Barbara Ann Peters, Governor

Barbara Ann Peters is currently Adjunct Faculty at High Point University and Visiting Faculty at UNC School of the Arts in The Drama School. She holds the MM in Vocal Performance from UNC-Greensboro, a License de Concert Chant from L’École Normale de Musique, Paris, France and the BM in Applied Voice from The Boston Conservatory. Peters was Adjunct Faculty at Elon University from 2008-2012, and Lecturer/Voice Faculty at UNC-Greensboro from 2002 until 2008. She served on the voice faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill from 1999 until 2007, where she was Patroness of Sigma Alpha Iota’s UNC Iota Tau Chapter. A founding voice faculty member and Artist-in-Residence at Berkshire Choral International from 1982-2007, Peters was Executive Director of Greensboro Opera from 2009-2011. She is a member of the prestigious Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society, and is an active Certified Voice Therapist, McClosky Institute of Voice, for which she leads workshops and seminars. Her performing career spans both this country and Europe in the opera, operetta, recital and oratorio repertoires. A certified Hatha Yoga instructor and in demand as Clinician, Peters has presented Master Classes nationwide with a special fondness for the French mélodie repertoire


Elizabeth Byrum Linnartz, Treasurer


Elizabeth Byrum Linnartz is currently Lecturer in Voice at Duke University, where she joined the faculty in 2004.  In addition to teaching full-time at Duke, she has a large private studio and holds frequent choral and vocal workshops in the Triangle area.  She has many former students now teaching voice and singing professionally.  Before coming to Duke, Linnartz held adjunct positions at UNC Chapel Hill, Institute Injil Indonesia in Batu, East Java, and Columbia International University.

Appearing regularly in recitals, oratorio, and the occasional opera, Linnartz’s deepest interest is sacred music.  She has collaborated with Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts on lecture recitals and choral collaborations with Easter at Kings College Festivals.  She was a Lecturing Fellow at Duke Divinity School in 2015. 

Linnartz holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in Voice Performance and Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy from UNC Greensboro School of Music, where she was a Hayes Fellow and a PEO Scholar; she also holds a B. A. in Music magna cum laude from Duke University. She studied at Oberlin Conservatory's Baroque Performance Institute and is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society.  However, her greatest endeavor and satisfaction has been raising her five children.

Charles Higgins, Mid-Atlantic Liaison to The NATS Foundation


“Tenor Charles Higgins voice effortlessly lifted the audience with a ringing high C in the aria Che gelida manina” during last evenings performance of Puccini’s La Boheme. His Rodolfo was full of a vulnerability that made the listener believe he was both a “poet” and an accomplished singer (Dr. Elizabeth Jones Cochran, Arts of Atlanta magazine).

His opera/operetta roles include: Lieutenant Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Boheme, Alfred in Johann Strauss II Die Fledermaus, Tamino In Die Zauberflote, Lennie in Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men, Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Count Almaviva in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Giles Corey in Robert Ward’s The Crucible, Michele in Menotti’s The Saint of Bleecker Street, King Caspar in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, Basilio in Mozart’s Le nozze de Figaro, and others. He has sung in opera venues from Sarasota to Boston and as far west as Louisiana.

Higgins has twice worked under Maestro Robert Shaw as tenor in the quartet in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and as soloist in Part I of Handel’s Messiah. He has performed solos in the Schubert mass in “C” with Joseph Flummerfelt directing. Over his career he has worked with choral societies and Symphony Orchestras throughout the southeast. His work includes Oratorio and other choral works from Bach, Schubert, Mozart, Beethoven, Bruckner, Handel, Corelli, Vivaldi, and others. He was one of several featured singers on Georgia Public Television’s “Rising Artists of Georgia” in recital at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center of Atlanta.

His work in regional Musical Theater includes many roles from the golden age. He spent two years as a singer/dancer at Walt Disney World where he worked with movie and stage icons and performed in a Walt Disney Television Special. His Music Theater symphony appearances include “An Evening of Lerner and Loewe”, “An evening of Rodgers and Hammerstein”, and “An Evening of Cole Porter.”

He holds a Bachelor’s of Music in Voice Performance from the Stetson University School of Music and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting. He competed extensively in vocal competitions and has much to offer from his successes. Recently, he has devoted his professional life to teaching at Chapel Hill School of Musical Arts and Darton State College, while dedicating himself to directing theatrical musicals and choral organizations. As a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, his students regularly do well, often placing 1st in the North Carolina chapter. Recently he has had a student honored as Outstanding Music Theater Singer in the four Mid-Atlantic states of NATS, Outstanding Male Vocalist in North Carolina and has had a student who won 1st place in High School Men Music Theater for the Nation in the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Jennifer Bryant Pedersen, Webmaster


Jennifer Bryant Pedersen, soprano, maintains an active schedule as a soloist and teacher. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Voice at Mars Hill University, NC.

Her performance highlights include, a solo cabaret performance with Ricky Ian Gordon, Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan Tutte, Nedda in Pagliacci, and Margot in The Desert Song. In 2015, Jennifer performed the role of Daphne Colgate in the world premiere of Gregory Vayda’s Georgia Bottoms with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.  She appeared as a soprano soloist in the complete Handel's Messiah and Bach’s B minor Mass with members of the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra. Jennifer was a semi-finalist in the 2013 NFMC Bienniel Young Artist Competition in Greenville, South Carolina and is the 2010 and 2014 NATS Artist Award winner for the state of Alabama and first alternate for the Southeastern region.

She holds the DMA in Voice Performance from The University of Alabama and the MM in Voice Performance from The University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is on the NOA's Chamber Opera Competition Committee and a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society.