Our Artistic Directors

Cumberland Choral Arts is under the leadership of two talented people. Mr. Michael Martin, who formerly served as Artistic Director from 2008–2017, and Mrs. Donna Jo Mangus, who began leading the youth chorus in 2016.

Michael Martin

Director of Choral Activities and Music Education
Methodist University

Dr. Michael D. Martin hails from the great state of Maine and is returning to the Cumberland Choral Arts (CCA), having served as artistic director from 2008–2017. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Maine.

Dr. Martin completed his Ph.D. in Music Education with an emphasis in choral education through Kent State University, Kent, OH. He has taught in grades 4-12, in the capacity of choral, band, and orchestral education positions throughout ME, NH, and MA.

He has received recognition as a teacher and conductor, having been the recipient of several teaching awards. Dr. Martin served as a guest conductor, vocal clinician, and as a judge for several New England, Midwestern, and East Coast festivals. His past student performing ensembles (SATB, SSAA, TTBB) have received both regional and national awards for their performances.

Dr. Martin has also enjoyed a rich involvement in conducting community choral groups in NH and ME. In 2001, he created a semi-professional chorus, The New Vocal Collective, in central New Hampshire, recording one compact disc.

He also conducted the Portland Downeasters, a Portland, ME based barbershop chorus. It became one of the top four choruses in the Northeastern District in 2002–2004.

Dr. Martin received national attention with his championship barbershop quartet The Management (1986-2003) by touring New England schools in support of music programs. For this work promoting youth involvement in music, the quartet shared the National Education Service Award sponsored by MENC and SPEBSQSA (now Barbershop Harmony Society).

He also received distinction as the recipient of Distinguished Choral Director of the Year from the Maine Chapter of ACDA. Dr. Martin is the immediate past Artistic Director of the Cumberland Oratorio Singers (now CCA). They were Finalists for the American Prize in Community Chorus Performance and inducted into the Fayetteville Music Hall of Fame.

Dr. Martin is also the first recipient of the Union-Zukowski Endowed Professor in the Fine Arts. Recently, Dr. Martin ended a 9-year artistic directorship of the Cumberland Oratorio Singers.

His current college groups are in constant demand for performances throughout North Carolina and the southeast. They have toured the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France and recently, Italy, and from Orlando to Boston. They have also recorded 2 CD’s: A Yuletide Keepsake and Legacy.

Dr. Martin is currently the Director of Choral Activities, Director of Music Education, and Coordinator of Fine Arts Management at Methodist University. This is where he conducts the MU Chorale, Chamber Singers, “The Noblemen” (men’s chorus), “Grace Notes” (women’s chorus), and the MU Chamber Orchestra.

He is currently the R & R Chair for NC-ACDA. He lives in Fayetteville with his wife, Amanda, his son, David, and his daughter, Meredith.ccc

Donna Jo Mangus

Cumberland Choral Arts sensed the need for more musical programs geared toward young people. In 2016, we established the Campbellton Youth Chorus under Donna Ho Mangus’ leadership.

Mrs. Mangus is a native of Cumberland County. She is the choral director at Max Abbott Middle School. Her 27 years of experience in teaching public school chorus and general music for all levels has sharpened her skills in managing a choir.

Mrs. Mangus has a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education degree from Campbell University. In addition, she has a National Board Certification in Early and Middle Childhood Music with a concentration in vocal music.

Mrs. Mangus serves as choir director at Bluff Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Mangus is married to Bret Mangus. They have two lovely children, Jackson
and Jenna Jo.

2019 - 2020 Board of Directors

Kathy Thaman, President
Brenda Vandervort, Secretary
Warren Ray, Treasurer

Cecilia Suhre, Grants Co-Coordinator
Pat Talkington, Marketing Chair
Lois Harvey, Correspondence Secretary

Sandy Cage
Jennifer Jefferson
Heather Barry-McCroan