Categories Archives: Classical

Andrés Cárdenes – Virtuoso Violinist

Andrés CárdenesViolin
Luz ManriquezPiano
Mark your calendars!  Hold the date… and JOIN US for what will be a unforgettable, autumn afternoon of consummate artistry as Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts proudly presents internationally acclaimed and Grammy-nominated virtuoso violinist, Andrés Cárdenes, and pianist Luz Manriquez in concert on Sunday, October 15 at 2:00 PM in Lincoln Hall, Foxburg.

Recognized worldwide as a musical phenomenon, Andrés Cárdenes has parlayed his myriad talents into one of classical music’s most versatile careers. As a violinist, Andrés has been hailed for “the kind of mastery, virtuosity and musical persuasion that should be placed in the company of the great violinists of the 20th century.” El Diario, Santiago, Chile  An intensely passionate and personally charismatic artist, Cuban-born Cárdenes has garnered international acclaim  from critics and audiences alike for his compelling performances as a violinist, conductor, violist, chamber musician, concertmaster, and recording artist.  In Helsinki, Finland, Cárdenes nearly blew the ceiling off Finlandia Hall with his fiery interpretation of the Sibelius Concerto. The hall was shaken by the shouting and stamping of feet.” Suomen Silta Magazine

Many in western Pennsylvania will remember Andrés Cárdenes’ twenty-one years as Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, soloing in the orchestra in works such as Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben and appearing frequently in concerto performances. Andrés also conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Orchestra for eleven seasons and served as a guest conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony for five seasons, before leaving to pursue his solo, chamber music and conducting career internationally.  As an acclaimed chamber music player, Andrés Cárdenes has performed with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman, Christof Eschenbach, Jon Kimura Parker, Andre Previn, Jaime Laredo, Elliot Fisk, Leonard Slatkin, and Joseph Silverstein.  He has been the violinist of the Diaz Trio since 1995 and has been a member of the Carnegie Mellon Piano Trio since 1991.

You do not want to miss this extraordinary afternoon of memorable performances of master works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Sergei Prokofiev and Cesar Franck… PLUS audience pleasing short works by Fritz Kreisler, arranged by violin greats Jascha Heifetz, Nathan Milstein and Paul Kochansky, featured on his CD, “It’s Quiet Here:  Little Gems for the Violin” on the Arabesque label.   Andrés Cárdenes is one of the most celebrated and accomplished classical artists to perform for ARCA’s appreciative audience in Lincoln Hall.

Tickets are Adults $30, ARCA Members $25, and Students $5.  After the concert, the audience is invited to a Meet the Artist reception at the Red Brick Gallery on Main Street in Foxburg for the opening of the exhibit of Pittsburgh-based pastel landscape artist, Diane Grguras.

Virtuoso Violinist – Andrés Cárdenes
With Pianist, Luz Manriquez

Johannes Brahms
                           Scherzo in C minor from F-A-E Sonata

Ludwig van Beethoven                 Sonata #5 in F major, Op 24

Sergei Prokofiev                              Five Mélodies, Opus 35


César Franck                                      Sonata in A Major

Fritz Kreisler                                     Arrangements by Heifetz, Milstein, Kochanski

Andrés Cárdenes

Recognized worldwide as a musical phenomenon, Grammy-nominated Andrés Cárdenes parlays his myriad talents into one of classical music’s most versatile careers. An intensely passionate and personally charismatic artist, Cuban-born Cárdenes has garnered international acclaim from critics and audiences alike for his compelling performances as a violinist, conductor, violist, chamber musician, concertmaster, and recording artist.

Since capturing Second Prize in the 1982 Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition in Moscow, Mr. Cárdenes has appeared as a soloist on four continents with over 100 orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony, Moscow Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony, Sinfonica Nacional de Caracas, Sinfonica de Barcelona, and the Bavarian Radio Orchestra.  He has collaborated with many of the world’s greatest conductors, including Lorin Maazel, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Mariss Jansons, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Sir André Previn, Leonard Slatkin, Jaap van Zweden, David Zinman and Manfred Honeck.

This year and next Mr. Cárdenes continues his project to record many standard and contemporary concerti.  Released in 2009 are recordings of concerti by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Barber and David Stock on the Artek and Albany labels. A recording of the complete works for violin by Leonardo Balada was released on Naxos in January 2011. The complete Sonatas by both Hindemith and Brahms, along with the Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Sibelius Violin Concertos and the complete Schubert Sonatinas and Fantasie are to be released on Artek in the summer and fall of 2016. Plans to record the complete Beethoven violin and piano sonatas with Ian Hobson are slated for 2015/16. Cárdenes’s discography includes over two dozen recordings of concerti, sonatas, short works, orchestral and chamber music on the Ocean, Naxos, Albany, Sony, Arabesque, RCA, ProArte, Telarc, Artek, Melodya and Enharmonic labels.

As an ambassador for music of our time, Mr. Cárdenes has commissioned and premiered over 70 works by American, Turkish and Latin American composers such as David Stock, Mike Garson, Erberk Eriylmaz, Leonardo Balada, Ricardo Lorenz, Eduardo Alonso-Crespo, Roberto Sierra, and Marilyn Taft Thomas. His concerto repertoire includes over 100 works, ranging from the Baroque era to the present.

Mr. Cárdenes has thrice served as President of the Jury of the Stradivarius International Violin Competition and in 2011 joined the jury of the Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia.

A Cultural Ambassador for UNICEF from 1980-1991 and an indefatigable spokesperson for the arts, Mr. Cárdenes has received numerous awards for his teaching, performances, recordings and humanitarian efforts, most notably from the Mexican Red Cross and the cities of Los Angeles and Shanghai.  He was named Pittsburgh Magazine’s 1997 Classical Artist of the Year and received the 2001 “Shalom” Award from Kollell’s International Jewish Center and the 2013 Chesed-Kindness Award from the Chabad Foundation for promoting world harmony and peace through music.

Mr. Cárdenes was appointed Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra by Maestro Lorin Maazel in 1989 and departed after the 2010 season to concentrate on his conducting, solo and chamber music careers.

As an acclaimed chamber music player, Andrés Cárdenes has performed with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman, Christof Eschenbach, Jon Kimura Parker, Andre Previn, Jaime Laredo, Elliot Fisk, Leonard Slatkin, and Joseph Silverstein. Ensembles include Lincoln Center Chamber Players, Miami String Quartet, Gryphon Trio, Miro Quartet, Fry Street Quartet, Amernet Quartet, Ying Quartet, Shanghai Quartet, and the Cuarteto Latinoamericano.  He has been the violinist of the Diaz Trio since 1995 and has been a member of the Carnegie Mellon Piano Trio since 1991.

Among his many distinctions are a Grammy nomination in 1991 for his recording of the Tchaikovsky and Arensky Piano Trios with Mona Golabek and Jeffrey Solow.

From 2008-14, Cárdenes was Music Director of Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where Cárdenes also served as conductor of the Strings Festival Orchestra.

A consummate musician, powerful presence and master programmer, Andrés Cárdenes has established himself as a conductor possessing all the essentials of a modern maestro.  His innovative programming and compelling performances have earned him high praise from audiences, critics and colleagues alike.  Former Music Director of Strings Festival Orchestra (CO) from 2009-14, the Pittsburgh Festival Orchestra, and former Music Director and Leader of the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Orchestra from 1999-2010, Cárdenes has drawn audiences to the concert hall for a vast array of aural experiences.  A champion of living composers and the music of our time, Cárdenes’s formula for presenting diverse genres of music has been met with great enthusiasm.

Mr. Cárdenes began formal conducting studies at age 15 with Thor Johnson, former Music Director of Cincinnati Symphony.  Entering Indiana University to study with the legendary Josef Gingold, Cárdenes continued his education under the tutelage of Bryan Balkwill, former conductor at Covent Garden.  After winning top prizes at numerous international violin competitions, Cárdenes accepted concertmaster positions with the San Diego, Utah and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras, remaining in those capacities for 25 years and apprenticing under the great maestros of today. Counted among his mentors are Lorin Maazel, Charles Dutoit, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Andrew Davis and David Zinman.

In 1999, the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Orchestra was created for Andrés Cárdenes to highlight his multiple talents as conductor, violinist, violist and leader. The Chamber Orchestra enjoyed a remarkable eleven seasons, premiering 15 works and presenting dozens of rarely heard pieces by well-known composers.

In 2006, the Pittsburgh Symphony signed Mr. Cárdenes to a five-year contract to conduct the orchestra in subscription concerts each year.  His programming featured works by Poulenc, Hindemith and Debussy that were either Pittsburgh premieres or had not been performed in over 50 years.  Stepping in suddenly for an ailing Robert Spano, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review headlined “Cárdenes conducts with epic mastery”.

In addition to his frequent appearances with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Mr. Cárdenes has conducted orchestras across the globe: Munich Radio Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, St. Petersburg (Russia) Chamber Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Fundacíon Beethoven Philharmonic (Santiago, Chile), OFUNAM Orchestra of Mexico City, Sinfonica de Venezuela, National Repertory Orchestra, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, Cleveland Institute Philharmonic and the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen in Germany.  He has collaborated with soloists such as Midori, Sarah Chang, Pinchas Zukerman, Elmar Oliveira, Gary Hoffman, Jon Kimura Parker, Ian Hobson, Gabriela Montero, Christopher O’Riley, David Deveau, Chee-Yun, Michelle deYoung and Lars Vogt.

Maestro Cárdenes is currently Music Director of Orchestral Studies and Conductor of the Carnegie Mellon University Philharmonic.

Luz Manriquez

Luz Manriquez was born in Santiago de Chile, where she studied with Elena Weiss at the Escuela Moderna de Musica. Upon graduation, she continued advanced studies under Edith Fisher in Switzerland and Maria Iris Radrigan at the Catholic University in Chile. Following the completion of her master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Ms. Manriquez was appointed in 1992 to the faculty as Artist Lecturer in Piano and Chamber Music and since 2012 she is co-director of Collaborative Piano.

Luz Manriquez has been a regular guest of the Shadyside Concert Series and the Frick Art Museum Series. Ms. Manriquez has performed with Nuance Music Ensemble conducted by former PSO Concert Master Andrés Cárdenes, as well as with the Chamber Music Project Ensemble at the Andy Warhol Museum. Since its creation in 2004 by cellist Aron Zelkowicz, Luz has been a regular guest of the PJMF (Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival).

Ms. Manriquez was the pianist in It’s Peaceful Here on Arabesque Records and in Made in U.S.A. on Ocean Records, featuring violinist Andrés Cárdenes. She also collaborated in recordings of works by contemporary composers Reza Vali, Marilyn Taft Thomas, Efrain Amaya, Nancy Galbraith and David Stock. Luz Manriquez appears in recordings of oboe and piano music with PSO principal oboist Cynthia D’Almeida and with flutist Alberto Almarza in Atacama by American composer Nancy Galbraith. In 2015 and 2016 two recordings with cellist Aaron Zelkowicz were released: Chamber Music of Joachim Stutchewsky and Leo Zeitlin: Yiddish Songs, Chamber Music and Declamations, both on Toccata Classics.

In October 2002, Ms. Manriquez participated in the George Crumb Festival in Pittsburgh and recorded Music for a Summer Evening for two pianos and percussions conducted by Maestro Juan Pablo Izquierdo which was released in 2006 and was awarded the Diapason d’Or Prize in France in 2008. As a pedagogue, Ms. Manriquez also teaches at the Carnegie Mellon Preparatory School of Music. Regularly her students are winners in the World Piano Competition in Cincinnati and have been invited to perform at Carnegie Music Hall, New York and at the United Nations. In May 2016 she was invited to give master classes at Yonsei University and Korea National University of Arts in Seoul, Korea.

One of Chile’s most distinguished musicians, Luz Manriquez has appeared as soloist, recitalist and in chamber ensembles throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe. Her artistry, combined with an innate musical sensitivity to others, has made Ms. Manriquez much sought after as chamber musician and collaborative artist. She has been a featured soloist with Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Renaissance City Winds and performs frequently with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. In April 2003, Luz Manriquez was invited to perform with The Chamber Music Project at the prestigious Bösendorfer Hall in Vienna, Austria for their Bicentennial anniversary Gala Concert.


Debussy & Schubert on the Allegheny

David Allen WehrPianist
Lorna McGheeFlute
Jennifer SteeleFlute
Marylene Gingras-RoyViola
Gretchen Van HoesenHarp
Jeffrey TurnerBass
Katherine SorokaMezzo Soprano

Join us for an Early Autumn Afternoon of  “Debussy and Schubert on the Allegheny” on Sunday, October 1 at 2:00 PM in Foxburg’s Lincoln Hall as Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts proudly opens its 2017 Fall Season with a chamber music program of gorgeous melodies and lush, impressionistic tone paintings performed by pianist David Allen Wehr and members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra:  Principal Flute Lorna McGhee, Violist Marylene Gingras Roy, Flutist Jennifer Steele, Principal Bass Jeffrey Turner, and Principal Harp Gretchen Van Hoesen plus Mezzo-Soprano Katherine Soroka. 

This extraordinary program of beloved masterworks is part of the three-year “Schubert on the Bluff” series of concerts, performed to sold out audiences at Duquesne University.  Each season has included a guest composer, with Claude Debussy doing the honors this year. Artistic Director David Allen Wehr, along with five members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will perform Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata (played by PSO Principal Bass Jeffrey Turner) and Debussy’s Suite Bergamasque (which includes Clair de lune, possibly the most popular classical piano piece ever written), alongside the more rarely heard Debussy Trio Sonata (with an ensemble led by PSO Principal Harp Gretchen Van Hoesen) and Schubert’s brilliant and virtuosic Flute Variations on “Trockne Blumen” from “Die Schöne Müllerin”, showcasing PSO Principal Flute Lorna McGhee.  Katherine Soroka will sing the Schubert song prior to its performance.

A favorite of Foxburg audiences, international competition winner, pianist David Allen Wehr will serve as the program host for the concert providing enlightening insights on the music and composers sure to delight and charm the audience.

Tickets are Adults $25, ARCA Members $20 and Students $5.  Call to reserve 724-659-3153 or buy online here.  Immediately following the concert, the audience is invited to meet the artists at a post concert reception in the Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop coinciding with the exhibit of artists Julia McCray and Nancy Yergin.

Plan to make a full autumn day of it on the beautiful banks of the Allegheny River – arriving early to walk or bicycle along the Allegheny or have lunch in The Allegheny Grille or Foxburg Pizza, wine tasting at Foxburg Wine Cellars, and gourmet coffee, ice cream and a handmade chocolate dessert at Divani Chocolatier and Barrista.

Photograph by

Schubert on the Bluff p1 Brochure

Schubert on the Bluff – in Foxburg!

This program is part of Duquesne University three-year concert series, Schubert on the Bluff,  featuring works of Franz Schubert, the great Viennese composer of some of the most purely beautiful music ever written. Initially famous in his brief lifetime for his over 600 songs, Schubert made enormously valuable contributions to the chamber music literature, masterpieces full of passionate melodies and rich harmonies.

The third and final season of Schubert on the Bluff concerts will feature guest composer Claude Debussy. Schubert’s gorgeous melodies and emotionally gripping music has captivated audiences for almost two centuries, while Debussy’s lush, Impressionistic tone paintings have placed him among the giants of the 20th century.For the 16th season, Artistic Director David Allen Wehr, holder of the Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair at Duquesne University, will lead his faculty colleagues, members of the Pittsburgh Symphony, in programs of some of the most memorable and moving music ever written.

Program Host – David Allen Wehr

David Allen Wehr’s international career was launched when he won the Gold Medal at the 1987 Santander International Piano Competition in Spain. The resulting tours have taken him to over 30 countries in Europe, North and South America, and the Far East, including performances in the world musical capitals of New York, London, Paris, Vienna, Washington, Madrid and Buenos Aires

It was David’s thirteen seasons touring the United States and Canada for Community concerts as a soloist and in chamber music partnerships that honed his unique ability to make great works of music accessible to the public.  Known for his ability as a “Living Program Note”, David Allen Wehr has a warm personality that welcomes an audience member into the emotion of the music and makes imaginative and simple the intricacies of great works of master composers.  The audience will certainly be charmed by this wonderful program made more enjoyable by the rich program commentary by David Allen Wehr.

Wehr at piano

Debussy and Schubert on the Allegheny
As Duquesne University’s “Schubert on the Bluff” comes to Foxburg

Lorna McGhee, Principal Flute, PSO
*Gretchen Van Hoesen, Principal Harp, PSO
*Jeffrey Turner, Principal Double Bass, PSO
*Jennifer Anne Steele, flute, PSO
*Marylene Gingras-Roy, viola, PSO
*David Allen Wehr, piano

* Duquesne University faculty artists


Schubert: Sonata in A Minor for Arpeggione and Piano, D. 821
Jeffrey Turner, double bass
David Allen Wehr, piano

Debussy: Trio Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp (1915)
Jennifer Anne Steele, flute
Marylene Gingras-Roy, viola
Gretchen Van Hoesen, harp

—-  Intermission  —-

Debussy: Suite Bergamasque for Piano
David Allen Wehr, piano

Schubert:  “Trockne Blumen” from “Die Schöne Müllerin”
Katherine Soroka, mezzo soprano
David Allen Wehr, piano

Schubert: Variations on “Trockne Blumen,” D. 802
Lorna McGhee, flute
David Allen Wehr, piano


David Allen Wehr

David Allen WehrDavid Allen Wehr holds the Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair at the Mary Pappert School of Music. His international career was launched when he won the Gold Medal at the 1987 Santander International Piano Competition in Spain. The resulting tours have taken him to over 30 countries in Europe, North and South America, and the Far East, including performances in the world musical capitals of New York, London, Paris, Vienna, Washington, Madrid and Buenos Aires. Over 1,000 concerts include 13 seasons of touring the United States and Canada for Community Concerts as soloist, pianist with the Sartory Trio, and duo-recital partner with violinist Linda Wang and cellist Zuill Bailey. Wehr has been soloist with the London Symphony, National Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony, Houston Symphony, New Zealand Symphony and all the major Spanish and Latin American orchestras.

Born in Princeton, New Jersey, Wehr grew up in Boise, Idaho, where his parents, graduates of Westminster Choir College, were ministers of music at the Methodist Cathedral of the Rockies. Piano lessons began on his fourth birthday with his mother and continued with his father. Later teachers were Peggy Erwin, Edward Zolas and Sequeira Costa. Wehr studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Taos School of Music, the Dartington Summer Music School in England, and holds degrees from the University of Kansas. He coached extensively with Leon Fleisher, Jorge Bolet and Malcolm Frager. Early in his career, Wehr won the 1975 Kosciuszko Chopin Prize in New York City, the 1983 National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist Award, and Second Prizes in the 1983 Naumburg International Piano Competition at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and the 1986 Kapell Competition at the Kennedy Center.

David Allen Wehr has amassed a large and critically acclaimed discography with Connoisseur Society, Inc., with programs by Chopin, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Mussorgsky, Schumann, Delius, Czerny, Gershwin, Brahms, Griffes, Wagner-Liszt, Dvoř-k and Joe Utterback. The complete Beethoven Sonata Cycle has been released in four double-CD albums. His CDs are available through the Mary Pappert School of Music by calling (412) 396-6082 and at Since 2007, Wehr has served each summer as Principal Keyboard at the Sunflower Music Festival in Topeka, Kansas and the Buzzards Bay Musicfest in Marion, Massachusetts.

Wehr was first associated with Duquesne from 1991-1994, when the Sartory Trio was chamber ensemble-in-residence, and his current tenure began in 2001, when he was named the first Hillman Distinguished Chair. His previous performance projects here include the complete Beethoven Sonata Cycle (2002-2004), Beethoven’s “Dynamic Duos”: the complete violin-piano sonatas with Charles Stegeman, the complete works for cello and piano with Anne Martindale Williams, and the Ninth Symphony in Liszt’s two-piano transcription with Helene Wickett (2004), “Brahms on the Bluff”, (Brahms’ complete instrumental chamber music, 2005-2008), “Musique on the Bluff” (French music, 2008-2010), “Bicentennials on the Bluff” (Chopin and Schumann, 2010), “Dvořák at Duquesne” (2011), and “Budapest on the Bluff” (2012) and “Beethoven on the Bluff” (2013-14) presenting the major piano chamber works of Beethoven.  “Schubert on the Bluff” debuts during the fall of 2015 and the first concert in the series is being brought to Foxburg’s Lincoln Hall on Saturday, September 26 at 2:00 PM.

Lorna McGhee

Scottish-born Lorna McGhee is principal flute with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and has performed as guest principal with Chicago Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Academy of St-Martin-in-the-Fields and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Before emigrating to North America in 1998, McGhee was co-principal flute of the BBC Symphony Orchestra in England. As a soloist, she has given concerto performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in the UK; Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Philharmonia and Victoria Symphony in Canada; and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra and  Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra in the United States. A career highlight was a performance of Penderecki’s flute concerto with the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra under the baton of the composer in 2004.

As a chamber musician and recitalist, she has performed throughout Europe and North America in such venues as London’s Wigmore Hall, Barge Music in New York, the Louvre, Paris and the Schubertsaal of Vienna’s Konzerthaus. McGhee is often featured in chamber music festivals in Canada, the United States and Australia. Her performances have been broadcast on CBC Radio in Canada, BBC Radio, NPR (USA), Netherlands Radio and ABC (Australia). She has made chamber music recordings for EMI, Decca ASV, Naxos and Meridian. Along with Duo partner Heidi Krutzen, McGhee has released two CDs on Skylark Music: Taheke, 20th century Masterpieces for flute and harp and Canada, New Works for flute and harp. As a member of Trio Verlaine (with Heidi Krutzen, harp and David Harding, viola) McGhee has most recently recorded Fin de Siècle, a CD of music by Debussy and Ravel for Skylark Music. Both the Trio and Duo are committed to broadening the repertoire and have contributed six new commissions to date.

Having taught at the University of Michigan and the University of British Columbia, McGhee has given master classes at universities and conservatoires in the UK, United States and Canada, including the Julliard School, the Royal Academy of Music and the Banff International Centre for the Arts. She is now an honorary “Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.”

Marylene Gingras-Roy

gingras_roy_maryleneA native of Québec City, Canada, Marylène Gingras-Roy joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra viola section in the 1997 season, and in 2004 was promoted to fourth chair. She studied at the Conservatoire de Musique de Québec with Douglas McNabney and François Paradis and graduated in 1993 with unanimous First Prizes in both in viola and chamber music. She was then the recipient of Canada and Québec Arts Councils’ Scholarship Grants, enabling her to attend the Harid Conservatory with Victoria Chiang and the renowned Curtis Institute of Music with Karen Tuttle and Joseph DePasquale, where she earned an Artist Diploma in 1997.

Marylène has participated in many festivals, including the Festival Dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, the Solti Project at Carnegie Hall, the Jerusalem Music Festival, the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra, where she served as Principal violist, and since 2000 she is a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho.

Marylène is heard regularly in chamber music concerts and maintains a full teaching schedule at Duquesne University, privately and is the viola coach for the Three Rivers Young People Orchestra. Marylène has also taught at summer music festivals such as: Domaine Forget, Québec, Interharmony Festival in Germany and Advanced Chamber Music Seminar in Pittsburgh.

Katherine Soroka

Katherine Erlandson Soroka

Mezzo soprano Katherine Soroka has become known for her passion for conveying the song text and connecting with audiences. Her singing with the Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival was acclaimed as “masterful” and “heroic”, with “heartfelt vocalism” (Post Gazette). Katherine’s 2016 premiere of David Stock’s Solomon Songs with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble was hailed for “finding both lush lines and dramatic intensity… commanding the stage””. (TribLive)

A winner of Pittsburgh’s Concert Society Major Auditions, vocal chamber music performances have included a Frick Museum Music For Exhibitions concert with Chatham Baroque and a performance of David Stock’s Three Yiddish Songs with a string quartet of Pittsburgh Symphony musicians in a Chatham University memorial concert. An avid recitalist, recently she has sung an all Mahler recital with Nathan Carterette, a  concert on Chatham University’s Eden Hall campus, and recitals in Kresge Recital Hall, at Allegheny College, in Lincoln Hall in Foxburg,  and in NYC at Cami and Merkin concert halls.

A proponent of new music, Katherine has sung Betty Oliviero’s Juego de Siempre in New York City with Joel Sachs and the Continuum contemporary ensemble and with the Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble the world premiere of Rumi Sings of Love by David Stock and Judith Shatin’s Ahkmatova Songs. Other venues include Aspen Music Festival, The Kitchen, Greenwich House, The Juilliard School, Columbia University, and City University of New York performing Chinery Ung and Noel Zahler, among others.

Katherine has sung with the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, and narrated and sung with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in “Tiny Tots” and School-time educational concerts.  In 2018 she will sing Mahler’s Songs of the Wayfarer with the Edgewood Symphony and Klythemnestra in Elektra at Chatham University.  In her early career in NYC, she performed the roles of Cherubino, Romeo, Dido and Cenerentola and in cabaret at Panache and Don’t Tell Mama. She has performed musical theatre in summer stock, at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, and in 2016 performed the Witch in Into the Woods with the Barrow Civic Theatre.

Jennifer Steele

Described by critics as “thoroughly delightful, with remarkable tone in every register,” Jennifer Steele enjoys a dynamic career as both an orchestral musician for the Pittsburgh Symphony and as a chamber player for several ensembles including the acclaimed Pittsburgh Chamber Music Project at the Andy Warhol Museum. Previous to her appointment as Second Flute by former PSO Music Director Lorin Maazel, Ms. Steele performed for five seasons as Principal Flute with the Charleston Symphony in South Carolina. While working towards her bachelor’s degree at the Juilliard School, Ms. Steele was afforded the luxury of studying with world-renowned flutists Jeanne Baxtresser and Julius Baker. Ms. Steele has performed numerous recitals in both the United States and Asia and in 1987, was awarded first prize in the first annual Flute Talk magazine competition. In addition to her current position as Second Flute, Ms. Steele has made several appearances as soloist with the PSO.

Outside of performing, Ms. Steele continues to show her dedication to training the next generation of flutists through her past and present associations with Carnegie Mellon, Indiana (Bloomington), and Duquesne universities, as a volunteer for the Pittsburgh Symphony’s Early Childhood Pilot Project, as an adjudicator for the National Flute Association, and as a contributing author for Flute Talk magazine.

Jeffrey Turner

TURNER__JEFFREYJeffrey Turner is the Principal Bassist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Director of Orchestral Studies at Duquesne University, where he serves as conductor of the Duquesne Symphony Orchestra. A native of South Carolina, he completed his Bachelor’s degree with James VanDemark at the Eastman School of Music, and Master’s in Conducting with Dr. Robert Page at Carnegie Mellon University.

Before joining the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1987, Mr. Turner was the Principal Bass of the New American Chamber Orchestra from 1984 to 1986, and played with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for the 1986-87 season. He has served as Visiting Professor at the Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, and the University of Maryland, and as a faculty member of Carnegie Mellon University for over 20 years.

Mr. Turner has served in recent years as Artistic Director of the City Music Center Chamber Orchestra and as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Live Chamber Orchestra. He has served as resident artist for many annual festivals including the Pacific Music Festival, The National Orchestral Institute, the National Youth Orchestra (USA), the Korsholm Festival (Finland), Indiana University’s Summer Music Festival, and The Asian Youth Orchestra (Hong Kong). He is featured as recitalist, clinician, and competition judge at the conventions of The International Society of Bassists.

Gretchen Van Hoesen

Gretchen Van Hoesen has been Principal Harpist of the Pittsburgh Symphony since 1977. She presently holds the Virginia Campbell endowed Principal Harp Chair of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and has appeared as soloist with the orchestra on numerous occasions, both on the subscription series and on tour. Ms. Van Hoesen gave the New York premiere of the Alberto Ginastera Harp Concerto in 1976 and the Pittsburgh premiere in 1978. She has appeared as soloist with conductors André Previn, Lorin Maazel, James Conlon, Zdnek Macal, Sergiu Comissiona, and Pinchas Zukerman and has collaborated with flutists James Galway, Bernard Goldberg, Jean-Pierre Rampal and Emmanuel Pahud. Additional appearances with the Pittsburgh Symphony have included performances of the Handel Concerto in B flat, Danses Sacré et Profane by Debussy, Concierto Serenata by Joaquin Rodrigo, Rhapsody by Peggy Stuart Coolidge, Noels for Harp by Marcel Tournier and the Concerto for Harp by Rheinhold Gliere. Ms. Van Hoesen and her husband, PSO Co-Principal Oboe James Gorton, presented the Pittsburgh premiere of Witold Lutoslawski’s Double Concerto for Oboe, Harp and Chamber Orchestra on the Pittsburgh Symphony subscription series. She gave the United States premiere of Suite Concertante for solo harp and orchestra by Manuel Moreno-Buendia in San Antonio, Texas. In March 2008 she presented the world premiere of Sir André Previn’s Concerto for Harp on the Pittsburgh Symphony subscription series. Concert Piece, Op. 65 for Oboe/English horn, Two Harps, and Orchestra by Eugene Goossens will close the orchestra’s subscription season in June 2012.

Ms. Van Hoesen has also performed as soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Orchestral Association, the Greenwich Philharmonia, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, the Lake Placid Sinfonietta and the Westmoreland Symphony. She has concertized in the metropolitan New York area at Carnegie Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall and the Brooklyn Museum, and has presented concertos at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. Ms.Van Hoesen was winner of the 1978 Passamaneck Competition. Gretchen Van Hoesen was selected to perform in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, in the Super World Orchestra 2000, an orchestra made up of key musicians from around the globe. She has been a featured soloist at American Harp Society National Conferences in Boston, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Denton, Washington, D.C. and Fredonia. Ms.Van Hoesen has served as a judge for National Competitions of the American Harp Society and has been past President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Harp Society.

Gretchen Van Hoesen graduated from the Juilliard School of Music earning both B.M. and M.M. degrees in harp as a scholarship student of Marcel Grandjany and Susann McDonald. She is also a graduate of the Eastman School of Music Preparatory Department with highest honors in piano and harp, where she was a student of Eileen Malone. She further studied with Gloria Agostini.

Her recordings include Lullabies and Night Songs on the Caedmon label, Pavanes, Pastorales, and Serenades for Oboe and Harp, and Concertos for Harp, CD’s on the Boston Records label, and Breath of Heaven, A Christmas Collection with Soprano Sarah Botkin and a work by Bernard Andres with Judith LeClair, Principal Bassoonist with the NY Philharmonic.

Ms. Van Hoesen is a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne universities and combines teaching there with private students at her home in Pittsburgh. She has given master classes at Duquesne University, the Eastman School of Music, The Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, the University of Illinois, the Aspen Music Festival, the National University of the Arts in Seoul, Korea, and has been an artist-lecturer on numerous series in Pittsburgh as well as throughout the country. She was a faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival and School from 2001-2006. She is a past president of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Harp Society. Her students have won numerous national awards and prizes.

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is proud to be joining the WEEK OF GIVING fundraising initiative of the Bridge Builders Community Foundations from March 20 to 24, 2017 – not only to attract new donors, but also to to tell its story more widely, about all the work ARCA does in presenting enriching arts and cultural events in the region – AND in bringing arts education services to the Allegheny-Clarion Valley Schools.

Please consider making a first time gift to ARCA or adding to your donation during this WEEK OF GIVING to help ARCA continue this important work in the community.  To make a contribution, you can visit this week – from March 20 – 24 – and choose ARCA as your non-profit of choice!  This is the first time Bridge Builders Community Foundations is launching a Week of Giving event to spur collective charitable giving, allowing donors to give to nonprofits throughout Clarion, Forest and Venango counties as well as the community of Punxsutawney.

Allegheny Riverstone Center for the Arts’ participation in this multi-county initiative is a natural; even though ARCA’s prime venue, Lincoln Hall, is situated on the banks of the Allegheny River in Clarion County, ARCA presents concerts in several venues in Emlenton, in Venango County; operates the Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop in Foxburg, showing work of Cooperative Artists hailing from six counties in the region; provides significant arts education services in the Allegheny-Clarion Valley Schools with students from four counties in the region; and attracts concert and event attendees from a broad community of residents in the greater six county Region and particularly in Venango and Clarion Counties, part of this initiative.

River City Brass in The Crawford Center, Emlenton, PA

ARCA is joining the Foundations’ multi-county endeavor not only to attract new donors and engage with current ARCA Members, but also to be able to tell its story more widely, increasing visibility and awareness of all the work that ARCA does in the community – particularly in the area of arts education.  Your gift to during this WEEK OF GIVING, will help ARCA continue its important work.  To make a contribution, you can click here – and choose ARCA as your non-profit of choice!

“The Music That Make Us Dance” – ARCA 2014 Educational ArtReach Residency in A-C Valley Schools

Why Give to ARCA in the WEEK OF GIVING?

WHY GIVE NOW – or MAKE ANOTHER CONTRIBUTION?  Because when you make a contribution during the WEEK OF GIVING, it opens up MATCHING FUNDS from the Bridge Builders Community Foundations as a multiplier effect for YOUR contribution.  You can MULTIPLY the power of your generosity!  AND help ARCA win additional monies awarded to non-profits with the greatest participation and results!

The WEEK OF GIVING event kicks off on Monday, March 20 at 8 AM and will run until 11:59 PM on Friday, March 24.

Trenton Moulin, executive director of Bridge Builders Community Foundations, says, “Other communities in Western Pennsylvania such as Erie and Pittsburgh have successfully launched giving campaigns and we believe now is the perfect time to develop a similar campaign that will address the needs of our rural communities and the charities that support them.”

Professional C Street Brass Teaching Artists coach A-C Valley band students in after school workshops

The WEEK OF GIVING campaign was the next natural step in supporting area nonprofits after Bridge Builders Community Foundations launched their “Community Wish List” initiative a few years ago.  Moulin said, “We had dozens of nonprofits who weren’t eligible for grants through the foundation’s funds or who needed additional funding to complete a project, so we began posting an up-to-date list of those nonprofits on our web site and tracking their needs. We also offered to accept donations on their behalf and manage those donations at no cost to them.  We just wanted to spur more philanthropy and more positive outcomes for the communities we serve.  The Week of Giving takes that idea to the next level.”

Attack Theatre in A-C Valley H.S. Auditorium

A-C Valley H.S. Students in Attack Theatre workshop

While ARCA is grateful for generous grant its received from Bridge Builders Community Foundations in 2015 in support of an Arts Education residency by the internationally celebrated Teaching Artists and dance company Attack Theatre in the A-C Valley Jr-Sr High School, as Trenton Moulin noted, subsequent grants from Bridge Builders have not been possible both within the Foundations’ guidelines and because of the limited funding pool for Clarion County, in which ARCA physically resides.  

The WEEK OF GIVING helps ARCA tell its story to all those who have attended concerts and events in its first ten years 0f performances, who value what it brings to the region and who want to help ARCA continue its important work bringing world class entertainment and arts education resources to residents in the greater Allegheny River Valley Region.

Through its extensive work with nonprofits, Bridge Builders has fostered this initiative to help nonprofits with the challenges they all face in raising money, establishing change and making a contribution in their communities.

What ARCA Does in the Community

ARCA presents up to 24 concerts a year in a wide variety of musical styles in venues in Foxburg and Emlenton (Clarion and Venango Counties) from February to December, owns and operates the Red Brick Gallery in Foxburg, and brings arts education to the Allegheny-Clarion Valley Schools.  

For  ARCA, your gift will sustain our important mission to bring  and open the potential of growth and capacity for tomorrow.  AND – every donation to ARCA during this WEEK OF GIVING means that ARCA can continue its powerfully effective arts education program in the Allegheny-Clarion Valley Schools – which is ONLY supported by donations, because there is not ticket revenue for these events in the A-C Valley Schools.

Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra in A-C Valley High School Auditorium

Your gift also will help ARCA celebrate and present the work of regional artists in exhibits in its Red Brick Gallery from April to December each year at 17 Main Street, Foxburg.  ARCA’s Artists Cooperative also runs a gift shop, that brings revenue and livelihood to fourteen artists:  Cheri Lee Anderton-Yarnell, Mark DeWalt, Donna Edmonds, Cindy Ford, Blanche Hall, Angela Taylor Hardwick, Nick J. Karellas, Dennis Keyes, Jason Floyd Lewis, Paul O’Neil, Ray Rossi, Glenn and Linda Thompson, and Cathy and Jack Trzeciak.


Pittsburgh Symphony Brass Holiday Concert in Foxburg’s Church of our Father

Here’s what you can do to Help ARCA:

1. You can follow our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. When you LIKE our Posts, comment and share our posts with your friends, you are helping us tell our story and make lots of new Friends for ARCA who will be uplifted and inspired by the concerts, events and educational resources we bring to the community.

2. Use your influence in person, via email or social media to encourage your network of friends and associates to consider a donation to ARCA becoming an ARCA Members during this week. Let them know that you support us and why.

3.  Invite a friend to join you in attending one of ARCA’s next concerts:

  •  On Saturday, March 18 at 7:00 PM celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Carnival of Souls;
  • On Sunday, April 2, the Grove City Touring Choir, featuring local Emlenton singer Zak Klassen, in Lincoln Hall at 2:00 PM.
  • On Saturday, April 22, a joyous New Orleans evening of blues and jazz with “Saturday Fish Fry” with Red Beans and Rice – dressing in your 50’s vintage finery.

4. Make a donation to ARCA during the Week of Giving on March 20-24 at – selecting your gift for ARCA. Your donation will be prorated through Bridge Builders Community Foundations match fund. If we are successful in meeting our goal we might also win additional cash and prize packages beneficial to our mission for the most individual donations and the largest grand total raised.

Scottish International Rock Band – Big Country – outside at RiverStone Farm

Kari LandryClarinet
Matt LandrySaxophone
Tim GocklinOboe
Ryan ReynoldsBassoon
Andrew KoeppeBass Clarinet

As Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts begins its second decade in 2017, it continues its successful Educational ArtReach program begun in 2009, bringing the celebrated ensemble Akropolis Reed Quintet to perform a residency in the Allegheny-Clarion Valley Schools on Tuesday, February 21.  These seasoned and award winning Teaching Artists will conduct small classroom workshops for K-6,  assembly concerts for K-12 and after-school coaching sessions with A-C Valley band students.

Exploding with infectious energy and intensity and hailed for their “imagination, infallible musicality, and huge vitality” (Fanfare Magazine), the Akropolis Reed Quintet takes listeners on extraordinary musical adventures.

Founded in 2009 at the University of Michigan, Akropolis has won six national chamber music prizes since 2011, including the 2014 Fischoff Gold Medal. Deeply committed to nurturing music appreciation among young audiences, Akropolis is also winner of the 2015 Fischoff Educator Award.

The Akropolis Reeds are simply the very pinnacle of Teaching artist ensembles in America today. A music educator wrote after a recent residency, “Akropolis performed for our middle school and did a wonderful job of entertaining as well as educating. Concepts of musical structure and imagery were brought to the students’ attention with wit, depth, and accessibility. My only complaint is that they couldn’t stay for a month!”

Akropolis delivers passionate, energized, and unforgettable performances on a variety of series both traditional and adventurous in nature. All Akropolis events include informative musical introductions and a chance to greet the artists. Originating at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Akropolis remains Tim Gocklin (oboe),  Matt Landry (saxophone), Ryan Reynolds (bassoon), Andrew Koeppe (bass clarinet), and Kari Landry (clarinet).  Akropolis Reed’s mission is to make a difference in the classical music landscape “through engaging performances, new music advocacy, and enriching educational experiences.

About the Akropolis Residency at A-C Valley Schools

ARCA’s arts education program fulfills its mission as a non-profit organization, demonstrating its commitment to contribute to the future of the Allegheny-Clarion valley community through the arts education of its young people. ARCA is grateful for its partnership with the A-C Valley School Board, administrators, faculty and music specialists in making this program possible.

The Akropolis Reeds musicians will perform three small workshops for Allegheny-Clarion Valley Elementary students in grades Pre-K to 6 in the morning, prior to an assembly concert for all elementary students in the Elementary School gymnasium. In the afternoon they will move to the Jr. and Sr. High School to perform an assembly concert for grades 7 – 12 in the High School Auditorium, AND after school conduct hands-on workshops with A-C Valley band students, coordinated by Scott DiTullio, High School Band Director.

The Akropolis Reed Quintet is looking forward to working with young local band musicians in their workshops at A-C Valley and performing for every student in the school system from Pre-K to Grade 12.

Designed specifically as an arts education resource for A-C Valley students, Akropolis Reed Quintet assembly concerts and workshops are not open to the public. Because there is no admission for any residency events, ARCA relies on contributions from the community to support its art education program in the A-C Valley Schools. Anyone interested in making a contribution or becoming an ARCA member may do so on this site.

In advance of their residency, elementary music teacher, A-C Valley choral director and musical theatre director Jennifer Lowrey will prepare students in K-6 for the small workshops, introducing them to songs and melodies from these musicals as well as the instruments in the reed family.  Jennifer Lowrey said of ARCA’s arts education program, “The students at A-C Valley have a love for the arts. The programming ARCA has brought into our district over the years has nurtured that love and opened a window into a world of professional artistic excellence that many students otherwise might not get a chance to experience. It also has given them a glimpse of the possibility of who they could become as an artist.”

A-C Valley Band Direction, Scott DiTullio, expressed his delight that the Akropolis Reeds will be conducting after-school, hands-on workshops with his students in the A-C Valley Jr. and Sr. High School Bands on February 21:  “Musicians grow, in much the same way as athletes.  Musicians train daily for perfection of their instrument.  As they perform with others, musicians have to be at the highest possible level.  They cannot make a mistake.  One wrong note or rhythm in music, creates a major problem for the entire group as they are performing.  Unlike in basketball, if a player misses a free throw, the rest of the team is there to make up for it.  That doesn’t happen in music.  The role of each musician is vital to the entire group, it takes all of them to be 100% accurate all of the time.  Throughout the last several years we have had many university band directors work with our students to help get us to the next level.  Having the young and dynamic professional musicians in The Akropolis Reed Quintet on our campus is an added bonus!  They are inspiring performers and experienced teachers who will be working with the students to help them understand more of what their individual responsibilities are as a musician and as a member of the band.  A special thank you to ARCA for bringing these amazing programs to our students and community.”

Known for his sensitive, colorful and engaging performances, Timothy Gocklin shares his passion for music through his deep love for the oboe. Tim’s relationship with the oboe began at age 11, the day after attending a military band concert featuring the oboe. Since then, he has gone on to perform with some of the world’s leading artists, including Yo-Yo Ma and Richard Stolzman.

Outside of Akropolis, Tim performs chamber music in a wide variety of settings. He performed Hindemith’s Die Serenaden as part of the Yale in New York series at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, and he has participated in the Sarasota and Norfolk Chamber Music Festivals. As a fellow of the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Tim had the privilege of working with Carol Wincenc and William Purvis in a performance of Charles Gounod’s Petite Symphonie and Emile Bernard’s Divertissement. In addition, Tim spent the summer of 2012 as a member of the Interlochen Ensemble, a quintet-in-residence at the Interlochen Arts Camp performing around the state of Michigan.

In addition to Tim’s active career as a chamber musician, he has also been fortunate to have opportunities performing as a soloist. In 2009, Tim was announced winner of the inaugural U.S. President’s Own “Marine Band” Concerto Competition, and as a result performed Haydn’s Oboe Concerto with the ensemble at the MTNA national conference in Milwaukee, WI. A few months earlier Tim was invited to perform Bach’s Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor as a guest soloist with the Nashua Chamber Orchestra.

Tim can be heard on the NAXOS and Block M record labels and has participated in other recording projects, including two albums with the University of Michigan Symphony Band in 2010 and 2012, the second of which featured new works for wind ensemble under the direction of Michael Haithcock. These works were taken on a tour to China where the band performed 9 concerts in 6 cities, including at Beijing’s National Centre for the Arts and Shanghai’s Grand Theatre. In 2011, he recorded the three piano concerti of Alberto Ginastera with pianist Barbara Nissman and the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra.

In 2012, Tim received his Bachelors degree summa cum laude from the University of Michigan where he studied with Dr. Nancy Ambrose King. He went on to complete his Master of Music degree at Yale University studying with Steven Taylor. When not playing the oboe or widdling away at his reeds, Tim can be found relaxing in a coffee shop with a journal and pencil on one side and a hot, robust cup of coffee on the other.

Kari Landry is a Backun Artist and the clarinetist of the acclaimed Akropolis Reed Quintet. Founded in 2009 at the University of Michigan and hailed by Fanfare Magazine as performing with “imagination, infallible musicality and huge vitality”, the Akropolis Reed Quintet delivers over 70 engaging performances and educational outreach events every year for communities around the United States and abroad.

As the Marketing and Development Manager of Akropolis’ 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Kari is committed to increasing access to classical music within communities and educating the next generation of musicians to ensure that a vibrant culture of art persists in our society.

Kari is currently the Marketing & Programs Manager at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, an exhilarating celebration of performing arts, outdoor entertainment, and community spirit. Offering 170 + concerts and events to discover with 80,000+ attendees annually, A2SF showcases the best in music, dance, comedy, film, circus and street arts, and family entertainment. Going on her third season with the festival, Kari’s responsibilities range from digital media & web management, digital & print marketing, program booking, graphic content creation, and nightly event management.

Prior to her current position, Kari received a Michigan EMMY for best historical documentary for her work on “A Space for Music, A Seat for Everyone” showcasing 100 Years of University Musical Society Performances in Hill Auditorium.

Kari received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in clarinet performance from the University of Michigan, studying with Cleveland Orchestra clarinetist Dan Gilbert. Kari was the Eb Clarinetist in the University of Michigan Symphony Band’s 2011 tour to China, which released a recording of premiere band works by the composers Kristin Kuster, Bright Sheng and Michael Daugherty under the Block M record label. Kari has also spent two of her college summers at the Aspen Music Festival. As an avid clarinet teacher in southeast Michigan, Kari owes all of her musical success to her instructors. Her clarinet teachers have included Dan Gilbert, Chad Burrow, Ted Oien and Suzy Dennis-Bratton.

Matt Landry began his music career gigging and teaching as a pianist. He took up the clarinet after piano, and finally the saxophone in middle school. Born in New Orleans before moving to Michigan, Matt dabbles in and appreciates many musical styles. One winter upon reading The Devil’s Horn, a book about the saxophone’s invention and inventor, Matt fell in love, finding the instrument he would stick with for good.

Matt has performed on several concerts with Orchestra Canton, including Milhaud’s La Création du Monde, and he has performed Bernstein’s On the Town with the Dearborn Symphony. He also appears regularly with the Michigan Philharmonic. As well as Akropolis’ two studio albums, he can be heard on two CDs produced by the UM Symphony Band under the Equilibrium Records label, Raise the Roof and Classic Structures. Matt received his Bachelors degree Summa Cum Laude in Music Education and Saxophone from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Donald Sinta.

Matt is an avid educator and community engagement specialist. He was a full-time piano teacher at the Expressions Music Academy in Novi, MI where he was also Director of Marketing and Outreach, connecting Expressions to neighborhood businesses, schools, and families. Presently he works for the Detroit Regional Chamber as an outreach specialist to small businesses in Detroit and the Detroit metro area.

Matt has also taught middle school band and elementary music full time and he has helped create after-school music programs in west Detroit. Matt also interned at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in Neighborhood Audience Development.

In his spare time he enjoys writing, reading, collecting more pianos than his small home has room for, running even though his knees won’t allow it, and trying to emulate the southern cooking styles of his extended southern family.

Ryan Reynolds chose the bassoon in 5th grade under the impression that it produced only one note and would therefore be the easiest instrument to play. His disappointment upon discovering three and a half octaves of notes quickly turned to fascination and intrigue, with the “gorgonzola of the orchestra” providing daily mysteries and rewards.

Ryan is currently the Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Florida State University bassoon studio, and has performed with the Traverse and Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestras. In 2009, Ryan toured the upper peninsula of Michigan with the Sonrisa Wind Quintet as an artist-in-residence for the Pine Mountain Music Festival, and in 2012 was a member of the Interlochen Ensemble, a wind quintet built entirely of Interlochen alumni that toured around the Midwest.
A passionate educator, Ryan has taught a studio of young bassoonists from throughout southern Michigan, and is currently teaching many of the undergraduate bassoon students at Florida State University. Ryan has taught numerous beginning bassoon camps, masterclasses, and clinics at schools around the United States. He has taught bassoon methods classes at the collegiate level, and coaches several chamber ensembles at FSU.

Ryan has been featured on National Public Radio’s “From the Top”, Interlochen Public Radio, and can be seen in numerous videos in the University of Michigan Bassoon Studio YouTube series.
After attending the Interlochen Arts Academy from 2004-08 where he studied with Dr. Eric Stomberg, Ryan replaced his ‘Interlochen blues’ with Michigan’s, attending the University of Michigan from 2008-2014 while studying with Dr. Jeffrey Lyman. Ryan is currently pursuing his DMA degree at Florida State University under the tutelage of Jeff Keesecker. Ryan is adamant that his sports allegiances still lie with the Maize and Blue.

Ryan’s ultimate goal is to become a respected pedagogue at the university level, and he is grateful to have studied with a series of devoted and inspiring teachers.

An Ann Arbor native, Andrew Koeppe majored in clarinet at the University of Michigan and studied with Chad Burrow, Deborah Chodacki and Monica Kaenzig. He performed in the University Symphony Band under the direction of Michael Haithcock, and the University Symphony Orchestra and University Opera Theater under the direction of Kenneth Kiesler. Andrew can be heard on two University of Michigan CDs, including interactions with acclaimed soloists Nancy Ambrose King and Adam Unsworth, as well as the premiere of William Bolcom’s Symphony for Band. He was the featured clarinet soloist in Bolcom’s band orchestration of “Graceful Ghost Rag” on the University of Michigan Symphony Band CD Artifacts. Today, he is a regular performer with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra.

While studying at the University of Michigan, Andrew performed in clarinet master classes with Stanley Drucker (New York Philharmonic), Carey Bell (San Francisco Symphony), Julia Heinen (Professor, California State University), and Eighth Blackbird. He was also selected to attend the Buffet-Crampon USA Clarinet Academy in Jacksonville, Florida in 2009 where he studied with clarinetists Eugene Mondie, Dan Gilbert, Andre Moisan, and Ixi Chen.

Also in 2009, Andrew played principal clarinet and bass clarinet in a small orchestral ensemble of select University of Michigan students in a weeklong multi-media workshop and final performance of “Ask Your Mama” with composer Laura Carpman, curator Jessye Norman, and conductor George Manahan. This new work later premiered at Carnegie Hall.

Andrew has also performed with the Michigan Youth Orchestra, the University of Michigan All-State Orchestra at Interlochen, and in large and small ensembles at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival. He teaches clarinet and bass clarinet in Ann Arbor as well as at the Expressions Music Academy in Novi, and performs as a soloist in churches in the Ann Arbor area.

The Akropolis Reed Quintet takes listeners on extraordinary musical adventures, performing an innovative repertoire with acclaimed precision. Founded in 2009 at the University of Michigan and the first ever reed quintet to win the Fischoff Gold Medal in 2014, Akropolis took Grand Prize at the MTNA and Plowman chamber music competitions consecutively in 2011, and has garnered prizes at three additional national competitions. Championing the next generation of maverick musicians, Akropolis is also winner of the 2015 Fischoff Educator Award, delivering impactful outreach at schools ranging from kindergarten to conservatory. Akropolis has released two studio albums to critical acclaim and commissioned more than 25 reed quintet works to date. Their dynamic concerts feature accessible contemporary works framed by invigorating arrangements of classical music spanning four centuries.

Hailed for their “imagination, infallible musicality, and huge vitality” (Fanfare Magazine), the Akropolis Reed Quintet takes listeners on extraordinary musical adventures. Founded in 2009 at the University of Michigan, Akropolis has won six national chamber music prizes since 2011, including the 2014 Fischoff Gold Medal. Deeply committed to nurturing music appreciation among young audiences, Akropolis is also winner of the 2015 Fischoff Educator Award. Akropolis is an alumnus of APAP’s prestigious Young Performer’s Career Advancement Program (YPCA) and has received grants from Chamber Music America and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs for Detroit-based community and educational outreach projects, as well as operating support from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music’s Performance Program, whose objective is “to support performing and presenting organizations whose artistic excellence encourages and improves public knowledge and appreciation of serious contemporary American music”.

Akropolis’ impressive list of series and festival appearances include 16/17 stops at Caramoor, Chamber Music Northwest, and the Chautauqua Music Festival. Akropolis has been selected as a juried showcase participant at APAP, Chamber Music America, Performing Arts Exchange, and the Mid-Atlantic Performing Arts Market. With three studio releases (including a March, 2017 release, The Space Between Us), Akropolis has recorded 17 original reed quintet works, and by the end of the 16/17 season will have performed, recorded, or published the work of 21 American composers.

Prolific collaborators, Akropolis premiered the first work for reed quintet and string quartet by David Schiff with the Dover Quartet in 2015, and has performed with artists like the Miró Quartet and renowned clarinetist David Shifrin. In 2015 Akropolis gave an interactive, fully choreographed performance of Four-Letter-Word (Robbie McCarthy) with BodyVox Dance in Portland, OR, and has constructed multi-disciplinary performances with university dance students, theater students, and even HarperCollins published author and scientist, Vic Strecher. During its 16/17 season Akropolis will even perform with youth wind ensembles in Abu Dhabi.

A self-identified entrepreneurial enterprise, Akropolis recognizes the need for rising artists to carve out space for their careers in today’s marketplace. Establishing Akropolis WORKS in January 2016, Akropolis teaches an annual 7-week mini-course at the University of Michigan, and has delivered WORKS lectures to college-level musicians around the United States on marketing, financial planning, brand identity, and more. Equally committed to students K-12, Akropolis toured Illinois and Indiana on the Fischoff Educators Tour in 2015, collaborating with local school reading programs to musically re-enact a children’s book – “The Best Story” by Eileen Spinelli. In 2013 Akropolis conducted its “Fall Education Tour”, funded by over $5,000 raised by a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. The tour visited 10 schools in Michigan serving underprivileged youth or under-funded arts programs.

Deeply invested in establishing the reed quintet as a cornerstone chamber music ensemble, Akropolis has commissioned more than 25 works from composers in 7 countries, and was selected to premiere the winner of the 2018 Barlow Prize funded by the Barlow Endowment. Previous Barlow Prize premieres have been performed by artists including Yo-Yo Ma, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and eighth blackbird. Akropolis produces a YouTube Web Premiere Series, showcasing new works, arrangements, and composer interviews for a live Internet audience. In 2012 Akropolis created Akropolis Collection and has now sold over 125 original and arranged sheet music works to more than 30 new and established reed quintets. Akropolis is also an annual judge for the Calefax Composers Competition, reviewing 40+ new reed quintet works and committing performances and recordings to their winning selections.

Placing emphasis on audience development for new and traditional classical music, Akropolis regularly appears in unconventional settings, including performances in office spaces in Detroit as part of its Chamber Music America Residency Partnership in January, 2017. In May, 2016 Akropolis conducted a live recording session featuring audience participation for John Steinmetz’s Sorrow and Celebration for reed quintet and audience, which Akropolis commissioned in 2014.

Akropolis delivers passionate, energized, and unforgettable performances on a variety of series both traditional and adventurous in nature. All Akropolis events include informative musical introductions and a chance to greet the artists. Originating at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Akropolis remains Tim Gocklin (oboe), Kari Landry (clarinet), Matt Landry (saxophone), Andrew Koeppe (bass clarinet), and Ryan Reynolds (bassoon). Akropolis is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to make a difference in the classical music landscape “through engaging performances, new music advocacy, and enriching educational experiences”.

International Pianist Sean Kennard

As the beautiful Allegheny-Clarion River Valley indulges in the lushness of summer, come into the air conditioned comfort of Lincoln Hall and luxuriate in the timeless beauty of piano masterpieces in the hands of internationally acclaimed pianist, Sean Kennard in Lincoln Hall in Foxburg at 2:00 PM on Sunday, July 16.  

You will be moved and entranced both by Sean Kennard’s pianist sensitivity and virtuosic bravura. The Washington Post wrote of his “powerful and involved music making” and described him as “a strong luminous pianist.”

A recent prize winner in the Queen Elisabeth Competition, Sean’s debut recording received rave reviews:  American Record Guide said that he “plays Chopin’s preludes with more poise and vision than most pianists who have recorded them. He boasts a huge, romantic sound and a bold melodic vision.”  

Fanfare wrote that “his playing is full of life and sparkle… ” with a “mastery of Chopin’s idiom… in fingerwork that floats featherlike over the keys in the fast-paced preludes, giving the impression of complete effortlessness and in an emotional responsiveness to the poetics of the slow pieces that is quite touching.”  

Sean Kennard received his undergraduate Bachelors from the esteemed Curtis Institute of Music, a Masters from The Juilliard School, and is completing his Doctorate of Musical Arts at Yale University.  He has accepted a position on the faculty of Stetson University beginning in the fall of 2017. Kennard completed a two-year residential requirement of coursework and writing a thesis at Yale, and is in the first of three years of required professional experience. That includes performing and teaching, and leads toward a D.M.A. in 2020 once he submits a portfolio and completes a final oral exam and recital.

After the concert, please join us to meet this most interesting and talented young artist at a reception and exhibit opening at the Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop on Main Street, Foxburg, featuring the artwork of Donna Edmonds, watercolorist;  Cheri Lee Anderton-Yarnell, potter; and Glenn Thompson, photographer.

Tickets are Adults $25, ARCA Members $20 and Students $5.   You may reserve tickets by calling 724-659-3153 or may purchase tickets online here.

Just an hour and half north of Pittsburgh, Lincoln Hall’s intimate acoustics provide a truly inspired environment to enjoy chamber music and pianists performing on its 7 foot Steinway. Built in 1909, the stage’s backdrop is an original hand-painted canvas of an actual scene downstream on the Allegheny River.  Lincoln Hall has a capacity audience of 120 and is located on the second floor of the Foxburg Free Library.

Plan to Make a Day of it in beautiful Foxburg!  Enjoy the glory of summer with a walk along the Allegheny River trail or rent bicycles with Foxburg Tours.  Have lunch at the Allegheny Grille with seating overlooking the Allegheny River, or for more casual fare, at Foxburg Pizza with salads, sandwiches and pizza.  Save time to enjoy wine tasting at Foxburg Wine Cellars and savor a gourmet coffee and hand made chocolate at Divani Chocolatier and Barrista.  Or spend the night in the lovely Foxburg Inn.

Sean Kennard

Sean Kennard has won top prizes in the Queen Elisabeth Competition (Belgium), the International Music Competition of Viña del Mar (Chile), the Vendome International Piano Competition (Portugal), the Sendai International Music Competition (Japan), the Hilton Head International Piano Competition (USA), the National Chopin Competition, the Iowa Piano Competition, the American Pianists Association, and the International Chopin Competition of the Pacific.

Kennard has appeared as soloist with such orchestras as Japan’s NHK Chamber Orchestra, the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, the Yamagata Symphony Orchestra, the Sendai Philharmonic, the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Belgique and Orchestre Royal de Chambre in Belgium, the German Chamber Orchestra of Frankfurt am Main, the Orchestre Philharmonique du Maroc, Orquesta Sinfonica de Chile, Orquesta Filarmónica de Montevideo, Sinfonia Perugina, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and the orchestras of Charleston, Sioux City and Honolulu.

The Washington Post wrote of his “powerful and involved music making” and described him as “a strong luminous pianist.” American Record Guide said that he “plays Chopin’s preludes with more poise and vision than most pianists who have recorded them. He boasts a huge, romantic sound and a bold melodic vision.” Fanfare wrote that “his playing is full of life and sparkle.”

Sean’s first teacher was Ellen Masaki. He received a Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music in 2004. In his final year at Curtis he won the institute’s Sergei Rachmaninoff Award, given to one graduating pianist each year. After subsequent work with pianist Enrique Graf he received a Master of Music from the Juilliard School (studios of Jerome Lowenthal and Robert McDonald) and spent the following two years in the studio of Richard Goode.

Sean is currently engaged in doctoral studies at the Yale School of Music in the studio of Boris Berman. Kennard has completed a two-year residential requirement of coursework and writing a thesis at Yale, and is in the first of three years of required professional experience. That includes performing and teaching, and leads toward a D.M.A. in 2020 once he submits a portfolio and completes a final oral exam and recital.   Sean has accepted a position on the faculty of Stetson University beginning in the fall of 2017.

Sean Kennard, Pianist

Preludes Op. 28                                                 Frédéric Chopin
No. 11 (B major)
No. 13 (F sharp major)
No. 21 (B flat major)
No. 23 (F major)
No. 24 (D minor)

Ballade in G minor, Op. 23

Preludes Op. 28
No. 1 (C major)
No. 3 (G major)
No. 4 (E minor)
No. 7 (A major)
No. 8 (F sharp minor)
No. 15 (D flat major)
No. 16 (B flat minor)

Scherzo in B flat minor, Op. 31




Preludes from Book 1                                        Claude Debussy
No. 11, “La danse de Puck”
No. 7, “Ce qu’a vu le vent d’ouest”
No. 8, “La fille aux cheveux de lin”
No. 5, “Les collines d’Anacapri”

Prelude from Book 2
No. 12, “Feux d’artifice”

Three Movements from Petrouchka                  Igor Stravinsky

Grove City College Touring Choir

Dr. Katherine MuellerConductor

To usher in the Holy Season, be uplifted by a program of spiritually inspired choral music – as Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts proudly presents the Grove City College Touring Choir in Lincoln Hall in Foxburg on Sunday, April 2, at 2:00 PM.  Join us for a refreshing afternoon of music as ARCA celebrates the musical excellence of a preeminent choral group in our region, Grove City College Touring Choir, in a concert of choral music, including classical sacred works, songs of praise and African American spirituals.

Tickets are $10 for Adults, Students and Children under 6 are free.   Buy tickets online here or you may call to reserve at (724) 659-3153.

The Choir’s concert in Foxburg follows their annual spring east coast tour to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.  The Choir travels widely and has performed in virtually every state east of the Mississippi River, including New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington D.C., Boston, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Baltimore and Detroit.  It dedicates itself to the highest standards of musicianship and expressiveness as a choral ensemble.

Zak Klassen

ARCA is proud that Emlenton’s own Zak Klassen, a senior at Grove City College, is a member of the Touring Choir and will be performing in the April 2nd Foxburg Concert.  Zak is remembered for his leading roles in musicals and solos in choral concerts at Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School. Bring with you all the students and young people you know, for whom admission is free. It will be a memorable afternoon of inspiring music.

In recent years the choir has been invited to perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony, and the Wheeling, WV Symphony.  In April 2015, the Touring Choir performed the Mozart Requiem with the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra and in April 2016, the choir performed Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Verdi’s Te Deum with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in Heinz Hall.

A highlight of the Christmas season is the Choir’s musical performance in Grove City College’s annual candlelight services.

Grove City College Touring Choir 

The Touring Choir has been in existence since its founding in 1959 by Oscar Cooper, and continues to function as a co-curricular activity on the Grove City College campus. Members are selected by audition, and represent a variety of academic disciplines from across the campus community.

The choir travels widely and has established for itself high standards of musicianship and expressiveness as a choral ensemble. In addition to the annual spring tour, the choir performs for churches in the western Pennsylvania area and at various campus events. A highlight of the Christmas season for the choir members is their musical leadership in the annual college candlelight services.

Performances of the Touring Choir for professional music organizations have included the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Annual Conferences in 1984, 1986, 1990, 1997, 2004, and 2009; the Music Educators National Conference Eastern Division Conventions in 1987 and 1991; and the Eastern Division Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in 2002. In April of 2001 the choir sang for the Palm Sunday Services at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California.

During recent years the choir has been invited to perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony, and the Wheeling, WV Symphony.  In April 2015 the Touring Choir performed the Mozart Requiem with the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra, and was the featured choir with the Keith and Kristyn Getty Band as part of the Getty’s national tour, and performed again with the Gettys in October 2016. In April 2016, the choir performed Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Verdi’s Te Deum with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in Heinz Hall.

The Choir is directed by Dr. Katherine Mueller.

Concert Program

Hodie Christus natus est                        Sweelinck

Duo Seraphim (women)                         Victoria

Lobet den Herrn                                      Bach

Laudate Dominum                                  Mozart

Bogoroditse Devo                                    Rachmaninoff

Let All the Nations Praise the Lord       Leisring

Beautiful Savior                                        Christiansen


—-   Intermission   —-


Abendlied (surround)                             Rheinberger

Song of Triumph                                     Grotenhuis

The Eyes of All                                         Berger

Non nobis Domine (men)                      Powell

Sleep                                                         Eric Whitacre

Glory, Glory, Glory                                  Hogan

Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child, arr. Page

Ezekiel Saw de Wheel                             arr. Dawson

God Be in My Head                                 arr. Rutter

About the Artists

Dr. Katherine Mueller

The conductor of the Grove City College Touring Choir is Dr. Katherine Mueller, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Grove City College. She completed her D.M.A. in Conducting from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia with Maestro Robert Shafer, and holds a Master’s Degree in Conducting from Carnegie Mellon with Maestro Robert Page, a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Susquehanna University.

While in Pittsburgh, Mueller was Music Director of the 90-voice Pittsburgh Concert Chorale for five seasons, as well as Choir Director at Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church. Also during this time, Dr. Mueller served as Assistant Conductor of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, the choir of choice of the Pittsburgh Symphony, where she prepared an opera choruses program for visiting conductor Ian Robertson of the San Francisco Opera, and prepared a women’s chorus for The Pittsburgh Ballet’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Prior to coming to Pittsburgh, she was the high school choral director and Director of Fine Arts in the Ipswich, MA Public Schools, where her choirs earned numerous awards at the state level which led to performances in Boston’s Symphony Hall and Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall.  Other engagements include the world premiere performance of John Tavener’s final choral/orchestral commission Three Poems of George Herbert at Washington’s National Cathedral, and Music Director and Conductor of Loudoun Lyric Opera’s production of Hansel and Gretel in Leesburg, Virginia. Dr. Mueller recently served as guest conductor of the women’s All-State Festival choir in Akron, NY.

Grove City College Touring Choir Members 

Dr. Katherine Mueller, Director
Claire DeArmitt and Evelyn Munson, Accompanists

Choir Officers

Hayley Simpson, President                                                            Zak Klassen, Chaplain

Joel Espenshade, Vice-President                                        Emily Bach, Publicity Chair

Claire DeArmitt, Secretary                                                  David Tharnish, Social Chair

Luke Lofton, Treasurer                                                        Kassaundra Funch, Historian



JULIA BARNES, Meadville, PA – Music, Fr.

AMANDA CASTO, Hillsborough, NJ  – Music Education, Sr.

CHARISSA CODDINGTON, Saegertown, PA  – Political Science, Jr.

VIRGINIA FLANDERS, Fairfax, VA  – English, Jr.

KASSAUNDRA FUNCH, Eden, NY  – Music Education, Jr.

BETHANY KING, Lewisberry, PA  – Marketing Management, So.

LAUREN KOSTELNY, Easton, PA – Music, So.

CALLIE ROBERTS, Grand Rapids, MI –  Music, So.

ANNA SHOENTHAL, Mars, PA –  Music, So.

HAYLEY SIMPSON, Latrobe, PA – Elementary and Secondary Education, Sr.

KIRSTEN WARD, Big Rock, IL – Pre K-4 Education, So.

REBEKAH WILLSON, Beaver Falls, PA – Music, Jr.



EMILY BACH, Fox Chapel, PA  – Pre-K-4 Elementary Education, Jr.

ALLYSON DAVIES, Macungie, PA – Music Business, Fr.

CLAIRE DEARMITT, Bellwood, PA  – Music Education, Sr.

GRACE HERMESMANN, Columbus, NJ – English/French, Jr.

RACHEL KURAK, Avon Lake, OH  – Secondary Mathematics Education, Jr.

AMY LIND, Shoreline, WA 0 Biology, Sr.

ANNA MUNSON, Grove City, PA – History, Sr.

EVELYN MUNSON, Grove City, PA  – Music, So,

JORDYN PISTILLI, Vienna, VA – History/Social Studies Secondary Ed., Fr.

ALINA SANTIAGO, Warrenton, VA – Music Education, Jr.

EMILY THARNISH, Elma, NY – Chemistry, Sr.



ADAM BANNISTER, East McKeesport, PA – Biology, Fr.

COLTON CROSKEY, Gibsonia, PA – Music Education, So.

BENJAMIN DEMERS, Douglas, MA  – Marketing Management, Fr.

JONATHAN FISHER, Petaluma, CA – Communication Studies, Sr.

TERIN KELSEY, Hampstead, MD – Music Education, Sr.

LUKE LEONE, Camp Hill, PA – History and Philosophy, Jr.

STEVEN MAKER, South Park, PA – Math Secondary Education, Jr.

DOMINIC RODRIGUEZ, Upper Deerfield, NJ – Electrical/Computer Engineering, Jr.

DANIEL SMITH, Moon Township, PA – Computer Science, So.

JOSHUA TRACEY, Union, ME – Accounting, Jr.



SAMUEL BEILER, Mifflinburg, PA – Physics/Computer Software, So.

JOEL ESPENSHADE, Lancaster, PA – Communication Studies, Jr.

BRADLEY EVANS, Mill Creek, WA  – Political Science, So.

MATTHEW GERVASI, Audubon, NJ – Biology Health, Fr.

NICHOLAS HOLMER, Chicago, IL  – Accounting, Jr.

COREY KERSTETTER, Lititz, PA  – Music/Marketing Management, So.

ZAK KLASSEN, Emlenton, PA  – Music Education, Sr.

LUKE LOFTON, New Wilmington, PA – Computer Information Systems, So.

DAVID THARNISH, Elma, NY – Physics, Sr.

TREVOR TUXILL, Burnt Hills, NY – International Business, So.

AUSTIN ZICK, San Diego, CA – English, Jr.


Grove City College

Founded in 1876, Grove City College stands on its founding ideals of faith and freedom, made possible by an unwavering commitment to Christian principles and rigorous academics at a price within the reach of families with modest means.

Grove City College is a fully accredited four-year coeducational college of liberal arts, sciences and engineering located 60 miles north of Pittsburgh, PA. Its 2,500 students may choose from more than 50 programs of study, including five music-related majors and six pre-professional programs.

The campus of Grove City College comprises more than 150 beautifully landscaped acres, divided into two sections by Wolf Creek. These two areas are connected by Rainbow Bridge, a signature stone arch footbridge.

The students of Grove City College remain at the core of its success. A record number of National Merit Scholars are routinely admitted as freshmen. Each year, the average SAT score of incoming freshmen remains one of the highest in the nation. Studies show that Grove City College education students perform the best on state exams.

A private college striving to remain truly independent, Grove City College is an advocate of the free market economic system and accepts no direct federal funding. Tuition is about half the national average for private colleges.

Grove City College is among the nation’s elite institutions of higher learning, according to Forbes’ 2014 list of America’s Top Colleges. The College has been named a Best Value and a Best National Liberal Arts College by Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. The Young America’s Foundation calls Grove City College one of the Top Conservative Schools in the country and it has been honored as a Christian College of Distinction.



Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Players

Jennifer OrchardViolin
Shu ZhanViolin
Marylène Gingras-RoyViola
Mikhail IstominCello
Dimitri PapadimitriouPiano

Back by popular demand, the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Players return to Lincoln Hall on Sunday, May 7, 2107 at 2:00 PM to perform an inspiring program that seems to exude the joy and exuberance of spring! It promises to be a glorious afternoon of world class chamber music right in the intimacy and crystalline acoustics of Lincoln Hall – as the beautiful Allegheny River Valley is in full bloom.  

The concert includes the thrilling masterwork, Robert Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E flat Major, as well as Gustav Mahler’s piano quartet and Antonín Dvorák’s Terzetto and the hauntingly beautiful second movement from his “Dumka” Piano Quintet.  

The extraordinary PSO Chamber Players artists include Pittsburgh Symphony violinists Jennifer Orchard and Zhan Shu, violist Marylène Gingras Roy, and cellist Mikhail Istomin, joined by Pianist Dimitri Papadimitriou.  Appearing in ARCA’s inaugural classical concert in 2005 with mezzo soprano Katherine Soroka, Jennifer Orchard and Mikhail Istomin have become audience favorites; they have appeared in nearly every ARCA season and frequently with violist Marylène Gingras Roy, who most recently performed in the Schubert “Trout” Quintet with pianist David Allen Wehr in the Duquesne University “Schubert on the Bluff” program.  It will be a love fest for their fans as they return to perform some of the most lyrically beautiful chamber music ever written!


After the concert, join us for a Meet the Artist reception at the Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop, from 4 to 6 PM coinciding with the Red Brick Gallery exhibit Magic & Mystery:  Painters Bruce Pipman & Jason Floyd Lewis at 17 Main Street, Foxburg.

Tickets are Adults $25, Members $20, Students $5.  Call to reserve at 724-659-3153 or buy online here.

arca_pgh_symph_spring-15 - Version 2The Chamber Players is an acclaimed group of Pittsburgh Symphony musicians performing in mixed ensembles raging from two to eight artists.  Previous appearances on the stage of Lincoln Hall have made this group an audience favorite.  Their performances are noted for an eclectic mix of traditional repertoire along with rarely heard works and new compositions-a display of daring and intelligent programming presented with uncompromising artistry.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette states: “They appealed to the heart and the head, offering a warm, seductively luxurious sound and an impressive precision and unity of purpose”.

Mikhail ‘Misha’ Istomin, Pittsburgh Symphony Cellist and the group’s Artistic Director says: “Our concerts with favorite chamber music treasures, new musical flavors and stirring experiences will engage and involve you with both the music and musicians for intimate and informative performances, taking chamber music back to its roots as an evening among friends”.

Each member of this ensemble has an impressive list of credentials not only as performers, but also as educators, sharing their skills and love of music with students of all ages.  “One piece of great art makes all people feel the same…another piece of great art makes people feel a variety of emotions, but one thing is constant: great art always makes people….feel!”- Misha.

The concert program will feature master works by Antonín Dvorák, Gustav Mahler and Robert Schumann.

Antonín Dvorák            Terzetto in C, Opus 74 for Two Violins and Viola
     Introduzione: Allegro ma non troppo

Gustav Mahler               Piano Quartet in A minor

Antonín Dvorák            Second movement of Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major, Opus 81
Dumka:  Andante con moto

Robert Schumann        Piano Quintet in E flat major, Opus 44
     Allegro brillante
    In modo d’una marcia. Un poco largamente
    Scherzo: Molto vivace
    Allegro ma non troppo

Mikhail ‘Misha’ Istomin, born and educated in Russia, holds a Master of Music degree from the St. Petersburg Conservatory. While still in school, he became Principal Cellist of the State Hermitage Orchestra under the direction of Saulus Sondetskis and later joined the orchestra of the Kirov Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre under Valery Gergiev.  In 1987, Istomin became the cellist of the Leningrad Conservatory String Quartet, and in 1989 the group won the grand prize in the National Soviet Union Competition of String Quartets. Later that same year, Istomin defected during the quartet’s US tour, and was granted political asylum in the United States.

Immediately following these events, Istomin joined the Richmond Symphony and became a faculty member of both Virginia State University and the Governor’s School for the Performing Arts at the University of Richmond.  Istomin was appointed Principal Cellist of the Pittsburgh Opera and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater orchestras in 1991, and the following year he joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Lorin Maazel.

Istomin is a winner of both the Passamaneck Award of the Y Music Society and the Pittsburgh Concert Society Major Auditions. He has appeared as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Williamsburg Symphonia, the Asheville Symphony, the Knoxville Symphony and others.In July of 1998, Mr. Istomin returned to St. Petersburg to perform in the Second World Cello Congress under the direction of Mstislav Rostropovich.

Istomin is a founding member of the Pittsburgh Piano Trio. The Trio has released three CDs on the Minstrel Label to resounding critical acclaim. Three Graces features the chamber music of British composer Armstrong Gibbs; Phantasie is dedicated to the chamber music of Frank Bridge; the CD of Russian music includes the Piano Trio by Georgy Sviridov and Seven Romances inspired by the poems of Alexander Blok. “Encore!…Encore!” is a collection of short works for a piano trio, including compositions by Piazzolla, Schostakovich, Albeniz, Glinka and many others.

Frequent guests at major summer music festivals in the US, Canada and Europe, the Pittsburgh Piano Trio recently premiered a Triple Concerto by post-romantic Russian composer Paul Juon with The Tchaikovsky State Symphony Orchestra under Vladimir Fedoseev at the Moscow Conservatory Grand Hall.

Canadian violinist, Jennifer Orchard, has traveled the world performing as a chamber musician, soloist, and as first violinist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2001. Upon graduating from the Juilliard School, Ms. Orchard was invited to be a member of the world renowned Lark Quartet. As a legacy from this time period with the quartet, Ms. Orchard recorded works of Robert Schumann, Alfred Schnittke, Peter Schickele, Arnold Schoenberg, Alexander Zemlinsky, Amy Beach, Alexander Borodin and the Pulitzer Prize winning quartet by Aaron Jay Kernis – one of several new works for string quartet commissioned by the Lark Quartet.

Shortly after arriving in Pittsburgh, Jennifer was invited to join the Pittsburgh Piano Trio. Highlights of their career include a tour to Russia to the St Petersburg Conservatory and the Moscow Conservatory Grand Hall where the trio presented the Russian premiere of the triple Concerto of Paul Juon with the Tchaikovsky State Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Vladimir Fedoseev.

As well as playing with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Orchard enjoys staying active in the chamber music arena. Her recent release of Paul Juon’s violin and piano works was a world premiere and has another CD of Paul Juon’s music with pianist, Igor Kraevsky scheduled for later this year.

Ms. Orchard studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with Szymon Goldberg and at the Juilliard School with Robert Mann. She participated in the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, the Schleswig Holstein festival in Germany and the Mehli Mehta Festival in Mumbai, India.

She plays on an Andreas Guarnerius violin, dated circa 1676.

Marylène Gingras-Roy, a native of Québec City, Canada,  joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra viola section in the 1997 season, and in 2004 was promoted to fourth chair. She studied at the Conservatoire de Musique de Québec with Douglas McNabney and François Paradis and graduated in 1993 with unanimous First Prizes in both in viola and chamber music. She was the recipient of Canada and Québec Arts Councils’

Scholarship Grants, enabling her to attend the Harid Conservatory, where she studied with Victoria Chiang, and then at the renowned Curtis Institute of Music with Karen Tuttle and Joseph DePasquale. She earned an Artist Diploma in 1997.

Marylène is adjunct professor of viola at Duquesne University and has a full private studio at home. She is also an orchestra coach for the Three River Young Peoples orchestra and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony. A highly sought-after teacher and pedagogue, Marylène has over twenty years of experience with students at various levels of experience and distinction.

Marylène has also taught at summer music festivals such as: Domaine Forget, Québec, Interharmony Festival in Germany and Italy and Advanced Chamber Music Seminar in Pittsburgh.  Marylène has been featured as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Duquesne University Orchestra and Symphonette and she performs regularly in chamber music concerts.

She has participated in many festivals, including the Festival Dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, the Solti Project at Carnegie Hall, the Jerusalem Music Festival, the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra (where she served as Principal violist), and since 2000 the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho.

Marylène’s recordings of chamber music include Leo Zeitlin’s Yedish songs and the Caprichos Nos. 2-4 by Leonardo Balada (world premiere recording) for the Naxos label. She has also recorded the Serenade no 6 for trombone, viola and cello by Vincent Persichetti.

Marylèneʼs viola is by Italian maker Umberto Muschietti (1929).

Violinist Zhan Shu
joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at the start of the 2014-2015 season. Before coming to PSO, Shu spent 8 seasons as a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, where he also served as Acting Associate Concertmaster for the 2008-2009 season. Shu has previously served as concertmaster of the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra and Symphony of Southeast Texas, and as guest concertmaster of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra in Iowa, EOS Repertoire Orchestra in China, Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan and Scheleswig-Holstein Musik Festival Orchestra in Germany.

Shu has won numerous competitions, including the first prize at the Friday Woodmere Music Club Young Artist Competition in New York,  the Midland-Odessa Symphony Young Artist Competition, the Indiana University Concerto Competition, the Mannes College of Music Concerto Competition, the Texas Music Festival Concerto Competition, and price winner of the New Jersey Symphony Young Artist Competition, the Central Conservatory of Music Violin Competition and the China Youth Violin Competition. The recordings of Shu’s performances have been heard on WQXR’s McGraw Hill Young Artists Showcase in New York City, WUSF in Tampa, KUHF in Houston and NPR. Shu has appeared as soloist with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra,  the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Indiana University Philharmonic, the Texas Music Festival Orchestra, the Mannes College of Music Symphony Orchestra, the Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra and the Hunan Symphony Orchestra in China.

As an active chamber musician, he performed regularly with the Present Music and Colectivo Coffee Chamber Music Series in Milwaukee. Shu has also been invited to participate in Sarasota Music Festival, Toronto Summer Music Festival and Peninsula Music Festival in Wisconsin.

Pianist Dimitri Papadimitriou has distinguished himself as an artist of refined musicianship and personal verve. A passionate avid of chamber music, Dimitri has recently collaborated with principal musicians from major European and U.S. orchestras, including Noah Bendix-Balgley, concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, and Andrés Cárdenes, former concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. A musician of versatile skills, he has lately developed an interest in conducting that led him to a successful debut on the podium with Chausson’s Symphony in B-flat major and Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony at the Pierre Monteux Festival and School. Currently a faculty member at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music in Pittsburgh, he also serves as the Artistic Director of the ‘Carnegie Mellon Chamber Series’, a newly found series that brings together members of the CMU faculty and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Before moving to the U.S., Dimitri was residing in Ireland enjoying a flourishing career with engagements in some of the country’s most prestigious venues and festivals, while completing his Doctorate in Music Performance. A native of Greece, Dimitri at age sixteen won first prize at the international chamber music competition ‘Classical Heritage’ of Moscow, made his debut with the Greek Radio Symphony Orchestra with Rachmaninov’s ‘Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini’ and following an outstanding success, he was invited to perform Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto for a national broadcast. A graduate of Indiana University and the Royal Irish Academy of Music, he has participated in a plethora of festivals throughout Europe and the U.S.


Resonance Works – Pittsburgh

Do you LOVE Broadway musicals and professional musical  theatre – but can’t get down to Pittsburgh or New York City?  Then this sophisticated, professional musical theatre revue of Broadway’s musical and dramatic genius, Stephen Sondheim, right here in FOXBURG is for you!!

In its debut in the Region on Friday, March 3 at 7:30 PM in Lincoln Hall, Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is proud to present a professional stage production of the Tony award winning revue, Side by Side by Sondheim – produced by Pittsburgh’s innovative company, Resonance Works.

This celebration of the wit and genius of musical theater’s most influential artist of the last half-century – Stephen Sondheim – features favorite numbers from Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, and Pacific Overtures, plus his collaborations with giants Leonard Bernstein, Jule Styne and Richard Rodgers.

“Sondheim’s brilliant music has long been beloved by opera and musical theater performers alike. His songs and productions are pieces of remarkable workmanship – crossing different styles of music and theater, and taking on issues of contemporary life with his brilliant wordplay. Marriage, relationships, madness, nostalgia, injustice, revenge, and the human condition are explored in meaningful ways” says Artistic Director Maria Sensi Sellner. “This revue also presents a number of lesser-known but marvelous songs that you will be glad to know, from shows like The Mad Show and The Seven-percent Solution.”

The brilliant stage director, Craig Joseph, returns after directing Resonance Work‘s Trouble in Tahiti last season.  Singing Sondheim’s tasty, introspective and dramatic numbers will be seasoned RW professional singers from New York City and the Pittsburgh region – Hilerie Klein Rensi (Evidence of Things not Seen), Rebecca Shorstein (Elixir of Love, Cinderella), Daniel Teadt (Amahl, Evidence of Things not Seen), and Christopher Scott (Evidence of Things not Seen).  Carnegie Mellon alumna Gillian Hassert, who will have just returned from the national tour of Fame, makes her Resonance Works debut.  The production will be narrated by Pittsburgh’s opera and musical icon, Anna Singer (Pittsburgh Opera – Daughter of the Regiment and popular on-air host of classical WQED) – who may have a musical surprise of her own!  Duo pianists are the extraordinary Rob Frankenberry and Sara Chiesa.

Tickets are Adults $25, Members $20, and Students $5.  Call to reserve: 724-659-3153 or buy online here.



In less than four years, Resonance Works has quickly become an important part of the professional arts ecosystem in Pittsburgh, and is committed to maintaining a rich and vibrant community of professional musicians in the region. Resonance Works’ multi-modal approach takes the form of a variety of musical performances that may include opera, chamber music, orchestral music, and choral music, often with interwoven elements of dance, visual media, and spoken word.

Resonance Works embraces all of Pittsburgh. Venues are carefully chosen to enhance and inform each performance project, and celebrate spaces throughout Pittsburgh –  the North Side, in Shadyside, Downtown, Regent Square, Oakland, and the Strip District in Pittsburgh… and now they coming to the other ‘Burgh – Foxburg. 

This is its first run out performance for ARCA in Foxburg’s Lincoln Hall.


Resonance Works is an artist-driven, collaborative, multi-modal performing arts company dedicated to exploring the confluence of artist, audience, music, and space through performances that empower musicians and engage audiences.

Artist-driven programming sets Resonance Works apart. They create our seasons to showcase outstanding professional artists from Pittsburgh and beyond, performing in a variety of venues in Pittsburgh.  Their artists are creative partners in every way – performers, administrators, board members, and donors – and their work has quickly become an important part of the professional arts ecosystem in Pittsburgh. They are committed to maintaining a rich and vibrant community of professional musicians, and work to produce performances that complement the work of larger organizations such as the Pittsburgh Symphony, Opera, and the Ballet.

Trouble in Tahiti

A multi-modal approach: They present a variety of musical performances that include, but are not limited to opera, chamber music, orchestral music, and choral music, often with integrated elements of dance, visual media, and spoken word. Their venues are chosen to enhance and inform each of our performance projects, and celebrate spaces throughout the city. Exciting collaborators include Cello Fury, Texture contemporary Ballet, and the University of Pittsburgh Department of Theater Arts.

In their first three seasons, the spectrum of their programming has included fully-staged operas by Verdi, Donizetti, Massenet, and Menotti; orchestral works by Shostakovich, Mahler, Bach, de Falla, Piazzolla, Debussy, Respighi, and Copland; vocal works by Britten, Pergolesi, Rorem, Bernstein, and Pittsburgh’s own Nancy Galbraith; and chamber works by Barber, Bach, Boulanger, and many others. In addition to our mainstage productions, they offer a popular Resonance Chamber @ The Cloak Room chamber music series with programs curated by their artists that riff off of our mainstage projects.


Resonance Works was founded in 2013 by Artistic Director Maria Sensi Sellner who is recognized for her versatility as a conductor of opera, orchestras and choruses. The first three-time winner of The American Prize for Opera Conducting, she is active as an opera conductor throughout the northeast, and has previously held positions with the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, the Akron Symphony, and Carnegie Mellon University. Maria holds degrees in conducting, composition, and engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Hilerie Klein Rensi, mezzo soprano

Rebecca Shorstein, soprano

Gillian Hassert, mezzo soprano

Christopher Scott, baritone

Daniel Teadt, baritone

Anna Singer, soprano

Sara Chiesa, piano

Rob Frankenberry, piano

Craig Joseph, stage director


Happy New Year!  Thank you for your generous support and concert attendance in 2016.

During the 2016 season of the Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts celebrated its 10th Anniversary Season with memorable concerts and art exhibits.  What ARCA has accomplished in these ten years has only possible because of YOU – our devoted audience members and donors.

The 2016 season also was a banner year with more people than ever before attending concerts and viewing Red Brick Gallery Exhibits and with record funds raised from new and loyal donors and members.

The Board of Directors of Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts and The Red Brick Gallery Cooperative Artists extend their warmest thanks to you – our treasured donors and audience members – for your generous support of our vision to bring world class music and art to the beautiful Allegheny River valley.

We hope you have had a joyous and blessed holiday season and wish for you a healthy, fulfilling, and Happy New Year.

Join us as ARCA begins its second decade in 2017 

As ARCA begins its second decade, the 2017 season promises to bring more world class music and art to the beautiful Allegheny Valley.  Check back with us soon for our event listings for the Winter and Spring Seasons and information about Red Brick Gallery exhibits during the 2017 season.

ARCA’s new membership brochure also will be online in the New Year.  You can sign up to receive newsletters and and information about ARCA’s new 2017 season and membership events on this site.

Heartiest wishes for a banner 2017!


Renaissance City WINDS

Barbara O’BrienFlute
Renate SakinsOboe
Alix ReinhardtClarinet
R. James WhippleBassoon
David LintzFrench Horn
Nathan CarterettePianist

Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the first classical concert in Lincoln Hall in 2006, Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts proudly presents one of Pennsylvania’s leading chamber music ensembles, The Renaissance City Winds, with celebrated pianist, Nathan Carterette, in a richly varied and entertaining program on Sunday, November 6 at 2:00 PM in Lincoln Hall.  Known for promoting the fine art of wind chamber music since 1975, The Renaissance City Winds have been hailed in the press for being “Nothing short of brilliant” [Olean Times Herald], Playing with excitement, musicality and daring [WQED-FM], “Expert wind players… attractive program… enjoyable” [New York Times].

This concert is not to be missed, as it is a “first” for ARCA, bringing world class wind playing to its audiences in a refreshing and delightful program of accessible classical music.  Anyone who has ever played a wind instrument would LOVE this concert – and be sure to bring along with you all the young people you know who are in a school band.


In celebration of its Tenth Anniversary Performance Season, the concert will open with a visual presentation of photos from ARCA’s ten years of concerts, festivals and events. Immediately after the concert the audience is invited to enjoy a reception in the Red Brick Gallery on Main Street and Meet the Artist opportunity in conjunction with Ray Rossi’s photographic exhibit, “World Views”.

Tickets are Adults $25, Members $20 and Students $5.  To reserve tickets to be left at the door in your name, payable by cash or check, call 724-659-3153.

Honoring Past Board Members and Executive Directors


Members of Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts’ founding Board of Directors

Before the November 6 concert of The Renaissance City Winds, special tribute was given to ARCA’s early Board members and previous Executive Directors. Beginning eleven years ago a group of visionaries and culture lovers devoted their time, energy and resources to make their dream of creating a thriving arts center on the banks of the beautiful Allegheny River in Foxburg a reality. Since then, tens of thousands of people have enjoyed concerts, festivals, events and art gallery openings. ARCA has become the cultural jewel of the region. Join us in celebrating their generosity, dedication and determination, without which ARCA would not have reached this milestone.

Early ARCA Board members included Jae Ann Brown and Andor Paposi-Jobb, Lou and Rose Kalinowsky, Arch and Roberta Newton, Sue and Gerald Peairs, Tom and Margo Rudd, Arthur and Patricia Steffee, Bob and Karen Watson, Bud Irwin, Randy Silvis and Adam and Ann Weiss (Adam also serving as ARCA’s first Executive Director).  They were joined soon thereafter by Mike and Sally Vereb, Tom and Nancy Hovis and Ron and Connie Hambrick Rennard.

ARCA’s current Board of Directors includes Dr. Arthur and Patricia Steffee, Nancy and Tom Hovis, Ron and Connie Hambrick Rennard, Kurt and Joanne Crosbie, Kathy Soroka, Barbara Bott, Jack and Millie Armant and Pat and Bob Berans.  John Soroka is Executive Director.

The Founding of Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts

For hundreds of years the scenic allure of the Allegheny-Clarion river valley  has attracted settlers whose foresight established the business and social structure of the towns of Foxburg and Emlenton. Since the mid-19th century, arts and entertainment were brought to the valley to enrich the community – whether touring variety shows and musicians, silent movies or Emlenton Civic Club presentations.

Arthur & Patricia SteffeeWhen Dr. Arthur Steffee and his wife Patricia began refurbishing the Fox estate and establishing Foxburg businesses in the late nineties and early millennium, they envisioned the arts as a hub of community and cultural life – drawing people to appreciate the refreshment of the arts in this stunningly picturesque valley.   Hailing from Cleveland, they had fond memories of going to Blossom Music Center, the Cleveland Orchestra’s summer home, where the comingling of nature’s splendor and music’s soaring inspiration were an idyllic combination. They believed that the Allegheny River Valley deserved to have the same thing.

Inspired by their vision, eleven years ago a stalwart group of local culture lovers, educators and artists came together and began devoting their time, energy and resources to make this dream a reality. The founding Board of Directors in 2005 established the non-profit organization, Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts, and began creating a center for arts and education on the banks of the beautiful Allegheny River in Foxburg.

Lincoln Hall on October 5, 2006 for Inaugural Concert

From the beginning, the generosity and hard work of these Board members and volunteers joining their ranks, established the cornerstone of ARCA; they not only developed the cultural offerings but also refurbished the concert venue itself.  The Fox family had built Lincoln Hall as a concert and community venue which opened in 1909 on the second floor of The Foxburg Free Library; however, it had long since been used as a medical center – broken up with small cubicles and a dropped ceiling.


Lincoln Hall oil painting backdrop, Paul McKissick, & inaugural performance poster

According to founding Board member, Jae Brown, when Arthur Steffee first threw open the doors to show the Board the space, they were shocked and “gobsmacked… it was a debris-logged and entirely impassable ‘warren’ of partially deconstructed office space that precluded any passage past the foyer at the front door. It seemed impossible, looking back, but in a reasonable amount of time what had seemed an irretrievable space was redeemed by the vision and hard physical labor of many.”

Lincoln Hall

During the reconstruction an original hand painted oil painting of the river originally used as a curtain was found rolled up under the stage. Carefully conserved by Andor Jobb, who lightly cleansed the surface and reinforced the backing using rabbit glue, the painting now serves as Lincoln Hall’s stage backdrop. A beautiful seven foot Steinway grand piano graces its stage.  Noted for its intimacy and crystalline acoustics, the hall is a favorite of instrumentalists, such as the Alexander String Quartet and Members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.


Photo: Dennis Keyes

As Lincoln Hall was being renovated, considerable efforts ensued to move and install the 1929 Wurlitzer Theater Organ, which the Steffees had purchased from Paul McKissick.  Over eleven years McKissick had lovingly restored this treasure, which originally had been installed in Cleveland’s Uptown Theater and played to accompany silent movies.  Dubbed the Mighty McKissick Wurlitzer, the theatre organ is one of only 24 created in its style and size.

Beginning in September 2005, Paul McKissick began putting the pipes in specially built boxes to prepare for their move to Foxburg. Over the next months, Dr. Steffee moved the boxes of pipes using a horse trailer at times, to ease loading and unloading. For the next year Paul personally, painstakingly installed the organ in its new home.

Arthur & Patricia Steffee, Scott Foppiano & Sally & Paul McKissick

Arthur & Patricia Steffee, Scott Foppiano & Sally & Paul McKissick

It was determined that ARCA would inaugurate its first performance season in the elegantly refurbished Lincoln Hall on October 5 and 6, 2006 with concerts on the Mighty McKissick Wurlitzer performed by Scott Foppiano; the first non-organ concert,“Shall We Gather By the River”, was performed by Katherine Soroka and Friends on November 4, 2006 with Raymond Blackwell, piano, and PSO musicians, Jennifer Orchard, violin, and Mikhail Istomin, cello.

Scott Foppiano & Katherine Soroka, Lincoln Hall 2006

Scott Foppiano & Katherine Soroka, Lincoln Hall 2006

ARCA will conclude the celebration of its Tenth Anniversary Performance Season on November 6 honoring its founding Board members and volunteers, whose vision and prodigious contributions over the years have created an arts organization hailed as “the cultural jewel of the region” and becoming a cultural destination in its own right.

Prior to the concert at 2 PM on November 6 in Lincoln Hall by the renowned woodwind ensemble, the Renaissance City Winds, a visual presentation of ARCA’s ten years of concerts, festivals and events will be shown; special tribute will be given to founding Board members, volunteers and previous Executive Directors, including Adam Weiss and Drew Orient.

Executive Director, Adam Weiss; Opening night audience, October 5, 2106; Mighty McKissick Wurlitzer organ

ARCA Members, donors, and audience members – without whom none of this would be possible – also will be thanked for their many years of devoted contributions and attendance.  Current ARCA Members will be given a specially designed ARCA mug, a gift generously provided by an anonymous donor.  These gifts also will be available for ARCA members attending December holiday concerts, and will be mailed to those not planning or unable to attend concerts to year end.  After the concert, a reception follows in the Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop on Main Street in Foxburg from 4 – 6:00 PM, coinciding with the exhibit of photographer Ray Rossi’s “World Views”.

We invite you to join us in celebrating ten years of ARCA performances and paying tribute to all those who have helped make a reality – “Glorious Music and Art in the Beautiful Allegheny River Valley”. To reserve tickets, call 724-659-3153 or by online here. Tickets are Adults $25, Members $20, and Students $5.

Anyone wishing to become an ARCA volunteer may call 724-659-3153 or send an email to  If you wish to make a contribution to the Tenth Anniversary Season, you may do so herebecoming an ARCA Member.  Thank you in advance for your generosity.

About The Renaissance City Winds

For 41 seasons The Renaissance City Winds have brought the warmth and joy of chamber music to Pittsburgh audiences. Varying in instrumentation and size from 3-10 musicians, the Renaissance City Winds is named after Pittsburgh’s nickname and dedicates itself to performing and recording the finest music for wind instruments. It has become one of Pennsylvania’s foremost chamber ensembles since its founding in 1975.

p1010788-300x225-version-2The Winds perform concert in their annual concert series at their residency host, Carlow University, and in unique venues and elegant private homes in Pittsburgh.  In addition to the typical small concert hall of 150-600 seats, the Renaissance City Winds have performed in libraries (including the world’s first Carnegie Library), a working steel mill, gardens, Victorian mansions and modern private homes, outdoor amphitheaters, and churches and chapels of all sizes, shapes, and vintages.

The Renaissance City Winds have released CDs on the Elan and Centaur labels and been broadcast on television and public radio.  Enjoy listening to Renaissance City Winds excerpts on Soundcloud:

The Winds have toured throughout the East with appearances at Carnegie Hall (NY), the Kennedy Center (DC), Blossom Music Festival, and the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence. Originally a Pittsburgh woodwind quintet, the “Renaissance City Woodwind Quintet,” the group increased its collaborations with guest artists and the frequent performance of octets and decets – most concerts used more than five players – and the ensemble officially expanded and shortened its name in 1988.

Renaissance City WindsWhile it performs music from the sixteenth century to the present, the group has received special recognition for its devotion to American music. The Renaissance City Winds have been a tireless proponent of new music for four decades.  The ensemble has commissioned many works from contemporary composers, and performed older treasures it has researched from the Library of Congress, the Harmonists, and the Moravian collection.  In 2001 it won one of MEET THE COMPOSER’s community residency grants, one of only four awarded nation-wide that year.

Not only have The Winds commissioned dozens of pieces and premiered over 100, but they also make a real effort to give second and third performances of worthwhile works; far too much fine music gets set aside after its premiere! A central part of this effort has been to perform not just the music of famous people, but to give a voice to young or obscure composers whose work deserves to be heard, especially those from western Pennsylvania.

The ensemble has captured nationally-competitive awards and grants from Chamber Music America, the National Endowment for the Arts, MEET THE COMPOSER (now merged into New Music America), the Alice M. Ditson Fund, and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

RCW’s bassoonist and composer, Jim Whipple, coaching students

Seasoned educators in the public schools, the Renaissance City Winds have been giving school concerts and extended residencies since their very first season in 1975-76.  The ensemble is a juried roster artist with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ Arts-in-Education program.  They have presented one to two week long residencies, including lecture demonstrations for assemblies and/or classes on themes as diverse as American music of various ethnic backgrounds and music by women composers, with study guides available for elementary schools so teachers can prepare their students.

Working with sixth to ninth grades the Renaissance City Winds have conducted composer projects with students writing melodies and organizing them in logical form.  They also have presented Arts-Integration Lectures, for example, on American Music in a history class, Arts Management and Marketing in a business class, The Physics of Music in a physics or general science class and How to Listen to “Classical” Music  in general music class.  The Winds also have coached students in a variety of small groups and conduct master classes.

About Nathan Carterette

nathan-color-200x300Hailed as “wonderfully poetic,” (Westfalen Post) and “very compelling in his power and presence” (International Composer), Nathan Carterette has distinguished himself in the concert world by performing a huge range of works from Elizabethan keyboard music to music written today. His innovative programming has inspired audiences to approach unfamiliar music with open ears, and familiar music with new appreciation.

Nathan has performed in such venues as Weill Recital Hall and the Yamaha Piano Salon of New York City, the Gasteig in Munich, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe of Hamburg, and Cleveland’s Trinity Cathedral. He has been presented in several universities such as the Berklee School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Radford University, Kent State University, Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, and Carnegie Mellon.

His solo premieres include the U.S. premiere of James MacMillan’s Piano Sonata, the world premiere of Dafydd Llywelyn’s TimeQuake no. VII, part II (Hamburg) and several works of composer Quentin Kim, including Variations on an Ancient Korean Melody and Four Preludes. An adventuresome concerto soloist, Nathan has also played a wide repertoire of works, including Schoenberg’s Piano Concerto, op.42 with the University of Missouri-Kansas City for a Schoenberg Retrospective Festival.

Educated at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he studied with Robert Weirich, and Yale University, where he studied with Boris Berman, Nathan Carterette began his piano studies at the age of eleven with Cleveland’s legendary Birute and Anthony Smetona. A chance encounter in 2004 with Welsh composer-pianist Dafydd Llywelyn led to an invitation for intensive private study in Germany, both of the traditional repertoire and Llywelyn’s works.

Nathan has recorded both books of Bach’s monumental Well-Tempered Clavier and the complete solo piano works of Korean composer Quentin Kim. This video recording of his performance of the complete Bach Goldberg Variations in St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh is on youtube.


The Renaissance City Winds, with celebrated pianist, Nathan Carterette, will perform a richly varied and entertaining program on Sunday, November 6 at 2:00 PM in Lincoln Hall.

Divertissement, Op. 6 (1906) – FRANCE………………………………..Albert Roussel (1869-1937)

Suite of Old Lettish Dances – LATVIA……………………Andrejs Jansons Sarabumbals (b. 1938)

  1. Martinu Dancis (Mummers’ Dance)
  2. Gaismina Aussa (The Dawn)
  3. Garais Dancis (The Long Dance)
  4. Kazu Dancis (Wedding Dance)

Clapping Music (1971) – UNITED STATES………………………………………..Steve Reich (b. 1936)

Antiche Danze Ungheresi del XVII secolo (c. 1959) – HUNGARY……Ferenc Farkas (1905-2000)

Intrada: Allegro moderato
Lassú (Slow Dance)
Lapockás Tánc (Shoulder-Blade Dance)
Ugrós (Leaping Dance)


“Viennese Sonatina No. 1,” K.439b – AUSTRIA………Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Allegro (from Divertimento No. 4)
Adagio (from Divertimento No. 5)…………anonymous 18th C. keyboard transcription
Rondo: Allegretto -(from Divertimento No. 4
(adapted for reed trio by R. James Whipple)

Variations on an Ancient Korean Melody (2010) – KOREA…………………Quentin Kim (b. 1956)
Nathan Carterette, piano solo

Caprice on Danish and Russian Airs, Op. 79 (1887) – FRANCE………………Camille Saint-Saëns

Hoosier Rag (1907) – UNITED STATES……………………………..Julia Lee Niebergall (1886-1968)
Arranged by R. James Whipple


Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts