Meet our Staff & Leadership Team
Hunter Scott Safrit
Hunter is an accomplished individual with a passion for music and a keen business acumen. He holds a bachelor's degree in music education from Catawba College and a master's degree in business administration from Appalachian State University. For over a decade, Hunter has been an integral part of the Salisbury Symphony, now serving as the Executive Director. His unique blend of artistic sensibilities and business expertise has made a profound impact on the symphony's growth and success, contributing to the enrichment of the cultural landscape and musical education within the community.
Elizabeth "Beth" Cook
Education Director Beth Cook joined the Symphony staff after retiring from teaching Chorus at Charles C. Erwin Middle School. She retired with 27 years of teaching experience, all with the Rowan-Salisbury Schools. She holds a B.A. in Music Education from Pfeiffer University, an M.M. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certified. She lives in Salisbury and enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with her grandchildren.
Orchestra Personnel Manager
Originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Mark Hibshman graduated from West Chester University in West Chester, PA with both a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Trumpet Performance. He was awarded a graduate assistantship by the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and earned a Masters Degree in Trumpet Performance. From there, he was awarded a Graduate Fellowship and assistantship from the University of North Carolina - Greensboro, where he pursued his doctorate from 2002-2006. His teachers have included Frank Kaderabek, Dr. Kenneth Laudermilch, Dr. Paul Morton, and Dr. Edward Bach. Mark is an active performer throughout the state and currently performs with the Salisbury Symphony, the North Carolina Brass Band, the Western Piedmont Symphony, and regularly performs with many other groups including the Piedmont Wind Symphony and the da Capo Brass Quintet.
Youth Orchestra Director
Liz Burns received her undergraduate degree from UNC Charlotte and a Masters in Cello Performance from Winthrop University. She is adjunct professor of Cello at Winthrop where she also teaches Strings Methods and coaches the Cello Ensemble. In addition to acting as cello coach for the Youth Orchestras of Charlotte Preparatory, she serves as Assistant Principal of the Salisbury Symphony and regularly subs with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. She performs frequently at area churches and in chamber music recitals in North and South Carolina.
Sam Stowe, a local choreographer, music director and live musician who grew up in Lexington North Carolina, and was surrounded by the arts all his life, is excited to further his career in the arts.
Kate Middel is the Associate Principal Violist of the Salisbury Symphony, where she also serves as the Orchestra Committee Chairperson and teaches with Salisbury Symphony After School Strings. She regularly performs with orchestras, choral societies, and churches throughout the Carolinas and holds contracts with the Rock Hill Symphony Orchestra, Western Piedmont Symphony, and as the Union Symphony’s Principal Violist in addition to the Salisbury Symphony. She maintains a studio of violin and viola students in Greensboro and teaches in the ENCORE program at the Canterbury School.
Her students range in age from four through adult, and she has experience working with students with special needs, including ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, and students with visual impairments. Her students regularly earn placement in All-County Orchestras, NCMEA Regional and Honors Orchestras, and with their local youth symphonies. When she isn’t making or teaching music, Kate can be found tending her vegetable garden or walking in the woods.
Music Director Emeritus
David, with a profound dedication spanning over three and a half decades, has left an indelible mark on our organization. Serving as our Director for 35 years, his visionary leadership and unwavering commitment have played an instrumental role in shaping the musical landscape we cherish today. Now as our Music Director Emeritus, David's legacy continues to inspire and guide us, echoing his passion and expertise that have been pivotal to our success. Join us in celebrating a luminary whose impact resonates in every note we play.