Categories Archives: Educational

BEO String Quartet
Jason NeukomViolin
Sandro Leal SantiestebanViolin
Sean NeukomViola
Ryan AshCello

In 2018 Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts  continues its successful Educational ArtReach program begun in 2009, bringing the celebrated BEO String Quartet to perform an arts education residency in the Allegheny-Clarion Valley Schools on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.   The seasoned Beo String Quartet teaching artists will conduct three small classroom workshops for students in grades 1 to 6 and two assembly concerts for students from grades K to 12 in the A-C Valley Elementary gymnasium and Senior High School auditorium.

“[Beo] had nearly 900 children, ranging from grades 3-8, with [them] from the very start, and provided memorable insights in how to listen to chamber music. All were captivated and inspired.”  -Ruth Waalkes, Associate Provost for the Arts, Executive director, Moss Arts Center

A shared dedication to the continued understanding, exploration, and love of music is what inspired Jason Neukom, Sean Neukom, Sandro Leal-Santiesteban, and Ryan Ash to form the Beo String Quartet. The ensemble performs the masterpieces of the string quartet repertoire, collaborates with living composers, and engages new listeners through performance, thoughtful demonstration, and a strong social media presence.

Formed in 2015, the Beo String Quartet presents uniquely crafted educational seminars, as well as formal and informal performances. The ensemble has held residencies at music festivals, including the Charlotte New Music Festival, Virginia Tech and Dakota Chamber Music, where they coached and performed alongside the celebrated Ying String Quartet. The group was also selected as a major winner in the Pittsburgh Concert Society competition in 2016.

“Beo String Quartet is without a doubt the most professional, talented, and visionary ensemble that I have ever worked with. I say this after working […] for the past seven years as the Founder and Artistic Director of the annual International Charlotte New Music Festival.” -Elizabeth Kowalski,  Charlotte New Music Festival

About the Beo String Quartet 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.

Beo String Quartet musicians will perform three small workshops for Allegheny-Clarion Valley Elementary students in grades 1 to 6 in the morning, prior to performing two assembly concerts for all K-6 students in the Elementary School gymnasium and for Jr. and Sr. High School students in the High School Auditorium.

Designed specifically as an arts education resource for A-C Valley students, the Beo String Quartet 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 the instruments in the string 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.”

Beo String Quartet

“…what impressed me most was how they got deep inside my music, and put themselves into my sound world to create something new and powerful. Their interpretation of my quartet was simply astounding and showed tremendous maturity and drive. They played every note like it was the last note they would ever play! An absolutely spectacular group of young, hungry musicians.”  – Marc Mellits, University of Illinois at Chicago

A shared dedication to the exploration and love of music is what inspired the formation of Beo String Quartet (Jason Neukom, Sean Neukom, Sandro Leal-Santiesteban, Ryan Ash). Beo aims to exist as a 21st century music ensemble by performing live, in any venue, the masterpieces of the string quartet repertoire; collaborating with living composers to showcase the music of our time; engaging new listeners through entertainment and thoughtful demonstration; and participating in our modern global culture through a strong social media presence.

Formed in 2015, Beo’s first two years saw a wide range of successes. On tour the group presents uniquely-crafted educational seminars as well as formal and informal performances. Beo has held residencies at music festivals including the Charlotte New Music Festival and Dakota Chamber Music during which they coached and performed alongside the celebrated Ying String Quartet. Beo was selected as a Major Winner for the Pittsburgh Concert Society competition in 2016. More recently, Beo entered the studio to produce recordings of Beethoven String Quartet No.7 in F Major, Op.59 No.1 and Béla Bartók’s String Quartet No.4.

Beo has developed a reputation for their enthusiasm and dedication to new music. With their continued residency with the Charlotte New Music Festival, Beo performs many works by both young and well established composers and is able to work closely with the participants regarding the intricacies of writing for the string quartet. In conjunction with CNMF, they have held two annual Charlotte New Music and Beo String Quartet National Composition Competitions and are in the process of holding a third. In the competition’s inaugural year, Andrew List’s String Quartet No.5, “Time Cycles”, was selected from ninety-six entries. The work was recorded in July of 2016 and is now availble on Beo’s website. The winner of the second competition is Max Giteck Duykers’ “Glass Blue Cleft”, selected from 110 entries, and will be recorded late in 2017.

In addition to regular performances, other 2017-2018 projects include multi-tiered residencies at schools such as Virginia Tech and University of North Carolina Greensboro, as well as a two-week long educational tour in North Dakota. Beo is also in the process of creating a triple quartet, multi-media work composed by their very own Sean Neukom. The summer of 2018 will also find Beo teaching and performing at Dakota Chamber Music and Charlotte New Music Festival.

The essence of a professional string quartet in the 21st century can be enigmatic. Beo believes that in addition to stunning performances and education outreach, a modern chamber ensemble needs to take into account how music is consumed today. As such, Beo dedicates a large amount of time to producing recordings and video projects directed toward an online world. Such content includes humorous videos such as Tim Burton’s “This is Halloween”, multimedia performance projects, performance with live electronics, and more. Additionally, Beo performs both original rock/pop works and covers of favorite songs in band settings under the name Beo Underground.

The members of Beo String Quartet hold degrees from some of the country’s top conservatories including the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Eastman School of Music, and Carnegie Mellon University School of Music. They have collectively studied chamber music with the Ying Quartet, the Pacifica Quartet, the Cavani Quartet, the Miami String Quartet, the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, and members of the Cleveland, Guarneri, and Borodin String Quartets.

With several major projects in the works, keep an eye out for more videos, unique performances, recordings, and collaborations. Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, where you can find many of our projects. It’s also a great way to stay up to date on all things Beo.

Violinist Jason Neukom is a founding member of the Beo String Quartet and has dedicated the majority of his career to chamber music both in performance and in education. An avid supporter of new music, he has given over one hundred chamber music world premieres and considers it very important to perform the music of today.

Jason’s passion for chamber music began while studying with the Ying Quartet, and since then has worked with the Fry Street Quartet, the Daedalus Quartet, and other well known ensembles. Some of Mr. Neukom’s favorite activities with Beo include teaching at Dakota Chamber Music (where his chamber music ‘spark’ began), working with developing composers at the Charlotte New Music Festival, and spending time on Beo pet projects such as original music videos. Prior to forming Beo, Jason was the first violinist of the Freya String Quartet from 2009-2015.

For Jason, music is a family affair, as he grew up playing music with both parents and his brother, Sean Neukom. Whether it was playing as  a family string quartet for social functions or reading through one of his father’s recent compositions in the living room, music has always been a daily activity that was a major part in forming strong bonds to both his family and to sharing music. This has carried into Jason’s professional life, as he frequently performs the music of both RIchard and Sean Neukom. Some of Jason’s proudest musical moments include recording an encore-style album of string quartets with Freya written for him by both Richard and Sean Neukom (called ‘Snapshots’), and recording violin parts for two of Sean Neukom’s visionary albums (‘The Ghost and Mr. Able’ and ‘Dead Reckoning’).

Mr. Neukom enjoys playing  a variety of  music genres and has performed live shows with Bruce Springsteen, Evanescence, Barry Manilow, Josh Groban, Lee Greenwood, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Pink Martini, Belle and Sebastian, Mannheim Steamroller, Tony Orlando, and other notable artists. In addition to live shows, Jason is an experienced studio violinist and you can hear him on several albums in a variety of styles.

Jason studied at Minot State University, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Carnegie Mellon University School of Music, under the guidance of Dr. Jon Rumney, Piotr Milewski, and Professor Cyrus Forough, respectively. He has been awarded fellowships to programs such as the National Repertory Orchestra, the National Orchestral Institute, the Opera Theater and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy, the Britten Pears Festival Orchestra in England, and has held teaching positions and assistantships at programs such as the Cincinnati Starling Project and the New York Summer Music Festival. As a soloist, he has made several appearances with orchestra.

Mr. Neukom currently resides in Pittsburgh and serves as a concertmaster of Pittsburgh Festival Opera, as associate concertmaster of the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, served as concertmaster for Opera Theater of Pittsburgh from 2013 to 2016, regularly performs with the West Virginia Symphony, the Wheeling Symphony, and has also performed with the Vancouver Symphony and Sarasota Orchestra. In addition to his frequent concerts, Jason maintains an active violin studio and enjoys working on media projects for Beo.

Violinist Sandro Leal Santiesteban began his musical journey in Havana, Cuba. While living in Cuba, he performed with many orchestras in the Americas including the Oakland Youth Symphony Orchestra, the New England Conservatory Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Youth Symphony Orchestra, and throughout Europe with the Cuban Dance Company of Lizt Alfonso and the Sinfónica de Matanzas. At age sixteen, Sandro was selected to perform Sarasate’s “Zigeunerweisen” for Claudio Abbado and was featured with the Sinfónica de Matanzas, performing Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto under the baton of his mother, Lourdes Santiesteban.

After immigrating to the U.S. in 2001, Sandro studied for a year at the preparatory school of New England Conservatory with former Boston Symphony principal second violin Marylou Churchill. Sandro continued his studies at the Eastman School of Music with Mikhail Kopelman, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in violin performance and then subsequently studying with Cyrus Forough at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music where he obtained both his Master’s degree in Violin Performance and a certificate from the Performance Residency Program. Sandro has received fellowships to notable festivals such as Musicorda String Summer Camp; the Manchester Music Festival; Round Top Festival Institute; the Spoleto Festival as assistant concertmaster; and the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, where he toured throughout Europe and South America. Mr. Leal has studied with the Shanghai String Quartet, the Ying Quartet, the Brentano Quartet, the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, the Miami String Quartet, and with violinists Elmira Darvarova, Ilya Kaler, Jorja Fleezanis, and Ian Swensen.

Memorable performances for Sandro include the Mendelssohn String Octet alongside former concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Andrés Cárdenes, Behzad Ranjbaran’s Violin Concerto with the Carnegie Mellon University Philharmonic as first prize winner of the Carnegie Mellon University concerto competition, and an American tour with the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra following a semi-finalist award for the 2006 Sphinx Competition. Other notable concerts include playing under the direction of Plácido Domingo, Kent Nagano, and Carlos Miguel Prieto.

Sandro is currently a member of the first violin section of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Erie Philharmonic, the Erie Chamber Orchestra, and is concertmaster of Resonance Works. Additionally, Sandro has a private violin studio in the Pittsburgh area. Sandro is currently a member of the Beo String Quartet taking him as far as Charlotte New Music Festival, NC, and a tour in North Dakota this year. Sandro has been winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society for two years in a row; the first time as a soloist and the second time in chamber music (with Beo). One of Sandro’s current projects is a studio solo album featuring Sean Neukom’s Solo Violin Sonatas, the fourth of which is dedicated to him.

Composer and violist Sean Neukom began his violin studies at the age of three at joint lessons with his brother, Jason. These lessons, taught by their father, laid the foundation for an intense love, respect, and appreciation for music and for making music as brothers. This love of music took Sean to Minot State University where he received a Bachelor in Music degree, under Dr. Jon Rumney. While at MSU Sean’s musical curiosity lead to the start of compositions in the form of exercises. Following Minot, Sean went on to the Cleveland Institute of Music to earn a Master of Music degree in violin performance under the violin division head at the time, David Updegraff.

Sean’s mainstay as a performer is as the violist, and as a founding member, of Beo String Quartet. Prior to Beo String Quartet, Sean played violin in the Milhaud Trio for three years. (In 2007 the Milhaud Trio gave one of the few American performances of Darius Milhaud’s only piano trio with the composer’s wife in attendance.) Additionally, Sean studied the inner workings of chamber music extensively with members of the Ying Quartet and with Peter Salaff of the Cleveland Quartet. When not performing with Beo String Quartet, Sean is the principal 2nd violin with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Leading up to the winning of this post, Sean played violin in many top ensembles including the Nashville Symphony and the New Zealand based Southern Sinfonia.

As a composer, Sean’s works cover a wide range of styles. His concert works have been commissioned by organizations such as the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Charlotte-based Fresh Ink new music series, the innovative multi-media music and dance group Cadence Collective out of Milwaukee, and most recently by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra (DPO). The DPO commissioned Sean to write a violin concerto for their illustrious concertmaster, Jessica Hung Calligan, and will be premiering the work in May 2018. Sean’s pop-art works are self produced and are approached through the same creative means as his concert works, but with the goal of reaching ears both in and out of a concert hall. Such albums include The Ghost & Mr. Able, Dead Reckoning, and a yet to be named new album currently being composed. Beo String Quartet, being joined by two other stunning musicians, will be starting to perform these albums live in 2017 under the name of “The Beo Plug-In”.

An awareness of the changing ways in which music is consumed and produced in the 21st century has lead Sean to really consider how music groups and organizations are managed. His first step into such waters was with the organization named Symbiotic Collusion that ran from 2011 to 2014. This group was run as a for-profit outfit and with the notion that by having products and services to sell one could finance their own artistic projects. Elements of this have been brought to Beo String Quartet but with the necessary tweaks all endeavors require. Sean believes that music is one of the most enriching elements for humankind and that the modern musician needs to know how to market and illicit a call to action just as well as play their instrument. This combination of an intense love for chamber music, a desire to connect different audiences through like music, and a practiced sense of entrepreneurship through music has shaped Sean’s early and developing career.

Ryan Ash, cellist, began his musical studies on the piano at the age of six. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studying cello with Brandon Vamos (of the Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet) and piano with Dr. Yu-Chi Tai, and his Master of Music degree at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University with Dr. Tanya Carey, former president of the SAA and with whom he continues long-term teacher training every summer. Ryan has also taken teacher training with Dr. Louis Bergonzi and Dr. Karen Hendricks (cello), Caroline Fraser (piano),  and Melanie Ron (early childhood music).  He has performed in masterclasses for Steven Doane, Richard Aaron, David Halen, Amit Peled, John Sharp, Wendy Warner, the Arianna, Biava, and Shanghai String Quartets, and has spent summers studying at the Meadowmount School, Innsbrook Institute, Madeline Island Music Camp, Britt Festival, and the Astona International Festival in Leysin, Switzerland.

Before relocating to Pittsburgh, Ryan performed frequently as a member of the Sinfonia da Camera, the Champaign-Urbana, Eastern Illinois, and Decatur Symphony Orchestras, and the Lyria Piano Trio. His performance of Gian Carlo Menotti’s Trio for Two Cellos and Piano was also featured on Chicago’s classical radio station 98.7 WFMT. Ryan has since performed recitals of solo and chamber music on the Holy Trinity Concert Series, OvreArts, Music on the Edge, Living Room Chamber Music Project, and appeared with Ripieno Pittsburgh as well as the Westmoreland, Butler County, Huntington, and Ohio Valley symphonies. He maintains a teaching studio at the Center for Young Musicians.

Jin YangPipa
Mimi JongErhu
Mimi JongErhu
Jeff BermanDulcimer
Susan PowersBanjo and Vocal
James FerlaGuitar
John MarcinizynGuitar
Daphne AldersonContralto

From ancient to modern and criss-crossing the globe, the stirring heart sounds of string instruments spanning four millennia will fill Lincoln Hall on Sunday, April 8 in HeartStrings: East Meets West, as the Appalasia, String Bouquet and the Ferla-Marcinizyn Guitar Duo with contralto Daphne Alderson sound the music of our souls!

  • “What makes us feel drawn to music is that our whole being is music: our mind and body, the nature in which we live, the nature which has made us, all that is beneath and around us, it is all music.”   Hazrat Inyat Khan (Sufi Master) (1882-1927)

Luxuriate in an afternoon of glorious string music from ancient China to the Appalachian hillsides and from the classical courts of Europe to the recording studios of the twentieth century, as erhu and pipa join banjo and dulcimer and two guitars become a band and vocalists soar – all playing the strings of our hearts… a joyous cross-cultural musical celebration not to be missed!

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

And before the concert, enjoy the opening of the Exhibit of Student Artists from the Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School (under the direction of art teacher Anita Allen) at the Red Brick Gallery from 1:00 to 3:00 PM, 17 Main Street, Foxburg.

As individual artists, Jin Yang and Mimi Jong have been dedicated to the study and performance of traditional Chinese music.  Since meeting in 2015, they have embarked on a musical journey together.  From concert halls to libraries, from universities to community centers, from museums to house concerts, String Bouquet is permeating the hearts of their audience.  Their versatile styles include Chinese traditional, global, western classical, jazz, pop and modern music.  Their multi-media projects include collaboration with dance and various performance arts.  String Bouquet continues to explore and expand the possibilities of their creativity, bringing exciting music presentations to their audience.

Yang Jin, pipa

Born in Datong, in northern China’s Shanxi province, Yang Jin began studying pipa at nine.

In 1995 she was admitted to the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and received her BA and MA degrees. Before relocating to the U.S., she served as a pipa instructor at the Wuhan Conservatory of Music in Wuhan, Hubei province, China.

Yang Jin has received many awards, including first prize in the TianHua Cup National Youth Traditional Music Competition in 1997, and the Silver Award of Chinese Golden Bell Award for music.

She has performed in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, France, the United States, Britain, Japan, and the Philippines. In 2010 she was the only mainland Chinese pipaperformer selected (by Wu Man) to participate in a workshop led by the Kronos Quartet and Wu Man at Carnegie Hall.

In October 2016, joined Yo-Yo Ma’s “Silk Road ensemble” together with the famous Mark Morris Dance Group and Well-known mugham singers Alim Qasimov in Great music epic “Layla and Majnun” world tour.

Yang Jin served as Visiting Scholar at Kent State University in 2013-14 lives with her family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she maintains a busy performing and teaching schedule.

Mimi Jong, erhu

Mimi Jong has a diverse musical background acquired from growing up in Indonesia, being educated in Germany, and immigrating to the United States. Since age eleven, she has been performing on the erhu, an ancient, Chinese, two-string, bowed instrument. By moving beyond tradition and embracing the erhu’s versatility, Mimi has performed with jazz, folk and classical musicians, conducted educational workshops, and performed at music festivals.

With the mission of nurturing cross-cultural connections through art, Mimi has co-founded multiple projects. Partnering with artists from China, Mimi was able to introduce traditional Chinese dance and music to schools in the Western Pennsylvania region. Along with Appalasia, she was a featured presenter and performer at the Festival of Woman Composers conference at Indiana University Pennsylvania. Mimi has also been a returning faculty member of Hundington County Art Council’s Folk College. With the group “Silk Sound,” Mimi has collaborated with various jazz musicians and tabla master Samir Chatterjee to develop a new voice from ancient and contemporary Asian melodies. Demonstrating her open mind and musical flexibility, Mimi collaborated with Persian santur master Dr. Dariush Saghafi and tombak master Mahmoud Tehrani, creating hauntingly beautiful music that transcends cultures and genres. Bringing erhu to modern movement, Mimi’s cross-disciplinary involvements include collaboration with the Mary Miller Dance Company and artist Jennifer Myers’  theatrical productions, creating ground-breaking cinematic performances.

Mimi was a recipient of 2014 “Master Artists and Tradition Bearers Award” from Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area. In addition, she serves as the music program director for “Silk Screen Arts and Cultural Organization” and is the board President and founding member of “HarmoniZing,” where her contributions include recruiting renowned artists for local concerts and residencies and providing a platform to encourage diversity in Pittsburgh’s music scene.

Appalasia was formed by Mimi Jong, Jeff Berman, and Sue Powers in Pittsburgh, PA. Together they have created an evocative and ambitious performance language for dulcimer, erhu, banjo, and vocals that combines the influence of their folk-roots with original composition and inspired improvisation.

The individual members of Appalasia each have extensive histories of collaboration, performing, and recording with artists including Andy Statman, Tony Trischka, Pasang Dolma, Alash, Susan Mckeown, Karen Han, Robert Een, Min Xiao Fen, Samir Chatterjee, Linda Thompson, Osei Koranke, Devilish Merry, Arthur Russell and Huang Xiang, to name just a few.

“Appalasia is one of the most innovative and musically exciting groups I have ever heard. The unusual combination of instruments creates such a joyous feeling and combines sophisticated composition with brilliant playing in a way that makes it all seem effortless. Those of us who sat and listened were all literally spell bound. Hearing the banjo played in new ways and the use of the traditional Chinese violin played with stunning virtuosity with Jeff Berman’s dulcimer was just what the world needs to hear This wasn’t cross-over or fusion. This was great music making that needs no label.”                                                David Amram, NERFA 2015

“This trio create, perform, and record music that is unique and beautiful with its evocative eloquence and multitude of sound images …Those of you familiar with the music of West Canadian groups Asza, Orchid Ensemble and Silk Road Music will find themselves in familiar territory because their approach is relatively similar to that of Appalasia in terms of instrumentation and overall sound, though it seems that Appalasia goes further in its melodic search and does not hesitate to give free rein to improvisation and emotional expression… Susan Powers singing often evokes that of the wonderful Gillian Welch … “                              Dan Behrman, Le Magazine Son et Image

Mimi Jong, erhu (see Yang Pipa Erhu Duo above)

“AppalAsia is a fantastic trio hailing from Pittsburgh PA… While CARGO is not a dulcimer album per se, Jeff Berman’s sensitive fingerstyle is evident throughout the recording… Jeff’s dulcimer and Susan’s clawhammer banjo seem to merge as one, and I often had trouble hearing the individual parts; the rhythmic flow and groove is really outstanding. Second, Susan has a voice you won’t forget, at once earthy and bluesy as it is mysterious and haunting. Two of her songs which have these qualities are “Up and Down The River” and “Halloween Waltz”. Third, Mimi’s expert erhu playing adds a wonderful, very expressive dimension to their overall sound, and to my ears, it doesn’t sound as exotic or Eastern as I expected. This is hard to explain, but the trio just sounds totally right- like they have been playing together for centuries. They said at the concert that they all had set out to write music specifically for this unique ensemble, and to me, they have succeeded brilliantly.”           Jerry Rockwell, Dulcimer Players News/ Winter 2016

Jeff Berman, dulcimer

Jeff is a multi-instrumentalist, improvising artist, and composer whose work reflects his global musical vision. A native of New York City who now lives in Pittsburgh, he has developed a genre-extending concept on mountain dulcimer, vibraphone, and percussion, that has allowed him to collaborate across stylistic boundaries with a diverse group of artists from across the globe. Josef Woodward has described his music as “a worldly folk-jazz”, and the Los Angeles Times wrote “Berman bends a chord or strums his Appalachian dulcimer…to stunning effect”.  Jazziz has written “…hypnotic vibes work…Berman not only plays vibes, he sounds like he created the instrument,” and music journalist Bill Milkowski has called Jeff’s writing “…hauntingly beautiful…”

Jeff has performed internationally both as a solo artist and as a member of various ensembles. Some of the artists he has performed, recorded, and toured with include Andy Statman, Tony Trischka, Robert Een, Susan Mckeown, Lindsey Horner, Osei Koranke, Paul Bley, Linda Thompson, and choreographers Yin Mei and Gia Cacalano to name just a few. He has three recordings on the Palmetto Records label featuring his own compositions, and his music has been used for performance, dance, theatre, and film —including the Academy Award nominated documentary In Our Water.

Jeff is rostered with the Pennsylvania State Council on the Arts as a Teaching Artist and has conducted residencies and professional development sessions across the Western Pennsylvania region. These experiences have ranged from creating world rhythm ensembles with elementary school students, Aesthetic Education workshops with middle school students, lecture/demonstrations on cross-cultural collaboration with college students, and workshops in improvisation for arts educators.

Susan Powers, banjo and vocal

Sue Powers grew up outside of Pittsburgh in a family with deep roots in the musical landscape of Western Pennsylvania. She has been singing and playing banjo since high school. Both of her parents were sacred singers, and both her grandfather and her great grandfather were fiddle players who performed for local square dances in the Appalachian “old time” tradition. Powers is a founding member of the group Devlish Merry, where she pioneered the use of the five-string banjo in Celtic music. The group has released three recordings featuring her playing, singing and song writing. Powers has adapted her unique ‘claw hammer’ style to blues, rock and pop music, and is acknowledged as a songwriter whose personal imagery evokes the Pennsylvania landscape. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has written “…the primary element that makes Devilish Merry unusual is the prominent banjo by Ms. Powers… her polyrhythmic…clawhammer style [explores] inside the rhythm… an Afro-blues style applied to Celtic music…”.  The Pittsburgh City Paper has written, “[her songs]… convey a sense of drama… her approach to the banjo – a bluesy variation on claw hammer plucking – makes her an original.”

Her music has been used in modern and traditional dance, performance, theater, and film, including the Smithsonian exhibit “Lewis and Clark: Clash of Empires”, Roger Sayers documentary about “outsider” folk-artist Howard Finster, and Jerry Starr’s stage play “Burried: The of the Sago Mine Disaster.”

Powers has extended her educational outreach to “Beyond Appalachia” – a workshop and
residency/performance experience that highlights the influence of Appalachian music, from it’s roots in the British Isles and Africa to it’s branches in Country, Bluegrass, Blues, Jazz, and Rock music. She conducts lectures and demonstrations in schools and universities on the aesthetics of cross-cultural collaboration and creativity, and she was a featured presenter and performer at the last Festival of Woman’s Composers conference at Indiana University Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh Concert Society winners, the FERLA-MARCINIZYN GUITAR DUO have been heard frequently in Pittsburgh on concert series presented by Carnegie Mellon University, the INTERNATIONAL POETRY FORUM, and the DEAR FRIENDS Ensemble.

As soloists and ensemble players, Marcinizyn and Ferla have performed throughout the United States including programs at the Smithsonian, the University of Akron, Arizona State, the Chatauqua Institution, Oberlin College, Florida State University, New York University, and Notre Dame. The have been heard on NPR, Voice of America, USIA, Chukyo TV-Nagayo, Japan, and in Pittsburgh, on WQED-FM.

Their repertoire spans five centuries and includes music by traditional and contemporary composers as well as folk, jazz, and popular arrangements. Their four CDs celebrate the diversity of their rich repertoire and collaborations.

Andrew Druckenbrod, of the Post-Gazette, wrote that: “The Ferla-Marcinizyn Guitar Duo provided some education of its own with a survey of the repertoire of the guitar. . . including some animated lute transcriptions in which the duo expertly executed the imitation. . . . A Hindemith Rondo came across lively and punchy, and Brouwer’s variations on Frere Jacques was masterful. The best piece, and performance, of the afternoon was Andrew York’s Evening Dance, which created a fascinating mood using evocative harmonies and nimble runs.”

John Hayes of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that they “compile what is easily the most diverse set list in town.”

The Guitar Duo performs frequently for audiences of all ages in western Pennsylvania at schools, museums, historical societies, clubs, festivals, and on community and church concert series.

James Ferla, guitar

In addition to his concerts with the Ferla-Marcinizyn Guitar Duo, James Ferla, a two-time Pittsburgh Concert Society winner, has also performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, the Renaissance City Winds, The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, DEAR FRIENDS Ensemble and Cynthia Koleda DeAlmeida, principal oboe of the Pittsburgh Symphony, tenor Doug Ahlstedt and contralto Daphne Alderson.

James Ferla has given numerous solo and ensemble concerts throughout the United States including programs at the Smithsonian Institution, Arizona State University, Wolf Trap, the Chautauqua Institution, Florida State University, Oberlin College and Notre Dame. He has been heard on NPR, PBS, CBS, Voice of America, USIA, Chukyo TV-Nagayo in Japan, and, in Pittsburgh on WQED-FM. Mr. Ferla has published several articles on guitar repertoire in SoundBoard, the journal of the Guitar Foundation of America, and is heard on seven CDs.

James has published several articles on guitar repertoire in SoundBoard, the journal of the Guitar Foundation of America. With singer/actress Kate Young, James recorded Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Platero y Yo for Voice of America and is heard on the soundtrack of the PBS American Experience film, “Stephen Foster.” He teaches guitar at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. At Carnegie Mellon, Ferla also directs the Carnegie Mellon Guitar Ensemble.

James’ principal teachers were Richard Franklin, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, and Colin Sterne. James has an MFA in performance from Carnegie Mellon University and an MA in Musicology from the University of Pittsburgh.

John Marcinizyn, guitar

Pittsburgh based guitarist, composer, banjoist John Marcinizyn performs frequently as a soloist, with the Ferla-Marcinizyn Guitar Duo, contralto Daphne Alderson, flute and guitar duo, violin and guitar duo, and groups ranging from The Bach Choir of Pittsburgh to Billy Price. He is also a member of Acoustic Swing (jazz trio), and The Red Hot Ramblers (Dixieland jazz). His versatility as an acoustic and electric guitarist allows him to perform in many styles including classical, jazz, flamenco, rock, blues, and folk. John has also performed guitar and banjo for many theater companies including Quantum Theatre, where he wrote and performed a flamenco score for The Red Shoes and a Blues score for El Paso Blue.  His playing can be heard on eight CDs and one DVD.

A favorite of ARCA audiences, John has recently appeared in Foxburg with clarinetist Susanne Ortner both in a cabaret in Lincoln Hall and in the Allegheny-Clarion Valley Schools educational residency, “The Music That Makes Me Dance”, performing for students from grades K to 12.  With his wife, contralto Daphne Alderson, John recently performed in the Valentine’s cabaret, “Return to Love Cafe”, in Lincoln Hall.

John’s original music compositions have received numerous performances and include a guitar concerto, string quartet, orchestral music, music for theater, and pieces for solo guitar and guitar with mixed ensemble, as well as a number of jazz and rock pieces.  His Sonata for Guitar and Marimba received critical acclaim following its premiere at the Guitar Foundation of America International Festival and Competition held in Buffalo.  The Westmoreland Symphonic Winds commissioned Song for the Sparrows, in memory of Beth Ann Johnson and Elyse Jeanne Saraceni who were killed in the 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan Am flight 103.  IonSound Project premiered his And All Manner of Thing Shall Be Well, for Contralto, Cello and Piano, based upon the writings of Julian of Norwich. John wrote and performed the theme music for Excela Health’s (hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and health facilities of Westmoreland County) television, radio and web commercials.

Recently he toured in South America and the Eastern Caribbean with contralto, Daphne Alderson in programs that varied from chamber music through cabaret.

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


Daphne Alderson, contralto

Daphne Alderson ’s diverse career as lyric contralto includes opera, cabaret, oratorio, and chamber music. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette calls her, “An artist of dignified passion,” (Handel’s MESSIAH) and an artist of “Beautifully rendered love songs, (Love Café).”

“Daphne’s voice gives me shivers…she’s really magical, and when she sings in French, you’ll want your sweetheart nearby,” quotes Ted Sohier (WQED fm, Pittsburgh).

Ms. Alderson’s recent return to opera was Mere Jeanne in Pittsburgh Opera’s acclaimed premiere of Poulenc’s DIALOGUES OF THE CARMELITES. Roles with Microscopic Opera followed: Agnes in FANTASTIC MR. FOX and Abby Borden in Thomas Albert’s LIZBETH. Most recently, she debuted the role of Helen Cooper in the World Premiere of Todd Goodman’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Pittsburgh).

Her Madame Armfeldt in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music garnered: “Luscious, dark tones, an accomplished rendering.” (July, 2013, Pittsburgh Tribune Review and City Paper for Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh SummerFest).   Other recent credits include AINADAMAR with Quantum Theatre and Miss Baggott in Benjamin Britten’s THE LITTLE SWEEP.

A Piaf Songbook, her collection of iconic French ballads and folk songs of Leonard Cohen tours 2013-2014, commencing with guitarist John Marcinizyn in Central and South America. The Piaf concerts for the Pittsburgh Symphony’s Paris Festival were hailed…“Not to be missed…” (Mark Kanny, Pittsburgh Tribune Review).

Her Love Café concert series at Heinz Chapel are an annual event in Pittsburgh’s cabaret scene. Daphne is a roster artist at Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour.

Commissioned works include Songs That Oscar Taught Me, (Oscar Hammerstein), All Heart, All Judy, with Douglas Levine, musical director.

Her cabaret debut, An American in Paris, World War II toured the MidAtlantic Region.

Recent projects include appearances at the Club Café, Whittaker Center for the Performing Arts in Harrisburg, opera outreach educational tours with the Pittsburgh Opera, Bricolage Theatre, IonSound Project and Chamber music at Chatham College with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony. Her repertoire includes Bach, Vivaldi, the chamber works of Schumann, Brahms and Mahler, Handel’s MESSIAH, Mendelssohn’s ELIJAH, Pergolesi’s /Vivaldi’s STABAT MATER, Chamber Music at the Frick Museum with Steinway artist Yeeha Chiu and cellist Elisa Kohanski.

Daphne Alderson is an Associate Professor of Voice and Opera Workshop at Seton Hill University. She resides in Pittsburgh with husband, guitarist and composer John Marcinizyn and their beloved pets, T-Bone and Viola.



Academy Chamber Ensemble & SRU Chamber Singers

Warren DavidsonViolin
Leah GivelberViolin
David SinclairViola
Paige RiggsCello
Gino FaraciBass
Christopher Scott, ConductorConductor

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts opens its 2018 Season on Sunday, March 4 at 2:00 PM in Lincoln Hall with a choral and chamber music program – Songs of Spirit from Eastern Europe performed by the Academy Chamber Ensemble and Slippery Rock University Chamber Singers:  Schubert’s popular Mass in G and beautiful arrangements of traditional Croatian Songs and Dances – plus duos and trios by Michael Haydn and Ignaz Pleyel.

Schubert’s Mass is one of his most beloved –  a moving master work perfect for reflection in the Lenten Season.  This refreshing concert of choral and chamber music presents Classical and Romantic music from Austria side-by-side with traditional Croatian folk songs and dance music.

Violinist, conductor and composer, Dr. Warren Davidson, will serve as the program host, offering commentary on the composers and their music and exploring the surprising connections between pieces and people.  Davidson has had a 40 year fascination with the music of Romania, Serbia, Poland and Croatia. Profoundly moved by his experience last May in Zagreb playing with the musicians of the Croatian National Folklore Ensemble, LADO, Davidson was inspired to arrange the beautiful traditional Croatian folk songs and dances on this program for chamber choir and string quintet.

Join us for this ARCA “first” – a concert featuring BOTH chorus and chamber musicians:  The celebrated Academy Chamber Ensemble and Slippery Rock University Chamber Singers.  And ARCA is especially pleased that numerous students from the greater Allegheny River Valley – including Butler, Titusville and Brookville – will be singing in Lincoln Hall with the Chamber Singers.

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

Academy Chamber Ensemble
With bassist Gino Faraci and the Slippery Rock University Chamber Singers

Duo in F Major for Violin and Viola, Opus 69, #2           Ignaz Pleyel (1757-1831)


Leah Givelber and David Sinclair

Divertimento in C Major                                                        Michael Haydn (1737-1806)

Warren Davidson, Paige Riggs, and Gino Faraci

Croatian Folk Songs and Dances for String Quintet      Warren Davidson (1961- )
Senjicu senjala
Gračanska polka
Gračanski drmeš|
Međmurje malo
Zagorski drmeš



Croatian Folk Songs                                                                  Warren Davidson (1961-  )
Dobar večer dobri ljudi
Baroš, oj Barica
Cvetna mladost lepa si
Lepa Anka kolo vodi
Devetstopetnasto leto
Igrajte nam mužikaši

Mass in G Major, D. 167                                                           Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Agnus Dei

Schubert’s gorgeous melodies and emotionally gripping music have captivated audiences for almost two centuries – and the sweet lyrical beauty of his Mass in G make this one of Schubert’s most popular compositions.

This concert features Schubert’s beautiful religious work with other Austrian works from the classical and Romantic period side-by-side with traditional Croatian folk songs and dance music.

Austria and Croatia were closely connected for centuries. Croatia had been under the Hungarian monarchy from 1102 AD; when the Hungarian crown was merged with that of Austria in 1526, creating the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Croatia was ruled from Vienna. Croatia was part of the empire for nearly 400 years, including all of the music stylistic periods we call the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras. Austria was one of the most important centers for this music, and naturally the Austrian musical influence was felt in the major Croatian cities, but in the countryside, in the villages, traditional music and dance continued as it always had, regardless of who the political rulers were.

Violinist, conductor and composer, Dr. Warren Davidson, who will serve as the program host, has had a 40 year fascination with the music of Romania, Serbia, Poland and Croatia. Profoundly moved by his experience last May in Zagreb playing with the musicians of the Croatian National Folklore Ensemble, LADO, Davidson was inspired to arrange the beautiful traditional Croatian folk songs and dances on this program for chamber choir and string quintet.

This concert features two lesser-known Austrian Classical composers who were close to the more famous Haydn and Mozart: Haydn’s younger brother Michael, and Haydn’s student Ignaz Pleyel. Michael Haydn was part of the musical establishment at Salzburg, where both Wolfgang Mozart and his father Leopold worked. He was a close friend of the Mozart family and, as modern scholarship shows, a powerful musical influence on the famous Amadeus! He wrote many symphonies – at least 42 – much church music, and chamber pieces for a variety of ensembles. The Divertimento in C is typical of Michael Haydn’s chamber works in its clear textures and good humor.

Ignaz Pleyel was a favorite student of the older, more prominent Haydn brother, Joseph (often referred to as the “father” of both the symphony and the string quartet). Unlike Michael Haydn, who spent his entire professional life in Salzburg, Pleyel had an international career. Fresh from triumphs in the concert life of London he established himself in Paris, where he founded a successful publishing house and a profitable piano factory!

Schubert’s early Mass in G-Major has always been a favourite with musical experts and laymen alike. The key of G Major was particularly convenient for Schubert and was the most traditionally folksy key of his masses.  The extraordinary effects of Schubert’s intense sacred work are mainly found in its simplicity and in the modest, personal experience of religious contemplation that it offers.

Schubert was occupied with the composition of music for the church from his 15th year until the end of his life. In volume his sacred output falls only slightly short of Mozart and greatly exceeds that of Beethoven.

Schubert attended mass regularly as a child and probably continued the practice into his adulthood, especially while living with or visiting his family. As with other areas of his personal life, direct evidence concerning Schubert’s religious beliefs is hard to come by. At times he found it difficult to accept what he saw as the harsh and dogmatic aspects of the Catholic Church, often challenging the established views of the church.

Nevertheless, In an 1824 diary entry he wrote that ‘It is with faith that man first enters the world. It comes long before reason and knowledge, for to understand something one must first believe something … Reason is nothing other than analysed faith’.

Whether or not Schubert evolved a Christian humanism, his involvement with theological questions seems to have been an important theme of his creative life.

Academy Chamber Ensemble
Warren Davidson and Leah Givelber, violin
David Sinclair, viola
Paige Riggs, cello
with guest Gino Faraci, bass

The Academy Chamber Ensemble in its seventh season presents concerts focused on the great classical chamber music tradition in venues in the greater Pittsburgh Region, including  Old St. Luke’s Church in Carnegie and Central Presbyterian Church in Tarenturm, PA, and Slippery Rock University, among others. Repertoire also includes musical rarities and contemporary works. Ensemble leader Dr. Warren Davidson serves as program host and provides commentary on the composers and their music which explores the surprising connections between pieces and people. Dr. Davidson also arranges for the group, including the Croatian Songs and Dances for String Quintet and chorus on this program.

The ensemble consists of leading players from the Pittsburgh area, many of whom are faculty members at colleges and universities who have performed all over the US, Europe, and Asia. Ensemble members hold advanced degrees from some of the nation’s finest music programs, including the Eastman School of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

Dr. Warren Davidson

Violinist Dr. Warren Davidson is active in a wide variety of musical roles. He has served on the faculty of Slippery Rock University since 2001, teaching violin and viola lessons, conducting the SRU orchestra, and teaching courses in music theory and music history. He is concertmaster of the Westmoreland Symphony and the Academy Chamber Orchestra and music director of the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra. He has an extensive background in chamber music ensembles including the prize-winning Aramis Quartet and the Slippery Rock Trio.

Dr. Davidson’s musical interests range far beyond classical violin, with a special emphasis on folk music of the Balkan countries. Dr. Davidson earned a B.A. cum laude in Philosophy and Psychology at Duquesne University before turning to full-time violin study; his principal violin teachers were Alan Grishman and Efim Boico. He completed an MM in violin at Duquesne, an MA in Theory and Composition at the University of Pittsburgh, a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Chamber Music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at West Virginia University where he was granted a Swiger Fellowship.

Leah Givelber

Leah Givelber began studying the violin at age five. She earned degrees in violin performance at New England Conservatory and the Eastman School of Music. Her teachers include Masuko Ushioda, Charles Castleman, and Julia Bushkova.

In Boston, she performed with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Leah plays with many groups in the Pittsburgh area including the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestras, the Academy Chamber Orchestra and the McKeesport Symphony, where she is concert master.

A dedicated and accomplished Suzuki teacher, Leah has taught violin at the Center for Young Musicians from 2000 to the present, served as chair of the violin department from 2003-2006, and has been President of the school since 2009. During her time at the Center for Young Musicians, Leah has prepared students to perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony, at the White House, on the Saturday Light Brigade radio show, and collaborated with local composers and the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society. She lives in Squirell Hill with her husband Burkhardt Reiter, and their daughter, Josephine.

Dr. Paige Riggs

Cellist, Dr. Paige Riggs, grew up in the Boston area and moved in Pittsburgh in 2002.  She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Indiana University (Bloomington), and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she was awarded a doctorate of musical arts in 2000. Recently appointed to teach at the music department at Slippery Rock University, she has also served on the music faculties at the University of Virginia and Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.  Her major teachers include Paul Katz, Janos Starker, and Timothy Eddy.

Dr. Riggs has been principal cellist and soloist at the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival since 1999, and performed and taught for many years at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina.  She has been a guest artist at numerous music festivals and concert series including the Music on the Edge Series in Pittsburgh, the Foothills Music Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the Garth Newel Music Festival in Warm Springs, Virginia, the June in Buffalo Festival in Buffalo, New York, and the Embassy Concert Series in Washington, D.C.  While a student she received fellowships from the Spoleto Music Festival, the Bach Aria Festival, and the Tanglewood Music Center, which awarded her the C. D. Jackson memorial prize in 1997.  She has performed as principal cellist of the Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestra and currently holds that position in the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra and the McKeesport Symphony.  Dr. Riggs lives with her husband and two daughters in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

David W. Sinclair

David W. Sinclair is a native of Western Pennsylvania, and was largely self-taught before beginning his undergraduate work. He received a Bachelor of Music with distinction in viola performance from the Eastman School of Music and holds a Master of Music and Artist Diploma in viola performance from Duquesne University.

Mr. Sinclair is currently the principal violist with the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra in Greensburg, PA, in addition to his work as a chamber musician. He has appeared with the Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Heidelberg Schlossfestespiele Opera Orchestra, Academy Chamber Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, Butler Symphony, Johnstown Symphony, Altoona Symphony, McKeesport Symphony, Youngstown Symphony and the Wheeling Symphony among other groups. He taught viola and violin at the Westmoreland Suzuki School of Music for several years and was also the Music Director of the Westmoreland Junior Strings, the Seton Center String Orchestra, and the Westmoreland Youth Symphony String Ensemble. Currently he is the Music Director of the newly formed Seton Strings ensemble. He was also the Violin/Viola faculty for the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh. In addition, Mr. Sinclair spent eight years as the viola coach of the Greater Erie Youth Symphony Orchestra and accompanied them on a successful tour of Italy.  He has been on the faculty of Seton Hill University as adjunct instructor of Violin and Viola since 1999. Mr. Sinclair lives in Butler, PA with his wife.

Gino Faraci

Gino Faraci is a freelance double bassist, teacher, and chamber music impresario living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh in 2005, Gino served as the assistant principal bass for the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra and performed with numerous orchestras in the northeast including the Connecticut Grand Opera Orchestra, Binghamton Philharmonic, Ridgefield Symphony, Orchestra of New England, and Norwalk Symphony. He was a member of the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland from 2001 to 2004 performing internationally in Europe, Asia, and South America under the direction of conductors James Levine, Charles Dutoit, Wolfgang Sawallish, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Paavo Jarvi, and Yuri Temirkanov. Gino performed with the Italian chamber ensemble Sinfonietta Umbria at Carnegie Hall and has played with renowned soloists Dimitry Sitkovetsky, Vadim Repim, and Lang Lang. He has performed chamber music at Caramoor and has played bass in several Off Broadway musical productions.

In 2010 Gino founded Classical Revolution Pittsburgh, an internationally recognized chamber music organization committed to taking music out of the concert hall and performing high quality classical music concerts in accessible venues such as bars, cafes, galleries, and public spaces. In recognition of his work with Classical Revolution Pittsburgh, Gino was featured in an article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette for their “Person of Interest” column in April of 2012.

Currently, Gino is highly in demand as an orchestra and chamber music performer with ensembles such as the Pittsburgh Opera, Erie Philharmonic, Erie Chamber Orchestra, Southwest Florida Symphony, Albany Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony, Wheeling Symphony, Altoona Symphony, Westmoreland Symphony, Butler County Symphony and many, many more.

In addition to performing, Gino is a committed teacher. He is the orchestra director at Sewickley Academy, a co-educational college preparatory independent school in Sewickley, PA where he teaches strings at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. He has been a double bass coach for the Pittsburgh Youth Pops Orchestra, Bridgeport Youth Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division, and maintains a private double bass studio. Not limited to music, Gino is also a ski instructor at 7 Springs Mountain Resort where he teaches group and private lessons to skiers of all ability levels from beginner to expert.

Gino Faraci studied double bass with Timothy Cobb and Jeffrey Turner. He is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Double Bass Performance and Master of Music degree from the Orchestral Performance program. Beyond music, his favorite activities are running and skiing. Gino lives in the Regent Square neighborhood of Pittsburgh with his wife Tanya and daughter Nora.

Dr. Christopher Scott

Dr. Christopher Scott, baritone, serves as Assistant Professor of Music at Slippery Rock University, where he directs the Chamber Singers and Opera Performance and teaches a voice studio and other music courses.  He completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music where he studied voice with Tom Baresel and taught a voice studio of Music Theater majors.  He completed a Masters Degree at the same institution. Before coming to SRU, Chris served for three years as Artist in Residence at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL where he directed the Wennerberg Men’s Chorus and taught a voice studio.

As a professional baritone Chris has sung with Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Resonance Works, Microscopic Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Quad City Opera, the Binghamton Philharmonic, and the Landesbühnen Sachsen Theater.  He is happy to be here today collaborating once again with the fine musicians of the Academy Chamber Ensemble.

Slippery Rock University Chamber Singers – Spring 2018

The Slippery Rock University Chamber Singers is an elite chamber choir consisting of approximately 30 singers who share a love for singing and being part of an excellent ensemble choral experience. Chamber Singers are also in the SRU Concert Choir, which performs all types of music, from the Renaissance to 21st century, from classical to jazz.  The Chamber Singers, however, perform challenging repertoire with a greater emphasis on a capella music and modern music by living composers. The Chamber Singers tour each fall, perform for numerous on-campus special events, and have completed recently a CD recording project of Christmas-themed choral music.

The larger SRU Concert Choir, consisting of 60-70 music and non-music majors, performs two concerts each semester in addition to off-campus performances for the community and outreach events at local and regional high schools. The group has performed the Mozart Requiem in Pittsburgh, presented at the 2011 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) Annual Conference, at traveled Carnegie Hall in New York City, as well as performed on programs with the SRU Wind Ensemble and the Butler County Symphony.


Jenn Foster, Sophomore – Music Education    Pittsburgh, PA

Marie Helstrom, Senior – Music Education, Music Therapy    Langhorne, PA

Mizuho Ishiguro, Senior – Psychology    Shiga, Japan

Jacqui Rush, Sophomore – Music Therapy    Quakertown, PA



Hannah Floyd, Sophomore – Music Therapy    Sheffield, OH

Maevon Gumble, Second year graduate student – Master of Music Therapy    Honesdale, PA

Charity O’Donnell, Sophomore – Music Therapy    Butler, PA

Lindsey Stank, Sophomore – Music Therapy    Williamsport, PA

Kayla Terry, Freshman – Music Therapy    Waynesboro, PA



Noah Reed, Freshman – Theatre     Butler, PA

Ben Snyder, Junior – Music Education, Music Performance    Titusville, PA

Kyle Steinle, Freshman – Communications, Music    Cranesville, PA

Chase Upchurch, Junior – Music Education     Titusville, PA


Austin Cornelius, Sophomore – Music Education    Industry, PA

Simon Glatt, Freshman – Music Education    St. Marys, PA

Frank Paden, Junior – Digital Media Production    Brookville, PA

Daniel Sedor-Franzak, Freshman – Music Therapy    Bethel Park, PA

Nathan Turley, Senior – Music Education    Prospect, PA


A-C Valley Student Art Exhibit 2017

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is proud to be partnering with the Allegheny-Clarion Valley Schools for a third year, presenting an exhibit of more than 100 artworks by Allegheny-Clarion Valley Jr. and Sr. High School students from April 8 to 16, 2017, on the second floor of the Red Brick Gallery on Main Street in Foxburg.  

This exhibit is part of ARCA’s Educational ArtReach program, bringing celebrated artists and seasoned teaching artists to conduct residencies in the A-C Valley Schools and showcasing the artwork of Jr. and Sr. High School students in exhibits at the Red Brick Gallery.

In their educational process, more than one hundred students in A-C Valley High School art teacher, Anita Allen’s classes have employed the long-standing practice, dating back to the masters of western art, of doing copies of works of art as a study in composition and craftsmanship. They have created artwork that is delightfully diverse and excellent in its reproduction of a wide spectrum of images in various media: Acrylic, watercolor, pastels, tempera, scratchboard, acrylic on slate, charcoal, marker, India ink – plus three-dimensional art including ceramics, pottery and sculptures.

“Students have been working on their art for this exhibit throughout the year,” said Anita Allen. “It’s amazing to witness their creative process in the various media in which they have worked.  I am grateful that ARCA is exhibiting their art in the Red Brick Gallery again this Spring.  It’s important for the students to see their artwork displayed publicly.  Our community, without a doubt, will get a true idea of the artistic skills our kids have when they see the quality and creativity of this exhibit.”

This is the third exhibit of A-C Valley student art at the Gallery.  Red Brick Artistic Director, Donna Edmonds said, “As many will recall, the Gallery opened its 2015 season for the first time with an A-C Valley Student exhibit. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was phenomenal. The work was vibrant and explosive! And many people in the community were introduced to the Red Brick Gallery by the lure of viewing the art of a student known to them. We encourage everyone to take a few minutes to drop by to support the students. It’s a great experience that leaves everyone with a sense of awe for the freshness and talent of these young artists.”

Superintendent of the A-C Valley School District, David McDeavitt said, “It makes me very happy to have a local organization such as ARCA helping to support our educational system.  Opportunities like the Red Brick Gallery provide our students with learning opportunities that extend past the classroom and into the community.  One of our goals at A-C Valley is to develop our students into productive members of society and this program does just that!”

The exhibit will run two weekends, from Saturday, April 8 through Sunday, April 16, with gallery hours on Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. A Meet the Student Opening Reception will take place on Saturday, April 8 from 12:000 to 5:00 PM. 

The ARCA Board of Directors is grateful to Red Brick Gallery Artistic Director, Donna Edmonds, for her generosity and expertise in hanging this exhibit of A-C Valley student art this spring.

ARCA thanks the A-C Valley School Board, Superintendent David McDeavitt, Principal Bill Jordan, Staff and Faculty including Anita Allen and R.J. Feicht for their partnership.



Allegheny-Clarion Valley Art Students of Anita Allen
Featured in the Red Brick Gallery Exhibit 2017

Alyssa Ace                                                                  Medium: Pottery                                                    8th Grade
Hello my name is Alyssa Ace. I am 14 years old and go to A-C Valley High School. I live in Parker, PA. I enjoy doing pottery and charcoal drawings. I am in softball, volleyball, basketball, track, cross-country, cheerleading, and gymnastics. I am a runner for Cross Country and I am holding the record for JH. My hobbies are Running, Fishing, Hunting, and Football. For my future job I want to be a MMA fighter or a Professional Woman’s Boxer.

Lauren Alworth                                                     Media: Ceramic/Acrylic                                    11th Grade
My name is Lauren Alworth and I am a junior at Allegheny Clarion Valley. I am very active in the music, art, and cheerleading programs. In past years, we have won our D9 competition, the Co-ed division, gone to states, and advanced to semifinals last year. I participate in marching, jazz and concert band, and I play the alto, tenor, baritone saxophone. I am also in chorus and participate in our musicals. Even though I’ve never had an important part, I have been in Pippin, The Sound of Music, and Schoolhouse Rock and really loved it. I am also part of the student council and the vice president of my class.

Brad Armagost                                                       Medium: Ink                                                            12th Grade
My name is Brad Armagost. I did an Ink picture and it looks pretty sweet too, but in all honesty it was hard and looks amazing.

Makenna Armagost                                              Medium: Pottery                                                    8th Grade
My name is Makenna Armagost and I am 14 years old and in 8th grade at A-C Valley. I participate in the A-C Valley Drama Club and Do Something Good Club. I am a Jr. High School cheerleader and also play volleyball and softball. I enjoy singing in the choir and playing the clarinet in concert band. I really enjoy trying out new things.

Zach Austin                                                               Medium: Pencil                                                      11th Grade
My name is Zach Austin and I was born on August 13, 1999. I live in St. Petersburg, PA with my mom, dad, and my dog. I am currently a junior at AC Valley High School. I participate in student council, track, and golf. I am in the middle of my third year of taking an art class. The picture I am entering in the art show is my old style gas station drawing. The drawing represents the history of the time period included in the picture.

Riley Bauer                                                                Medium: Pottery                                                    8th Grade
Hey dude, my name is Riley. I go to AC-Valley and I participate in only the most prestigious clubs and activities….like band, jazz band, by the way ”ya like jazzzz?” I also go to strategy club and play nerd card games! Baseball, and BMX are the two most amazing things to do in the world, that’s why I do them. But when I can’t do that I SLEEP. THE END

Amanda Booher                                                     Medium: Acrylic                                                     12th Grade
My name is Amanda Booher. I am a senior at Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School, and the Clarion County Career Center Allied Health. I have been very active throughout my high school years doing various volunteering, and fundraising activities. I am the member of National Technical Honor Society, SADD, and HOSA. I’ve attended several Nursing Assistant competitions through the State and Internationals. My mom has been my biggest supporter through everything and this painting of a Golden Retriever is for her.

Bridget Brison                                                        Medium: Ink                                                            9th Grade
My name is Bridget Brison and I’m a freshman at Allegheny Clarion Valley High School. I live in the outskirts of Emlenton. I enjoy hanging out with my friends and being active. I have been in cross-country since seventh grade. I’ve also been an active member of A-C Valley Business Leaders of Tomorrow Club since seventh grade. I enjoy art very much. I often paint at my house in my free time. The project I did is of a cat in ink. I overcame some obstacles doing it but overall it was a fun challenge.

Destiny Chamoun                                                  Medium: Acrylic                                                    11th Grade
My name is Destiny Chamoun and I’m a junior at A-C Valley. I’m originally from Tampa, FL and moved to Parker, PA about four years ago. My favorite medium is definitely acrylic. This is my second year taking art and I enjoy it immensely.

Carter Chase                                                              Media: Markers /Linoleum                            10th Grade
Hello, my name is Carter Chase. I live in Foxburg , Pennsylvania with my parents. I am a sophomore at Allegheny-Clarion Valley. In my near future I want to attend Alabama University to become certified in sports medicine.

Colt Christo                                                              Medium: Pottery                                                   12th Grade
My name is Colt Christo, I am currently a senior at A-C Valley and have been in art class for 5 years. I participate in marching band, concert band, jazz band, and football at our school. The medium of the projects I have in this show are ceramics, either thrown from the pottery wheel, or hand sculpted. Being able to make these has been fun and I am glad to be able to present them in the art show.

Leroy Cratty

Leroy Cratty                                                             Media: Watercolor/Charcoal/Acrylic    12th Grade
My name is Leroy Cratty and I’m a senior at AC-Valley. I like to do things with my hands like paint, draw and make jewelry. I plan on attending Clarion University and receive a Bachelor’s degree in Art.

Rachel Cullen                                                           Medium: Ceramic                                                  8th Grade
My name is Rachel Cullen and I am an eighth grader at A-C Valley. In my free time I like to watch Netflix, play basketball, and go biking. The ceramic mask I completed was of a rabbit using pink and white colors.

Chloe Dittman                                                         Medium: Watercolor                                          9th Grade
My name is Chloe Dittman and I am a 14 year-old freshman at A-C Valley High school. I am involved in track, volleyball, cheerleading, basketball, and gymnastics. I chose this picture because of the bright pink colored flowers and the vibrant background with blues and purples. It really struck my personality and seemed like a fun painting.

Madelyn Dittman                                                   Medium: Watercolor                                          10th Grade
My name is Madelyn Dittman and I am a sophomore at A-C Valley. I participate in Basketball, Cheerleading, and Track. I have participated in those sports since I started my high school career. In track I run the 3200 relay and I throw javelin. Last year I almost made districts for javelin and I lettered in both track and cheerleading. I have been a member of the Student Council since seventh grade and plan to continue this club until I graduate. I take an honors English class and maintain honor roll throughout the school year. I have never had a grade lower than a B on a progress report or report card. My painting is a bunch of flowers, done in watercolor.

Sylvia Downes                                                          Medium: Acrylic                                                    9th Grade
I’m a 9th grader at A-C Valley. I love art class, and currently, acrylic paintings are my favorite type of art project to do.

Michael Dunkel                                                       Medium: Water-Color                                        11th Grade
My name is Michael Dunkel. I am a junior at A-C Valley High School and this is a watercolor I made of Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII and a few chocobos, a large bird from the series, which is usually ridden. I am in Strategy Club, Drama Club, and Art Club at my school.

Austin Eaton                                                             Medium: Ceramics                                                8th Grade
Hello, my name is Austin Eaton and I go to AC-Valley High School. The ceramic mask I made in Art class is a Joker mask. I’m in junior high chorus. Some of the interests I have outside of school are reading books about the Mafia and movies and other crime dramas.

Kylee Eaton                                                              Medium: Acrylic                                                    10th Grade
My name is Kylee Eaton. I am a sophomore at A-C Valley High School. I am a student athlete and I participate in volleyball, basketball, and softball and have achieved varsity letters in each of these sports. I am a member of the Business Leaders of Tomorrow club. Out of school I enjoy kayaking and being outside. I prefer to do acrylic paintings and marker paintings..

Brock Fair                                                                 Medium: Marker/Linoleum                            10th Grade
My name is Brock Fair. I am a sophomore at A-C Valley high school. I live in Parker, PA. I am 17 years old. I had been drawn this project because I have a lot of Indian in my family. I mainly use graphite pencils and shading but I have decided to use marker to extend my knowledge on other mediums.

Cody Fair                                                                  Medium: Pottery                                                  8th Grade
Hi my name is Cody Fair my favorite color is orange. I live in Parker, Pa. I was born on November 30. I go to A-C Valley High School. I work on the farm with my dad.

Jerry Fair                                                                   Medium: Pottery                                                   8th Grade
My name is Jerry Fair and I have lived in Parker since I was born. My favorite sport is football. I was born on April 11, 2003. I like to play airsoft. My favorite car is a GTR R35.

Kari Franklin                                                          Medium: Pencil                                                      12th Grade
My name is Kari Franklin. I am an 18-year old senior at A-C Valley school district. I chose to draw Draco Malfoy/Tom Felton an actor/character from my favorite book series. I decided to draw him in pencil because that’s the medium I feel most comfortable with and to interpret the different shades of gray in his personality.

Emma Fox                                                                  Medium: Acrylic Paint                                        11th Grade
My name is Emma Fox and I am a junior at A-C Valley High School. I have been a part of the cheerleading squad, basketball team, track team, and golf team for the past four years. I am the secretary of Student Council and I am also part of Prom Committee. I plan on attending college and grad school to become a dermatologist.

Emma Fox

Jeffrey Ginn

Jeffrey Ginn                                                                Medium: Linoleum                                               11th Grade
Hello my Name is Jeffrey Ginn. I am a junior at A-C Valley High School. I participate in football, basketball, and baseball. My favorite media are markers and linoleums. I occasionally do charcoal portraits.

Kaitlyn Ginnery                                                       Medium: Watercolor                                         9th Grade
My name is Kaitlyn Ginnery. I am a freshman at Alleghany- Clarion Valley High School. I love to play volleyball and have played since Jr. High. I am a member of AC-Valley’s Future Business Leaders of Tomorrow. I decided to put my watercolor lion into the art show because I think it is one of the best things I have done so far.

Kaden Green                                                             Medium: Pottery                                                   8th Grade
My name is Kaden Green. I go to ACV High School. I love Video games, Swimming, and Magic. When I was in 1st Grade, I moved from Emlenton to Karns City. I went to SugarCreek Elementary school for the 2nd to 7th. I moved to Parker where I live currently. I now go to A-C Valley once again and I see some new and old faces. I’m enjoying it here kind of but besides that I am enjoying High School.

Elizabeth Hankey                                                   Medium: Watercolor                                          12th Grade
My name is Elizabeth Hankey but most people call me Liz. I am a Senior at A-C Valley. A few of my hobbies include painting and rollerskating. I chose this specific picture because I really enjoy looking at the night sky. It helps me think out my problems and it is very relaxing.

John Hetrick                                                            Media: Ceramics/Acrylic                                 11th Grade
I’m a Junior at A-C Valley where I am very involved in the arts. I participate in band, choir, and art class. I’m also involved in marching band, jazz band, musicals in and out of school, and will be participating in the PMEA All State Choir festival In April. While I will try any art form at least once, my favorite medium is ceramics because you truly are free to do whatever you like. At this point in time, I have begun toying with various forms of marbling, by mixing different colors of clay into a swirl pattern.

Madyson Hetzler                                                    Medium: Charcoal                                                 10th Grade
My name is Madyson Hetzler, I am the youngest in my family and I am a student currently attending A-C Valley High School. I am in 10th grade and I enjoy doing many activities for school and out of school. Some of my interests include cheerleading, golf, gymnastics, and the school musical. I also love to fish, hunt, and spend time with my friends and family. I am also in A-C Valley’s Do Something Good Club. All these activities and people encourage me to do my best in school, and give me a look of great success for my future.

Amber Holton                                                         Medium: Watercolor                                          10th Grade
My name is Amber Holton. I am 15 years old and a sophomore at A-C Valley. I am in Art Club, Spanish club, SADD, Youth Counsel, and Do Something Good Club where I am treasurer. This is my first year of art class. The painting I did was a deer with little designs inside of it in watercolor.

Adam Hook                                                               Medium: Pottery                                                  8th Grade
My name is Adam Hook and I’m in 8th grade at A-C-Valley.   I’m creative and willing to try anything. When not in high school I love to be outside, as well as reading.

Sarah Hughes

Sarah Hughes                                                           Medium: Watercolor and ink                        11th Grade
Hi ya, my name is Sarah Hughes. I am currently a junior at AC Valley Jr./Sr. High School and am Vice President of the Japanese club and President of the Art Club. My hobbies include drawing, writing fanfictions, playing video games, playing violin, and playing in the Marching Band.

Amanda Hunt                                                          Medium: Watercolor                                          10th Grade
My name is Amanda Hunt.   I am 16 years old and a sophomore at A-C Valley. I played volleyball, basketball, and I currently play softball. I love doing watercolor paintings. Art class calms my nerves when I work on my projects. I participate in Art club and GIVE club to give back to my community. I have one sibling, a sister.

Kenzy Kellogg                                                          Medium: Pottery                                                    8th Grade
My name is Kenzy Kellogg, and I am 13 in 8th grade at A-C Valley High School. I participate in Cheerleading, volleyball, and the school musicals. In my free time I enjoy photography, and kayaking. My favorite thing to do in art class is watercolor.

Rachelle Kelly                                                          Medium: Pottery                                                    8th Grade
My name is Rachelle Kelly, and I’m currently an 8th grade, attending Allegheny-Clarion Valley. I live in Parker, Pennsylvania with both of my parents. My parents’ names are, Brian and Melinda Kelly. I have two brothers and one sister.

Karly King                                                                 Medium: Acrylic                                                     9th Grade
Hi, my name is Karly King and I’m a freshman this year at A-C Valley High School. For this art project I painted with acrylic on a stretched canvas. Besides art I participate in Marching Band, Concert band, Jazz Band, and the school musicals! I was honored to go to District Jazz this year for the first time! I love to paint with acrylic and I also like to sculpt different things with clay.

Maiah Kriebel                                                           Medium: Pottery                                                   8th Grade
I’m Maiah Kriebel, I’m from St. Petersburg, PA. I enjoy creating many forms of art. One of my favorites is drawing and would some day like to interpret that into my career. I also needle felt, paint, and work with clay. I’ve been to 46 of our 50 states. I live on a small farm with chickens, ducks, cats, and soon sheep.

Ali Lambert                                                              Medium: Acrylic                                                     10th Grade
My name is Allie Lambert. I am a sophomore at AC Valley High School, and I have been attending this school since kindergarten. In school, I am the president of GIVE Club, and I have been running track and cross-country since the seventh grade. This painting was inspired when my father, Andrew Lambert, was younger. In this painting, a little boy walks along a gravel path in a rural area. Key parts of the painting include: the overalls, the red barn, and landscaping. This project took me around 4 months to paint. Overall, I enjoy the way that this project came out, but if I had to do it again, there are multiple things that I would change to do it better.

Kaity Lance                                                                Medium: Graphite                                                 12th Grade
My name is Kaity Lance. I’m 18 years old and a senior in the A-C Valley High School. I spend most of my time either reading or creating art. I also love spending time and joking around with my friends. Graphite is my favorite medium to use because I love blending the different shades together to make a picture come to life. I’ve recently started doing realistic pictures and hope to make them as realistic as I possibly can in the future.

Allyssa Leith                                                            Medium: Ceramics                                              8th Grade
Hi my name is Allyssa. I am 14 and I go to A-C Valley. I am in Jr. High choir and also I’m in Drama and Spanish club. I love to run and am very athletic, but I still love to be creative and draw and paint. My mask is a half mask and is supposed to be like a flower masquerade type mask . Thank you, Have a good day. 🙂

Allison Lewis                                                          Medium: Tempera                                                 9th Grade
My name is Allison Lewis and from Emlenton PA. I am a freshman that attends Allegheny Clarion Valley High School. I am 15 years old, and some of my hobbies are cheerleading, volleyball, track, and basketball. I also enjoy hanging out with friends and meeting new people from new schools. I painted dolphins because they remind me of summer, which is my favorite season.

Brandon Link                                                          Medium: Sharpie                                                    11th Grade
My name is Brandon Link. I am a 16 year old, junior at Allegheny-Clarion Valley. My parents are Jim and Rebecca Link. I play baseball. I also like drawing in my free time. When I’m older I plan to attend college to become an accountant.

Joseph Manculich                                                  Medium: Acrylic                                                     12th Grade
My name is Joseph Manculich. I am a senior from Allegheny-Clarion Valley high school. I participate in basketball. I have been in art class since eighth grade, and really enjoy my time spent in this class. I enjoy doing marker, watercolor, and acrylic. In my free time I enjoy to ride dirt bikes, hunt, and go fishing. After graduation, I plan to attend Pennsylvania School of Technology, and major in Construction Management.

Sierra Martinez                                                       Medium: Watercolor                                          9th Grade
My name is Sierra Martinez. I am 15, go to A-C Valley High School and am currently in 9th grade. I enjoy playing basketball and hanging out with my friends. My favorite season is summer because there is more to do outside. My plan is to graduate High School and get my diploma.

Trisha McCalmont                                                Medium: Acrylic                                                     10th Grade
My name is Trisha McCalmont. I’m 17 years old. I go to A-C Valley; I love to be creative and express myself through painting, sketching, drawing, and writing poems. I go for long walks looking at everything and anything; even on the cross country and track team. I have walls in my bedroom that are a chalkboard paint so I can draw and write how I feel, making my room more unique. My favorite scenes are the night sky, nature, and emotions. All of these are great when blended together and it shows and expresses me more. This painting is a Rose with many different reds and pinks with an abstract background, giving it more character, and with the rose as the centerpiece, giving it more volume and expression.

Chelsea McDaniel                                                  Medium: Acrylic                                                     12th Grade
My name is Chelsea McDaniel. I am senior at A-C Valley High School. I enjoy art and most of my art projects are this that I love to do. I enjoy doing ink and acrylic paint.

Ethan McFadden                                                   Medium: Pottery                                                  8th Grade
My name is Ethan McFadden I go to school at A-C Valley School in Pennsylvania. My interests are football, hunting, and fishing. I live in West Freedom with my 5 brothers, mother and father.

Tanner Merwin                                                      Medium: Pottery                                                  8th Grade
My name is Tanner Merwin. I am an eighth grader at A-C Valley. I was born on April 19th 2003. I love playing sports and hanging out with friends. I play basketball, football, and baseball. I have a sister named Kaylie and she is pretty cool, but not as cool as me. I have two dogs and Marley and Libby that are pretty fun to play with. One of my favorite subjects in school is history.

Chloe Milks                                                                Medium: Watercolor                                         9th Grade
I’m Chloe Milks. I am 16, and a freshman at A-C Valley High School. I’m in art club and, Japanese club. I’ve been drawing ever since I was young, but now that I’m more experimental with my artwork. I sketch, draw, ink, and even paint. The type of art I enjoy is ink, water painting, and drawing. I enjoy art but also listening to music, reading, and even learning. Someday I hope I can either become a psychologist or an art teacher.

Todd Morris                                                             Medium: Charcoal/Pastel                               11th Grade
My name is Todd Morris. I’m seventeen years old, in eleventh grade. I plan on playing basketball next year. Outside of school, I graphic design and rap . The drawing is Derrick Rose is a blend between charcoal and pastel. The drawing is of a basketball player, the point guard for the New York Knicks.

Larry Morrison                                                  Medium : Charcoal                                                  10th Grade
My name is Larry Morrison. I am 16 and I am in 10th grade at A-C Valley. I was born on August 8, 2000 and I grew up in Six Lakes, Michigan with my 2 sisters (Molly and Maddy). My parents are Kelly and Larry Ryan Morrison.

Molly Morrison                                                   Medium: Acrylic                                                     11th Grade
Greetings! My name is Molly Morrison, currently ajJunior at AC-Valley High School. I’m seventeen, and moved about six times. I was born in Michigan, but later moved to Pennsylvania. I’m the second daughter and middle child of my parents, Kelly and Larry Morrison. I have an older sister, Madelyn Morrison, and a younger brother, Larry Morrison Jr. After high school, I plan on having a military career in the U.S. Army. I enjoy a variety of things to do, such as writing, gaming, and reading. I am a huge bookworm, and usually focus on U.S. military autobiographies ranging from modern warfare to past wars. I’m definitely a bibliophile and pluviophile, and I enjoy hunting and practicing shooting. At school, I absolutely enjoy creating art in Mrs. Allen’s art class! She is a fantastic teacher, and I have learned a lot from her. I enjoy creating acrylic art paintings on canvas, and I love to create U.S. military art! I have a passion for our military and want to express that passion through art. Art class gives me a time to relax and have fun during school. My most two favorite subjects in school would be history class and art class. I’m not the best artist, but it’s like what Edgar Degas said, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”

Ross W. Moser                                                        Medium: Linoleum Block Printing             11th Grade
Hello my name is Ross Moser, and I’m a junior at AC-Valley. The activities that I’m involved in are Golf and Baseball. My favorite mediums are charcoal, acrylic, and linoleum.

Ethan Nevel                                                               Medium: Scratchboard Art                            12th Grade
My name is Ethan and I am in twelfth grade. I like to golf and bowl in my free time. The picture I chose to put in your show was my scratchboard art of my tiger.  I am 18 years old and this is my second scratch art I have ever done. They are very fun and interesting to do. I hope you enjoy this picture and it makes your show better.


Megan Novak

Megan Novak                                                            Medium: Watercolor                                         12th Grade
Born September 27, 1998, Megan is the youngest of four children. She is a member of NHS, Give club, and President of Japanese Club. Her favorite subject is English and likes to spend time with her friends. Herx favorite art mediums are pastels and pencil, but she is open to new mediums.

JayLynn Nugent                                                       Medium: Ceramics                                                8th Grade
My name is JayLynn Nugent. I am an 8th grader at Allegheny Clarion Valley and 14 years old. I am a member of Give club and Drama club. I enjoy hunting, fishing, hiking and spending time with my family.

Rachael O’Neil                                                          Medium: Oil Pastel                                               12th Grade
My name is Rachael O’Neil and I am a senior at A-C Valley High School. I live in Emlenton with my parents, Kevin and Jamie O’Neil. I’m the Vice President of my class. I am currently in my fifth year of art. Aside from art, I enjoy reading, playing board games with friends, and being outside. My artwork is an oil pastel of a very colorful frog. It was a lot of fun to complete.

Levi Orton                                                                  Medium: Ceramics                                                8th Grade
Hello my name is Levi Orton and I attend A-C Valley High School. I am currently in eighth grade and this is my first year taking art with Mrs. Allen. I participate in basketball and baseball. My Ceramic is a mask formed into a fox face. We put them in the kiln to fire them and I painted it with high fire glaze.

Myia Page                                                                    Medium: Acrylic                                                    9th Grade
My name is Myia Page and I go to A-C Valley. I participate in Volleyball, Softball, and Art club. I have made many acrylic paintings ranging in sizes along with a mural along the walls of the Community Christian Day Care. So far this year I have made five pieces including this peacock painting. I used many techniques such as finger painting and palette knives.

Sydney Palmer                                                         Medium: Acrylic/Oil Pastel                            9th Grade
My name is Sydney Palmer and I am in ninth grade. I am involved in concert band, marching band, jazz band, honors band, county band, and I play the clarinet and the piano. I am in track and field and I throw discus, javelin, and shot put. I enjoy art, as well as film and I hope to do that in my future career.

Tyler Palmer

Tyler Palmer                                                            Medium: Acrylic                                                    12th Grade
My name is Tyler Palmer. I am a senior at A-C Valley high school. Outside of school I like hunting, fishing, and just being outside.

Aaron Peterson                                                      Medium: Graphite                                                 12th Grade
My name is Aaron, I am a senior in high school. I like to hunt and fish. My favorite thing to hunt is ducks. I love America, the greatest country on Earth. That’s all you need to know about me.

John Planker                                                             Medium: Pottery                                                   8th Grade
My name is John Planker. I go to A-C Valley school district, and my favorite color is red. I am 14 years old and I play football. My positions that I have played so far are wide receiver and safety. I was born on February 8th 2003. I have a family of 6. I have 3 sisters and no brothers.

Cameron Rumbaugh                                           Medium: Graphite                                                11th Grade
My name is Cameron J. Rumbaugh.   My nickname is Aero. I attend A-C Valley and am a resident of Emlenton and Kennerdell. I enjoy playing sports such as hockey and airsoft. I’ve lived in Canada for a year for my Ninth grade year. I’m 6’4” with a bulky build.

Lexi Rupert                                                               Medium: Charcoal                                                 9th Grade
I am 15 years old and I go to A-C Valley high school and I am in the 9th grade. I moved to Parker when I was in 7th grade. I moved from Erie PA. I have 5 siblings not including my 2 older stepsisters that don’t live with me.

Kora Schmoll                                                           Medium: Acrylic                                                    9th Grade
My name is Kora Schmoll. I am a student at A-C Valley and am 14 years old.   I enjoy art, hunting and, cooking. I am also currently in art club, and I plan on going to school to pursue cooking.

Brooklyn Schreiber                                             Media: Ceramics                                                     8th Grade
Hello, my name is Brooklyn Schreiber. I am 14 years old and in the 8th grade. I live in Emlenton, Pennsylvania and have lived there since I was 5. I am joining softball this Spring and I was in marching band for the past two years. I am currently in Jazz band, Spanish club, Do Something Good Club, and Strategy Club.

Cassie Schwalm                                                      Medium: Acrylic                                                     11th Grade
My name is Cassie Schwalm. I am seventeen, and in the eleventh grade. I attend A-C Valley High School. I am on the varsity volleyball team. Outside of school I am involved in a Junior Olympic volleyball team. I am in various clubs including Student Council, and Spanish Club. This is my second year of art class. My featured piece is an acrylic. I chose the picture because I believe it is quite beautiful. I plan to continue my art career, and further my skills in the art world.

Baden Scott                                                               Medium: Charcoal                                                8th Grade
My name is Braden Scott I go to Allegheny Clarion Valley High School. I play paintball & airsoft. My first charcoal portrait was Donald Trump. I think I did really good on it.

Lydia Seaton                                                             Medium: Acrylic                                                     9th Grade
My name is Lydia Seaton, and I am a freshman at A-C Valley High School. I currently reside in downtown Emlenton. For my project, I used acrylic paints on a stretched canvas. Aside from art, I enjoy playing with my dogs and guinea pig, hanging out with family and friends, and reading up on the latest political news. I am also a swimmer for the Clarion YMCA Riversharks and participate in Track and Field.

Izaya Seeker                                                              Media: Oil Pastel                                                     11th Grade
My name is Izaya Seeker, I’m 16 years old and I’m a junior at ACV. I like to play baseball and I plan to play until I graduate.

Lexie Slater                                                                Medium: Charcoal                                                 11th GradeI am currently a junior at A-C Valley High School. I participate in many activities inside and outside of school. I am involved in Student Council, Family and Consumer Science Club, 4-H Teen Council, and am the vice president of the junior class. I also participate in cheerleading, softball, and track. Some of my other activities include theatre, gymnastics, choir, and private voice lessons. I also participated in our school musical this year, Schoolhouse Rock. I was a soloist in the songs “3 is a magic number” and “Do the circulation”. In my free time I enjoy reading and hanging out with friends and family. My favorite medium in art would have to be charcoal. In the show this year I have an acrylic painting of a calico kitten and a charcoal portrait of one of my favorite actresses, Keira Knightley.

Carson Snyder                                                         Medium: Charcoal                                              9th Grade
I like Charcoal the most.

Tarra Stefanacci                                                     Medium: Pottery                                                    8th Grade
My name is Tarra Stefanacci. I am 13 years old and I am in 8th grade. I am a Jr. High cheerleader, JO volleyball player and a competitive gymnastic. I’m also in Do Something Good Club. I enjoy hunting, fishing and summer. I am a very active student so it is hard to make time to go hunting and fishing.

Collin Stevanus

Collin Stevanus                                                       Medium: Acrylic                                                    12th Grade
My name is Collin, I am a senior in high school and the youngest in my class. I enjoy the outdoors, hunting, fishing and trapping. I like hanging out with my friends and family, making memories and being there is the most important thing.

Abby Stewart                                                           Medium: Acrylic                                                    9th Grade
Hi, my name is Abby Stewart. I am a freshman at Allegheny Clarion Valley. I participate in volleyball. I painted a picture of fruit to hang up in our cafeteria. Acrylic is my favorite medium to do paintings in. 

Brooke Terwilliger                                              Medium: Ceramics                                                8th Grade
My name is Brooke Terwilliger. I’m 13 years old. I go to A-C Valley. I made this mask in art class. I participate in cheerleading, volleyball, softball, art club, and do something good club. I love to draw in my free time. My favorite medium is charcoal.

Kelsie Terwilliger                                                  Medium: Watercolor                                          10th Grade
My name is Kelsie Terwilliger and I am a sophomore at A-C Valley High School. I’ve played softball for the high school for 2 years and cheerleading for the high school for 4 years now and I also love to do gymnastics. I play on a traveling softball team called Clarion Cyclones. I love being outside, spending time with friends and family, and playing softball.  I very much enjoy learning and doing art. Mrs. Allen has taught me a lot such as never giving up and to have confidence in my art; she is a great art teacher. After school I plan on going to the Air Force and doing something in the Health field.

Ellie Thompson                                                                        Medium: Watercolor                                          11th Grade
My name is Ellie Thompson and I am a junior at A-C Valley. I participate in golf, basketball, and track. I have also been a member of FBLA for two years and help coach elementary basketball. The watercolor painting I did is of a cow.

Colton Ulrich                                                           Medium: Acrylic                                                     12th Grade
My name is Colton Ulrich I’m a senior up at Allegheny Clarion Valley High School. I am a member of one distinguished club designed to help people of the community. This volunteering aspect has always been with me and will always be with me, as I am entering the Navy of the United States of America to protect my country and serve my duty. Despite the fact that I am going into a serious future, I often enjoy fun things. This painting really expresses how much fun can be found in any situation, even the feud between internet browsers.

Garrett Vincent                                                                         Medium: Marker                                                   10th Grade
I like marker the best.

Sierra Verostek                                                                        Medium: Watercolor                                         10th Grade
My name is Sierra Verostek. I am sixteen, a sophomore at A-C Valley, and currently taking my first year of art. I am part of the A-C Valley musical, Senior High choir, A-C Valley Marching Band, and Senior High concert band. My favorite subject to paint is flowers, and my favorite medium to use is watercolor.

Shane Walker                                                          Medium: Pottery                                                    8th Grade
My name is Shane Walker and I go to AC Valley High School. My mask is about African People from Africa. I painted it with low fire turquoise and black paint. I do a lot of outdoors activities and indoor activities such as sitting and standing. I ripstik a lot and it’s fun.

Marissa Wampler                                                  Medium: Graphite                                               12th Grade
My name is Marissa Wampler. I’m eighteen years old, a senior at AC-valley. I used graphite because I love how the picture comes out with all the shading. Black and white pictures attract me more than fancy colors. I will soon be graduated with a little one on the way.

Broc Weigle                                                              Medium: Pottery                                                    8th Grade                             My name is Broc Weigle and I’m in 8th grade at A-C Valley High School. I have a younger sister; her name is Cora. I enjoy playing baseball and basketball in my free time. I’ve been playing baseball since I was 5 years old; this year will be the 8th year playing. I’ve been playing basketball for 4 years.

Emily Wetzel                                                            Medium: Charcoal                                                9th Grade
My name is Emily Wetzel and I am a ninth grade student at Allegheny Clarion Valley High School. I participate in volleyball, softball, art club, and intramurals. This portrait of Harry Styles is my first charcoal that I’ve ever done. I was very proud of myself while making this piece, and for a beginner if looks fairly realistic and detailed.

Summer Whitmer                                                 Medium: Oil Pastel                                                10th Grade
My name is Summer Whitmer, I’m a sophomore at A-C Valley. I was born on July 31, 2001. I love to play softball and recently took an interest in outdoor soccer. I also very much enjoy shooting and hunting with my father. I’ve cheered for a few years and also played basketball for 1 year.  I occasionally go to golf outings with my dad and a couple of others, and I definitely enjoy every second of it. I am from Bruin, PA, but I recently moved to Parker from Athens, PA. I have 3 sisters, and I am the oldest sibling. After High School, I plan to go to college for Orthopedic Therapy or Orthopedic Surgery. I just recently decided to take Art when I moved back from Athens, and I’ve taken a liking to Oil Pastels. I picked this project because it was the first project I decided to do this year. Although it did not turn out as I would have liked it to, I’m still proud of how far I’ve come as an artist.

Wyatt Levi Wike                                                    Medium: Linoleum                                              10th Grade
Hi my name Wyatt Wike. I am 15 years old.   I was born on April 27, 2001 and was raised In Emlenton Pennsylvania. My Favorite class is US Cultures 2. Mr. Austin is the best teacher. My project is a linoleum print of the U.S. Army Jump Wings. When I’m out of school, I want to be a Paratrooper in the United States Army.

Sierra Wolfe                                                              Medium: Watercolor                                          9th Grade
My name is Sierra Wolfe, I’m 14 years old and attend A-C Valley High School and I’m in 9th grade. I’ve always enjoyed drawing ever since I was little. I enjoy watching Supernatural and Shameless on Netflix. I like to read as often as I can. I like doing marker and charcoal drawings. This is my first year taking art but I plan to take it every year. 

Cejae Wyman                                                            Medium: Acrylic/Scratchboard Art          9th Grade
My name is Cejae Wyman. I am a freshman at A-C Valley High School. I live in the outskirts of Emlenton. I enjoy doing track, marching band, concert band, and musicals. I am currently part of the club ACV Business Leaders of Tomorrow. My acrylic painting was of my favorite character from the Disney movie Finding Nemo. I truly enjoy painting in acrylic, especially on vinyl records. My scratchboard art is one of my most favorite mediums; mine is of a butterfly, with a bit of a twist. Art is truly amazing and a very powerful thing.

Summer Young                                                      Medium: Watercolor/ acrylic                       9th Grade
My name is Summer Fawn and I am a 9th grade art student at Allegheny Clarion Valley High School. I am 15 years old and enjoy any kind of art and plan to be an art instructor when I grow up. If it wasn’t for my teacher (Mrs. Allen), my parents (Kelly and J.P. Young) and the rest of my family, I would not be where I am today! I also enjoy making crafty signs and room decor and plan to attend craft shows in the future.





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

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

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

River City Brass in The Crawford Center, Emlenton, PA

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

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

Why Give to ARCA in the WEEK OF GIVING?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What ARCA Does in the Community

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

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

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

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


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

Here’s what you can do to Help ARCA:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kari LandryClarinet
Matt LandrySaxophone
Tim GocklinOboe
Ryan ReynoldsBassoon
Andrew KoeppeBass Clarinet

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

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

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

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

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

About the Akropolis Residency at A-C Valley Schools

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grove City College Touring Choir

Dr. Katherine MuellerConductor

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

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

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

Zak Klassen

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

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

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

Grove City College Touring Choir 

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

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

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

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

The Choir is directed by Dr. Katherine Mueller.

Concert Program

Hodie Christus natus est                        Sweelinck

Duo Seraphim (women)                         Victoria

Lobet den Herrn                                      Bach

Laudate Dominum                                  Mozart

Bogoroditse Devo                                    Rachmaninoff

Let All the Nations Praise the Lord       Leisring

Beautiful Savior                                        Christiansen


—-   Intermission   —-


Abendlied (surround)                             Rheinberger

Song of Triumph                                     Grotenhuis

The Eyes of All                                         Berger

Non nobis Domine (men)                      Powell

Sleep                                                         Eric Whitacre

Glory, Glory, Glory                                  Hogan

Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child, arr. Page

Ezekiel Saw de Wheel                             arr. Dawson

God Be in My Head                                 arr. Rutter

About the Artists

Dr. Katherine Mueller

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

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

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

Grove City College Touring Choir Members 

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

Choir Officers

Hayley Simpson, President                                                            Zak Klassen, Chaplain

Joel Espenshade, Vice-President                                        Emily Bach, Publicity Chair

Claire DeArmitt, Secretary                                                  David Tharnish, Social Chair

Luke Lofton, Treasurer                                                        Kassaundra Funch, Historian



JULIA BARNES, Meadville, PA – Music, Fr.

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

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

VIRGINIA FLANDERS, Fairfax, VA  – English, Jr.

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

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

LAUREN KOSTELNY, Easton, PA – Music, So.

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

ANNA SHOENTHAL, Mars, PA –  Music, So.

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

AMY LIND, Shoreline, WA 0 Biology, Sr.

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

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

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

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

EMILY THARNISH, Elma, NY – Chemistry, Sr.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JOSHUA TRACEY, Union, ME – Accounting, Jr.



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

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

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

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

NICHOLAS HOLMER, Chicago, IL  – Accounting, Jr.

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

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

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

DAVID THARNISH, Elma, NY – Physics, Sr.

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

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


Grove City College

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

Join us as ARCA begins its second decade in 2017 

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

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

Heartiest wishes for a banner 2017!


Autumn Colors Plein Air Painting Retreat

Andor Paposi-JobbPainter and Teacher




October 10-13, 2016




Presented in cooperation with Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts

mitchells-pondIf you are longing to escape to the tranquil countryside this fall and revel in the beauty of western Pennsylvania’s autumn colors, while acquiring instruction that further develops your artistic skills – then the Plein Air Painting Retreat is for you from October 10 – 13 when the foliage is in full color!

Every artist relishes the opportunity to paint outside in the midst of a scene which speaks to their creative spirit. Particularly in autumn, it is an artist’s special joy to capture the vivid tones and special light this vibrant season brings.

Renew your artistic spirit and be inspired by sixty acres of serene countryside with ponds and glorious vistas at Mitchell Ponds Inne.


The country elegance of seven bedrooms (some available for double occupancy) are reserved exclusively for Retreat artists in two 1800’s era buildings – The Carriage House and a Victorian era farmhouse.


Ten bountiful and delicious meals are included in the price of the charming and up-to-date accommodations. All rooms are air-conditioned and non-smoking, most have private baths, and some have kitchenettes, living rooms, porches and parlors. Paint all day and refresh yourself in the rustic, gracious serenity created by Mitchell Ponds Inne owner, Mary Ann Moulin.

Full information on accommodations follows with rates.  To make a reservation for accommodations for the Autumn Colors – Plein Air Painting Retreat at MITCHELL PONDS INNE, contact Mary Ann Moulin at 814-797-1690.   Click here for Patricia Sheridan’s article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Monday, October 3.


The instructor for The Retreat is the internationally acclaimed landscape artist and portraitist, Dr. Paposi-Jobb.


Artists may choose as their primary medium either oil, watercolor or acrylic. Techniques will be demonstrated and there will be demos in all three mediums, instruction at all levels as needed, critique and lots of painting time. Class time will be structured, yet open enough to accommodate the artistic spirit!  All levels are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Prior to enrolling, Dr. Jobb asks that each artist contact him for a private phone conference to discuss preferred media, supply list, goals and questions. Please contact Andor Jobb directly at 412-894-8749 to register for the event.

The cost of the Autumn Colors – Plein Air Painting Retreat is $275, which includes twenty hours of instruction and additional discussion and consulting time from Dr. Jobb.  Payment is to be paid to Dr. Jobb on the first day of the Retreat. There will be no refunds for missed classes.  Full information on accommodations below.


fullsizerender_2Internationally renowned for his skills as both a landscape artist and portraitist, Dr. Andor Jobb brings to his teaching a panoply of rich artistic and human experiences.  He was born in 1934 in the Village of Papos, Magyarorszag (Hungary). He spent his early years in Budapest, and while a student at that city’s prestigious Applied Art Academy, he fought in Hungary’s famous 1956 Freedom Fight. When his beloved country’s bid for freedom failed, he escaped by hiking over the border into Austria and immigrating to the United States.

Dr. Jobb attended Kent State University in Ohio and received his BFA and MA from that institution. He served as a Professor of the Fine Arts at Clarion University of Pennsylvania until his retirement in 1991. From 1991-93 he was a Professor of Fine Arts at the Miskolc University in Hungary, and after returning to the USA continued his career as a professional artist. Andor continues to teach painting on a private basis in his hometown of Emlenton, Pennsylvania.


On Sunday, September 11, Dr. Jobb gave a seminar on landscape painting for an attentive and appreciative audience in Lincoln Hall in Foxburg, presented in cooperation with Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts.  Both Dr. Jobb and Jae Brown served on the founding Board of Directors of ARCA, and were instrumental in both developing and marketing programs in its formative years.  A beautiful portrait of ARCA founders, Dr. Arthur and Patricia Steffee photographed by Jae Brown and painted by Andor Jobb graces the walls of Lincoln Hall.

In his lecture, Dr. Jobb provided an analysis of the origin of artistic terms, defining them in a universal sense spanning thousands of years dating back to the ancient Sumerian civilization.


Dr. Jobb defining terms in Lincoln Hall


Dr. Jobb teaches compositional perspective in Lincoln Hall

Dr. Jobb then provided an overview of composition and perspective, which he studied at the Applied Art Academy in Budapest and features in his teaching today.

Several of Dr. Jobb’s framed landscape paintings from his private collection were on display. Included were a painting of fireflies and one he made for his mother as a Christmas card at age 10.  Certainly Dr. Jobb was a precocious and extraordinary talented young artist from his early years, also as noted below in Andor’s artistic statement about his introduction to plein air painting as a boy.


Dr. Jobb commented on several of his other landscape paintings shown in the “Jobb on Plein Air Painting” section and those of several of his students.  (See art work below by Dr. Jobb’s student, Ray M. Forquer, world renowned for his landscapes depicting Civil War scenes.)

Jobb enjoys landscape painting as a form of recreation, but also finds the field of portraiture enthralling. In November of 2015 he was commissioned to portray Vladimir Putin in an oil portrait for Mr. Putin’s closest friend. His many commissioned works – portraits and landscapes – are cherished works of art in many homes and institutions around the world.




Commissioned portrait of Vladimir Putin

Andor’s portraits of outstanding judoka from twenty-one countries are featured in a book – THE JUDO GREATS – now in its fourth printing. Andor is a still-competing world judo champion and 8th Degree Dan. His HUN judo Dojo at Clarion University of Pennsylvania is celebrating its 53rd year and is the second longest running dojo in the United States.img_3043

Andor has very recently undertaken a commission of 911 Hero, Jeremy Glick, a young judoka on United Airlines infamous Flight 93. Mr. Glick’s brave final words, “Let’s roll….” embody the courage and initiative found in judoka. The painting will be unveiled in November 2016 in Ft. Lauderdale.

However, most of all, Dr. Jobb enjoys teaching – his special métier.

Andor Job is very proud of his various past students who have become successful professionals.  One of Dr. Jobb’s most renowned students is Ray W. Forquer, world famous for his landscapes depicting Civil War Scenes.  During Ray’s first summer art class, Dr. Jobb would sit on a stool behind Ray as he painted, and tap him on the shoulder with a yardstick when he mixed the colors ‘wrong’!  Below a Forquer watercolor from Andor Jobb’s private collection and one of Forquer’s Civil War renderings.







MONDAY – October 10th

Check In – 8-9:30 AM

Meet and Greet – 10 AM-12PM

Welcome Luncheon 12-1 PM

Class 1-5 PM

Dinner 6:30 PM in the Inne’s Dining Room

  • NB: Mitchell’s is BYOB, so this is your opportunity to enjoy those special wines from your collection in a celebratory setting.

At the Welcome Meeting each artist will introduce themselves to the group and take a tour of the grounds in order to select the scene they intend to portray. (NB it will be necessary to capture ‘your scene’ for constant reference. You may use your phone, tablet or digital camera.)

After lunch the assembled artists will receive the day’s class that will include instruction regarding various techniques for presenting and blocking a scene. The artists will then set up at their chosen site and begin the creation of their painting.



8:30 AM Breakfast

  • The artist’s day starts with breakfast. (Coffee will be on hand each morning in the dining room from 7 AM for those who are early risers.)

Class 9 AM-12 PM

Luncheon -12 PM

Class 1-4 PM

  • On Wednesday 4-6 PM an informal sharing discussion with Andor and the group. Pointers for preserving, matting and framing will be shared.

Dinner 6:30 PM


THURSDAY – October 13th

8:30 AM – ‘Goodbye’ Breakfast

Class 9 AM – 1PM

Luncheon – 1 PM

The Retreat ends at 3 PM



Each student will be charged $275 for twenty hours of instruction and additional discussion and consulting time from Dr. Jobb.

This amount is due upon registration, to be paid to Dr. Jobb on the first day of the Retreat. There will be no refunds for missed classes.


Three Nights Single Occupancy Lodging w/Meals Included


canoe on pond

Rooms may be shared, reducing lodging by 50%.   Meal fees would not be reduced. Double occupancy pricing is available upon inquiry.

Tax and gratuities are included in the above pricing.

All of the below Packages will be in addition to Dr. Jobb’s fee for art classes.


Room with private bath, queen sized bed                        $330 + 218 = $548

& private exterior entrance

In the original carriage house


Room with private bath, twin beds                                $330 + 218 = $548

In the original carriage house


Two bedroom suite (queen bed) with integral

large living room, kitchenette and bath. Per room:          $420 + 218 =$638

In the original carriage house


Bedroom with antique full size bed and shared bath
in a private three bedroom Victorian house with              $225+218=$443
two parlors and lovely porches.

The above prices do not include Dr. Jobb’s art instruction.



Andor Jobb’s Artist Statement on Plein Air Painting

I was yet in kindergarten in the capital city of Budapest, Hungary, when on a group-outing I observed one of our teachers (male) set down nearby and set out his art supplies to paint his landscape…

I was so thoroughly taken by that that of all of my group-outing time I spent just watching him capturing that particular scenery, splashing water around as he cleaned his brushes often.  The other teachers did not mind my fascination and let me stay outside of the group activities.  In the mean time I wondered how a man could do what he was doing. Soon I found myself often at the chalkboard in the kindergarten rendering my own “compositions” of scenes…

andor-mountain-2Time passed and I was in my second grade when on a beautiful day with my brothers and friends we went to swim in the Duna (Danube) river which was near to our apartment building. There I saw a man sitting on a small three-legged stool brushing in  wonderful colors onto a canvas in front of him fixed on an easel. I stopped and asked if I might watch. My brothers and the other kids urged me to continue on to the river, but I chose to stay behind and watch the man paint. I never knew colors existed like the ones progressively appearing on the painter’s canvas… Next I begged my mother to provide me with paper and paint. I joined local libraries to access books with contained scenes and illustrations from which I could copy.

Then the hard times of WWII. were upon us and after the German’s defeat, the Soviets occupied Hungary. I was like other children enrolled in the pioneer (soviet form of boy scouts) movement. Instead of going to church, we had to travel on the weekends across the country and even across the borders into other neighbouring countries to sing communist songs and praise the new soviet system. However I always took my art supplies with me and got behind and under trees to capture scenes that were available to me – rain or shine. The teacher comrades regularly let me do my art rendering because they ended up taking my pictures home with them. Occasionally on a longer trip  I was allowed to paint postcard size landscapes which I could mail home to my mother…

My painting of scenes never stopped, only enriched by painting portraits of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and the Hungarian communist Prime Minister Rákosi…

Regardless of the place, the scene, the times, and the life’s conditions the beauty of mother-nature surrounds me and us, from which one cannot escape…



Chamber singers logo photo jpeg - Version 2

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is proud to present the Clarion University Chamber Singers in Lincoln Hall in Foxburg on Sunday, June 26, at 2:00 PM on the eve of their departure to compete in The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in North Wales, UK (from July 5 – 10, 2016).  Help ARCA showcase musical excellence in our region as we celebrate Clarion University’s premier vocal ensemble in a concert of choral works in diverse styles, from songs of faith and African-American spirituals to folk and popular music.

Tickets are $10 for Adults, $5 for Students and Children under 6 are free.   Buy tickets online here or you may call to reserve at (724) 659-3153.

The musical excellence of the Clarion University Chamber Singers has been recognized by their competitive selection to participate and compete in The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, sponsored by the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles) and running since 1947.  2016 marks the 70th Eisteddfod.Bridge-e1410525057379

Singers and dancers from around the world are invited to participate in the Festival based on an auditioned selection process.  Over 20 high quality artistic competitions are followed each evening by concerts, where the best and most colorful competitors share the stage with professional artists. Singers, dancers and instrumentalists from around 50 countries will be performing to audiences of more than 50,000 over the 6 days of the international music festival.  While in the UK, the Chamber Singers will be performing additional concerts in churches in England and Ireland: Southwark Cathedral in London and Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon; and St. Mary’s Church in Killarney and Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin.

Clarion U Chamber Singers

“This is the first time in the university’s history that any of Clarion University’s musical ensembles has been invited through an audition process to perform at an international competition, and we are incredibly proud of our students for having achieved that milestone,” says Dr. Stephen Johnson, Chamber Singers director. “Our students now realize that with hard work and dedication, Clarion University is competitive on the world stage.”

Clarion University Chamber Singers

Chamber singers.2

Participation in The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in North Wales, UK is a significant achievement for the Clarion University Chamber Singers, which for more than 50 years has been the premier vocal ensemble at Clarion University. Membership into the group is through a competitive audition process; dedicated students rehearse many hours beyond normally scheduled rehearsal times. For most of its musical history, this extraordinary choral ensemble has been primarily an a cappella group, performing Renaissance motets and madrigals. For many years, the ensemble presented an annual Madrigal Dinner that was greatly anticipated and highly acclaimed in the Clarion community.

Screenshot 2016-05-04 09.33.16Beginning two years ago with new conductor Dr. Stephen Johnson, the ensemble continued not only to perform motets and madrigals but also to expand its repertoire, spanning a broad range of musical periods and genres, including Jazz, popular music, traditional folk music, Spirituals and 20th Century music. The ensemble has replaced the traditional madrigal dinner with an annual benefit dinner, which raises funds for local charities and people in need in the Clarion community.

The Chamber Singers also has expanded its performance schedule to include special events on the Clarion University Campus and concerts in western Pennsylvania communities. In Spring 2015, the Chamber Singers performed community concerts and school assemblies in north central Pennsylvania, including West Forest High School, Smethport High School, Coudersport High School, Ridgway High School and a community concert at Christ Episcopal Church in Coudersport.

In April 2016, the Chamber Singers shared the beauty of their voices on tour, bringing the arts to schools and communities in western Pennsylvania. These included evening community concerts at Heritage United Methodist Church in Ligonier, Anne Ashley United Methodist church in Homestead, and In-school assembly concerts at Greenville High School, Latrobe High School, and Kittanning High School. On June 26, the Chamber Singers are performing in Lincoln Hall in Foxburg, presented by Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts, in advance of their departure on their European tour.

Clarion chamber singers.1

Concert Program


Ave Maria (Angelus Domini)……………………………….………..Franz Biebl (1906-2001)

Soloists: Ellen Bossert and Jared Stack

Daemon Irrepit Callidus………………………………………..…Gyorgy Orban (1947-   )

Bogoroditse Devo, No. 6 from All-Night Vigil—Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)



Baba Yetu……………………………………………..……………….Christopher Tin (1976-         )

Soloists: Jared Stack Ben Blinn, Megan Blashford, Ellen Bossert, Jason Poor

Tshepa Thapelo…………………………………..Sotho Folk Song arr. By Ruth Morris Gray

I’m Seventeen Come Sunday………..……………………Percy A. Grainger (1882-1961)



Il est bel et bon……………………………Pierre Passereau (1509-1547) arr. John Leavitt

Nyon Nyon……………………………………………………………..…..Jake Runestad (1986-   )





Plenty Good Room……………………………………………….……..Kirby Shaw (1942- )

Spiritual………………………………………………..……………Ysaye Barnwell (1946-   )



Good Time……………………………………………………..…..Matthew Thiessen (1980-   )

Soloist: Jared Stack

Embraceable You…………………………………………..…George Gershwin (1898-1937)

Words……………………………………………………………………Anders Edenroth (1963-   )



White Winter Hymnal……………………………… ……………Anders Edenroth (1963-   )

Even When He Is Silent………………………………………Kim Andre’ Arnesen (1980-   )

Bridge Over Troubled Water…………………….Paul Simon (1941-   ) arr. Kirby Shaw

About the Artists

Dr. Stephen Johnson

Dr. Stephen JohnsonStephen Johnson is the director of the Clarion University Chamber Singers and Director of University Choirs.  He holds a baccalaureate degree in Music Education from Mansfield University and a Master of Music in Musical Performance from Arizona State University. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland with concentrations in music curriculum and instruction, performance, conducting, music theory, and statistical analysis.

Currently Director of University Choirs at Clarion University, he is the music director of the Clarion University Concert Choir and the Clarion University Chamber Singers. In addition to directing the university choirs, he teaches courses in elementary and vocal methods, and voice. He is also the faculty advisor for an all-female acapella group, the CUP-ellas.

Some of the highlights from Dr. Johnson’s musical career include a summer of performing and study at the Tanglewood Institute in Tanglewood, Mass. At Tanglewood, he studied privately with Sam Pilafian, tubist for the Boston Pops Orchestra and Empire Brass Quintet, and performed on stage with the Boston Symphony brass section. He also studied privately with Donald Stanley at Mansfield University, Ray Nutaitis at Arizona State University, and Washington Air Force Band euphonium soloist Dr. Brian Bowman at the University of Maryland. Over a four-year period, he co-directed half-time shows for the World Football League throughout Europe including a World Football League Championship Game in Edinboro, Scotland.

Before assuming his current duties as Director of University Choirs, Dr. Johnson served as Chair of the Department of Music for four years and also as Associate Dean and Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Clarion University for eleven years. He taught instrumental music at Sullivan County High School in Laporte, Pennsylvania for three years and taught K-12 vocal and instrumental music for six years at New Covenant Academy in Mansfield, Pennsylvania.

Clarion University Chamber Singers

Chamber Singers 3+

SOPRANO                                                   MAJOR                                                         HOMETOWN

Megan Bettwy                                           Speech Pathology                                    Holidaysburg, PA

Kiah Harrington-Wimer                           Theatre                                                       Brookville, PA

Brana Hill                                                   Communication                                        Pittsburgh, PA

Katie Gannon                                            Speech Pathology                                     Saxonburg, PA

Tori Heckert                                               Theatre                                                         York, PA

Marina Meholick                                       Rehabilitative Sciences                           Reynoldsville, PA

Anna Mae Pastorok                                  Early Childhood/Special Education     Hamburg, NY

Hanna Reed                                               Speech Pathology                                     Mertztown, PA



Amanda Betts                                            Communication                                         Warren, PA

Megan Blashford                                       Speech Pathology                                     Pittsburgh, PA

Ellen Bossert                                              Speech Pathology                                     Portville, PA

Emily Cooper                                              Rehabilitative Sciences                           Hawley, PA

Jennifer Grenus                                          Music Education                                        Woodland, PA

Katie Kohlenburg                                       Music Education                                        Knox, PA

Allison Oknefski                                         Nursing                                                         Ridgeway, PA

Rachel Raybuck                                          Nursing                                                         Sligo, PA

Carrie Rugh                                                 Social Studies/Special Education         Butler, PA



Brian E. Miller                                             Music Education                                        Beaver Falls, PA

Andrew Ortega                                           Music Education                                        Titusville, PA

Jared Stack                                                  Finance/Economics                                  Kittanning, PA



Ben Blinn                                                     Mathematics Education                         Pittsburgh, PA

Quincy Nolan                                              Strategic Communication                       Warren, PA

Jason Poor                                                   Accounting/Finance                                 Jersey Shore, PA

Jordan Weeter                                             Chemistry                                                    Knox, PA

Chamber Singers men





Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts