lambert, Editor in Chief

John W. Lambert

Since 1977, CDR John W. Lambert, USN, Ret., whose studies included violin, piano, voice and music history, has written over 3,750 reviews and articles published, variously, by The News and ObserverLeaderSpectatorFanfare, Fi, and CVNC. A sketch of his thesis, on the North Carolina Symphony's first 50 years, was published by Greenwood Press, in Symphony Orchestras of the United States: Selected Profiles (ed. Robert R. Craven); and his liner notes for several Toscanini Lps were published by Music and Arts Programs of America, Inc. A recipient of the Raleigh Medal of Arts, the Durham Symphony's "Share the Music" Award, and a 2005 Triangle Arts Award, known as an Indie Award, Lambert is an avid collector of recordings, concentrating primarily on great artists of the past. Current projects encompass recordings by conductors Cantelli, Mitropoulos, Reiner, Stokowski, and Toscanini; pianists Hofmann, Kapell, Kilenyi, and Zitterbart; and vocalists De Lucia, Podles, and Supervia. Lambert is a member of the Music Critics Association of North America and the Association for Recorded Sound Collections. His "day jobs" were largely in purchasing. He retired as a business officer with NC's Department of Health and Human Services in September 2010. (Revised 7/18)