Categories Archives: Jazz/Popular

Benny BenackSax, Clarinet, Trumpet & Vocals

Consummate Showman and Sizzling Pittsburgh Jazz Legend and Band Leader, BENNY BENACK and his Quartet will “TAKE THE ROOF OFF” of Lincoln Hall, Saturday night, September 16 at 7:30 PM!   Benny’s virtuosic artistry on sax, clarinet, trumpet and vocals will be backed up by some of Pittsburgh’s hottest musicians wailing, rocking, and charming the audience with Swing, Jazz standards from the Great American Song Book, Dixieland, and Rhythm and Blues.

Last year in his cameo appearance in a night of New Orleans Jazz, Benny had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand and wanting MORE BENNY!  Now, an entire night of his magical audience charisma and extraordinary musical virtuosity and versatility.

He’s the MAN – This is THE Band – and  It will be WORLD CLASS JAZZ & SWING for a “hot time in the old town of Foxburg” and the perfect late summer night out.  Be sure to wear your dancing shoes! They will make you want to get up and shake a leg… but if you prefer to sit and enjoy, there will be plenty of musical variety and outrageous riffing to entertain and delight!

Tickets are $20 for Adults and Students $5.  Beverages will be available by donation.  Call 724 659-3153 to reserve or buy online here. 

ABOUT THE MUSICIANS


Benny Benack, Jr.
 is a legend in the Pittsburgh jazz and night club scene – a band leader well known for his virtuosic musicianship and charismatic audience appeal.  The Benny Benack Band plays everything from jazz, swing, big band, and Dixieland – with wonderful vocals from the Great American Song Book and more.

The band’s front man is no stranger to the music world.  His father, Benny Benack, was a Pittsburgh band leader and at the forefront of the Pittsburgh jazz scene in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.  Benny Jr. song continues the family’s musical tradition playing trumpet, clarinet, and saxophone.  His son, Benny Benack III, is following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps as a jazz trumpeter and vocalist, currently building a big name for himself in the jazz scene in New York City.

DANCE AT GOLDEN TWILIGHT – to the grooving and rocking sounds of John Burgh’s BIG BAND ORCHESTRA on Sunday, August 13 from 6:00 – 9:00 PM at beautiful RiverStone Farm in a new shaded location west of the H-Barn.  Bring your lawn chair, cooler, picnic basket, AND dancing shoes, and join us for an unforgettable day in one of the most scenically beautiful places in western Pennsylvania – RiverStone Farm!  BRING THE WHOLE FAMILY.  Children under 6 are FREE, Students are $5,  and Adults are $20.

Known throughout the Pittsburgh area and to ARCA audiences for his musical versatility in a broad spectrum of styles, John Burgh has toured Europe with the Billy Price Band, recorded five albums with Gathering Field and has performed backing up Doc Severinsen, Rita Moreno and Billy Crystal.  For this special golden summer evening concert at Riverstone Farm, John Burgh is bringing a 10 piece BIG BAND Orchestra comprised of Pittsburgh’s preeminent, first call instrumentalists and vocalist performing old style swing, to jazz standards, rhythm and blues, pop and rock… sure to get ALL ages up and dancing. 

BRING THE WHOLE FAMILY.  Children under 6 are FREE, Students are $5,  and Adults are $20. You can buy tickets here or call 724 659-3153 to reserve.  

It’s RAIN or SHINE – so plan for the day, no matter what.  Any issue with weather, we simply move inside to the H-Barn Arena.

Gates open at 4:00 PM. RiverStone Farm is located at 352 Foxview Road, Foxburg, PA 16036, just up the hill from Foxburg.   Once in the area, follow the signs to the turn onto Foxview Road off of Route 58 (Foxview Road on one side and Metz Road on the other). Bring your lawn chair, cooler, picnic basket, AND dancing shoes, and join us for an unforgettable day and evening dancing under the stars.  

Would you also like to enjoy ARCA’s annual Membership Pig Roast Picnic, which precedes the concert this year at 3:00 PM for ARCA Members?

 You can become an ARCA MEMBER  by August 7 and be a part of the festivities! Click here to become an ARCA member and reserve and pay for your dinner ticket by August 7 to attend the ARCA Membership picnic, making a full day of it at scenic RiverStone Farm.

For more information on the ARCA Membership picnic and becoming an ARCA member, call 724-659-3153.

About the Musicians

John Burgh and his band have been so popular with ARCA Members playing during the annual membership picnics and late into the night, with Members dancing for hours.  Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is proud to bring John Burgh back with a ten piece BIG BAND ORCHESTRA for an ENTIRE evening of joyous music-with celebrated Pittsburgh musicians.

It’s going to be a gorgeous summer night of grooving and rocking to BLUES, JAZZ & ROCK ‘N ROLL as keyboardist John Burgh and superb cross-over, world travelled and acclaimed musicians will make you want to get up and shake a leg… but if you prefer to sit and enjoy, there will be plenty of musical variety and outrageous riffing to entertain and delight!

John BurghJohn Burgh was first introduced to the Pittsburgh music scene on 1982 when he joined the Harold Betters Band playing five nights a week at the South Hills Sheraton.  John graduated from IUP in 1981 as a piano performance major, and has returned there many times to play with nationally known artists such as Billy Crystal, Rita Moreno, and recently Doc Severinsen.

John played for many years with the Billy Price Band touring Europe in 2003. He has played and recorded 5 albums with the rock group Gathering Field, playing Hammond B3 organ. Besides filling in occasionally with CLO productions like Miss Saigon and Addams Family, he enjoys playing piano for local musical productions in Sewickley. A long time member of the Balcony Big Band (18 piece jazz band), playing monthly at the Jergels Rhythym Bar in Warrendale.

Many people will remember his performances over the last 30 years in the Oil City/Franklin and Foxburg area.  John grew up in the Harmony/Zelienople area playing piano accompanying his father, who played banjo, and helping his family in the tractor salvage yard business, which he continues to this day.

 

BRING THE WHOLE FAMILY.  Children under 6 are FREE, Students are $5,  and Adults are $20. You can buy tickets here or call 724 659-3153 to reserve.   

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 www.bbcfgives.org 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.


HOW “YOU” CAN HELP ARCA THROUGH THIS WEEK OF GIVING

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 www.bbcfgives.org – 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

Tom RobertsPiano, whistling and vocals
Dave KlugDrums & Percussion
WaynoVocals, harmonica & ukulele

Put on your dancing shoes and dress in your vintage swing garb as Pittsburgh’s rockin’ rhythm & jazz trio, THE RED BEANS & RICE COMBO, serve up a delightful musical gumbo in their premiere appearance at historic Lincoln Hall in “A Saturday Nite Fish Fry” on Saturday, April 22, at 7:30 PM in Foxburg.

DISCLAIMER:  No actual fish will be fried at this event!  But there will be dancing at the back of Lincoln Hall for those who want to shake a leg.

The Combo features the world celebrated early jazz stride pianist, Tom Roberts (a Foxburg favorite) on piano, whistling, & vocals, along with Dave Klug on drums and his custom-built “Kluger Soundboard,” and Wayno on vocals, harmonica, & ukulele.

Why are they called The Red Beans and Rice Combo, you might ask
… because you can get fries or a biscuit with the combo but you’ll always choose the biscuit because that’s the way they ROLL – as they serve up a very cool mix of classic New Orleans R&B,  50’s rock ala Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry, Mose Allison, Tom Waits, Slim Galliard and Louis Jordan –  – all with a side of wit and humor.

IT WILL BE A SUPER FUN TIME!

The fun-loving , sharp-dressed band has been gigging around Pittsburgh for a little over a year, and quickly developed a reputation for delivering a danceable mix of New Orleans R&B, early rock & roll nuggets, and barroom ballads, with a jazzy dash of Tin Pan Alley, and ALL with wit & humor.

And you can dress in vintage garb… putting on those blue suede shoes!  Ladies and gentlemen attending the show are welcome to dress up as formally or casually as you’d like, with speakeasy attire or vintage 50’s swing finery particularly encouraged.

Join us for an elegant, fun, and funky evening, and don’t leave your dancing shoes at home!

Tickets are Adults $15, Students $5 !  Beverages available by donation.  Buy online or reserve by calling 724-659-3153. 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Wayne, Tom Roberts, and Tom Klug

Tom RobertsTOM ROBERTS is a world renowned piano player most noted for his love of early jazz and considered one of the finest pianists today in the exciting Harlem stride piano style.  Announcing the release of Roberts’ first solo CD Solo Art Records stated: His new CD is one of the finest solo piano recordings in the entire Solo Art catalogue… truly a four-star session with some of the finest jazz piano you’ve heard in a long time.”

Tom has performed on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. He was the featured pianist at the International Stride Piano Summit in Zurich, Switzerland, 2001 and 2009. Tom was the pianist for Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks in New York City (recent Grammy winners for the soundtrack to Boardwalk Empire) and the pianist and musical director for Leon Redbone for six years.

Tom has performed twice at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2003, once with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops. He was featured in 2003 in solo with Dick Hyman at the prestigious Jazz In July series at New York’s 92nd St. Y. Tom has performed multiple times at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival including a solo performance at The Professor Longhair Society’s Piano Night At Tipitina’s. He has performed throughout Europe as a member of multiple ensembles from New Orleans and as a member of The Ortner Roberts Duo.

Roberts has arranged and performed music for the soundtrack of the Martin Scorcese film The Aviator; for the syndicated PRI show Riverwalk Jazz, Live from the Landing with the Jim Cullum Jazz Band; and a number of pieces for Wynton Marsalis and The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Recently he has composed new musical scores for the Charlie Chaplin films One A.M. and The Rink through a commission from The Pittsburgh Symphony.  He is excited to share his latest project, The Red Beans & Rice Combo, with friends in Foxburg.

DAVE KLUG has translated his quirky brand of humor into a successful illustration career for the past 350 dog years. His drawings have captured the eye and imagination of clients such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Scholastic. He is a regular contributor to Highlights Magazine and has been commissioned for larger than life murals for The Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium, The Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh PA, and the world famous Primanti Brothers Restaurants.

Dave is also a household name when it comes to music, drumming for some of the Pittsburgh area’s best bands since the 1980s. It’s always a treat to see and hear Dave performing with one of the vintage drum kits he has rescued and restored.

Dave never strays very far from his passion for animals, and is committed to many Animal Charities including Animal Friends in Western Pennsylvania. His Veterinary Supply Store, Klugworld, creates a full line of client communications materials for animal care professionals across the country.

Wayno® is a Pittsburgh-based cartoonist, illustrator, pop artist, writer, and musician, whose name is in fact a registered trademark (hence the “circle R” symbol). He shares a special musical chemistry with Tom and Dave, and has a taste for obscure old tunes about food and drink.

He was gag writer and colorist for Dan Piraro’s Bizarro daily comic panel for more than five years, and is also a frequent writer for Hilary Price’s Rhymes With Orange comic strip. His own cartoon panel, WaynoVision, launched in 2014.

Wayno’s humorous illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Nickelodeon Magazine, Pittsburgh Magazine, he has designed many beer labels for East End Brewing Company. He’s mounted several one-man art exhibits, and was a Visiting Artist at the Manchester Craftsmens Guild in 2013. In 2010, Animal Friends selected him as the Honorary Artist for their Black Tie & Tails gala, which raised over $400,000 for the pet adoption & resource center.

Wayno is a member of the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators, and serves as the chair of the Pittsburgh Chapter of National Cartoonists Society.

For more information, please visit:

TomRobertsPiano.com

Klugworld.com

GoComics.com/WaynoVision

facebook.com/RedBeansCombo/

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”.

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is proud to welcome back to the McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer the keyboard artistry of one of America’s most sought after concert organists and recording artists – WALT STRONY – with his soaring melodies and refreshing arrangements on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 2:00 PM in Lincoln Hall – to celebrate the 90th Birthday of Paul McKissick, rebuilder of the McKissick Mighty Wurtlizer in Lincoln Hall.

Acclaimed as one of America’s most original and interesting theatre organists, Walt Strony  has been inducted ito the American Theatre Organ Society Hall of Fame and is the only organist to have been voted “Organist of the Year” twice by ATOS.

“Strony has become one of the rare breed of today’s younger theatre organists to have developed a style uniquely his own. While looking backwards, respectfully to the masters of the theatre organ tradition, he manages to look forward with a refreshing approach in all his musical arrangements. It is a style that is inventive, harmonically interesting, and above all, right for today.”

ARCA has asked Walt Strony to celebrate the 90th Birthday of Paul McKissick, as he is one of Paul’s favorite theatre organists and one of the first to have performed on the refurbished instrument, the McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer.  It has been installed in Lincoln Hall since ARCA’s first performance season in 2006.  (See full story below)

Tickets are Adults $25, Members $20, Students $5.  You may purchase tickets online here or call to reserve:  724 659-3153

Immediately following the concert, ARCA Members donating at the Bronze level ($100) and above are invited to celebrate the 90th Birthday of Paul McKissick,  at a post concert reception at RiverStone Mansion.   If you wish to become a member and join the festivities, you may click on Members.

Walt Strony

Walter Strony is one of America’s premier concert organists. He made his public debut in 1974 at the age of 18 and has since established himself as one of few organists equally at home playing both theatre and classical organ.

Mr. Strony has performed hundreds of concerts from coast to coast in the United States as well as in Japan, Australia, England, and Canada. In addition, he has performed at many conventions of the American Theatre Organ Society and the American Guild of Organists.

In July 2007 he performed the first solo organ recital to be presented in many years at New York’s Radio City Music Hall for the American Theatre Organ Society’s 2007 Convention.  In June 2016, he was featured for the second time in an evening concert on the famous Wanamaker organ in Philadelphia — the world’s largest fully functioning pipe organ.

He is the only living organist to have been twice voted “Organist of the Year” by the American Theatre Organ Society – in 1991 and 1993. In 2011, he was inducted into the ATOS “Hall of Fame.”  He has performed with the Calgary Symphony; Allentown Symphony; El Paso Symphony; and Symphony Silicon Valley.

In addition to his fine reputation as a concert organist, Mr. Strony is well known for his many recordings. His first CD “Phoenix” was rated 10/10 by CD Review — the highest rating given by this prestigious publication. He has recorded over 31 albums with his most recent CD (2013) being recorded on the Aveni Wurlitzer in Gates Mills, OH — an instrument that he designed.

As an author, he is well known for his book “The Secrets Of Theatre Organ Registration”, which has become the standard reference book on this subject.  He is currently working on its expanded 2nd Edition, which will be released in 2017.

In addition to being one of America’s most sought after concert organists, he is well known for his work as a pipe and digital organ consultant-tonal finisher.  His work in this area has taken him to both theatre and classical instruments across the country and around the world.  In 2008, the Allen Organ Company commissioned him to design a new four-manual instrument – the Walt Strony Signature Series Organ.

Walter Strony was born in Chicago in 1955, and began music lessons at the age of seven. His theatre organ teacher was the famous Chicago organist Al Melgard, who for many years was the Staff Organist at the Chicago Stadium. His classical studies were with Herbert L. White and Karel Paukert.

He lives in California’s Gold Rush Country, which is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, fine dining, and collecting contemporary art and Art Deco items.

This well-rounded musician brings a wealth of experience to any organ console. This experience has brought him the reputation of being one of America’s most original and interesting sounding concert organists. As one reviewer noted – “Strony has become one of the rare breed of today’s younger theatre organists to have developed a style uniquely his own. While looking backwards, respectfully to the masters of the theatre organ tradition, he manages to look forward with a refreshing approach in all his musical arrangements. It is a style that is inventive, harmonically interesting, and above all, right for today.”

 

The McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer

McKissicks

Join us as we celebrate the 90th birthday of Paul McKissick, whose vision and genius in completely rebuilding the instrument has created this treasure for ARCA and Lincoln Hall – one of the best examples of this class of theatre organ.

Paul lovingly and painstakingly rebuilt the instrument over eleven years and in 1999 the restored Wulrtlizer was installed in McKissick’s garage at their home in Lake Latonka near Mercer, PA.  The organ became known as the Latona Pipes, and was played in annual benefits concerts to raise money for the DeBence Museum in Franklin.  Dr. Arthur and Patricia Steffee attended one of the concerts.  When Paul decided to downsize and was seeking a place for the Wurtlizer for the next generation, Dr. Arthur and Patricia Steffee, ARCA’s founders, purchased it to enhance the newly restored Lincoln Hall, on the second floor of the Foxburg Free Library.

ARCA’s Wurlitzer contains seventeen ranks of pipes and is characterized by a balanced blend of unmistakeable Wurlitzer ‘sounds”.  Built in 1928 at the Wurlitzer Organ factory in North Tonawanda outside of Buffalo and numbered OPUS 1989, the organ originally was installed in Cleveland’s Uptown Theatre.  It was played for several years accompanying silent movies.  With the end of the silent film era it was subsequently purchased by Richard Wheeler, a Cleveland organist, and remained in his home until Wheeler passed.  Paul McKissick purchased it from the Haynes Company in North Canton, Ohio, where it had been in storage.


Its seventeen ranks of pipes translate to 60 notes per voice or rank, more than 1200 pipes and 6,000 moving parts to make the Wurlitzer sound.  Only the relay and computer are not authentic or vintage parts on the organ.  The installation included one of Wurlitzer’s most unique features, the decorative ‘Toy Shelf’ of miniature instruments, which are displayed in a rear balcony in Lincoln Hall and are all powered by the organ. The marimba was added and all the associated drums, cymbals, bells and automatic piano produce a balanced blend of unmistakable Mighty Wurlitzer sounds.

ARCA audiences have enjoyed ten years of glorious music making on the McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer by some of the worlds greatest theatre organists – including David Wickerham, Martin Ellis, Walt Strony, Scott Foppiano, Donna Parker, Jelani Eddington and Ken Double.  Jason Wiles is ARCA’s organ technician, maintaining and tuning the organ for each concert.

In 2012, the McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer Legacy Fund was established in honor of Paul and Sally McKissick, to maintain the organ and insure the future of this extraordinary instrument for future audiences.  Anyone wishing to contribute to this fund may do so by contacting ARCA at info@alleghenyriverstone.org.

See more on the Paul McKissick Story and the McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer organ.

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McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ – www.denniskeyesphotography.com

 

Bernie CunninghamLead Singer & Guitarist
Bob ArtisMandolinist
Karen ArtisString Bassist
Radford VanceBanjo Player
Michele Birkby-VanceFiddler

It’s a Bluegrass Jamboree in Foxburg – Back by popular demand!  Audience favorites, Bob and Karen Artis and Berne Cunningham, better than ever with a new banjo player and fiddler – Radford Vance and Michele Birkby-Vance!

Come on down and gather by the river as Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts brings back to the beautiful Allegheny River Valley the exciting and energetic bluegrass of the Allegheny Drifters in concert in Lincoln Hall on Saturday, July 29 at 7:30 PM!  It’s musical fun for the whole family that will remind you what country living is all about.  The stunning vocal harmony, blazing instrumentals and soulful singing and good old-fashioned bluegrass energy of western Pennsylvania’s finest blue grass ensemble will set your down-home toes a tapping!

Bring the whole family! Tickets are $15 for Adults and $5 for students.  Children under 6 Free.

index_image3From the western foothills of the Alleghenies, Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Drifters have presented their exciting style of bluegrass to audiences across the country for over a decade. Their engaging, fast-paced show with bluegrass instrumental fireworks and heartfelt vocals appeals to all ages.

Take a break from the summer heat in Lincoln Hall’s air conditioned comfort and have a whoopin’ good time kickin’ up your musical-loving heels enjoying Bluegrass at its Best.   Bring ALL the generations of your family and your friends to this concert of joyous, toe-tapping, and soulful bluegrass music performed by western Pennsylvania’s own ALLEGHENY DRIFTERS.  

Allegheny Drifters Banner

Internationally acclaimed Bluegrass recording artists, The Allegheny Drifters have earned a reputation with their superb song selection and good old-fashioned blue grass energy and drive – and they have a huge following and are audience favorites right here in western Pennsylvania, as seen in this performance at the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh in June of 2014.

Bob Artis and Bernie Cunningham’s natural duet blend echoes the sound and feeling of the golden age of bluegrass. When joined by the high harmony of bassist Karen Artis, this band presents a warm, authentic sound that touches the heart. Add Bob’s soulful mandolin and the exciting banjo and fiddle work of Radford Vance and Michele Birkby-Vance and you have an unbeatable bluegrass sound straight from the heart of the old Alleghenies.

In response to their CD, Can’t Wait, Canadian disc jockey Howard Bonner wrote, this is “a regional group who belongs on the national scene … a smooth but steadfast adherence to bluegrass music. Great CD release!”

The Allegheny Drifters are known and loved for their… “Tremendous talent and deep respect for the soul of the music they perform.”  Make a night of it –  Join the toe-tapping fun on Saturday, July 29 and experience their soulful music making in Lincoln Hall at 7:30 PM – and Bring the whole family.

About the Musicians

bernie-bioLead singer & guitarist Bernie Cunningham has one of the finest voices in traditional bluegrass today.  A born bluegrass singer, Bernie is the product of a West Virginia coal mining family, raised on traditional music. He and Bob have performed together for over 30 years. Bernie’s talents are in high demand; he’s recorded with several regional bands, released a solo CD and is a gifted and versatile multi-instrumentalist. The Allegheny Drifters is the first band in which he takes center stage as lead singer and guitarist. Bernie makes his home in rural Fombell, Pennsylvania.

bob-bioMandolinist Bob Artis is a veteran of the western Pennsylvania bluegrass scene. Playing professionally since the early 1960s, he began a tenure with Mac Martin and the Dixie Travelers in 1968, recording nearly 80 songs for the Rural Rhythm and County labels. Bob’s deep feeling for the music is reflected in his book Bluegrass, the first-ever history of the music, and in his classic modern song, “Blue Ridge”. He’s appeared on PBS’s “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and over his long career, has played or recorded with bluegrass legends Red Allen, Hylo Brown, Clyde Moody and Larry Sparks.

karen-bioBassist Karen Artis drives the beat with her rock solid rhythm on the upright bass and is an excellent singer whose high harmonies add warmth and depth to the band’s vocals. Also a talented songwriter, she contributed the title song for the “Climb Heaven’s Ladder” CD project. An award-winning designer, she handles all the graphics for the band. Karen’s outgoing personality and enthusiasm both on and off stage continue to win new friends and fans for the Allegheny Drifters. A native Pittsburgher, she and husband Bob live in suburban Forest Hills.


Banjo player Radford Vance
has been playing the banjo since he was 8 years old. Born in Richlands, Virginia, bluegrass was in his blood. Since age 12, he’s spent his years traveling the country playing the music that he loves, and has had the privilege of sharing the stage with many of the musicians who forged the path of bluegrass music, including Carl Story, Hylo Brown and Lawrence Lane. He formed his own band, Tradin’ Post, based in Mansfield, Ohio during the 1980s, and added his banjo expertise to the Ohio-based band Northwest Territory for 20 years. Radford brings his experience, vocals and banjo style to the Allegheny Drifters. From straight-up banjo rolls to melodic pickin’ he adds drive and feeling to the band’s sound.

Fiddler Michele Birby-Vance  If you’ve gotta have a fiddle in the band, Michele Birkby-Vance will delight you with her talent and enthusiasm. From a family of Grantsville, Maryland fiddlers, at age 10 she learned to play from her Dad, and went on to become a five-state fiddle champion. Along with husband, Radford Vance, she played bluegrass with Northwest Territory for 21 years. She also played fiddle on the very first IBMA award-winning “Daughters of Bluegrass” recording, and toured for 2 years with the New Coon Creek Girls. Always smiling, Michele brings a fifth vocal harmony to the band, and adds smooth backup and superb fiddling. She and Radford now reside in Garrett County Maryland.

About the Allegheny Drifters

In 2002, veteran western Pennsylvania bluegrass mandolinist Bob Artis was invited to put together a one-show-only bluegrass band to perform with the Pittsburgh Mandolin Orchestra at their debut concert to be held in April 2003. Bob’s wife Karen Artis was the obvious choice to play bass, and friend and former bandmate Bernie Cunningham was called in to sing and play guitar. With the addition of Alabama transplant Jake Abrams on banjo, the Allegheny Drifters were born and were an instant hit.

At the time, Jake and his wife Lisa were busy with their own band, but Jake continued to help out on banjo when he could. In 2005, Keith Beaver, banjo picker from Leetonia Ohio was invited to join the band, and remained a popular member for nearly a decade until his departure at the end of 2013. Young med school student and Banjo player Gregg Welty joined the band in 2014, leaving in the summer of 2015 to resume his medical career.  He has been replaced by the talented multi-instrumentalist, Jim Scott, in 2015.

Hallmarks of the Allegheny Drifters are their stunning vocal harmony and their total commitment to professionalism. Through their many years of performing they’ve learned what audiences enjoy seeing and hearing, and work hard to please and entertain. They are a traditional bluegrass band without being overly bound to convention or restrained by the past. Bob, Bernie and Karen, all talented songwriters, add fresh material to the band’s catalog and continue to seek new ways of reaching out to audiences with their heartfelt message of real bluegrass.

The Allegheny Drifters released their first CD, Out of the Woods, in the spring of 2006. It was produced by David Mayfield and included guest fiddler Jeremy Abshire, who later went on to play with the Grascals. The project received great reviews – County Sales said “good songs, good singing, excellent listening” while Bluegrass Unlimited described it as “refined and well produced… traditional in the best possible way”.

In 2008, the band released Can’t Wait, featuring the outstanding fiddling of internationally acclaimed Michael Cleveland. WYEP’s Bruce Mountjoy referred to the material as “great original additions to the bluegrass songbook…tasteful arrangements that make each song come alive”. With a nod to Bob’s catchy title tune, Bluegrass Music Profiles enthusiastically declared, “Can’t Wait? Don’t wait! Get it!”

Their latest project, an all gospel CD, Climb Heaven’s Ladder finally debuted in 2014, delayed by a series of family losses and band members’ health issues. The titel cut was penned by Karen, and once again guest Michael Cleveland provided his blazing fiddle. All three projects have been well-received by national and international audiences worldwide via broadcast radio and streaming audio.

Over the past decade, the Allegheny Drifters have earned a solid reputation as one of their region’s most popular and hard-working bluegrass bands, performing at festivals, county fairs, corporate events, community day celebrations, universities, weddings, arts and crafts fairs, churches, rural grange halls and urban summer concerts.

Exciting to hear…fun to watch…the Allegheny Drifters enjoy what they do, and that joy is shared by their audiences and growing number of followers and fans.

 

Judi FigelVocals
David CrisciKeyboards
Robbie KleinSaxophone & Flute
Tod TreganowanDrums

By popular demand of its cabaret-loving audience, Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is pleased to bring back to Foxburg one of the preeminent and most on-demand singers in the Pittsburgh jazz and cabaret scene, Judi Figel, backed by the superb musicians in her band – to create an unforgettable evening of cabaret singing and dance music in Lincoln Hall’s romantic nightclub environment on Saturday, June 17 at 7:30 PM.  

Be sure to wear your dancing shoes for dancing at the back of Lincoln Hall.   Glittering candlelight and cabaret table seating to enjoy these consummate artists make it the perfect night out to celebrate the Father’s Day weekend.  Cheese and snacks will be served, with beverages by donation.

Known for her extraordinary voice and musicianship, Judi Figel is a celebrated singer in the jazz scene and musical nightlife in the Pittsburgh area who takes her audiences on a ride from pop, country, the blues and jazz standards to musical theater and light rock.  Judi’s glorious singing and her fun-loving personality will charm, soothe and rock your soul.

As has been said of Judi’s voice and vocal artistry, “WHAT A VOICE!  This singer really has the pipes – and a beautiful heart to match!”  Judi and the superb instrumentalists in her Trio, will create an unforgettable evening of cabaret singing and dance music: David Crisci on keyboards, Robbie Klein, sax and flute and Tod Treganowan on Drums.

Tickets are Adults $30, Members $25, Students $5. Snacks are served.  Beverages are available by donation.   Dancing at the back of the hall.  Because of cabaret table seating, RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.  Seating is limited so be sure to reserve early.  To reserve a table or tickets, call 724 659-3153 or buy online here.

At home in front of an eighteen piece band or at the piano herself, Judi’s singing is tasty, artistic, powerful and soulful.  You will not want to miss this opportunity to hear Judi right here in the Allegheny River valley in a romantic, candle lit night of cabaret and dancing in Lincoln Hall.  Be sure to wear your dancing shoes for dancing at the back of Lincoln Hall.   Glittering candlelight and cabaret table seating to enjoy these consummate artists make it the perfect “night out” to celebrate the Father’s Day weekend.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Judi Figel is a celebrated singer in the jazz scene and musical nightlife in the Pittsburgh area. A dynamite singer and great pianist Judi performs a wide variety of music styles. Her repertoire includes pop, jazz, country, light rock, Broadway and standards. Her fun-loving personality along with strong vocals will surely captivate and delight!

Moving gracefully from performing as a solo singer/pianist to fronting an eighteen piece big band, Judi has performed with her “Judi Figel Duo/Trio” in countless public venues in the Pittsburgh area and performed for many years at private venues with the dance band “Starfire”.   Judi has done pre-shows at the Post-Gazette Pavilion and the Chevrolet Amphitheater for Bobby Vinton, John Fogerty, John Cougar Mellencamp, Earth, Wind and Fire, Chicago and Steely Dan.

A featured vocalist with the Trinity Jazz Orchestra big band, Judi has performed at the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta and the Byham Theater. Judi also has been a much sought after soloist for wedding ceremonies and receptions in and around the Pittsburgh area since 1980. Judi has recorded as a vocalist on several local artists’ albums and has done several commercial spots.  Judi is currently in production on a solo CD project.

Originally from the West Mifflin area, Judi now resides in Monroeville. She earned a Bachelor of Music at Oberlin College as a piano major/voice minor specializing in Music Education and a Master of Music Education at Duquesne University. Judi is a retired music instructor from the Plum Borough School District.

Make your plans now for a night out with your sweetheart, serenaded by this consummate singing artist and her tasty jazz musicians – David Cisci, Robbie Klein, and Tod Treganowan!  It will be a night you will long remember.

Tickets are Adults $30, Members $25, Students $5. Snacks are served.  Beverages are available by donation.   Because of cabaret table seating, reservations are required.  Seating is limited so be sure to reserve early.  To reserve a table or tickets, call 724 659-3153 or buy online here.

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.

 

ABOUT RESONANCE WORKS

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.


MISSION

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.

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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.  www.resonanceworks.org

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

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. www.MariaSensiSellner.org

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

Susanne OrtnerClarinet & Soprano Saxophone
John MarcinizynGuitar

Love and Romance will be in the air as Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts opens its 2017 season with a Valentine’s Cabaret on Saturday, February 11 at 7:30 PM in Lincoln Hall in Foxburg with the glorious artistry of The Susanne Ortner and John Marcinizyn Duo.  Glittering candlelight and cabaret table seating (with beverages by donation) make it the perfect night out with your sweetheart to celebrate the Valentine’s Day holiday.  Cheese and snacks will be served and beverages by donation.

It will be “Love at first Song” as the inspiring music making of clarinetist/soprano saxophonist Susanne Ortner and guitar virtuoso John Marcinizyn enchants you with melodies they love – the romantic and mesmerizing sounds of New Orleans, Paris, and Brazil and the Gypsy Swing World… music to make your spirits soar and your feet move! And, yes, there will be dancing at the back of Lincoln Hall.

Hear Susanne while you still can in this “Farewell Performance”!  Be a part of this musical love-fest and Foxburg’s farewell to Susanne, who is moving to the wonderful musical city of New Orleans – “The Cradle of Jazz” – for grand, new musical adventures, performing with the extraordinary community of jazz musicians there.  Her expressive sound, technical virtuosity, wit and inspired riffing with the consummate guitarist, John Marcinizyn, will transport you and make this a Valentine’s celebration to remember!

Tickets are Adults $30 and Members $25.  Because of cabaret tables, seating is limited.  Buy online here or call to  reserve 724-659-3153.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Susanne Ortner

“Susanne Ortner seems to be capable of everything … Warm, soft tones if necessary, rapid, speedy passages and in addition to this the challenging embellishments, typical for klezmer music, all at breakneck speed and with an almost unbelievable ease.” Donau Zeitung.

Internationally renowned for her artistry and musical versatility, German clarinetist Susanne Ortner has been acclaimed for “her almost unbelievable witchcraft on the clarinet” both as a soloist and member of the German Klezmer Quartet “Sing Your Soul“,  Klez & Morim with the Bulgarian accordionist Vladimir Mollov and with guitarist John Marcinizyn in the Ortner-Marcinizyn Duo.  She also has performed with extraordinary musicians such as pianist Tom Roberts, guitarist Mark Strickland, trumpeter Charlie Caranicas (NYC), drummer Tom Elrick, drummer Roger Humphries (Pittsburgh), as well as multi-instrumentalist Vince Giordano (NYC).   Other collaborations have been with accordionist/pianist Alan Bern, and Noah Bendix-Balgley, former Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony – now Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic.

The German Newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine states that she is “a musician par excellence, capable of moving you deeply“. Susanne is a graduate of the Leopold Mozart Conservatory, and the University of Augsburg. She previously taught German literature, language and music.

Susanne is a serious researcher of Eastern European music, and offers Klezmer Workshops. Following an invitation by the University of Pittsburgh in 2006 in recent years she has accompanied Pittsburgh area Holocaust Survivors at schools and Universities creating the musical framework for their stories. Besides master classes and lectures at the University of Pittsburgh, and Duquesne University, she instructed the klezmer band at the Agency for Jewish Learning, was the interim director of the Carpathian Ensemble at The University of Pittsburgh, and has been coaching the CMU/Hillel klezmer band. She has held an adjunct teaching position at Washington & Jefferson College and is the co-founder of the Three Rivers Klezmer Festival.

Susanne has arranged and composed music for many theatrical productions including “Mazel” by Amy Hartman, and “Our Class” by Tadeusz Slobozianek . She appears on several CDs, including “A Trip To America” and “Hot World Chamber Music” (Ortner-Roberts Duo), “A Tribute to Teenie Harris” (Manchester Craftsmen’s Guilde), “Khosn Kale Mazl-Tov” (Sing Your Soul), and has done book and film projects.

She is the subject of the recent book “Living the Dream” – Für die Musik nach Amerika” (Wissner Verlag Augsburg, 2011), written by German Television journalist Helge Fuhst.

John Marcinizyn

Pittsburgh based guitarist, composer, banjoist John Marcinizyn performs frequently as a soloist, with the Ferla-Marcinizyn Guitar Duo, Ortner-Marcinizyn Duo, contralto Daphne Alderson, Duo Cieli (flute and guitar duo), violin and guitar duo, and groups ranging from The Bach Choir of Pittsburgh to Billy Price. He is also a member of The Red Hot Ramblers (Dixieland jazz).

His versatility as an acoustic and electric guitarist allows him to perform in many styles including classical, jazz, flamenco, rock, blues, and folk. John has also performed guitar and banjo for many theater companies including Quantum Theatre, where he wrote and performed a flamenco score for The Red Shoes and a Blues score for El Paso Blue. His playing can be heard on eight CDs and one DVD and on his website.

John’s original music compositions have received numerous performances and include a guitar concerto, string quartet, orchestral music, music for theater, and pieces for solo guitar and guitar with mixed ensemble, as well as a number of jazz and rock pieces.

His Sonata for Guitar and Marimba received critical acclaim following its premiere at the Guitar Foundation of America International Festival and Competition held in Buffalo.  The Westmoreland Symphonic Winds commissioned Song for the Sparrows, in memory of Beth Ann Johnson and Elyse Jeanne Saraceni who were killed in the 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan Am flight 103.  IonSound Project premiered his And All Manner of Thing Shall Be Well, for Contralto, Cello and Piano, based upon the writings of Julian of Norwich.

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John wrote and performed the theme music for Excela Health’s (hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and health facilities of Westmoreland County) television, radio and web commercials. Recently he toured in South America and the Eastern Caribbean with contralto, Daphne Alderson in programs that varied from chamber music through cabaret.

John holds a Ph. D. in music composition and theory from the University of Pittsburgh, and is an Artist-Lecturer in guitar and composition at Carnegie Mellon University and Seton Hill University.  He also teaches a class on slide guitar techniques at the Duquesne University Guitar and Bass Summer Workshop.

 

 

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Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts