Categories Archives: Jazz/Popular

BILLY PRICE BAND
Billy PriceVocals
Steve Delach Guitar
Tom ValentineBass
Dave DoddDrummer
Jimmy BrittonKeyboards
Eric DeFadeSaxophone
SOULFUL FEMMEStevee Wellons & Cheryl Rinovato

If you love rock ‘n’ roll and the blues, whatever you plan to do in the greater Allegheny River Valley Region this fall – DO NOT MISS the SOULFUL, WAILING CONCERT of world class RHYTHM & BLUES with the BILLY PRICE BAND opened by SOULFUL FEMME with Stevee Wellons and Cheryl Rinovato on Saturday, November 4 at 7 PM in Emlenton’s Crawford Center, 511 Hill Street.  You can get down and dance the night away, with lots of room in front of the band in the Crawford Center.

Soulful Femme opens the concert from 7 – 8:00 PM and the Billy Price Band performs from 8:30 to 10:00 PM.  Tickets are Adults $20 and Students $5. This concert will SELL, so be sure to buy online here in advance or reserve at 724-659-3153.  Tickets also will be sold at the door as available, by cash or check only.

The Billy Price Band

Officially recognized as a Pittsburgh Rock ’n Roll Legend, BILLY PRICE has been known for decades as one of the finest soul men in the business. His national and international profile dates back to the early ‘70s when he formed the Rhythm Kings, toured as Roy Buchanan’s singer and later fronted the hugely popular Keystone Rhythm Band.

Billy’s album with recently deceased Chicago soul singer Otis Clay, This Time for Real,  received a 2016 Blues Music Award by the Blues Foundation of Memphis, Tennessee in the category of Best Soul Blues Album.  His band’s fifth CD, Alive and Strange, recorded LIVE and released in April 2017, has “put him on a higher plane” according to Scott Mervis of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Being a soul scholar as well as singer, Price shies away from standards and puts his stamp on deeper tracks like Carl Sims’ It Ain’t a Juke Joint Without the Blues, Percy Mayfield’s Nothing Stays the Same Forever and Bobby Byrd’s Never Get Enough.”  (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)  Billy Price has recorded and released a total of 15 albums, CDs, and DVDs.

Soulful Femme

AMAZING GREAT just got even HOTTER – as SOULFUL FEMME opens the concert with the wailing, soulful blues singing of STEVEE WELLONS and the blazing, virtuoso blues guitar playing of CHERYL RINOVATO.  

Having spent years playing blues, soul, jazz and rock music around the country, Stevee Wellons, Cheryl Rinovato and three other seasoned musicians formed the Stevee Wellons Band and they have been burning it up in the Pittsburgh area ever since. In 2016, the Band represented the region in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, which provided encouragement and inspiration for the group to bring their own mix of blues and soul music to the club and concert circuit in Pennsylvania and record their first full-length CD.

Performing “Blues and Rhythm & Blues for your soul”, Stevee and Cheryl have come together as SOULFUL FEMME with the distilled essence of the larger band.  Opening for Samantha Fish this spring in Pittsburgh, they were on fire, as in the Aretha Franklin tune, Since You’ve Been Gone. 

This is more than a Blues “appetizer” to open the concert… as in a “Tasting” where every course is the best of the best, you will be transported by one of the hottest new blues groups on the circuit – SOULFUL FEMME – and its pairing with the Billy Price Band – right here in the beautiful Allegheny River Valley!

Billy Price has been entertaining audiences in Pittsburgh, Pa., since the early 1970s. In April 2016, he was officially recognized and inducted as a Pittsburgh Rock ’n Roll Legend at an award ceremony sponsored by the Cancer Caring Center of Pittsburgh.

Members of the Billy Price Band are Steve Delach (guitar), Tom Valentine (bass), Dave Dodd (drums), Jimmy Britton (keyboards), and Eric DeFade (tenor sax).

Billy Price first attracted national attention during his three-year association with guitarist Roy Buchanan.  Price is the vocalist on two of Buchanan’s LPs, That’s What I’m Here For and Livestock. The pair toured the U.S. and Canada, playing Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Newport Jazz Festival, the Roxy and Troubadour in Los Angeles, and the Spectrum in Philadelphia.

After leaving Buchanan, Price formed the Keystone Rhythm Band in 1977, which recorded four critically acclaimed LPs, developed a reputation as one of the most exciting touring bands in the U.S., and toured the Eastern US on a circuit that stretched from Boston to Atlanta with large followings in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and North Carolina.   Sustaining several personnel changes, the band performed until 1990. He then formed The Billy Price Band, which currently consists of Steve Delach (guitar), Tom Valentine (bass), Dave Dodd (drums), Jimmy Britton (keyboards), and Eric DeFade (tenor sax).

His album This Time for Real, with recently deceased Chicago soul singer Otis Clay, received a 2016 Blues Music Award by the Blues Foundation of Memphis, Tennessee in the category of Best Soul Blues Album. A live album by the Billy Price Band, Alive and Strange, was released by NolaBlue/Vizztone Label Group in April 2017.

With the Keystone Rhythm Band, the Billy Price Band, and solo projects, Billy Price has recorded and released a total of 15 albums, CDs, and DVDs.

Stevee Wellons and Cheryl Rinovato – seasoned musicians in the Stevee Wellons Band – have been performing together as the duo, SOULFUL FEMME, bringing “Blues and Rhythm & Blues for your Soul” to the club and concert circuit.

STEVEE WELLONS

Stevee Wellons recalls her first performance as toddler in her crib! Stevee’s mother was a pianist and vocalist and taught her the fundamentals of singing. At age 14, Stevee began a singing group with some of her school friends, performing at a few talent shows and ‘dancehall socials’ in her neighborhood.

Stevee began her professional singing career at 21 years of age performing with her former husband in various bands.  She went out on her own performing in supper clubs in the Pittsburgh area and then sang with several popular bands in the city—Shaker, JumpStreet, The Real Deal and the Crusiers, to name a few. Over the years, Stevee has shared the stage with The Dazz Band, Cameo, Howard Hewitt, The Crystals, the Elmonics, The Marcels, the Vogues and many more.

Stevee is also a recording artist, singing lead and background vocals for various artists in Pittsburgh, New York City, Chicago and in DC. She currently sings in Pittsburgh as a freelance vocalist with the Stevee Wellons Band and Soulful Femme. Stevee is a vocal coach and instructor at the Afro-American Music Institute.

CHERYL RINOVATO

Guitarist, Cheryl Rinovato has an applied Music Degree with 2nd major in Arranging and Composition at the famed Berklee College of Music.  Cheryl began her musical career as a studio musician throughout New England.

Since moving to Pittsburgh, Cheryl has had a musical career as a professional musician with numerous area bands.  She also has done extensive studio recording work. Cheryl has been the recipient of the prestigious Jim Weber Award, given to blues guitarist of the year, three times:  In 2012, 2103 and 2015. She also worked with the great Duke Ellington at age 18.

 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE – APRIL 5, 2017 – SCOTT MERVIS

Pittsburghers have known for decades that Billy Price is one of the finest soul men in the business, and that message was spread a little wider in 2015 when he hooked up with Chicago legend Otis Clay on “This Time for Real.”

In May, Price was in Memphis to pick up best soul blues album at the Blue Music Awards, sadly, a few months after Mr. Clay’s sudden death.

Price — whose career dates back to the early ‘70s when he formed the Rhythm Kings, who toured as Roy Buchanan’s singer and then fronted the hugely popular Keystone Rhythm Band — has had a national and international profile before, but “This Time for Real” put him on a higher plane.

Rather than going the studio route, for the follow-up Price went to the place where he’s shined the most, the live stage. Last September, the Billy Price Band — guitarist Steve Delach, bassist Tom Valentine, drummer Dave Dodd, keyboardist Jimmy Britton and saxophonist Eric DeFade — and a few guests emerged from Club Cafe with his fifth live album, “Alive and Strange,” which will be released on Friday.

Being a soul scholar as well as singer, Price shies away from standards and puts his stamp on deeper tracks like Carl Sims’ “It Ain’t a Juke Joint Without the Blues,” Percy Mayfield’s “Nothing Stays the Same Forever” and Bobby Byrd’s “Never Get Enough.”

So, this is the follow-up to the record with Otis. How did that factor into the idea of making a live album?

Winning the award and getting all the recognition I got from the album with Otis, I wanted to sort of build on that and I thought it was important to establish with the promoters and the people who book big festivals that I had a viable operation going, independently of Otis Clay. So, I wanted to really feature my band on this album, and the statement I’m trying to make is, um, I’ve got a really good band, and you should book us on festivals.

What kind of bump did you get from winning the Blues Music Award?

Well, that was the first album I really ever had good distribution on, through Vizztone. That record had just a lot more radio airplay and a lot more recognition from the blues industry, such as it is. The blues industry is pretty big, it’s a niche industry and you have to get on the circuit and one way to get on the circuit is get played on all the radio shows out there. We got a lot of play on Bluesville on Sirius XM. My name has gotten out there more than it ever has, so I wanted to jump on this and capitalize on that.

This is your fifth live album. How did you go about picking the songs?

I always have a list and I started to think about the songs in my repertoire that are recordable, and I’m not sure how I decide what’s recordable or not, but I guess: “Hasn’t been overdone,” “I’d never done it before,” “It would be something people would want to listen to more frequently,” that kind of thing.

So, let’s talk about a few of them…“Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown” is a William Bell tune.

This is sort of before William Bell blew up. He has a lot of albums he did on the cheap, maybe five or six of them for his own label. I listen to this disc jockey on the internet a lot. Her name is Cassie Fox, she has a show called Soul of the Blues and she’s really great, she’s from South Carolina. I heard her play that song one day and I wrote to her. I said, “Cassie, what the hell was that? I love that song.” She told me it was a William Bell song, and I taught it to the band with the idea that we’re going to record that one day.

Is it almost unusual at this point for you to hear songs you haven’t heard before, in this genre?

Actually, no. Not at all. I’ll tell you about this other song, “It Ain’t A Juke Joint Without the Blues,” which is one of those things that sticks in your mind forever. This friend of mine, Mike Jaworek, is the booking manager at the Birchmere in Alexandria. He and I share a love for the soul/blues genre. It’s a kind of an obscure genre. It’s really under the radar and not many white people pay attention to it. But it’s sort of the old soul stuff from Stax and Muscle Shoals but a lot dirtier in most cases, a lot raunchier, and produced on the cheap with drum machines and fake horns. It’s a really big in a community in the South of mostly African Americans. Most musicians that I know don’t like it much, for various reasons, but I like it, so Mike told me, “You gotta do ‘It Ain’t A Juke Joint Without the Blues,’ by Carl Sims.” It stuck in my mind, great song, maybe I’ll do it, and I was listening to Cassie’s show and she played something from Carl Sims, so I downloaded a Carl Sims playlist to Spotify and on The Best of Carl Sims was “It Ain’t Juke Joint Without the Blues,” and I said, “OK, I’m going to learn this song. This song would kill.” It’s maybe my favorite on the whole album and it’s one we’re pushing for blues radio. I’ll think it will do well.

Are there others that are particularly special to you?

“Something Strange.” I helped Fred Chapellier write that song for his most recent album. I was encouraging him to think Was (Not Was) for the song but that wasn’t quite his thing. We took it into rehearsal and got a little closer to what I had hoped for for the song, and then started playing it live with an eye toward recording it for this album.

“One More Day” is one I got from Mike Schermer, who goes under the name Mighty Mike Schermer, and he plays guitar with Marcia Ball, but he’s also on Vizztone. He’s a terrific writer, so I met him in Memphis at the Blues Awards last year and I asked him to send me songs and that one jumped out.

Also, we added “Makin’ Plans,” as a bonus track. I wrote it back in the Keystone Rhythm Band days. It’s one of the original songs that didn’t make it onto “Free At Last,” which was the original last KRB album. I wrote it with Mike Karr, who played trumpet and keyboards, and it’s just been around for years and we recorded it for “Strong,” the Billy Price Band album, and again, it didn’t make the cut on that one. It’s always in the back of my mind, I liked it and wondered if we shouldn’t have recorded it then, so we remixed it and it was an opportunity to include it on this album.

I guess you could have gone into the studio and done this, but you wanted to catch the live energy.

Yeah, I did, I did. Actually, Bill Wax who used to program Bluesville on XM radio, I saw him a few months ago in DC and he was kind of wondering why we didn’t go into the studio with this. He said, “Gee, I’d like to hear the full studio treatment on some of these songs,” and he may be right, I’m not sure. I’m pretty sure my next album is going to be all original material, done in the studio.

David Wickerham - Version 2

CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAY SEASON as Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts proudly presents the keyboard artistry and improvisational genius of audience favorite DAVE WICKERHAM in his celebrated CHRISTMAS CONCERT on Sunday, December 17 at 2:00 PM in Lincoln Hall – followed by a Holiday reception in the Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop.

No one makes the Lincoln Hall’s McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre organ sound more glorious, and, with his brilliant theatre organ arrangements and improvisation of audience requests, no one entertains our appreciative and enthusiastic audience better than Dave Wickerham!  This is truly world class theatre organ artistry from one of the kindest, gentlest and most generous souls… evidenced by the glow you will feel after having experienced his inspiring performance.  You will be ready for the holidays with the joy and spirit of this concert.

This is the perfect Holiday gift for those special people on your list – who will be honored to experience his music making inspired by the message of the Season.

Dave Wickerham’s concerts sell out, so be sure to reserve your tickets early.  Adults $25, Members $20, Students $5.  You may purchase tickets online here or call to reserve:  724 659-3153

ARCA’s McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer Organ

McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ – www.denniskeyesphotography.com

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.

Named for Paul McKissick, who lovingly and painstakingly rebuilt the instrument over eleven years, 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.

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.

About the Artist

Unknown-1Dave Wickerham was born in Encino, California in 1962. He began playing the electronic organ at the age of four and had his first pipe organ experience at age10. His musical education started at age 7.  When he moved to Arizona in 1976, he became Associate Organist at the famous Organ Stop Pizza Restaurants in Phoenix, Mesa and Tucson. While in Arizona, he continued his musical studies with Roseamond Crowley, one of the few remaining descendants of the Louis Vierne line of organists. He attended the University of Arizona in Tucson on a full scholarship, pursuing classical organ studies for six years with Dr. Roy Johnson.  In 1984, Dave moved to the Chicago area to become Staff Organist at Pipes and Pizza in Lansing, Illinois. In addition to his performance there, he concertized frequently, as well as ministering musically and serving at various churches.

August of 1990 found the Wickerham family – Dave, his wife and two young children – moving to Wisconsin, where he was one of the featured Staff Organists at the Piper Music Palace in Greenfield, a position he held for 10 years.

In the spring of 2000, Dave ushered in the new millennium with a limited special engagement, as a featured organist at “Roxy’s Pipe Organ Pizzeria”, part of a $26,000,000 expansion phase at the FIESTA Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Wickerham’s, Dave, Rhonda, and now three great kids, spent a year and a half there before returning back home to Wisconsin in August of 2001… For the next three years, Dave resumed his position at the Piper Music Palace and was also the Principal Organist at Williams Bay Lutheran Church in Lake Geneva, WI.

UnknownHe enjoys concertizing frequently to many audiences including various chapters of the American Theatre Organ Society. In April of 1999, he took great pleasure being a feature artist in Melbourne, Australia for the convention of the Theatre Organ Society of Australia for which he received rave reviews. He returned “Down Under” for a six-week concert tour in Australia and New Zealand during the summer of 2003 and very recently has completed a similar tour concluding November of 2012.

Dave also enjoys recording and has recently “sold out” his fourth CD “Sounds of Music” recorded on the famous 5 Manual, 80 Rank Theatre Organ at the Sanfilippo Residence in Barrington, IL. There are two NEW recording projects that are soon to be completed and released.

After seven years as Organist – Curator with the legendary Milhous Collection in South Florida, Dave and his family currently enjoy living in Upper Michigan where he has accepted the position of Co-Manager and Organist in Residence at Crystal Theatre in Crystal Falls. This 1927 theatre is now a regional Performing Arts Center and houses a 3 manual, 21 rank Moller theatre organ that Dave also looks after. Additionaly, his wife Rhonda – at his side – works as Co-Manager of this beautiful and historic venue.

Click the Wurlitzer menu item above to learn about the history of the Mighty McKissick Wurlitzer and Paul McKissick. Then, reserve your seat for this special holiday Wurlitzer concert featuring an artist who delights audiences both young and old. Once you hear the majesty and capability of a Theatre Organ, you will be hooked!

A perennial Holiday Season favorite, The Madrigal Dinner Theatre, returns for two evenings, December 8th and 9th, to Foxburg’s candlelit Lincoln Hall.  Come join us for a Holiday Wassail Toast, Medieval Feast and holiday entertainment fit for a King and Queen!

The Madrigal Dinner Theatre has been a sell-out each year.   Be sure to reserve your spots early since only 79 seats are available for each performance.  You may buy tickets online here or reserve by calling 724 659-3153.  

Madrigal Dinner-Lincoln Hall 2014

Madrigal Window DecorationsLincoln Hall is transformed into a candlelit Medieval banquet hall with banners and coats of arms reminiscent of England in the Middle Ages.  This re-creation of a Medieval period Boar’s Head Festival dinner is replete with choral musical selections – madrigal songs and holiday carols – woven within a Christmas play with pageantry and costumes, all while enjoying a multi-course medieval feast and wassail toasts to the season.

Madrigal Dinner Producer Cathy Powell was inspired to create the event after experiencing a medieval dinner at Bunratty Castle near, Limmerick, Ireland in 1992. The Medieval Madrigal Dinner is based on the Boar’s Head Ceremony. It is the oldest continuing ceremony of the Christmas season, presented as early as 1340 at Queen’s College in Oxford, England and in time becoming part of Christmas celebrations in the great manor houses of England.

5254c8c2-b79c-46eb-8472-645cc07e14fbThe king and queen arrive in grand flourish and invite all in attendance to share in a festive dinner. A prayer is offered by a monk to bless the meal. The Madrigal Singers, adorned in period costumes, entertain with madrigal songs and traditional holiday carols. They serve each course of the holiday feast, unfolding at the same time the Christmas story set to music. Think of it as an ancient form of dinner theatre.

You’ll believe you’re experiencing musical Yuletide cheer and conviviality as if living for a moment in a bygone era.  The ancient Boar’s Head Festival being reenacted around the Christmas story is not one of times past and gone – but rather is a living story told by modern day minstrels, echoing within each of us the spirit and love of the Season.

 

ABOUT THE CONCERT

The Madrigal Dinner has become a Foxburg Christmas Tradition since it moved from Emlenton’s First Methodist Church to Lincoln Hall nine years ago! This year the Madrigal Dinner marks its 21st Performance Season.

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts and the Madrigal Singers transform Lincoln Hall into a grand banquet hall reminiscent of Medieval England. Candlelit tables, banners and coats of arms give one a sense of the majesty enjoyed by a select few.

The king and queen arrive in grand flourish and invite all in attendance to share in a festive dinner. A prayer is offered by a monk to bless the meal.  The Madrigal Singers, adorned in period costumes, entertain with madrigal songs and traditional holiday carols. They serve each course of the holiday feast, at the same time unfolding a story set to music. Think of it as an ancient form of dinner theatre.

Madrigal Dinner 2014.2

Madrigal Dinner in Lincoln Hall 2014

The menu for each night is representative of typical medieval dinner fare of the time and is yours to enjoy–spoon in hand!  Last year the menu created and prepared by Julie Findlan Powell of Little It Deli includes from 15th century England “Pullus Iuvenis” (stuffed chicken with bread pork stuffing with raisins and eggs) and “Brawn en Peuerade” (pulled pork in wine sauce) and from 16th century Ireland “Colcannon” (mashed potatoes with cabbage, bacon and cheese). Finishing the meal were cooked carrots with cinnamon and butter, fresh baked bread, and for dessert bread pudding with vanilla rum sauce. Of course, no meal back then was complete without continuous goblets of wassail and this beverage flows freely.

The meal is divided into courses and each is heralded with a traditional song. A play is performed between courses and a concert of choral music concludes the festivities. The dinner is intended to imitate a meal that might have been served during the Middle Ages.

DSC03473 Madrigal Cast

Madrigal Dinner 2008 in Lincoln Hall – Trevor Hile, Norma Baum, Cathy Powell, Anna Lowrey, Julie Findlan Powell

Madrigal Dinner producer Cathy Powell is grateful to all who have helped created this popular holiday event: “What started as an idea to add entertainment to a long forgotten event, “Christmas in Oil Country”, has become a tradition in its own right. The Madrigal Dinner could not have happened without the dedication and participation of many people. I feel so much gratitude for my family and friends (who also feel like family because they’ve participated for so many years) for taking time out of their busy lives to rehearse, perform, make costumes, cook, and serve this dinner.  Words can’t express the love I have for these wonderful talented people. While my son Jeffrey Powell has been a singer and my daughter Jennifer Lowrey has served as musical director since its inception, most gratifying is that some of my grandchildren also have joyously embraced this tradition and now sing in my place. I couldn’t be happier.”

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Jump start your family’s Holiday enjoyment with this Foxburg Christmas tradition presented by the Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts!

The Madrigal Dinner has been a sell-out each year.   Be sure to reserve your spots early for these 20th Performance year events — because only 70 seats are available for each performance.

Madrigal Dinner ticket prices will be announced soon.  You may buy tickets online here or reserve by calling 724 659-3153.

madrigal-dinner1-1030x352

The History of Emlenton/Foxburg’s Madrigal Dinner

The First performance of the Madrigal Dinner was held in The Emlenton United Methodist Church Social Hall in November 1994 providing entertainment for an annual Emlenton event begun the year before called “Christmas in Oil Country”.

The Madrigal Dinner, sponsored by The Emlenton Civic Club and The Emlenton United Methodist Church, was conceived by two owners of Bed and Breakfasts in Emlenton, Terry Johnson-Cooney (owner of Apple Alley) and Cathy Powell (co-owner of The Barnard House). Cathy Powell had been inspired by a medieval dinner that she experienced at Bunratty Castle near, Limmerick, Ireland in 1992.

Carrying the Boar 2008 - Jim Robertson, Ken Hanby & Bruce Donaldson

Carrying the Boar’s Head 2008 – Jim Robertson, Ken Hanby & Bruce Donaldson

The Medieval Madrigal Dinner is based on the Boar’s Head Ceremony, which is the oldest continuing ceremony of the Christmas season, having been presented as early as 1340 at Queen’s College in Oxford, England.  In time the Boar’s Head Ceremony became part of Christmas celebrations in the great manor houses of England.

The Derrick article and photo below show former ARCA Board member “Lady” Roberta Newton, “Sir” Terrence Johnson-Cooney, “Lady” Jenny Powell and the Boars’ Head.

Madrigal.Articles Page 1 copy

Producing the first Madrigal Dinner took intensive planning as well as the cooperation and hard work of many Emlentonians. Cathy Powell served as Producer for the event, lining up the singers and organizing all details of the first Boars Head Celebration. Cathy provided the music and background material on the event used to develop a script following the customs of the medieval boars head dinner.

Terry Johnson-Cooney also contributed background literature and an abundance of brocade fabric from drapes hanging in his residence prior to its transformation into Apple Alley Bed and Breakfast. There was enough fabric to make many of the costumes used in the first performance. Cathy’s future daughter-in-law, Julie Findlan, who at the time was obtaining her master’s degree in costuming at Penn State University, took charge of costuming the group; she used the donated fabric and borrowed some items from the university. Under Julie’s guidance, several volunteers helped sew the costumes. Area resident and pianist, Roberta Newton, took charge of instrumental music which in the first season was harpsichord and brass. Roberta engaged instrumentalists from Clarion University and played her own harpsichord.

Over 100 people attended the first Madrigal Dinner in Emlenton in 1994. Because of its popular success and the considerable efforts of so many, it was decided to make it an annual event.

This article from the Derrick in 1996 – the third year of the Madrigal Dinner – shows Jeff Powell making one of the toasts to the evening.  Even to this day Madrigal Dinner attendees raise their glasses of wassail throughout the evening to celebrate the season as audience members and singers make toasts to the season.

Madrigal 1996 copy

This photo Progress News article from 2007 –  its last year in Emlenton’s United Methodist Church – shows the richness and detail of the costumes worn by the Madrigal Singers, which began more than twenty years ago as costumes refashioned from brocade drapes.

Madrigal 2007 copy

Terry Johnson-Cooney was the first Lord hosting the dinner and Debe Southworth was the first Lady. In 1994 ten singers provided the vocals for the first madrigal dinner: Sopranos; Carrie Morrison Armogost Jennifer Powell,  Cammy Werkheiser,  Altos: Norma Baum, Cathy Powell, Kristin Baum, Tenors; Dick Carr, Jeff Powell, basses; Jerry Baum, Bruce Donaldson. The group always has been under the vocal direction of Jenny Powell Lowrey.

The first boar’s head used was made of paper machete as seen in the photo above – and not very realistic. Since then the Madrigal Dinner has had three authentic boar’s heads. One was purchased on e-bay and another resulting from a boar hunt in the west provided by singer Ken Hanby’s son-in-law, Dr. Michael Evancovich. The third also was acquired by Dr. Evancovich.

Food for the first dinner was prepared and provided by the members of the Emlenton Methodist Church, eaten without the aid of a fork to follow the customs of medieval times.  The meal also has changed over the years.  Julie Findlan-Powell initially researched medieval recipes, from which group members prepared dishes and then voted on their favorites. After tweaking the recipes to appeal to the contemporary pallet, the Madrigal Dinner meal served in ARCA’s Lincoln Hall is derived from those original recipes.  For many years dinners were catered by Cindy and Rod Morrison, parents of madrigal singer Carrie Armogost.  In recent years dinners have been catered by Little It Deli, restaurant owned and operated by Jeff Powell, Julie Findlan-Powell, and Kristie Palmer.

Early decorations were traditional greens and candles on the tables. Throughout the years, many decorative effects have been created to enhance the madrigal experience. The colorful flags emblazoned in Lincoln Hall are based on authentic family crests of many of the singers and were designed and sewn by former singers, Alice Shoup and Cathy Powell.

Over the year costumes also have changed. A second more complete group of costumes were designed by Julie Findlan-Powell.  The costumes worn today have been purchased from a costume company. A tambourine and an Irish drum have been acquired. In 2000 the madrigal group made a CD of songs sung at the dinner, which were made available for sale at the dinner.  Because in 2006 no dinner was held, the Madrigal Dinners of 2015 mark the Twentieth Anniversary Performance Season.

All of the madrigal singers in the group reside or have roots in the Allegheny-Clarion River Valley or Knox area. Over the years the group has been blessed with many talented instrumentalists, some of whom sing and perform brass fanfares. It truly is remarkable that in such a sparsely populated area a group of talented and accomplished people have come together, providing harpsichords, lutes, and Irish drums; contributing their talents to costume and cater; and creating and maintaining the excellent quality of entertainment which this event provides. Some of the younger singers are third generation and even more passionate about singing in this group than their parents; one young woman returns from her college in Berea, Ohio to participate.

renaissancechoirMost wonderful is that so many attendees have traveled long distances to attend the Madrigal Dinner since its inception. Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is proud to be celebrating the group’s Twentieth Anniversary Performance.

Become one of the devoted Madrigal Dinner participants who have treasured this experience and returned year after year to experience its wonder and magic.  We invite you to open your 2015 holiday season with us on either Friday or Saturday, December 8 or 9, 2017 at 7:00 PM in Lincoln Hall.  We look forward to toasting the evening and celebrating the Season with you.

 

 

Pittsburgh Symphony Brass
George VosburghTrumpet
Neil BerntsenTrumpet
William CaballeroHorn
Peter SullivanTrombone
Craig KnoxTuba
Merry Christmas

Let the trumpets sound!  There is no more inspirational way to begin Christmas week than to give yourself the gift of music performed by the world celebrated Pittsburgh Symphony Brass in Foxburg’s beautiful Memorial Church of Our Father on Sunday, December 10 at 7:00 PM.

Foxburg’s beautiful neo-Gothic Memorial Church of Our Father, gloriously bedecked with poinsettias, will be the exquisite holiday setting for this perennial favorite.  The intimate atmosphere and superb acoustics of this beautiful stone church will resound with stirring strains of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Brass Ensemble – some of the most superbly talented brass musicians in the world – right here in the beautiful Allegheny-Clarion River Valley for your holiday inspiration.

Call to reserve your tickets for this audience and holiday favorite:  724-659-3153  or buy online here.  Tickets:  Adults $30, Members $25, Students $5  Parking is at the AC Valley Medical Center, up the hill from the church, one-half mile, on route 58, across from the A-C Valley Schools  Shuttle service to and from the church will be provided.  The shuttles will begin an hour before the performance, at 6:00 PM.

Performing works from their three acclaimed Christmas CDs (available on Amazon), Pittsburgh Symphony Brass is led by Grammy award winner George Vosburgh.  The group possesses a unique blend of virtuosity with brilliant sonority rarely achieved in brass music.  Organized in 1994 and featuring some of the world’s finest orchestral brass musicians playing in chamber ensemble, the ensemble endeavors to stretch the limitations of performance and explore a wide range of musical expression rarely achieved in brass music.

pso-brass-albums-copy“Brass ensemble playing cannot possibly be more virtuosic or musical…” — Sir Andre Previn

You will be uplifted and delighted by the elegant arrangements of Christmas favorites from the PSO Brass’ Christmas CDs.  Their concerts have been described as “Holiday cheer delivered with virtuoso flair.”  AND you will be entertained!  ARCA audiences have been charmed by the friendly and jovial spoken introductions the PSO Brass musicians offer as they take you on a Holiday musical journey in styles ranging from the traditional to Spike Jones.  It promises to be a holiday favorite you will want to make an annual tradition.

pso-brass-church-back-view

Photography by denniskeyesphotography.com

These world renowned brass musicians are led by Grammy Award winner and PSO Principal Trumpet, George Vosburgh who in 1987 won the Grammy for Best New Classical Artist. Internationally acclaimed for his virtuosity on the trumpet in recordings, concerts, and recitals, Vosburgh has appeared as a soloist in such locales as the Bonn Festival, Ravinia Festival, and the Curs International de Musica in Valencia, Spain. After his tenure as the youngest member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s world famous brass section under the late Sir George Solti, Vosburgh joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as Principal Trumpet in 1992.

Before the concert, plan to tour the beautiful Holiday Exhibit at the Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop, and pick up a gift for this special people on your Christmas list – or for yourself – from the affordable, unique hand-made artwork of Red Brick Cooperative Artists.  On Sunday, December 18, the Red Brick Gallery is open from 12 to 4 PM.  Before the concert, you also may wish to enjoy supper at the Allegheny Grille or Foxburg Pizza, and a gourmet coffee and dessert at Divani Chocolatier.  Or plan to spend the night where every room overlooks the Allegheny River at the Foxburg Inn Hotel.

Then drive your car to the AC Valley Medical Center, up the hill from the church, one-half mile, on route 58, across from the A-C Valley Schools  Shuttle service to and from the church will be provided.  The shuttles will begin an hour before the performance, at 6:00 PM.

ABOUT THE CONCERT

Foxburg’s beautiful neo-Gothic Memorial Church of Our Father constructed by Hannah Fox of the Fox family, Foxburg’s namesake, will resound with glorious strains of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Brass Ensemble on Sunday, December 18 at 7:00 PM.  The  stone church, boasts an intimate atmosphere and superb acoustics, made more compelling by the poinsettias adorning the sanctuary – an ideal environment for this concert of traditional Christmas favorites performed by some of the most celebrated brass musicians in the world.  Join us for “The Spirit of Christmas”, an auspicious beginning of Christmas week.

You will be uplifted and delighted by the elegant arrangements of Christmas favorites from the PSO Brass’ Christmas CDs.  Their concerts have been described as “Holiday cheer delivered with virtuoso flair.”  AND you will be entertained!  ARCA audiences have been charmed by the friendly and jovial spoken introductions the PSO Brass musicians offer as they take you on a Holiday musical journey in styles ranging from the traditional to Spike Jones.  It promises to be a holiday favorite you will want to make an annual tradition.

Join us for the closing concert of ARCA’s 2016 season, keeping your joyous spirits high for Christmas-only as week later! Indeed, let the trumpets sound!!

For the December 10 concert of the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass, parking will be in the AC Valley Medical Center, opposite the AC Valley Schools, up the hill from the church, one-half mile, on route 58.  Shuttle service to the church will begin an hour before the performance, at 6:00 PM.

Google Maps

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

006_6-300x198 - Version 2Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Brass Ensemble is comprised of Principal Players in the Pittsburgh Symphony including George Vosburgh, PSO Principal Trumpet; Neal Berntsen, PSO Trumpet; William Caballero, PSO Principal Horn; Peter Sullivan, PSO Principal Trombone; and Craig Knox, PSO Principal Tuba.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Brass was organized by George Vosburgh in 1994 with an emphasis on featuring some of the world’s finest orchestral brass musicians playing in chamber ensemble. The result has been a unique blend of virtuosity with brilliant sonority usually associated with orchestral brass. The ensemble, all of whom are members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, endeavors to stretch the limitations of performance and explore a wide range of musical expression rarely achieved in brass music.

The American Record Guide described the ensemble’s first compact disc, J.S. Bach, The Art of Fugue for the Four Winds record label as “Magnificent, an extended example of first rate playing, with beautiful tone qualities, impeccable intonation, and polished execution.” The ensemble’s second recording, ” A Christmas Concert”, has been described by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as, “Holiday cheer delivered with virtuoso flair.” At a recent concert for the Frick Art and Historical Center, Mark Kanny, music critic for the Tribune-Review, described the concert as “impressively polished.” After a concert for the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society the Tribune-Review wrote, “Full of brilliance and power, but also stunning in subtle artistic qualities made possible only by masterful control”.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Brass released a third compact disc in 2002. This recording, Cantate Hodie for the Clarion label is in collaboration with the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh and features contemporary works based on Christmas themes for mixed chorus, brass, and organ. The groups fourth and fifth recordings, The Spirit of Christmas (2003) and A Song of Christmas (2008-both for Four Winds) again received great reviews. Music performed by the PSO Brass can also be found on The American Girl’s Christmas, Music of Christmas Past. The groups association with the American Gramophone label has resulted in partnerships on that label’s Holiday Musik II and Renaissance Holiday recordings.

The group’s featured performance on National Public Radio’s Performance Today is replayed annually on NPR stations throughout the United States. The PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY BRASS has performed in Italy, Canada and the United States.

George Vosburgh, trumpet
Neal Berntsen, trumpet
William Caballero, horn
Peter Sullivan, trombone
TBA, bass trombone
Craig Knox, tuba

 

George Vosburgh
Principal Trumpet

George Vosburgh, celebrated soloist and lecturer is internationally acclaimed for his virtuosity on vosburgh_george-1the trumpet in recordings, concerts and recitals, as well as many guest artist performances in such locales as the Bonn Festival at Rolandsek, Germany, the Ravinia Festival, Chicago, and the Curs Internacional de Musica in Valencia, Spain. In 1992 he joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as Principal Trumpet.

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences awarded George Vosburgh a Grammy as Best New Classical Artist in 1985 for the Reference recording of Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat with Chicago Pro Musica.  He is a Bavarian Radio International Music Competition prize winner and a Gold and Platinum Record recipient for his work with the New Age music ensemble Mannheim Steamroller.  In 2003 he was invited to become Principal Trumpet of the World Orchestra for Peace under the direction of Valery Gergiev. The orchestra has since performed on tour across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and produced many recordings and television programs.

Recordings featuring George Vosburgh include Trumpeter’s Heritage, music by Bach, Böhme, Tomasi, Fasch, and Neruda with the Czech Philharmonic and Arnie Roth conducting, Trumpet Masterworks, pieces for trumpet and piano with Alaine Fink, and Four Trumpet Concerti, works by Haydn, Hummel, Telemann, and Leopold Mozart with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Gerard Schwarz conducting. All recordings are featured on the Four Winds label.

In 1994, Mr. Vosburgh organized the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass, a unique brass ensemble featuring some of the world’s finest orchestral brass musicians in chamber ensemble.  Since 1998, the Brass has enjoyed a flurry of recording and performance activity, releasing five CDs, including Bach’s The Art of Fugue on the Four Winds label.

As an educator, Mr. Vosburgh has appeared in universities across Europe, Asia, and the United States, including Northwestern University, University of Michigan, UCLA, and Tokyo Music Academy, as well as the Tanglewood Fellowship program.  He has lectured at the International Trumpet Guild’s annual conference and recently published a critical edition of the Böhme Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in E minor published by Vosburgh Music Inc.  He is currently on the faculty of Duquesne University and Carnegie Mellon University.

Mr. Vosburgh is a graduate of the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, where he was Principal Trumpet and featured soloist with the famed Eastman Wind Ensemble.  He began his career as an orchestral trumpeter at age 19 as third trumpet and assistant principal of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of David Zinman.  After three years with the Rochester Philharmonic, he joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Sir Georg Solti as the youngest member of the orchestra’s world-famous brass section.
 George Vosburgh holds the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Martha Brooks Robinson Chair and is an active member of various Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Committees.

 

Neal Berntsen
Trumpet

BERNTSEN_NEALNeal Berntsen joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra trumpet section in March 1997, having been appointed at the invitation of Music Director Lorin Maazel in 1996. He is a native of Tacoma, Washington. He began his musical studies at age five playing the violin under the tutelage of his mother. By age eight he advanced to the trumpet and ultimately received a B.M. from the University of Puget Sound and a M.M from Northwestern University. A former member of the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra and the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, Neal has also performed as principal trumpet for the Ravinia Festival Orchestra and the Bamberg Sinfoniker in Germany. Other orchestral performances have included the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Active as a chamber musician, Neal is a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass whose recently released recordings, “Bach: The Art of Fugue” and “A Christmas Concert” were described as “…Awhirl with color and rhythmic vitality – quite irresistible on every count” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Mr. Berntsen is also a founding member of the award-winning Asbury Brass Quintet, about which Fanfare magazine stated, “Not only expert but musical…undeniable virtuosity.” In June 2005 Mr. Berntsen toured Japan with members of the Chicago Symphony brass section with the Chicago Brass Soloists. As a soloist he recently performed the Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Other solo engagements have included the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 at the Sedona Chamber Music Festival in Arizona. Mr. Berntsen’s performance of Copland’s “Quiet City” was called a highlight of the 2005 season by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Mr. Berntsen’s solo recording Trumpet Voices will be released in November 2005.

Neal Berntsen was a finalist in both the Maurice André International Trumpet Competition in Paris, France and the Ellsworth Smith International Trumpet Competition. His wide ranging discography includes the Orchestras of Pittsburgh and Chicago, Manheim Steamroller, the American Girl Doll Christmas album and Michael Jackson.

As an educator, Mr. Berntsen is on the faculties of Duquesne University and Carnegie Mellon University. He previously served on the faculty of Valparaiso University in Indiana. He has been publiched in The Instrumentalist magazine, and the International Trumpet Guild Journal. Mr. Berntsen has presented master classes and recitals around the world.

Mr. Berntsen is an active studio musician and was featured on a national series of commercials during the broadcast of the Olympic games in Atlanta. His performance on “America” sung by Diana Ross opened the women’s final tennis match of the 2001 U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, New York.

Neal Berntsen has studied with Adolph Herseth, Vincent Cichowicz and Manuel Laureano. He resides in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania with his wife, Karen, and three children, Molly, Jacob, and Charlie.

William Caballero
Principal Horn

CABALLERO__WILLIAMDuring the Pittburgh Symphony Orchestra’s 2011 European Festivals Tour, William Caballero – and the horn section he leads – received rave reviews. Michael Church of The Independent called Caballero “a principal horn whose pianissimo is simply miraculous,” and Guy Dammann wrote in The Guardian, “The horn section – led very much from the front by their excellent principal William Caballero – is one of the best in the business.” In its September 2012 review of the Pittsburgh Symphony’s Exton recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, Gramophone magazine wrote, “Pittsburgh’s first horn is as spectacular as any on disc.”

The 2013-2014 Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra season represents Caballero’s 24th year as its principal horn. Before joining the Pittsburgh Symphony in May 1989, Caballero previously held principal horn positions with the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera and Hartford Symphony. He held third horn positions with the Montreal Symphony, Montreal Opera and acting third horn with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops. He has also performed as guest principal horn with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the St. Louis Symphony.

Born in New Mexico and reared in Wisconsin, Caballero’s early horn studies included working under Larry Simons, Barry Benjamin and Basil Tyler, as well as studying the piano and pipe organ. Caballero graduated from New England Conservatory in Boston where he studied with Richard Mackey and Thomas Newell, both former members of the Boston Symphony.

Currently, Caballero is the associate teaching professor of horn at Carnegie Mellon University School of Music. Previously, he held teaching positions at Indiana University Bloomington, Rice University in Houston, Texas and Duquesne University. He has been invited and presented master classes throughout the world including Northwestern University, Colburn School of Music, New England Conservatory, University of Indiana Bloomington, Cleveland Institute of Music, Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, New World Symphony and the Beijing and Shanghai Conservatories.

The past two summers Bill joined the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival as performer and teacher. For the previous seven summers, Caballero was on the faculty and performed at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan.

In January 2012, Caballero began collaboration with the Internet music teaching company ArtistWorks.com based in Napa, California. His teaching website was released in September 2012 as the only complete horn teaching curriculum available via the internet for horn students worldwide.

Caballero is also in demand as a chamber musician collaborating with musicians such as violinists Gil Shaham, Joseph Silverstein and Philip Setzer, and pianists André Previn, Christoph Eshenbach, Orli Shaham and Andre Watts. Caballero also has performed and worked with jazz musician and composer Chris Brubeck, as well as ensembles that include the Tokyo String Quartet, Trio Johannas, Principal Strings of the Berlin Philharmonic, Center City Brass, Bay Chamber Concert Series, St. Barth’s Music Festival and the Grand Teton Music Festival. He also is a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass, which includes fellow colleagues of the Pittsburgh Symphony brass section.

Recent chamber music performances include performing Brahms’ Horn Trio in E-flat major with Gil and Orli Shaham in Zankel Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall, New York and appearing several times live on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” in NPR’s Washington, D.C. studios.

This season is Caballero’s second appearance as soloist with Maestro Manfred Honeck. His first solo collaboration with Honeck was in September 2012 performing the Pittsburgh Symphony premiere of Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1. Previous solo performances with the Pittsburgh Symphony have included Richard Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-flatwith Maestro Lorin Maazel; Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-flatwith Maestro Andre Previn; Mozart Concerto fragments with Pittsburgh Symphony Concertmaster Andres Cardenes; Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with Maestro Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and tenor Anthony Griffey; Schumann’s Konzertstück in F, for four horns and orchestra with his Pittsburgh Symphony horn colleagues under the baton of Maestro Sir John Elliot Gardener; and the John Williams Horn Concerto under the baton of Maestro Leonard Slatkin.

Other recent solo appearances outside of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra have included performances in Montenegro with Maestro Ronald Zollman and with the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic at New York City’s Carnegie Hall under the baton of former principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Dale Clevenger.

In May 1992, Caballero premiered Benjamin Lees’ Concerto for Horn and Orchestrawith the Pittsburgh Symphony under the baton of then-Music Director Lorin Maazel. Following the performances in Pittsburgh, he performed Lees’ Concerto in Spain, Germany and England with the Pittsburgh Symphony on tour. In May 1996, Caballero recorded the concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Lorin Maazel for New World Records.

William holds the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Anonymous Foundation Principal Horn Chair.

 

Peter Sullivan
Principal Trombone
Tom and Jamee Todd Chair

SULLIVAN__PETERIn the fall of 1999, Peter Sullivan was appointed Principal Trombone of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra by Mariss Jansons. Canadian-born Sullivan came to Pittsburgh following a long and fruitful tenure as Solo Trombone with the Montreal Symphony under Charles Dutoit.

Sullivan has performed as a soloist on many occasions with several orchestras including the Pittsburgh and Montreal Symphonys. In 2006, he performed the world premiere performance of Jennifer Higdon’s Trombone Concerto with Sir Andrew Davis and the PSO.

Apart from his activities in Pittsburgh, Sullivan performs regularly across North America, Europe and Asia as soloist and chamber musician alongside the world’s leading brass players.  He is a regular visitor to Japan, playing and teaching at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, the Suntory recital hall in Tokyo, the Hamamatsu Summer Academy, as well as performing solo recitals in Osaka. In China, Peter is involved with the Canton International Summer Music Academy and performed and gave master classes at the Tian Jin and Beijing Conservatories in April of 2006.

Aside from countless orchestral performances in the great concert halls of Europe, Sullivan has performed at the Ascoli Piceno Brass Festival in Italy, and was featured in Christian Lindberg’s Trombone Concerto in Bunol, Spain with the composer on the podium. Sullivan was also the first prize winner in the 1990 Umea International Solo Competition in Sweden.

Here at home, Peter Sullivan has given concerts and clinics from coast to coast, including master classes at the Juilliard and Manhattan schools in New York City, The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, the Glenn Gould Academy in Toronto, coaching at the New World Symphony and the Banff School and tours with the Summit Brass and the Music of the Baroque in Chicago. He has been heard across Canada in recital on CBC radio and on NPR with his colleagues in the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass.

Presently, Sullivan serves on the faculties of Duquesne and Carnegie Mellon universities in Pittsburgh, following 15 years as adjunct professor at McGill University in Montreal. For the past few years, he has been working with the Yamaha Corporation on the development of their new line of orchestral trombones, the prototype of which he plays every week with the PSO.

Craig Knox
Principal Tuba

KNOX__CRAIGCraig Knox joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as principal tuba in 2005. His previous orchestra positions included acting principal tuba of the San Francisco Symphony as well as principal tuba of the Sacramento Symphony and the New World Symphony (Miami). Prior to his appointment in Pittsburgh, he was in demand as regular guest artist with many other major American orchestras, including those of Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit and Minnesota. Since 1995, he has spent part of each summer as co-principal tuba of the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyo.

Since joining the Pittsburgh Symphony, Knox also performs with the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass. He has been an active chamber musician for many years, having co-founded the Center City Brass Quintet, which has performed in recital throughout the United States and Japan, and been heard numerous times on NPR. Its five recordings on the Chandos label have met with critical acclaim, the first being described by American Record Guide as “one of the all-time great brass quintet recordings.” In addition, he played for several seasons with the Chicago Chamber Musicians Brass Quintet — with which he recorded for the Naxos label — and has toured with the Empire Brass.
In January 2012, Knox released his first solo recording, A Road Less Traveled, of music for tuba and piano. As a soloist, he has performed with the U.S. Army Band (Pershing’s Own) in Washington D.C., the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony and the Carnegie Mellon University Wind Ensemble, in addition to recital performances at universities and music festivals around the world. In March 2012, he performed the world-premiere performances of Andre Previn’s Triple Concerto for Trumpet, Horn and Tuba with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and the composer on the podium.

In 2008, the Albany label released a CD recording featuring Knox and his colleagues in the Pittsburgh Symphony low-brass section. Featuring chamber music, orchestral collections and original compositions for three trombones and tuba, the album — titled From the Back Row — was called “hauntingly beautiful” and “hair-raising” by the American Record Guide.

Knox is artist lecturer of Tuba at Carnegie Mellon University, adjunct professor of tuba at Duquesne University and faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He previously served on the faculty at Kent State University and California State University-Hayward, as well as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he was director of the Brass Chamber Music program. He has presented master classes, seminars and recitals at universities, conservatories and festivals around the world, including the Music Masters Course in Kazusa (Japan), the International Brass Symposium (Italy), Tainan National University (Taiwan), the Bruckner University of Music (Linz, Austria), Stuttgart Conservatory (Germany), the National Orchestral Institute (University of Maryland), the National Youth Orchestra of the U.S.A. (Carnegie Hall) and the New World Symphony, as well as the University of Michigan, Indiana University, Yale University and the Curtis Institute of Music, among many others.

A native of Storrs, Conn., Knox began formal musical studies on the classical guitar at age six, and took up the baritone horn in the fifth grade. At age 11, while attending a summer music camp, he was so enamored of the student orchestra that he switched to tuba so he could pursue a life in music as an orchestral performer. His first teachers included Gary Ofenloch, Samuel Pilafian and Chester Schmitz, and he attended the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Paul Krzywicki of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and earned a Bachelor of Music degree.

Please visit craigknoxtuba.com for more information about Knox and his activities.

 

Benny BenackSax, Clarinet, Trumpet & Vocals

Consummate Showman and Pittsburgh Jazz Legend and Band Leader, BENNY BENACK and his Quartet will “TEAR 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 musical virtuosity and versatility.

He’s the MAN – This is THE Band – and  It will be SIZZLING, 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.

HAVE AN UNFORGETTABLE TIME dancing 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 – and your lawn chair and cooler.  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 5:00 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.

mckissick_wurlitzer-1

McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ – www.denniskeyesphotography.com

 

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