Seasons Archives: Spring 2016

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”.

River City Brass

Brass Music in the summer is as American as “apple pie”.  From June to August, brass bands can be heard playing concerts in gazebos and parks in communities all across the United States.

44-1One of America’s oldest and most celebrated brass bands, the RIVER CITY BRASS, will be performing on Friday, June 10 at 7:30 PM not outdoors in the Allegheny River Valley’s beautifully scenic Emlenton – but, even better, in its historic and newly air conditioned Crawford Center.  

It will be a BLAST!

  Make it a night of musical fun for the whole family, enjoying a Pops concert by the internationally acclaimed and world travelled RIVER CITY BRASS. Bring your grandparents and grandkids – friends and neighbors – to musically celebrate the beginning of summer! Returning by popular demand, conductor James Gourlay will lead the 12 River City Brass virtuosos in a program entitled “Brasstacular” – sure to please the enthusiastic Emlenton audience once again… and, this year, in air conditioned comfort.

After the RCB performance in Emlenton in 2014 before more than 325 people, many in the audience on the way out said, “Please bring them back… and soon!”  As seen in the photo above, during the concert their charming and articulate conductor, James Gourlay – one of the world’s greatest brass band conductors – spoke to the audience from the podium, engaging them in whirling florescent light bands over their heads during one tune and having service men and woman stand during a stirring patriotic tribute to each of the branches of the United States military.


This year’s concert promises to be even more fun – with a special treat for brass music lovers.  While the concert begins at 7:30 PM, the band’s entertaining conductor, James Gourlay, will give an informal talk about brass instruments and the music they’ll be performing beginning a half an hour before the concert at 7:00 PM.

Tickets are $20 for Adults and $5 for Students.  Tickets may be purchased on line here or reserved by telephone:  724-659-3153


About River City Brass

River City Brass
Each year, tens of thousands of people at home and on the road enjoy River City Brass music featuring American Tunes, Big Band Swing, Jazz, Broadway, Hollywood, Bollywood, Classical, Contemporary Masterworks, and Traditional Marches. River City Brass is known to be entertaining, enlightening, funny, thoroughly professional, and family friendly. The band tours in various ensemble sizes, from a brass trio to the full 28-member band.  In 2016, ARCA is pleased to be presenting the 12 musician ensemble to wow the the Crawford Center audience with its brilliantly virtuosic and stirring music making.

55The River City Brass was the first professional concert band to be established in the United States in over 25 years. Founded in 1981 by the late Robert Bernat (Conductor and Music Director 1981-1994), the River City Brass performs a concert series in Western Pennsylvania in configurations of both the 28 piece and 12 piece brass band.  In addition, River City Brass has toured extensively throughout the Unites States with more than 60 performances each year as part of community concert series, major symphony pops series and arts festivals. One local resident became very excited about the Band coming to Emlenton because a friend heard the Band in Portland, Oregon and offered a glowing review of their performance on the West Coast.  For thirty years, the RCB has delighted audiences in the Pittsburgh region, nationally and internationally.  Their most recent international tour took them to Italy in May of 2013.

Mr. Gourlay, a native of Scotland, began his career at the age of 18 as the Principal Tubist of the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Zurich Opera.  James also conducted Great Britain’s Grimethorpe Colliery Band, leading one of the most internationally lauded and prominent brass ensembles in the world on a tour throughout the British Isles, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

In its ongoing commitment to education, RCB proudly has maintained an acclaimed youth band and in 2012 inaugurated a ‘Saturday Music’ program for students in grades 5 to 12, partnering with the Pittsburgh Public Schools.  This program has been designed to explore and grow the musical interest and abilities of Pittsburgh’s public school students.

The River City Brass is acclaimed for its signature style of programming.  Every performance features superb soloists and some lighthearted fun!  Often called the “Boston Pops—In Brass,” the band’s extensive repertoire covers a wide range of styles and musical genres.  They are equally expressive and comfortable performing American tunes, Big Band jazz and swing, music from Broadway and Hollywood, classic and contemporary masterworks and—of course—traditional marches, a staple of America’s heritage.  The Band has fifteen recordings of this widely ranging repertoire to its credit, the latest of which are ‘River City Brass 30 Years’ and ‘Christmas Brasstacular.’  Recordings will available to purchase at the concert.

RIver CIty Brass logo jpeg

About Conductor James Gourlay

pit_JamesGourlayJames Gourlay was born in Scotland, where, at the age of ten, he was “volunteered” to play in his school brass band. Being the tallest in class, he was serendipitously given the tuba, an instrument he loves and continues to promote all over the world.
After much success as a solo champion, Gourlay entered the Royal College of Music but left after a short time to become the Principal Tuba of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at the age of eighteen. He continued working at the BSO for ten years, then performed for an additional ten years with the Orchestra of the Zurich Opera. Gourlay’s career as a chamber musician and soloist continues to flourish. He has been a member of the Philip Jones and English Brass ensembles with which he has toured the world, and also continues to perform as a soloist extensively. He has recorded five solo CDs, the latest being British Tuba Concertos recorded for the Naxos label with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, which has since received international critical acclaim.
Gourlay’s early work within the Brass Band Movement forms a vital component of his creative output. After early success with the Brass Band Berneroberland, he became music director of the Williams Fairey Band with which he won the English Masters and British Open contests. Gourlay has also been the professional conductor of the Grimethorpe Colliery and the Etoiles, with which he has won the Swiss National Championships, the Swiss Open Championships, and second place at the European as well as at the World Brass Band Championships.
56939_photoGourlay’s commitment to music education is a continuing passion. He has been Head of Wind and Percussion at the Royal Northern College of Music and Deputy Principal and Music Director at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Salford University, a Masters degree from Leeds University, a Fellowship of the Royal Northern College of Music, a Fellowship of the London College of Music, and is also a recipient of the Henry Iles Medal, presented by the Worshipful Company of Musicians for services to the Brass Band Movement. Currently, Gourlay is International Vice President of the International Tuba and Euphonium Association and Artistic Director of the River City Brass.

A-C Valley Student Art Exhibit 2016

2016 A-CV Student pastel floral

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is proud to be partnering with the Allegheny-Clarion Valley Schools for a second year, presenting an exhibit of more than 100 artworks by Allegheny-Clarion Valley Jr. and Sr. High School students from April 9 to 17, 2016, on the second floor of the Red Brick Gallery on Main Street in Foxburg.

In their educational process, more than eighty-five 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.

2016 A-CV Student Postcard b-w - Version 2

Also a part of the exhibit are ten of the beautiful acrylic on slate paintings that were created under the tutelage of artists, Andor Jobb and Paul McKissick, during the fall of 2015.  While many students gave the slates they created to friends and family as Christmas gifts, some students proudly displayed their slate paintings in the Red Brick Gallery exhibit.  Andor Jobb and Paul McKissick came into Anita Allen’s A-C Valley School art classroom to work one-on-one with the students on their composition and acrylic painting of the slates, donated by Dr. Arthur and Patricia Steffee of RiverStone Farms… a wonderful project demonstrating the generosity of artists in the community guiding and encouraging the extraordinary talents of A-C Valley students in Anita Allen’s art classes.

3 slates smaller

“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.”

2016 A-CV Student Postcard acrylics - Version 2

This is the second exhibit of A-C Valley student art at the Gallery.   Last year, more than 100 artworks inspired by the dance were exhibited in the Red Brick as the conclusion of ARCA’s Spring Educational ArtReach program, “Dancing off the Canvas”.

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.

A-C Valley 2-student press photo.2 jpeg

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 9 through Sunday, April 17, with gallery hours on Friday April 15, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; 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 9 from 12:000 to 5:00 PM. 

Donna Edmonds & Anita Allen w:students

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, Principals Bill Jordan and John Giancola, 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 2016

Lauren Alworth         Grade 10                 Media: Acrylic on slate, acrylic, ceramic
My name is Lauren Alworth and I am a sophomore at Allegheny Clarion Valley. I am very active in the music, art, and cheerleading programs. This year in cheerleading we won the District 9 Co-ed division, and advanced to the state semi-finals. I participate in marching, jazz and concert band, while I play the alto and baritone saxophone. I like to stick with acrylic art projects, and rarely vary from it. I am also part of the student council and help out with class officers.

Brad Armogost & Kat Martinelli-jpeg

Brad Armagost           Grade 11                 Medium: Tempera
My name is Brad Armagost. I am in a junior in A-C Valley. I did a painting of the best movie ever – Mad Max. There is no denying that it is the greatest ever. THAT IS IT. NOTHING ELSE. P.S. Mad Max rules, everything else drools.

Zach Austin                  Grade 10               Medium: Acrylic
My name is Zach Austin and I was born on August 13, 1999. I live in St. Petersburg, P.A. with my mom, dad, and my dog Max. I’m a sophomore at A-C Valley High School. I participate in student council, golf, and track. I’m currently in my second year of art. The picture I’m entering in the art show is of my acrylic golf painting. I’ve played golf almost all of my life and this is one of my favorite paintings.


Austin Barger               Grade 12               Media: Acrylic, charcoal
My name is Austin J. Barger. I am a senior in Allegheny Clarion Valley Senior High School. Upon graduation I wish to attend the Clarion University of Pennsylvania (CUP) and take their course on Graphic Design. I want to join a design company to be a Concept Artist for games, shows, and movies.

Roe Baum                       Grade 9                Medium: Charcoal
My Name is Roe Baum. I am a freshman at Allegheny-Clarion Valley high school. I am in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and Art Club. I also participate in basketball and softball. This is my first year of art. After high school, I plan to go to college and become a crime scene investigator.


Aven Bittinger               Grade 12              Media: Ceramic, sculpture
Aven Bittinger, now a senior at Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School, was born June 9, 1998 to Mandy Bittinger of Parker, Pennsylvania. He is part of the school’s Jazz, Concert, and Marching Band as lead trumpet. He also is a member of A-C Valley’s musical, having ascended to acting rather than participating as a stage crew member. When not at school, Aven is Community Service Chairman of the 4-H Clarion-County Teen Council. Mr. Bittinger enjoys reading, running, playing jazz, and engaging in his school’s baseball team as Third Baseman. He hopes to go on to Shippensburg University for Political Science in the near Future.

Jill Caldwell                    Grade 12              Media: Watercolor, ink
My name is Jill Caldwell and I am a senior at A-C Valley High School. I am the class president, drum major of the marching band, National Honor Society treasurer, and the secretary of the Family and Consumer Science Club. I also play varsity basketball and participate in the school musicals. Outside of school, I am a member of a 4-H robotics team and a Sunday School teacher. I have submitted an India ink painting of a landscape. Ink is my favorite medium to work with.


Morgan Campbell        Grade 10              Medium: Watercolor
I am 16 years old and a sophomore at A-C Valley. I live in Parker, PA. I am in track and a member of the FBLA club. For the art show I did a watercolor painting of two little boys running from a train. It’s a scene from the classic movie Stand By Me, which was originally a book by Stephen King called The Body. Art is my favorite class of the day.


Lane Chalmers             Grade 11                Medium: Acrylic
My name is Lane Chalmers. I’m a junior at AC-Valley High School. I am involved in many sports including football, baseball, and track. I plan to further my education in wildlife biology. I enjoy doing acrylic painting.

Chayanne Christo       Grade 12                Media: Acrylic on slate
My name is Chayanne Christo. I am 18 years old, and have been going to Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School for 13 years (K-12). I am a senior, really creative, and involved in many of the school’s activities, including marching band, track and field, G.I.V.E. club, being the president of art club for 3 years, and much more. I plan on continuing painting and drawing even when I’m no longer in Mrs. Allen’s class and have graduated.


Colt Christo                   Grade 11                Media: Ceramic, wheel thrown pottery
I am Colt Christo, I am a junior at AC-Valley high school. I participate in extra-curricular activities such as band, jazz band, and marching band, and sports like football and track. In my third year of art, I still enjoy working mostly with clay, which is why my pieces in the show will mainly be steins and mugs thrown from the wheel.


Morgan Cratty              Grade 12               Media: Watercolor, acrylic
My name is Morgan Cratty and I am a senior at A-C Valley High School. I participate in volleyball, basketball, and track. I am the president of Family and Consumer Science Club and a member of GIVE Club. I am the secretary of National Honor Society and I also tutor 6th grade students. I enjoy spending time with my friends and being happy. I painted an antique shop in an acrylic medium and a tropic floral design in a watercolor medium.

Hayden Defibaugh      Grade 10              Medium: Acrylic on Slate
Hello, my name is Hayden Defibaugh. I live in Parker, Pennsylvania where I reside with my parents. I am currently a sophomore at Allegheny-Clarion Valley high school where I am in many extra-curricular activities, like softball and track. I have been in FBLA for four years and I am currently the secretary. In the future I plan to attend a nursing school where I will become an ultrasound technician.

Samantha Everett       Grade 9                Medium: Ink
Hello, my name is Samantha Everett. I am in the 9th grade. Art is really fun but I don’t know if I can take it next year because I probably will be home schooled. My neighbor is really good at art. She is taking art classes up at Clarion University and is teaching me everything she knows about art. When I get home schooled, I will be able to hangout with her when she is home.


Brady Feicht                  Grade 11             Medium: Acrylic on slate
Hello there. My name is Brady Feicht. I am a junior at AC Valley. I am on Prom Committee and the Do Something Good Club. I am a member of the Clarion County 4-H program. I show lambs and am the President of the Clarion County 4-H Teen Council, and a member of the robotics team. I enjoy working at tractor pulls in the summer with my family. After high school I plan on attending a trade school for heavy equipment operating.

Kari Franklin                Grade 11             Medium: Colored Pencil
Heyo, I’m a junior at Allegheny Clarion Valley (it’s awesome I know). I usually like to paint anime looking people and scenes in art class. They usually have enormously big heads and funny looking faces, because who doesn’t like funny faces and big heads (no one). In my free time I usually just watch a bunch of prank shows and surf the strange side of YouTube. I have a fluffy Shih Tzu named Oreo who likes to jump and sneeze on my face. Oh and I like anime if you didn’t catch that drift yet.

Abby Freeman               Grade 9            Medium: Watercolor
I am a freshman at A-C Valley High School. I enjoy riding horses, reading, and participating in sports in my free time. I am also in FBLA and SADD club. I plan on attending college in the future.


Jeffrey Ginn                    Grade 10         Medium: Linoleum print
My name is Jeffrey Ginn. I was born on August 20, 1999. I am in the 10th grade at A-C Valley High School. I am involved in football, baseball, and basketball. Outside of school I enjoy playing video games and hanging out with my friends. My favorite art project was a charcoal of Ray Lewis.

Alexander Hart             Grade 11         Medium: Acrylic
My name is Alexander Hart. I’m a junior at Allegheny-Clarion Valley School District. I am President of the GIVE club at school; we put on the Veterans Day assembly and help with the blood drive. I have done projects this year that include a clay bowl, acrylic painting and slate painting.

Austin Heeter               Grade 12        Media: Linoleum print, acrylic, clay bowl
My name is Austin Heeter. I’m an 18 year old whose future plans include joining the United Sates Air Force and later becoming a State Trooper. My hobbies include playing basketball, hockey, and shooting guns.


Madyson Hetzler         Grade 9          Medium: Watercolor
I am 15 and a freshman at A-C Valley High School. I am in the Do Something Good Club and a varsity cheerleader, but I also enjoy playing different sports with my friends. Next year I plan on joining golf and track, and I will also take part in the musical at our school. Doing art not only is a hobby, it also helps me relax. When I feel sad, angry, or even happy, I transport my emotions into my projects. My amazing art teacher, Mrs. Allen, has always supported me and helped me when I am in need. She is the reason art has become a bigger part of my life.

Sarah Hughes                Grade 10       Medium: Watercolor
Howdy, my name is Sarah Hughes. I am currently a sophomore at AC Valley Jr Sr High School and am Vice President of the Japanese club. My hobbies include drawing, writing fanfictions, playing video games, playing violin, being in Marching Band, and being on the internet.

Alexis Hunsberger       Grade 9         Medium: Pastel

I’m Alexis Hunsberger and I am 15 years old and a Freshman at ACV High School. The art that I will be putting in the art show is a giraffe in pastels. I love Giraffes. They are my second favorite animal. I love to draw but I’m not very good at it.


Amanda Hunt                Grade 9         Media: Watercolor, acrylic on slate
My name is Amanda Hunt, I was born November 23, 2000. I live in St. Petersburg Pennsylvania and attend A-C Valley. I am a freshman this year. I have taken art since seventh grade and plan on taking it for the rest of the time I go to A-C Valley. I enjoy art because it lets me express how I feel through what I am drawing. After I graduate I plan on attending college and becoming a cosmetologist.

Destiny Hunt                  Grade 9        Medium: Collage with acrylic & watercolor
My name is Destiny Hunt. I am a freshman at A-C Valley. I’m part of the Future Business Leaders of America club and Art club. Since 7th grade, I have participated in cross-country. My picture is of a girl whose dress is made out of blue roses. For the top part of the dress, I used watercolor, and I painted the roses with blue acrylic and white for the details.

Austin Jones                  Grade 12      Media: Acrylic on slate, acrylic painting, ceramic sculptures
Nothing special about me. Just a senior about to graduate from A-C Valley High School. I was born Nov. 19, 1997 in PA. I prefer to do clay over any other form of art, but sometimes I do acrylic paintings. Really do not prefer to compete when it comes to art, so really not very into art shows or other types of competitions such as that.

IMG_7312Virginia Kahl                Grade 12        Medium: Charcoal

I am Virginia Kahl and I am a senior at Allegheny-Clarion Valley. I have been attending A-C Valley for thirteen years (K-12). I try to show my creative side by participating the art program for six years and in the music program for eight years. I like to participate in clubs like the GIVE club, Art Club and extracurricular activities such as marching band and the musical (The Sound of Music). I have been treasurer of Art Club and GIVE Club for three years and have been very active in my community by volunteering at the Parker City Fire Department. This year I also am taking the stats for the Track and Field team. I plan to continue to work on my creative side after I graduate and enjoy all the creative styles that I will have a chance to try.

Emily Kaufman           Grade 10       Medium: Acrylic
My name is Emily Kaufman and I am a sophomore at A-C Valley High School. I have been very active in the music program while participating in many bands including concert, jazz and marching band. I have represented my school at many different festivals including Autumn Symphonic Winds, District Band and District Jazz band. I have been in Student Council since seventh grade, and now serve as the secretary.


Karly King                    Grade 8         Medium: Clay/pottery
My name is Karly King and I go to Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School. I’m 13, in 8th grade, and I’m involved in many school activities. My hobbies include volleyball, basketball, playing music, taking pictures, and painting pictures for my family. I like to form ceramics such as masks and to paint acrylic.   I have lived in Foxburg all my life and enjoy spending time with family. My favorite subjects in school are arts class and U.S. Cultures. I hope to stay in art class through my high school years and continue my passion for art.

Allie Lambert              Grade 9         Medium: Acrylic
I am Allie Lambert and I am a freshman at A-C Valley High School. I have attended A-C Valley since I was in kindergarten. My school activities include: cheerleading, cross-country, and track. Outside of school I participate in tumbling and helping out at the local skating rink. In my free time I enjoy running, riding, and being with people close to me. Acrylic and ink paintings are my favorite things to do involving art. Most of my ink paintings are made from complex, tight shapes that form a picture.

Kaity Lance                  Grade 11       Medium: Graphite
My name is Kaity Lance. I’m 17 years old, a junior in the A-C Valley High School and am also in track. I spend most of my time either reading or creating art. My favorite medium to use is graphite and I tend to usually stick to that. I’m currently expanding my horizons though and am learning how to paint better. Even though I love creating new pictures, art is more of a hobby of mine instead of a career choice. I plan on going to college and becoming a forensic scientist.


Brandon Link             Grade 10       Medium: Marker
Hi, my name is Brandon Link. I was born May 18, 2000. Son of Jim and Rebecca Link, I am a sophomore at Allegheny-Clarion Valley. I moved here last year from Fombell, PA and now live in Emlenton, PA. I like to play baseball and hang out with friends and family. In the future I plan to attend college to be a Certified Public Accountant. 

Wesley Lott                 Grade 12        Medium: Watercolor
My name is Wesley Lott. I am a senior at Allegheny Clarion Valley School District. I live in Emlenton, but it’s not the only place I’ve lived. I used to live in Boyers, but around the age of 10 or so moved here and have been here ever since. I have a great passion for art though I’ve never really been any good at doing such and wished I were better at it. After school I hope to start learning 3D designing on the computer and make a few test games.

Caroline Lowrey       Grade: 10       Medium: Tempera
My name is Caroline Lowrey. I was born on July 6, 1999 and live in Emlenton, PA. I am a sophomore at A-C Valley High School. I participate in the Drama Club, Student Council and take private music lessons. I am in the school choir, art class and participate in the school musical. My picture is a colorful display of music notes.


Joseph Manculich     Grade 11       Medium: Acrylic
My name is Joseph Manculich, and I’m currently a junior of A-C Valley. I’m the son of Matthew and Carla Manculich. I have lived in Parker, PA my entire life, and plan to for the rest of my life. I’m a varsity basketball player for the high school, and I play basketball for a traveling team too. I also enjoy fishing, hunting, and riding my dirt bike. After high school I plan to go to college, and get a bachelors degree in architecture.

Kat Martinelli              Grade 12      Media: Acrylic painting, scratch art, acrylic on slate, mobile
My name is Kat Martinelli and I’m a senior at A-C Valley. I will be attending Clarion University Venango Campus this fall to begin my journey to become a Registered Nurse. I will graduate with my ASN after only two short years of college. I then plan to work on the med-surge floor in the Clarion Hospital while continuing with my education to achieve my BSN after another two short years. I then plan on becoming a trauma nurse by working in the emergency room or on life flights. I enjoy kayaking, camping, fishing, mudding, fires, haunted houses, watching movies, playing volleyball, and painting. I mostly do acrylic paintings of the large cat species and different landscapes. I hope to continue with art in my spare time after I graduate.


Chelsea McDaniel      Grade 11       Medium: Marker
I am a Junior at A-C Valley High School. I have been in art for the past 3 years of my high school. I am part of the prom committee. I live in Emlenton, PA with my parents and my younger sister. I was born on July 31, 1998 in Grove City. I love doing art in my free time and when I am not doing art I am spending time with my family.

Aidan McKee               Grade 9        Medium: Linoleum print
My name is Aidan McKee. I am a freshman. I go to A-C Valley High School. A enjoy drawing animals like deer. Most of my projects are outdoor pictures. I enjoy drawing with pencils.

Jade McKerahan       Grade 9         Media: Acrylic, ceramic sculpture
My name is Jade McKerahan. I am 15 years old. I am a freshman at the moment. I was born on March 21, 2001. I live in Emlenton with my mother and my sister and I am the youngest in my family. I moved to A-C Valley during my 8th grade year. I came from Butler Junior High School. I am in yearbook club, chorus and Japanese club. I volunteer at the Butler Humane Society. I am working to go to college for my future to be a vet. I enjoy art and it is my fallback if I do not get into college.


Emily Mechling          Grade 12      Media: Acrylic, acrylic on slate
I am 18 years old, and I am a student at A-C Valley. I enjoy doing art, and I am very glad that I get the opportunity to do it at my school. I have done several projects using acrylic paint, ink, and watercolor. I like that I can challenge and express myself through my work. I hope to continue doing art throughout my life.

Chloe Milks                  Grade 9        Medium: Ink
I’m Chloe Milks. I am 15, and a freshman at Ac-Valley High School. I’m in art club and Japanese club. I’ve been drawing ever since I was young, but now 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 an art teacher or a Graphic designer.


Noah Morgan             Grade 12       Medium: Marker
My name is Noah Morgan. I am a senior at Allegheny Clarion Valley High School. I am involved in golf and baseball. I like to use Sharpie for art projects because it looks very clean and ‘sharp’. I’m involved in FBLA and Give Club. I plan to go to Butler County Community College for Nursing.

Todd Morris               Grade 9         Medium: Tempera
My name is Todd Morris. I am in 9th grade and I do not do any after school activities. I was born October 13, 1999 at 10:36 am in the Clarion hospital. My hobbies include playing video games, like 2k, Madden and Call of Duty. Other hobbies are role playing and backyard wrestling.


Larry Morrison        Grade 9           Media: Charcoal, clay pot
Hello, my name is Larry Morrison. I am currently in 9th grade at Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School. I like to play video games and hang out with friends. I enjoy drawing characters from video games, war, and hunting.

Madelyn Morrison  Grade 12         Medium: Acrylic
Hey there, my name is Madelyn Morrison. I am currently a senior attending Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School. I enjoy participating in many activities inside and outside of school. I participate in softball, I’m a part of outdoors club, falcon fellowship. I’m very active in my community. I hunt, fish, and attend church. I think art is one of the best subjects in school because it is relaxing and allows me to use my own creative thinking. My favorite medium in art is acrylic painting. My parents are Kelly & Larry/Ryan Morrison of Emlenton. I am the oldest of my two other siblings, Molly and Larry. I was born in Virginia but I grew up in Six Lakes, Michigan, and have moved around Pennsylvania a few times with the family.


Molly Morrison      Grade 10            Medium: Charcoal
I am a sixteen year old, tenth grade student that is currently attending Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School. Some of my hobbies include playing video games, writing, and reading. I grew up in Six Lakes, Michigan, then moved around in Pennsylvania a couple of times until the Morrison family finally settled at Emlenton, Pennsylvania. In art, I mainly love to draw and focus on charcoal drawings. I extremely love to do U.S. Military drawings.

Ethan Nevel              Grade 11            Medium: Acrylic
Hi, my name is Ethan Nevel. I was born January 15 1999. I have been drawing pictures for 4 years now. I live in Emlenton, PA and have lived there all my life. I am in 11th grade and I golf and bowl.


Treva Page                 Grade 10           Medium: Charcoal
My name is Treva Page and I’m a sophomore at A-C Valley. I am the daughter of Raymond “Buzz” Page and Belinda “Binny” Irwin. I was born on April 12, 2000 and have lived in Emlenton my whole life. I enjoy taking my German shepherd on walks, playing sports, and anything that is out door related. This is my first year of art class. I am currently working on the United States Marine Corps emblem. The medium I am doing is ink. I am doing it in memory of my dad, who was a Mortar-man and earned the rank Corporal in Vietnam.

Brendon Price          Grade 10          Medium: Charcoal
My name is Brendon. I’m a fifteen year-old Sophomore at AC-Valley High School. I enjoy playing basketball, hunting, fishing, and hanging out with friends. After high school I plan on joining the military. My picture is of a Star War’s character known as Kylo Ren.


Shannon Quaill        Grade 12          Medium: Acrylic
My name is Shannon Quaill. I am a senior at A-C Valley High School where I run cross-country and track. I am also President of Student Council, Vice President of the National Honor Society at our school, and Treasurer of Family and Consumer Science Club. Outside of school I participate in a 4-H robotics club. I like to read and spend time with my friends. I also enjoy painting and I’m glad that I have been given the opportunity to take art. After graduation, I plan to attend Penn State Behrend for engineering.

Evan Redding            Grade 12         Medium: Tempera
Hello, I am Evan Redding. I am currently a Senior at Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School and have attended A-C Valley my entire life. I have been in art for two years and in Art club for a year. I am also an athlete here. I play football, baseball and I wrestle. I like to spend my free time with my friends and family. I am attending Westminster College for criminal justice and I am going to play football there as well.

Nathan Redding       Grade 10         Medium: Graphite
My name is Nathan Keith Redding and I’m a Sophomore at Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School. I’m 16 years old and I play Football. Most of my projects are done in graphite. I’m also quite good at League of Legends. I’m also a member of Cloud9 pro gaming team.


Kiersten Rothen      Grade 12          Medium: Tempera
My name is Kiersten Rothen, I attend A-C Valley High School, and I am a senior. I am active in many sports such as volleyball, and softball. I am the Vice-President of Student Council, a member of National Honor Society, and member of FACS club. In the future I plan to go to Butler County Community College and become a Registered Nurse. I hope to work in the Obstetric department.

Jayden Rottman       Grade 9          Medium: Watercolor
Hello my name is Jayden Rottman, I am a freshman at A-C Valley and I enjoy hanging out with friends, fishing, and riding my dirt bike, and golfing. I participate in SADD Club, FBLA, and Art Club. I enjoy painting and using pastels while in art. They are a fun time. I plan on taking art the rest of my High School career with the wonderful art teacher, Mrs. Allen.

Jenn Russell               Grade 12       Medium: Pastel
I am currently a senior at A-C Valley high school. I am Vice President of the SADD Club, Co-founder of Strategy Club, a member of Clarion County Youth Council, and a member of Do Something Good Club. After high school I plan on attending Clarion University to obtain a bachelor of biology in order to fulfill pre-veterinary requirements. I spend my free time reading, playing videogames, playing Magic the Gathering, and being outside.


Cassie Schwalm        Grade 10       Medium: Acrylic on Slate
My name is Cassie Schwalm. I am sixteen, and in the tenth grade. I attend A-C Valley High School. I participate in volleyball, and softball. Outside of school I am involved in a Junior Olympic volleyball team. I am in various clubs including The Future Business Leaders of America. This is my first 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 future my skills in the art world.

Brooke Scott              Grade 12       Medium: Charcoal
My name is Brooke Scott and I am a Senior in high school. Creating art is one of my passions. I drew a lot of things when I was little – even up till now. This is my 4th year of Art class. I am hopefully moving on to a job with a creative side to it. I love Baking, Drawing, Swimming, Traveling and Hunting.


Lydia Seaton              Grade 8        Medium: Water Color Pencil
Hi, my name is Lydia Seaton. I am 14 years old, and an 8th grade student at A-C Valley High School. I enjoy swimming and other sports, spending time with family, and listening to music. My watercolor painting is based on a Pink Floyd band poster from the late sixties. Along with this project, I have done a few others throughout this year.

Allison Sherman      Grade 10      Medium: Scratchboard
I am currently a sophomore at A-C Valley and a resident of Foxburg. I am a member of the golf, basketball and track teams. I’m also the treasurer of Student Council and president of the sophomore class. In addition to my art class during school, I am also actively involved in many of A-C Valley’s other arts programs. This year, I have attended the 2016 PMEA District 3 choir festival where I qualified to move on to regionals and I am playing the role of Liesl in ACV’s production of The Sound of Music. Outside of school, I take private voice and piano lessons. My project depicts blimps and was done on a scratchboard.


Eric Show                  Grade 9          Medium: Linoleum print
My name is Eric Show. The picture I made is of a character in a TV show called Doctor Who. I chose this character because he is my favorite character and he has a big part in the show. I did a linoleum cut out because I have never done one before and I wanted to try it.

Lexi Shirey                Grade 9         Medium: Linoleum print
My name is Lexi Shirey and I’m a freshman at A-C Valley High School. I live in Parker. I am now playing softball and plan to play throughout High School. I plan on going to college after High School.

Lexie Slater              Grade 10        Medium: Watercolor
I am currently a sophomore at A-C Valley High School. I participate in many activities inside and outside of school. I am involved in Student Council, Home Economics Club, 4-H Teen Council, and am the treasurer of the sophomore class. I also participate in cheerleading, softball, and track. Some of my other activities include theatre, gymnastics, choir, and private voice lessons. I am playing the role of Sister Margaretta in our school musical this year, The Sound of Music. In my free time I enjoy reading and hanging out with my family and friends. In the show I have a watercolor painting of a rainy day in Venice. Currently I am working on a watercolor pencil of hot air balloons over the beautiful city of Paris.


Sylvia Stalker         Grade 9           Medium: Ink
My name is Sylvia Stalker. I am in 9th grade, and attend A-C Valley High School, I’m a cross country runner. I enjoy making artwork, in school and on my free time. I also enjoy spending my free time outside and with my family. I am a member of Upward Bound, and The Do Something Good Club here at A-C Valley. After I graduate I’m planning on joining the Air Force to become a flight nurse, and to travel the world making a difference.

Katie Stalker          Grade 11         Medium: Ink
My name is Katie Stalker, I am a junior and I attend A-C Valley. This is my first year in art, and I have done several projects I have never done before. I am in Art Club and Drama Club. I went to County Choir, where I sang with a large group of people I’ve never met. I played volleyball for two years and cheered. I currently am in softball, and I play right field.


Madison Stump     Grade 11         Media: Scratch art, watercolor
My name is Madison Stump, I am currently 17 years old attending as a Junior at A-C Valley. I enjoy various band functions and have succeeded in several competitions while being involved in multiple clubs and sports like Prom Committee, Teen Council, Marching Band, Basketball, and Track. Art has surrounded the past three years of my life involving several styles of paintings. This painting is a watercolor version of potted flowers that I have created for my mother.

Hannah Switzer     Grade 12         Medium: Watercolor
My name is Hannah Switzer, and I’m 18 years old. I am currently a senior at Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School. I enjoy many forms of art such as literature, modern, and music and I plan to attend Clarion University in the fall for art with a concentration in graphic design. I hope other people can learn to appreciate the arts and see that it can serve many purposes for people who need a little hope in their lives.


Kelsie Terwilliger   Grade 9          Medium: Wheel thrown bowl
I am 15. I am a freshman attending high school at Allegheny Clarion Valley. I’m in FBLA club. I’m in many after school activities such as Gymnastics at Solid Rock, softball for the high school and travel ball in Clarion, and cheerleading for the high school which we won D9 and we were 7th in the state, at states at Milton Hershey. I enjoy working on my art and also being in class with Mrs. Allen. She has taught me a lot throughout my two years of art. I am also in Art Club. I didn’t enjoy art very much until I was in Mrs. Allen’s class. I am so glad I’ve had this experience as a student to work with such an amazing person as Mrs. Allen.

Ellie Thompson       Grade 10         Medium: Acrylic
My name is Ellie Thompson and I am a sophomore at A-C Valley. I’m involved in golf, basketball, track, and FBLA. I am also a volunteer coach for ACV Elementary Basketball. I have been in art class for two years. The painting I did was an acrylic picture of a giraffe.


Matt Thompson       Grade 10         Medium: Linoleum printing
Hello my name is Matt Thompson. I am in 10th grade and I was born August 22, 1999. I live in Foxburg, PA and I am currently attending AC-Valley. I love to play baseball and soccer. I am kind of an art person. It can be fun at times. I like to do linoleum block printing. It is fun.

Brendan Ulrich        Grade 10         Medium: Watercolor
My name is Brendan Ulrich and I live in Parker, PA. I am 15 years old and I am in 10th grade this year. Most of the projects I do are of Dragons and I usually stick to oil pastel or watercolor since the way it flows makes the project feel better.   My project is of a Dragon flying in storm clouds with the sun shining in the background. I enjoy games and am enthralled by all things fantasy including Dragons, Gryphons, Unicorns, and Chimeras, due to the fact they expand one’s imagination of what they see in the world.


Colton Ulrich             Grade 11          Medium: Acrylic
My name is Colton Ulrich. I’m 16 years old and I’m in 11th grade. I do many things out of school. I have a job at Whyte’s Market as a stock boy and I’m a volunteer firefighter. My favorite art style is oil pastel, but my only piece is acrylic. I started to be interested in art as a young child. I joke a lot and I’m fun.

Annie Viertel             Grade 10         Media: Scratch Art, clay sculpture
My name is Annie Viertel. I am currently a sophomore attending A-C Valley high school in Foxburg PA. I am 16 years old. I live in a nearby neighborhood. I am currently in the club at our school called FBLA, which stands for Future Business Leaders of America. The sports I liked to play are basketball, softball, and cross-country. I also help volunteer and help coach the little girl’s basketball program. The picture I picked to display was a bird I made out of scratch art. The project was fun to do because I haven’t tried scratch art before. It was exciting to try to make the birds feathers look realistic. I hope to continue my art classes in the future.

Levi Walker               Grade 9           Medium: Charcoal
My name is Levi Walker, and I have just moved to A-C Valley. I am a freshmen, 14 years old. I came from Slippery Rock High School. When I was smaller, I played baseball, and I’m hoping to do so again. Also I’ve done track all throughout middle school, doing throwing and long distance. I love singing. I have been in district choir, chamber singers and regular choir. I have drawn a portrait of a border collie in charcoal, only because I have one myself.


Ashley Wampler      Grade 12        Medium: Tempera
Hi, my name is Ashley Wampler. I am a senior this year graduating from Allegheny-Clarion Valley. I am 18 years old. I moved to the district when I was in the middle of my 11th grade year. I am in Spanish club and Art Club. This has been an exciting year for me. I want to become a paramedic, but my future is going to be changing a lot as I’m going to be bringing a son into the world in May. I love to do watercolor painting. Lately I have been doing tempera painting. I have never done an acrylic painting, except a slate painting with artists Paul McKissick and Andor Jobb.

Marissa Wampler    Grade 11         Medium: India Ink
My name is Marissa Wampler. I am a junior at ACV. I am 17 years old and I have 9 other brothers and sisters. I am going to be an aunt and I will have a nephew. I get about all A’s and B’s in school. I was originally from Butler until I moved during my 10th grade year. I love doing art. The picture I am putting in the art show is made from India ink. The picture is of two deer combined into a heart. It represents the two deer in love with each other.


Emily Wetzel               Grade 8          Medium: Ceramic
My name is Emily Wetzel and I am currently an 8th grade student at Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School. I participate in volleyball, softball, band and basketball. I enjoy creating ceramic pots and masks because no one knows what they will end up with. I am also fond of charcoals and oil pastels. I hope to continue these methods throughout my high school career.

Halee Wetzel             Grade 12           Media: Watercolor , acrylic and acrylic on slate
I am a senior at A-C Valley High School. I have played softball and volleyball the past four years. I am a part of the G.I.V.E. Club, Vice President of Home Economics Club, Secretary of the Spanish Club, and President of the National Honors Society at our school. I enjoy spending time with friends and family and going to youth on Wednesday nights at Park Hill First Church of God. After graduation, I plan on attending Grove City College with an undecided major.

Dakota Williamson  Grade 10           Medium: Graphite
My name is Dakota Williamson. I go to A-C Valley High School. I am in tenth grade. I enjoy drawing and graphite art. I like to do drawing and concept art from games such as League of Legends. I also really enjoy video games and drawing characters and concept characters from these types of games.


Photography & Fabric-Coiled Baskets

Thompson postcard.KS jpeg

As Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is celebrating its Tenth Anniversary Performance season, its artistic subsidiary, The Red Brick Gallery, is beginning its sixth season, featuring six rotating exhibits from April through December 2016, showcasing the artwork of its own Cooperative Artists. The first exhibit of Nature Photography and Fabric-coiled Baskets by husband and wife, Glenn and Linda Thompson, runs from Friday, April 22 to Sunday, May 29. A Meet the Artists’ Reception will be held on Sunday, May 1 from 4:00 – 6:00 PM, immediately after ARCA’s Wurlitzer Theatre organ concert by Dan Minervini.

Red Brick Gallery is located at 17 Main Street in historic Foxburg, PA. Gallery hours are Fridays, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sundays, 12 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Thompson photo collage-elephant-face basket jpeg

Linda Thompson’s intricately beautiful fabric-coiled baskets will be showcased in the gallery space on the second floor at 17 Main Street in Foxburg among three collections of Glenn’s landscape and wildlife photography taken on his recent travels around the world: One from a late-2015 safari in Kruger National Park in South Africa, a second celebrating the beauty of the birds of Costa Rica from January, 2016, and landscapes that were converted to black and white from their original color images.

Linda Thompson’s Fabric-Coiled Baskets

Linda’s fabric-coiled baskets are each uniquely contrasted in color, texture and decoration. Formerly a professional Gifted and Talented coordinator, Linda first discovered weaving when she and her husband spent five years in Brazil during his tenure as a corporate executive with PPG Industries. Returning to the U.S., her weaving led to her chosen artistic pursuit: “When I discovered fabric-coiled baskets, I knew I had found a great creative outlet!

Thompson turquoise-brown baskets jpeg

As each row spirals into existence, there is surprise and fulfillment, color-play and texture, whimsy and structure. What is a basket? …a vessel… a pleasing shape… a means of self-expression.” Erik Wahl’s quote rings true with her: “The secret is not the mechanics or technical skill that create art–but the process of introspection and different levels of contemplation that generate it.”

beaded flower basket

Glenn H. Thompson’s Landscape and Wildlife Photography

Coincidental with his retirement, Glenn H. Thompson rekindled his deeply rooted interest in photography, which began when he received for Christmas in 1955 his first Ansco camera and film-processing and contact-printing kit. He made black and white photos using the kit, as often as his allowance and grass-cutting jobs would provide cash to buy film and developing chemicals.


“It is almost impossible to believe that less than ten short years after retiring from a global business career that I would be displaying photographs in an art gallery!  Now, with rolling cases and back-packs stuffed with digital cameras and gear, I venture to places around the world in search of the flora, fauna and landscapes that I used to “ah” over in National Geographic.

Thompson birds

Until last year, the results of those trips ended up as coffee table books, which eventually got stashed away on obscure shelves.  As a co-op member of the Red Brick Gallery, I now have the opportunity to share some of my images with a broader audience than just my family and friends who visit my home.  It gives me much pleasure to share the beauty of this special planet we call home as I see it through the lens of my camera. “

A black and white landscape of Glenn Thompson’s displayed at the Red Brick, “Black Water Reflections”, is one of three finalists in a competition that celebrates the inspiring beauty of the magnificent American landscape, exemplified by the work of artist-photographer, Ansel Adams.

Black Water Reflections

The photo, taken on the Rio Negro in Brazil, was obtained while Glenn was searching for birds and monkeys as subjects. Glenn recognized, however, that the scenery in the middle of the Amazon also was remarkable. He described the epiphany of moving into the swamp’s alcove in a flat bottomed boat and waiting for five minutes for all the wave ripples to disappear before capturing his perfectly mirror-reflective photograph in the “The Modern Landscape: Black and White Photography Contest”. Glenn says he composed the photo specifically for black and white and even said to himself afterward that it was the most “Ansel Adams-like” photo he’d ever done.


GlennLindaGlenn and Linda have been Red Brick Gallery Cooperative Artists since the fall of 2015, but they have much deeper roots in the Allegheny Valley going back to the 1940’s when Glenn first retreated with his family to a shared “fishing club” camp on the banks of the Allegheny near Emlenton. In 2007, Glenn and Linda, who reside in Butler, PA, acquired the riverfront property and rebuilt the lodge as a second home in their retirement. Now with their two children and grandsons, they are the fourth generation to have “this piece of Paradise leave indelible marks on [their] lives”.

Linda Thompson was an English major in college and a coordinator of gifted programs in her professional life.  Linda is a 1970 graduate of Westminster college with a BA in English and a minor in secondary education. She then completed an MA in gifted education at Kean College of New Jersey, now Kean University, in 1983.

Linda has always been a firm believer that the arts are what keep us centered and in touch with nature and the beauty of the world. About 15 years ago she and her husband spent an adventuresome five years living in Brazil. While there, with few friends and limited fluency in Portuguese, she discovered a weaving teacher who spoke English. Linda relates that the language she mastered during that time was that of warp and weft, not Portuguese. It gave her a calm pursuit in the turmoil that surrounds one when one is far away from family and trying to fit into a new culture.

Upon her return to the US, she continued to weave, searching for another artistic outlet. A quilter friend introduced her to fabric-coiled baskets and she has found great satisfaction watching the baskets, each unique, and often not exactly as planned, emerge from the sewing machine. The challenges met and the personal flair she’s been able to insert have brought great satisfaction and relaxation.  In addition to baskets, she is learning Zentangle, a contemplative art form that provides her with a graphic art pursuit to round out her creative repertoire.

Glenn has pursued his passion for nature photography in his retirement.  Glenn Thompson is a retired businessman and entrepreneur.  His corporate career spanned 35 years during which he was involved in the coatings businesses of PPG Industries and ICI (England). His early work life was technology-focused including coatings research, technical and customer service management. Midway through his career, Glenn migrated to corporate development roles including global M&A and international corporate expansion. His international experience was extensive and included overseas postings in England and Brazil. His five year assignment in Brazil involved the creation of the business structure for PPG’s South American coatings operations including the construction of two factories and five business acquisitions.

Shortly after retiring from corporate life in early 2003, Glenn became an angel investor in Plextronics, a high-tech spinout from Carnegie Mellon’s chemistry department. A few months thereafter, he joined the fledgling operation as their COO and helped grow the company to more than 70 employees over the next seven years when he retired once again. He remained as an active consultant to the company until it was sold to Solvay (Belgium) in 2014.

Glenn is a 1968 graduate of Westminster College with a B.S. in Chemistry and is a member of the College’s Board of Trustees. He has done post-graduate studies at CMU, Pitt and the Vlerick School of Business in Brussels.

Glenn and Linda, college sweethearts, have been married for 47 years.  They have two children, two grandchildren and a dog. Linda and Glenn reside in Butler, PA and have a second retirement home on the banks of the Allegheny River near Emlenton, PA.

Red Brick Gallery is located at 17 Main Street in historic Foxburg, PA. Gallery hours are Fridays, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sundays, 12 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Scott NadelsonTrumpet
Joe BadaczewskiTrumpet
Jon CarrollHorn
Gabriel ColbyTrombone
Hakeem BilalBass Trombone

As Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts celebrates its tenth anniversary performance season in 2016, it is continuing its successful Educational ArtReach program, begun in 2009, bringing professional arts and education performances and workshops to students in the Allegheny-Clarion Valley Schools.

On Thursday, March 3, 2016, the nationally acclaimed brass quintet and seasoned teaching artists, C Street Brass, will present a full-day arts education residency for students Pre-K to 12th grade in the A-C Valley Schools.  C Street Brass is a brass quintet/band experience like no other, performing passion-driven chamber music in the form of rock, funk, jazz, and classical.

C Street Brass musicians will perform three small workshops for 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 C Street will move to the Jr. and Sr. High School to perform an assembly concert for grades 7 – 12 in the High School Auditorium, AND conduct hands-on after-school workshops with A-C Valley band students, coordinated by Scott DiTullio, High School Band Director.

Hailed for radiating the joy of music-making, C Street Brass will bring to A-C Valley students not only their imaginative approach to brass quintet performance, superb musicianship, extraordinary technical prowess and seasoned educational skills, but also the ineffable “inspiration factor” of charismatic, young professionals in their twenties who are making a significant career in the music field.

World renowned jazz trumpeter Chris Botti has hailed C Street Brass for their “fantastic and innovative approach to brass quintet music.”  George Vosburgh – Principal Trumpet of the Pittsburgh Symphony and an ARCA favorite in the annual Christmas Pittsburgh Symphony Brass Concert – has said of the group,  “C Street is the new sound, look, and feel of the modern brass quintet. Highly virtuosic playing in a wide variety of styles rolled into an accessible, warm hearted candor which makes for a delightful concert experience. ”  A-C Valley students certainly will be delighted by the energy-charged and exciting artistic performances and workshops of C Street Brass, which have been a “hit” with young audiences wherever they have performed.

C Street Brass with students

C Street Brass is passionately committed to educating and inspiring the next generation of musicians. In addition to their arts education work in Pittsburgh, the group has done educational residencies in Orcas Island, WA, and at Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA, among others.  C Street Brass was awarded a Visiting Scholars Grant by the University of South Carolina, spending several one weeks during the 2014-15 school year in Columbia, South Carolina performing concerts, teaching master classes, giving seminars, and working with local community bands and sharing their music with the community in free public outdoor performances.

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.

Designed specifically as an arts education resource for A-C Valley students, C Street Brass 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.


About the A-C Valley Workshops

C Street Brass 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. The theme of their residency will be how melodies play a part in telling a story, using examples from two famous American musicals, West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein and Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin.

C Street Brass & StudentIn the small workshops for students in pre-K to 6, they will use examples from these musicals to explain the history of each instrument and how their instruments are used differently in classical and jazz settings.  In the assembly concerts, C Street also will perform Concerto for Saint Mark, Fly Me to the Moon, and other jazz arrangements for brass quintet.  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 C Street Brass small workshops, introducing them to songs and melodies from these musicals as well as the instruments in the brass 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 C Street will be conducting after-school, hands-on workshops with his students in the A-C Valley Jr. and Sr. High School Bands on March 3:  “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 C Street Brass 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.”

C Street-main

About the Artists

C Street Brass began as a small project between five friends who are coincidentally the most handsome men ever to grace the earth. Equally as comfortable in the sound world of baroque music as they are playing electronic dance music, C Street Brass connects lovers of the arts from all walks of life around a unique and innovative concert experience.

An ensemble in residence at Carnegie Mellon University since 2012, C Street Brass is proud to now call Pittsburgh home. In addition to their contributions to Pittsburgh’s thriving music scene, C Street has been featured on a variety of series around the country including the Corpus Christi Chamber Music Series (Corpus Christi, TX), Community Concerts Second Series (Baltimore, MD) and the Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, CO. The members of C Street are also regular performers at Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church in Bethesda, MD, have preformed extensively through the Baltimore/DC Metro area, and have been featured multiple times on WBJC: The Classical Voice of Baltimore. Internationally, C Street Brass has toured in Tbilisi, Georgia as resident ensemble of the 2012 Traveling Notes Music Festival and in Doha, Qatar in 2013 as ambassadors for Carnegie Mellon University .

C Street Brass is passionately committed to educating and inspiring the next generation of musicians. In addition to their educational work in Pittsburgh, the group has recently held educational residencies in: Orcas Island, W A, at Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA. In Spring 2014 C Street Brass was awarded a Visiting Scholars Grant by the University of South Carolina. By way of the grant, C Street Brass spent one week each semester of the 2014-2015 school year in Columbia, South Carolina. C Street performed a variety of concerts, taught master classes, gave seminars, shared their music with the community by way of public outdoor performances and working with the community bands.

C Street Brass collaborates with musicians and artists of all disciplines. In 2010 the group premiered David Conte’s “Two Pieces for Brass Quintet and Organ” with renowned organist and scholar Donald Sutherland. Their most recent project, Beauty Slap presents a new innovative concert experience combining electronic dance music with brass band and guitar. Beauty Slap has toured extensively throughout the east coast and can regularly be seen in dance clubs in the Pittsburgh area.


Scott Nadelson: Trumpet

Scott Nadelson, the father of the C Street brainchild, brings a unique artistic versatility to the band that enables him to showcase his skills through jazz, classical, commercial, electronic, hip- hop, and chamber music. He also brings an enthusiasm for any Apple product but brings no height to the band’s basketball squad.

Scott began his love affair with trumpet at the age of 12, studying from New York freelancing god Chris Jaudes and was one of two trumpet performers to win the prestigious New Jersey State Governors School award.

An alumnus of the Peabody Conservatory, Scott was mentored by international soloist Joe Burgstaller and former Baltimore Symphony trumpet, Edward Hoffman. While at Peabody, Scott was principal trumpet with the Peabody Concert Orchestra and lead trumpet with the Jazz Orchestra. It was during this time in Baltimore that C Street Brass was born.

Scott currently enjoys teaching a private studio based in Pittsburgh, as well as his educational work as a teaching artist of the Pittsburgh Symphony. He is furthering his mission for world trumpet domination at Carnegie Mellon University, pursuing a Masters Degree under the tutelage of George Vosburgh and Neal Berntsen of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Gabriel Colby: Trombone

Gabriel Colby keeps it simple. Give him a trombone, a cup of coffee, and a gym- he’s good to go. Gabriel grew up in Avon, Connecticut surrounded by music. His parents John Colby and Beverly Rohlehr, and his sister Liza Colby are all accomplished musicians in their own right. Gabriel started his performance career in high school as a professional juggler in the duo ‘The Big Hair Jugglers’. His passion for trombone came when he auditioned into principal chair of All-State Orchestra as a sophomore in high school.

Gabriel is classically trained and has a B.M. from Peabody Conservatory and a M.M. from Carnegie Mellon. Gabriel initially found his love for trombone through classical music, but he is very comfortable performing and freelancing in all styles. As a lead trombonist he has played for the ESPY Awards Orchestra in LA, The Nascar Awards Show in Las Vegas, and can he can be heard on the ESPN College Football theme. Gabriel now resides in Pittsburgh where he acted as principal trombone for the River City Brass Band in 2014 and currently plays trombone for Beauty Slap a new barrier-bending genre of brass band, electronica, and funk.

Believe it or not, Gabriel does not play trombone 24 hours a day. He also loves: working out, cooking, scotch, and exploring Pittsburgh, the city he calls home.

Hakeem Bilal: Bass Trombone

Hakeem Bilal proudly hails from Washington, D.C. and joined C Street Brass in early 2013. From the nation’s capital, to Baltimore, New York, Dallas/Fort Worth, and now to Pittsburgh with C Street Brass, Hakeem’s bass trombone has led him on an incredible journey!

A highly sought-after freelance musician, Hakeem has established himself in Pittsburgh and throughout the East as a chamber, orchestral, and brass band musician, as well as a clinician,

music coach, and teaching artist of the Pittsburgh Symphony. In addition to the band, Hakeem is the Bass Trombonist of the River City Brass and has collaborated with many commercial artists throughout the US. Hakeem feels very fortunate to have taken his trombone to many diverse venues across the globe.

Outside of making music, Hakeem loves to build things. Whether it is constructing an innovative cocktail from the bar, or building a computer from scratch, if its hands on, chances are he is in it to win it. Some things you may not know about Hakeem: Other than being a creative mixologist, aspiring chef, and former teen heartthrob, he has been known to randomly break into dance and thrives on being the catalyst of any party (and he says there is always a party somewhere). Hakeem enjoys sour fruits, whiskey, and BBQ beef ribs (not necessarily in that order). Come join the party!

Dan MinerviniTheatre Organist
Dan Minervini

“Celebrate Youth” with Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts as it brings the talented young theatre organist and competition winner Dan Minervini to perform a concert on Lincoln Hall’s Mighty McKissick Wurlitzer Organ on Sunday, May 1 at 2:00 PM.  Dan was the first place winner of the American Theatre Organ Society’s Young Theatre Organist Competition in 2015.  He has been performing theatre organ concerts for audiences throughout the eastern United States on some of the finest and most prestigious theatre organs in the country.

Join us for a glorious afternoon of theatre organ music on Foxburg’s own theatre organ treasure as Dan delights with his young artistry and polished performances that have won him the highest accolades.  Adults are $25, Members $20 and Students $5.  Call to reserve:  724 659-3153


Dan MinerviniDan Minervini first became interested in the theatre pipe organ at the age of 12 after hearing a recording of a Robert Morton theatre organ. He soon began instruction in piano and classical organ and attended Chaminade High School, where he became involved with the New York Theatre Organ Society. After the New York Theatre Organ Society generously provided him with a scholarship to the American Theatre Organ Society’s 2009 Summer Youth Adventure, Dan began formal theatre organ studies with internationally-renowned theatre organist Jelani Eddington.

Since then, Dan has been a finalist in the American Theatre Organ Society’s Young Theatre Organist Competition in 2013, 2014, and 2015, winning first place in the 2015 competition. He is currently a concertizing artist who has performed on some of the finest and most prestigious instruments in the United States, and he is quickly establishing himself as one of the United States’ best young theatre organists. He also served as the Youth Representative to the Board of Directors of the American Theatre Organ Society from 2013 to 2015, and he currently serves on the New York Theatre Organ Society’s Board of Directors.

In June of 2015, Dan graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Honors Program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a Bachelor’s degree in International Criminal Justice, and he maintains many interests outside of the musical realm.

Dane Vannattervocalist
Daniel Maypiano
Paul Thompsonbass
Mike Tomarosaxophone
Dane Vannatter

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts will welcome back by popular demand nationally acclaimed vocalist and recording artist, Dane Vannatter, on Saturday evening May 21, 7:00 PM.  Foxburg’s Lincoln Hall will be aglow with candlelight and nightclub cabaret table-style seating, a perfect setting for a relaxing, romantic night out, enjoying this masterful entertainer and cabaret artist and his jazz trio of consummate musicians.

Performing songs from his recently released, celebrated fourth CD – Give Me Something Real – you won’t want to miss his inimitable style of intimate cabaret singing. “His voice has a floating quality that gets in your head and won’t leave…his music is a swinging, soaring adventure!” The Boston Globe

And be sure to wear your dancing shoes so you can take a spin with your sweetheart at the back of the hall.  Wine and beer will be available by donation.

In his last visit to Foxburg Dane left the audience begging for more of his unique vocal artistry and sensitive interpretations of the classic American songbook. Dane’s singing runs the gamut of emotions, as he performs heartfelt passionate, humorous, joyous and touching songs that span seven decades.   Once again, an outstanding trio of jazz artists will provide the background over which Dane will display his vocal palette of emotional colors.

dane vannatter trio 2014

Daniel May, Dane Vannatter, Tony DePaolis, Mike Tomaro

The jazz trio backing Dane is composed of nationally-known jazz artists whose careers go beyond live performance into the areas of composition, movie scores, touring, recording and education. Joining Dane in creating musical magic in the intimacy of a Lincoln Hall’s acoustic and cabaret environment will be Daniel May (piano), Paul Thompson (bass) and sax superstar Mike Tomaro.

Enjoy a romantic night out enjoying smooth and grooving jazz in a candlelit night club style setting. With table seating for the cabaret, seating is limited, so be sure to reserve your tickets or your table early!

Adults: $25, ARCA Members $20, Students $5 Beer and Wine by donation.
To reserve tickets: 724-659-3153

Dane Vannatter in Lincoln Hall

Dane Vannatter

Dane Vannatter

“Vannatter is one of the most jazz-savvy cabaret singers around”.  Boston Globe

Acclaimed by Carol Sloane of Concord Records as ‘my favorite among the new young male singers’, Dane Vannatter has been celebrated for his naturally beautiful voice and tasty jazz style.  Montreal’s George Evans said, “Dane Vannatter makes it sound so easy – his style is so natural and his sound so free that one could get the mistaken impression that singing isn’t work to him at all, but as simple as breathing and just as organic.”

Dane Vannatter hails from Muncie, Indiana where his grandparents were Church of God ministers who traveled the country playing and singing for death row prisoners. He attributes his love of music to his grandmother, who lovingly taught him to play the piano and introduced him to the wonderful complexities of harmony. Equally influential in Dane’s early musical experience was his father’s love of jazz and masters of the song, such as Kay Starr and Billie Holiday. His father’s extensive and varied album collection provided the vehicle through which the young Dane began to learn and experience the art of interpreting song. Whether they use their talents in the popular or classical music genres, most singers begin to reach a vocal maturity in their late 20’s or early 30’s. It was at this age that Dane began to approach singing very seriously as a result of an invitation to participate in a contest in Boston.

Currently living in Pittsburgh, Dane has received Bistro awards for Outstanding Vocalist and for his recording, Flight, by the critics of BackStage in New York. He has been acclaimed by reviewers at The New York Post, The Boston Globe and BackStage for a style that “blends facets of cabaret and jazz with intelligence and care”.

The Boston Globe remarks: “Dane Vannatter’s distinctive style leaves an imprint on whatever music he sings. His voice has a floating quality that gets in your head and won’t leave…his music is a swinging, soaring adventure!”. He has been nominated for four MAC awards and has been a Nightlife Award finalist.

Patti LaBelle and Dane Vannatter

Patti LaBelle and Dane Vannatter

Dane has performed for several years at the annual Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention at Town Hall in New York City and performed in venues nationally and internationally. In Pittsburgh, Dane has performed for the First Fridays at the Frick series and sings regularly at the Fairmont Hotel’s Jazz at Andy’s and James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy.

On July 31, 2015 Dane was called to the stage by Patti LaBelle during her concert in Columbus, Ohio. After hearing Dane sing and inviting him to duet on her classic “Lady Marmalade” Patti exclaimed “You better sing, fool. My God!.”

Dane is a gentleman with a particular passion for lending his considerable talents in support of such noble causes as pancreatic cancer research and the Adagio Health Organization, which serves more than 100,000 Western Pennsylvanians regardless of income or insurance.


Dane released his fourth CD Give Me Something Real in 2015.

Dane Vannatter imageA review of the CD in Cabaret Scenes follows:

January 31, 2016
Reviewed by John Hoglund for Cabaret Scenes

Many have asked, “Where are the torchbearers for the Great American Songbook today?” There are wannabes floating around who have gotten serious star attention that’s arguably not warranted (like Michael Bublé or Diana Krall who are not quite the real deal or bore), but have been lucky enough to be churned out like butter and packaged well. But, today’s cabarets and jazz clubs have some great singers who deserve a shot. Welcome Dane Vannatter, who has been kicking around Boston, New York and, more recently, Pittsburgh clubs for almost two decades and has built a loyal following. He’s someone the Concord or Telarc labels might consider, especially since there is a paucity of good jazz vocalists on the market today.

While there’s no magic formula to being a great singer, some just have what it takes. Vannatter fits that bill. Whenever this jazz/swing singer hits the stage, he is known for putting his best foot forward. He never disappoints. His fourth CD, Give Me Something Real, is no exception. His rangy jazz tenor caresses songs with ease. Insightful phrasing matches the quality of his full-voiced vocals, which remain flawless.

Unlike his previous three albums, this particular disc has a more personal touch as he blends etched-in-wood classics with contemporary story songs that soar. This is obvious on beautifully realized cuts like “But Beautiful” (Johnny Burke/Jimmy Van Heusen), “Blame It on My Youth” (Edward Heyman/Oscar Levant) and the album’s title cut from 1998 by Clark Anderson and Meryn Warren which stands out for its heartfelt clarity. These are sung with an intelligence and bright musicality that excels with every note. A lot of heart went into recording these gems. Kicking off with a strong bass line, the frolicsome “I Love My Bed” (Bob Haymes) is a refreshing lighthearted romp that’s given a terrific arrangement. He digs deep while retaining a strong drive on the Billy Strayhorn beauty “Something to Live For.” Such versatility only adds to the surprises on this disc that mixes the old and new. One of the CD’s most intense and trenchant cuts fuses the Coldplay hit “Fix You” (Chris Martin/Jonny Buckland/Guy Berryman/Will Chapman) with Leonard Cohen’s legendary “Hallelujah.” Joining these unique songs of shattered love and sadness is inspired, making for the album’s finest cut. They unfold a tale of wrenching drama and heartbreak in a stunning arrangement that is about riveting as it gets. Vannatter shows his level of interpretive gifts with these two formidable songs. The burnished bruise in his expressive, softer moments underscores a natural vibrato that is heartbreaking. This pairing is worth the price of the album alone, which is a hands-down winner by a singer who deserves more exposure and recognition.

The exceptional band is led by Fred Boyle (piano), with Ron Ormsby (bass), Bart Weisman (drums), Steve Ahern (trumpet), Bruce Abbott (sax/flute), Jon Evans (bass), Eric Susoeff (guitar) and Daniel May (keyboard).


It Takes Two to Tango – Kaplan Duo

Nanette Kaplan Solomonpiano
Iris Kaplan Rosenthalpiano
Kaplan faces tango copy - Version 2

It Takes Two To Tango brings the virtuosic Kaplan Duo – Nanette Kaplan Solomon and Iris Kaplan Rosenthal – to perform a program of popular four hand piano classics on the Lincoln Hall Steinway on Sunday, April 17 at 2 PM.  Their delightful popular program of dances, dynamically rhythmic compositions and eloquently lyrical interludes promises to get your spirits soaring and toes tapping, including Piazzolla’s History of the Tango and Moskowski Spanish Dances, Dvorak Slavonic Dances, Gershwin Variations on I Got Rhythm.

These extraordinarily accomplished sisters are polished performers, recording artists and musical communicators who have a lifelong experience of playing together, inspiring each other, and bringing excitement to audiences through their musical performances.

Tickets are Adults $25, Members $20 and Students $5.  To reserve, call 724 659-3153 or buy tickets online here.

Kaplan Duo - four hands

Sonata in Eb Major, op. 14, no. 3                                                    Muzio Clementi
Allegro                                                                                                 (1752-1832)
Rondo: Allegro

Spanish Dances, op. 12                                                                     Moritz Moszkowski
No. 1- Allegro brioso                                                                         (1854-1925)
No. 2- Moderato
No. 3- Con moto
No. 4- Allegro commodo
No. 5- Bolero: con spirito

Histoire du Tango                                                                               Astor Piazzolla

  1. Bordel 1900
  2. Café 1930 arr. Yamamoto
  3. Nightclub 1960
  4. Concert d’aujourd’hui


Overture to Candide                                                                          Leonard Bernstein
arr. Charlie Harmon

August Rhythms for Piano Four Hands (2013)                              Gwyneth Walker
(b. 1947)

I Got Rhythm (Impromptu Variations)                                             George Gershwin
tr. Gregory Stone

Slavonic Dances                                                                                  Antonin Dvorak

  1. 72, no. 1 in B Major (1841-1904)
  2. 72, no. 2 in E Minor
  3. 46, no. 6 in A-flat Major
  4. 46, no. 8 in G Minor

Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2                                                              Franz Liszt
arr. Bendel

Kaplan piano-tango image

The Kaplan Duo

image1 - Version 2The Kaplan Duo is a four hand piano duo of sisters who have been sharing music since childhood. Nanette was accepted to the Juilliard School Pre-College Division as a scholarship student at the age of nine, and Iris followed soon after beginning her piano study there. Practicing long hours, they battled for prime practice time on the one Steinway grand piano in their suburban Long Island home. They pursued their own paths, occasionally playing duets for informal family gatherings. After one such event in 1987, they discovered that despite disparate musical training, their bond as sisters provided a remarkable sense of shared artistic sensibilities, and that they were more simpatico with each other than with any other piano partner either of them had experienced. Thus, the Kaplan Duo was launched.

The Kaplan Duo brings to the rich four-hand repertoire a unique blend of individual virtuosity and exciting interpretations. They have concertized through out the East Coast and performed for prestigious organizations in Washington, New York, and Puerto Rico.

Iris Kaplan Rosenthal

Iris Kaplan RosenthalIris Kaplan Rosenthal has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and abroad. She has appeared on many concert series, performed with orchestras in New York and Michigan, and as a participant in the International Workshops performed in Eisenstadt, Austria. Dr. Rosenthal has performed chamber music at a number of Long Island venues with the Elysian II, a cello-piano collaboration as well as with other Long Island musicians. With the Kaplan Duo, she has performed in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Washington DC, Florida and Puerto Rico, and at many Long Island venues. She is currently a free-lance musician and piano accompanist. Dr. Rosenthal has taught at C.W. Post College, Penn State University, Poly Prep Country Day School, and the Stecher and Horowitz School of Music.

Iris received her early training as a scholarship student at the Juilliard School Pre-College Division. She received her bachelor of music degree from the University of Michigan School of Music, and both masters and doctoral degrees from New York University. Her teachers have included Louis Nagel, Gregory Haimovsky, and the late Edgar Roberts, Joseph Villa and Antonio Barbosa. Dr. Rosenthal has studied the Alexander Technique as a student of Linda Babits which culminated in her doctoral dissertation, “The Experience of Pianists Who Have Studied the Alexander Technique: Six Case Studies.” Dr. Rosenthal has been a recipient of the Five Town Music and Art 25th Anniversary Scholarship, the Nell Stockwell Award, and the Port Washington Music Advisory Award.

Nanette Kaplan Solomon

Nanette Kaplan SolomonNanette Kaplan Solomon, pianist and Professor Emerita of Music at Slippery Rock University, performs frequently as soloist and chamber musician. She has presented lecture-recitals at the College Music Society national meetings in San Diego, Savannah, Cleveland, San Juan, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Quebec City, San Antonio, Atlanta, Portland (OR), and Richmond (VA), and has performed at the international conferences in Berlin, Vienna, Kyoto, Limerick, Costa Rica, Madrid, Bangkok, Zagreb, Croatia, and Seoul, Korea. Dr. Solomon’s involvement with the works of women composers has led to invitations to perform at several Feminist Theory and Music conferences, the American Music/ American Women symposium in Boulder, Colorado, the Athena Festival in Murray, Kentucky, as well as at six of the International Festivals of Women Composers held at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She presented a lecture-recital of works by contemporary women at the MTNA national conference in Minneapolis in 2000.

Nanette Kaplan Solomon has been a soloist with orchestras in Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, as well as featured artist with the Butler (PA), Youngstown and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras. Dr. Solomon has also performed at the Phillips Collection, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., Wigmore Hall in London, the Lincoln Center Library in New York City, and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. She has been a guest artist at colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, California, New York, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Minnesota, and Maine.

Dr. Solomon’s numerous awards include winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society auditions, winner of the French Embassy award from the French Piano Institute, a fellowship to the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, semi-finalist in the University of Maryland International competition, and finalist in “Search for a Star” sponsored by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Marvin Hamlisch.

She is a founding member of the Slippery Rock Piano Trio, as well as the Kaplan Duo, with her sister Iris Kaplan Rosenthal. With those groups, she has performed throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and at numerous venues in New York State. A former board member for performance of the College Music Society, she also served on the editorial board of the American Music Teacher. She recently completed a term as board member of the IAWM and is Immediate Past-President of the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association. Her three compact discs- piano music of Nikolai Lopatnikoff (Laurel), Character Sketches and Sunbursts (Leonarda) have received critical acclaim.

Dr. Solomon received her early training as a scholarship student at the Juilliard School, where she studied with the late Edgar Roberts and Mme. Rosina Lhevinne. She received a B.A. degree magna cum laude from Yale College, where she studied with the late Ward Davenny and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, an M.M. from the Yale School of Music, where she studied with Claude Frank, and a D.M.A. from Boston University School for the Arts, where she studied with the late Leonard Shure.

Folk Songs & Love Songs

Aron Zelkowiczcello
Naomi Niskalapiano
Daniel Andaiviolin
Katherine Sorokamezzo-soprano
Zelkowicz cello-river

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is proud to open its 2016 Spring Performance Season with an afternoon of lyrically beautiful chamber music based on  “Folk Songs and Love Songs”,  performed by nationally and internationally acclaimed musicians and recording artists  – cellist Aron Zelkowicz, collaborating with pianist Naomi Niskala and violinist Daniel Andai – and with mezzo-soprano Katherine Soroka in a cameo performance.  Music will be in full bloom with chamber music and songs by Beethoven, Schumann, Dvorak, Massenet, Cano and Piazzolla.

This concert is dedicated to ARCA’s founder and long-time Board members, Dr. Arthur and Patricia Steffee, whose love, commitment and generosity have made possible the presentation of glorious music and art in the beautiful Allegheny River Valley. Join us for a reception afterwards in Lincoln Hall with cake and coffee to celebrate them and Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts’ Tenth Anniversary Performance Season.

Tickets are Adults $25, Members $20 and Students $5.  To reserve, call 724 659-3153 or buy tickets online here.

Folk Songs & Love Songs-headshots jpeg

Zelkowicz-Naomi final copy

Aron Zelkowicz, cello     Naomi Niskala, piano
with Daniel Andai, violin    &   Katherine Soroka, mezzo-soprano

12 Variations on “Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen”         Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1856)
from Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” in F Major
Op. 66 for cello and piano

Five Pieces in Folk Style, Op. 102                                    Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
for cello and piano

  1. Vanitas Vanitatum (Mit Humor)
  2. Langsam
  3. Nicht schnell, mit viel Ton zu spielen
  4. Nicht zu rasch
  5. Stark und markiert

Élégie (1875)                                                                       Jules Massenet (1842-1912)

Epílogo, from Luna (1988)                                                José María Cano (b. 1959)

Primavera porteña, from The Four Seasons                  Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
arr. Jose Bragato for piano trio


“Song to the Moon”, from Rusalka, Op. 114                 Antonin Dvořák (1841-1904)
arr. for cello and piano

Piano Trio in E minor, Op. 90, “Dumky”                        Antonin Dvořák

  1. Lento Maestoso
  2. Poco Adagio
  3. Andante
  4. Andante Moderato
  5. Allegro
  6. Lento Maestoso

Program Notes by Aron Zelkowicz

Folk songs and love songs were embraced by Romantic composers as the popular music of their day.  Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts celebrates the humble origins of some lush vocal and instrumental chamber music in a varied program that features first-time guest violinist Daniel Andai, cellist Aron Zelkowicz, and pianist Naomi Niskala.

As the centerpiece of our program, Antonin Dvořák s beloved “Dumky” Piano Trio is awash in sumptuous melodies. Like Dvořák, Robert Schumann created original music inspired by the simplicity and directness of folk dances with his Five Pieces in Folk Style. Ludwig van Beethoven, mostly known for his powerful symphonies and sonatas, captures the charm of one of opera’s most popular characters in his 12 Variations from Mozart’s Magic Flute.
We delve further into the world of opera with a cello arrangement of Dvořák’s most famous aria, the “Song to the Moon” from Rusalka.  Mezzo-soprano Katherine Soroka joins the ensemble for an Elegie by the French operatic master Jules Massenet, and the haunting Epilogue from José María Cano’s folk opera Luna. The passions of Cano’s Spanish folk opera are complimented by Astor Piazzolla’s fiery tango Primavera Portena for piano trio.
We are honored to perform this recitals’ two moon-related songs, the Dvořák and the Cano, in honor ARCA’s founders and long-time Board members, Dr. Arthur and Patricia Steffee.

Zelkowicz-Naomi violin final

As Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts celebrates its 10th Anniversary Performance Season in 2016, it will be paying tribute to and thanking those whose efforts, love, commitment and generosity have made possible the presentation of glorious music and art in the beautiful Allegheny River Valley.   No one is more deserving of recognition than Dr. Arthur and Patricia Steffee, who not only were founding members of ARCA, but also refurbished Lincoln Hall, served as officers on its Board of Directors since its inception, and hosted several fund raising house tours at their home, RiverStone mansion, as well as annual Major Donor Dinners and post concert receptions.

Folk Songs and Love Songs by Aron Zelkowicz, Naomi Niskala, Daniel Andai, and Katherine Soroka is dedicated to Dr. Arthur and Patricia Steffee.

Dr. Arthur & Patricia Steffe

Dr. Arthur & Patricia Steffee (photography by Dennis Keyes)

Arthur and Patricia are great lovers of classical music, with recorded music soaring in their home by day and night and even as they are working in their greenhouse.  Sweet are the moments when the music performed by extraordinary artists in Lincoln Hall have brought tears to their eyes.  Among their favorite musical compositions are two works on the April 3 concert program:  Dvorak’s “Song to the Moon”, from Rusalka arranged for cello and piano, and Epílogo, from Luna for cello and voice by José María Cano.

Aron Zelkowicz, cello

Aron Zelkowicz photoWith a career encompassing a broad range of activities as a cellist, performer, teacher, and administrator, Aron Zelkowicz has cultivated a repertoire both classical and ethnic, familiar and obscure. For eleven years he served as the Founder and Director of the Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival, which presented rare and diverse works from Jewish musical traditions to Pittsburgh audiences every spring. Under his guidance, the Festival featured renowned ensembles and guest artists from the orchestral, chamber, early music, rock, and world music genres in innovative and thematic programs, for which he directed every aspect of fundraising, marketing, production, and artistic planning. The Festival has commissioned several works from major composers like David Stock, Judith Shatin, and Nizan Leibovich, received major grants and mainstream critical acclaim, and has been featured in full-length radio and cable television broadcasts. Critics noted his “impressive” directorial debut of an original 2013 production of the chamber opera “The Dybbuk” by Ofer Ben-Amots, and dubbed the Festival “one of the highest quality concert series in town” (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) and a local “best-kept secret” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).

Unknown-1As a chamber and orchestral musician, Dr. Zelkowicz has performed at the Tanglewood, Banff, Aspen, Sarasota, Chautauqua, Colorado, and Sunflower music festivals, the New York String Orchestra and Juilliard Quartet Seminars, with members of the Emerson and Cleveland Quartets, as Principal Cello of the Miami Symphony Orchestra, and on European and North American tours with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He enjoys relating directly to both adults and children with outreach programs and personal introductions to his concerts, as he has done with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina, the Proteus Ensemble, Piccolo Spoleto’s Spotlight chamber music series, and as his own Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival. As a teacher and coach to young string players, he has given master classes at the universities of Alaska, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Texas, and Wisconsin, and served on the faculties of Point Counterpoint Chamber Music Camp, the Brevard Music Center, and the North Carolina Governor’s School. In 2013 he completed an eight-city tour of the midwest U.S. playing the complete Britten Cello Suites in honor of the composer’s 100th birthday.

A native of Ottawa, Canada, Aron Zelkowicz grew up in Pittsburgh and received degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, and Stony Brook University, where his teachers included Anne Martindale Williams, Paul Katz, Steven Doane, Janos Starker, and Colin Carr. He performs in the New England region as a member of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, and the Boston Lyric Opera.

Naomi Niskala, piano

Naomi NiskalaPianist Naomi Niskala has appeared as soloist and chamber musician in Europe, North America, Russia, Israel, Thailand, and Japan, and her performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio, Deutschlandradio, RTV Germany, and NPR’s Performance Today. Her competition awards include first prize at the Kingsville International Isabel Scionti Solo Piano Competition and a top prize at the International Stravinsky Awards Competition in Illinois, and she spent two summers each at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute. Upon invitation from Zarin Mehta and the Ravinia Festival, she performed as chamber musician in Israel, Turkey, and Greece. Niskala performs regularly with Spectrum Concerts Berlin, one of Germany’s leading chamber organizations.

Recent performance highlights include the San Francisco Symphony Chamber Series at Davies Symphony Hall, soloist with the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic of Russia, and with Spectrum Concerts Berlin in the Philharmonie Kammermusiksaal of Berlin, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, and in Thailand and Kosovo. Her release of the only complete recordings of American composer Robert Helps’s solo piano works on two discs with Albany Records in 2007 was met with high acclaim, and the first volume was declared one of the ten “2007 Best of the Year” discs by ClassicsToday. She has also recorded piano chamber works of Robert Helps and Ursula Mamlok with Spectrum Concerts Berlin for two discs on Naxos, as well as the world premiere of Mamlok’s 2015 quintet “Breezes” for Bridge Records.

Naomi NiskalaBorn to Japanese/Finnish-American parents, Niskala began studying piano at the age of three. She was raised in Rochester, New York and later Tokyo, Japan. Niskala holds degrees from the Yale School of Music, Stony Brook University and the New England Conservatory of Music, and also attended Tufts University. She received her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Piano Performance with Gilbert Kalish at Stony Brook, and an Artist Diploma with Claude Frank at the Yale School of Music.

Other teachers include the late pianists Patricia Zander and Maria Luisa Faini, as well as chamber music studies with pianists Leon Fleisher, Menahem Pressler, and Peter Serkin, and violinists Louis Krasner and Eugene Lehner.

Niskala has taught on the faculties of Wesleyan University (Connecticut), the University of South Florida’s School of Music, and the University of North Dakota. She is currently Associate Professor of Music at Susquehanna University, where she teaches piano and theory, and leads a summer chamber music exchange program to Japan.

Daniel Andai, violin

Daniel AndaiHailed as an “Exemplary Leader” by the New York Times for leading members of the New York Philharmonic and the Manhattan School of Music in Carnegie Hall, violinist Daniel Andai has shared his versatile artistry as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, concertmaster, conductor and recording artist in major concert venues in over 50 countries across five continents, the Middle East, the Caribbean and over 30 United States. He is a prizewinner of national and international competitions and has soloed with orchestras around the world.

Daniel Andai is concertmaster, frequent soloist and guest conductor of The Miami Symphony Orchestra (MISO). He was also concertmaster and frequent soloist of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas in New York with whom he recorded multiple Billboard rated SONY Classical CD’s, made numerous televised solo appearances and was featured on AeroMexico’s inflight entertainment systems.

Daniel AndaiDaniel has held concertmaster positions with orchestras in Mexico, Brazil, Switzerland, and France, performed in the sections of the New York Philharmonic and the Miyazaki Festival Orchestra in Japan, and worked closely with members of major string quartets and symphony, opera and ballet orchestras around the world. The New York Times wrote of his concerto performance, “A lyrical dialogue unfolded between orchestra and solo violin, whose melodic lines were expressively performed here by Daniel Andai.”

Daniel Andai is the Dean of Music at the New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida and the Artistic Director of the Killington Music Festival in Vermont. Dr. Andai previously was the violin professor and The Marialice Shivers Endowed Chair in Fine Arts at the University of Texas in Edinburg and served on faculties at Miami-Dade College and New World School of the Arts. He hold degrees from the University of Miami, the Manhattan School of Music and Lynn University.

Daniel Andai

Katherine Erlandson Soroka, mezzo-soprano

Katherine Erlandson SorokaA veteran of opera, oratorio, cabaret, and musical theatre, Katherine’s first love is art song and vocal chamber music.  A winner of Pittsburgh’s Concert Society Major Auditions, her singing has been acclaimed as  “masterful” and “heroic” with “heartfelt vocalism” in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.  She has performed chamber music with the Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival and sung recitals in Kresge Auditorium, on The Silberman Recital Series at Allegheny College, in New York City at Cami and Merkin Concert Halls, and here in Lincoln Hall for ARCA.

Katherine curated and sang a Music for Exhibitions concert with Chatham Baroque at the Frick Museum in conjunction with the exhibit “From Michelangelo to Annibale Carraci:  A Century of Italian Drawings From the Prado”.  A benefit concert performance with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for Concerts for Causes raised funds for the Children’s Homeless Education Fund.

Influenced by her work with Jan DeGaetani, Katherine has performed contemporary music with the Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble including  Ahkmatova Songs by University of Virginia composer Judith Shatin, and the world premiere of Rumi Sings of Love by Pittsburgh composer, David Stock.  She performed Betty Oliviero’s Juego de Siempre with Joel Sachs and Continuum contemporary ensemble in New York City.  Other performances at Aspen Music Festival and in New York City at The JCC, The Kitchen, Greenwich House, The Juilliard School, Columbia University and City University of New York featured music by Chinery Ung, Judith Shatin, Glen Cortese and Noah Zahler, among others.

Katherine has performed with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and has narrated and sung with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in  “Tiny Tots” and “Schooltime” concerts.  She has been a frequent soloist in oratorio and numerous zwischen fach operatic roles ranging from Cherubino, Romeo and Dido to Suor Angelica and the Countess.  She has performed cabaret shows at Panache and Don’t Tell Mama in New York City and numerous classical cabaret concerts for the McKees Rock Symphony and in her native North Dakota, among other venues.   Favorite musical theatre roles are Vera in Pal Joey, Anna in The King and I, and Lilli Vanessi/Katherine in Kiss Me Kate.  Katherine teaches voice privately in Pittsburgh and Emlenton.

Daphne AldersonCabaret Singer
John MarcinizynGuitar
Vladimir MollovAccordion
Elisa KohanskiCello
Daphne poster

Love is in the air and “Rendezvous at the Love Cafe” is coming to Foxburg!

Plan an evening out with your Sweetheart and be entranced by the extraordinary Cabaret singer Daphne Alderson and the St. Michel Chamber Band who are coming to Foxburg for Valentine’s Day in an evening of Cabaret Theatre –  A Rendezvous at the Love Cafe on Saturday, February 13 at 7:00 PM.

The Love Cafe is open to all – a musical haven for the soul.  Come into the glow of Lincoln Hall and experience the universality of being loved, as Pittsburgh’s celebrated chanteuse and recording artist, Daphne Alderson, and her band of superb soloists present an evening of pop and standard love songs that will warm your heart in their tribute to the pursuit of love.  This romantic evening of cabaret theatre will feature intimate arrangements of some of the most beautiful songs every written, by Irving Berlin, Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and the great American songbook… plus Daphne’s acclaimed performance of French ballads made famous by the incomparable Edith Piaf.

Whether it’s you and your Valentine or an evening out with friends, you’ll be soothed and charmed by Daphne’s touching and beautifully crafted material and her smoky voiced contralto which Pittsburgh’s press has acclaimed as “the most enchanting, mesmerizing voice which just sweeps me away… When you hear her sing, you’ll want your sweetheart nearby.” With the superb musicians in St. Michel Chamber Band, it will be an evening of romance, artistic excellence and theatrical power.

Make it a night to remember, basking in the loving musical embrace of Daphne and her band. Tickets: Adults $25, ARCA Members $20, Students $5.

Wine and Beer will be available by donation.  Tickets are $25 for Adults, $20 for Members and $5 for Students.  Buy online at or call to Reserve:  724 659-3153.

Divani Chocolatier

Divani Chocolatier & Barista

Allegheny Grille

Allegheny Grille

Plan to make it a full Valentine’s Day celebration – arriving early to shop for chocolate dipped strawberries and Valentine’s Chocolates at Divani’s Chocolatier and Barista, do a wine tasting and some shopping at Foxburg Wine Cellars and have dinner at the Allegheny Grille, dining as you overlook the mysterious Allegheny River in the winter, either in the First Floor Dining Room enjoying their regular menu or for a very special experience at a 4:00 PM seating (one of three that night) a Wine pairing with a special multi-course Valentine’s menu for two on the second floor in The River Grille Room.   Or for more casual fare – enjoy salads, sandwiches and pizza at Foxburg Pizza – and treat your sweetheart to a Valentine’s Day heart-shaped dessert pizza. Or plan to spend a romanic Valentine’s overnight overlooking the Allegheny River at the Foxburg Inn or at the Barnard House in Emlenton, a cozy Bed and Breakfast.  Or enjoy a five course Valentine’s Day surf and turf dinner and chocolate fondue dessert at Little It Deli in Emlenton with a seating in advance of the show at 5:00 PM on February 13.

If there is inclement weather which requires postponement, a SNOW DATE has been set for Saturday, February 20.

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 10.22.41 AM


daphnealderson“Unique, haunting and beautiful.”  Daphne… Joan of Arc, CD Release, Andy Mulkerin, Pittsburgh City Paper

Rendezvous at the Love Cafe will feature the powerful singer/actress and recording artist Daphne Alderson in songs from her several albums – including her 2015 CD release of Joan of Arc and her CD Love Cafe –  as well as wonderful new arrangements of wonderful standards, including Both Sides Now, My Father, The Best Things Happen When You Dance, Dance Me to the End of Love, and Alleluia, among others.  The rapport between Daphne and her musicians is hand-in-glove and the brilliant instrumentals by the consummate musicians in the St. Michel Chamber Band promise to rock your soul.

Whether Cupid has captured you or you want to hang out with a friend, the beautifully crafted songs of great writers like Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins and Irving Berlin will fill your heart – not to mention the few haunting French ballads penned for Edith Piaf. Love has no limits on this Valentine’s eve; the prose of Leonard Cohen and a contemporary nod of Rick Jensen’s “In Passing Years,” fill an evening of song, stories and the shared collaboration:   this smokey contralto and her St. Michel Chamber Band of superb soloists in a soulful collaboration.

“One of the most beautiful musical evenings I’ve ever experienced,”
Deborah Scarenka, ( formerly of New Hazlett Theater).

“Unique by any standard, a haunting artist.” (Joan of Arc, cd release)
Andy Mullkerin, Pittsburgh City Paper

“Daring, raw, honest and beautiful!”
Audience member, The Piaf Songbook (July, 2015)

Daphne Alderson-Love Cafe

Daphne Alderson and St. Michel Chamber Band

Daphne Alderson

Daphne AldersonDaphne 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.

John Marcinizyn, Guitar

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

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.

Elisa Kohanski, Cello

Elisa KohanskiCellist Elisa Kohanski enjoys a diverse performing career, appearing regularly as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player, and championing unique collaborations with artists of other disciplines. A highly-regarded solo performer, Elisa was featured in the world premiere of Richard Danielpour’s Come Up From the Fields Father with the Wheeling Symphony in 2011. In 2012, she performed the Elgar Cello Concerto with the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra. Most recently, her trio commissioned Spanish-American composer Elisenda Fabregas’ Triple Concerto, which had its inaugural performance with the Atlanta Virtuosi under the baton of Juan Ramirez in 2015.

A native Rhode Islander, Ms. Kohanski has a love of travel which, combined with her passion for music, has brought her to over 50 countries around the world. In Africa she has explored Tunisia, Egypt, Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Botswana. A love for Africa was the inspiration for a three-country tour of the Continent with Trio Nova Mundi, Ensemble-in-Residence at Grove City College. Ms. Kohanski, along with pianist Becky Billock and violinist Maureen Conlon Gutierrez, presented nine concerts over the course of two weeks, in addition to numerous workshops and performances for children. The African tour inspired the next international tour in 2014 to Mexico.

Ms. Kohanski has performed with dozens of top-billed artists, including the Miami String Quartet, Olivia Newton John, Robert Shaw, Garrison Keillor, Phil Keaggy and Harry Connick Jr., and has played in some of the most prestigious concert halls around the world. In addition to touring China and the US with the Mantovani Orchestra, she has performed in Carnegie Hall in New York City; Royal Albert Hall in London, England; Schlossfestspiele in Heidelberg, Germany; and the Stefaniensaal Concert Hall in Graz, Austria. She has performed at all of the major venues in Pittsburgh, including Heinz Hall, the Benedum Center and City Theater.

Described after a Pittsburgh Ballet performance by the Pittsburgh Tribune Review as “most superb,” Ms. Kohanski was appointed the position of Principal Cellist of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 2009. She holds the same position with the Wheeling Symphony and is a member of the cello section in the Pittsburgh Opera and the Erie Philharmonic. Elisa performs regularly with the Pittsburgh Symphony and has also played with the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston, TX and the Columbus Symphony.

Ms. Kohanski is a founding member of the Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Pittsburgh, IonSound Project.  IonSound has received critical acclaim for original programming, a fresh approach to contemporary music, and a commitment to the city of Pittsburgh. Elisa has been praised in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for her “ardent” playing in performance with IonSound Project. She was also featured on IonSound’s 2012 CD by Jeremy Beck, touted as “thoroughly engaging from top to bottom” by NewMusicBox.

In addition to the IonSound CD, Elisa can be heard on several recordings ranging from orchestral to popular music including Giacinto Scelsi- The Orchestral Works 1 and Daphne Alderson’s album, Joan of Arc.

Each summer, Ms. Kohanski can be heard in performances with Music on the Hill, in which Rhode Island natives return to perform chamber concerts throughout the state.  The festival repertoire ranges from J.S. Bach to Osvaldo Golijov, and regularly features world class artists such as William Preucil, James Dunham, Ronald Leonard and Daniel Gilbert. Elisa has performed in several summer festivals including the AIMS Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria, Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and the Heidelberg Castle Festival. She is looking forward to being on the faculty of the Interharmony International Music Festival in Italy this summer.

A passionate educator, Ms. Kohanski currently serves as adjunct faculty at Grove City College. She also maintains a private studio (ranging in age from five to sixty) and is on the faculty for the Carnegie Mellon Summer Strings Program. She has served on the faculties of Westminster College, Seton Hill University, Westmoreland Suzuki School, and the Carlow College Campus String Program.

Ms. Kohanski earned her Bachelor of Music Degree from the Eastman School of Music as a student of Pamela Frame. She received her Master of Music Degree from Carnegie Mellon University where she studied with Pittsburgh Symphony cellists Anne Martindale Williams and David Premo. Other notable teachers include Timothy Terranella, Carol Pellegrino, and Elizabeth Reardon.

Vladimir Mollov

Vladimir MollovInternationally acclaimed accordionist, composer and arranger, Vladimir Mollov, was born in Bulgaria to a family of self-taught wedding musicians. The sounds of his father’s accordion inspired Vladimir since early childhood and at eighteen months old, he “played” his little accordion alongside his father at weddings.

At seven he started taking formal accordion lessons with the nationally recognized pedagogue Nadejda Nicheva in Kazanluk, Bulgaria. Later studies were with Dr. Peter Marinov at the National Music Academy, the internationally recognized accordion artist Hristina Danova, and Nedelcho Dimitrov, a laureate of national and international accordion festivals and competitions.

At an early age Vladimir received recognition at several Bulgarian and international accordion competitions. At age thirteen he placed fourth in an accordion competition in Vladivostok. Two years later he placed first in the International Competition for Accordion and Guitar in Asenovgrad, Bulgaria, and received fourth place in the World Accordion Competition in Castelfidardo, Italy. Vladimir also won first place at the 2002 National Competition for Variety Music and Jazz in Novi Pazar, Bulgaria, and second place with a special award for virtuosic performance of folk music in the National Accordion Competition 2000 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

In 2002 Vladimir came to the United States to continue his education at Duquesne University and joined the DU Tamburitzans with whom he performed more than three hundred and fifty shows over a four-year period. He still continues to arrange dance and instrumental music for the ensemble and keeps in touch with the many friends he made there.

Since graduating from Duquesne, Vladimir has been active professional with multiple musical projects and endeavors. In 2009, he recorded his first album, Dreams, featuring all original instrumental pieces based on Bulgarian ethnic music, as well as French musette and jazz. Vladimir is a founding member of the Argentinean tango quintet, Cuidado, with which he recorded an album featuring traditional and modern tangos as well as two of his original compositions.

Vladimir has performed with the Kruno Spisic Gypsy Jazz Ensemble, Bulgarika, Daphne Alderson, Susanne Ortner and numerous other bands and artists. He was also featured as a guest on Babik’s 2008 gypsy jazz album, American Gypsy.

Vladimir performs on the Siwa and Figli Super Quatro accordion and has been a featured artist for Siwa and Figli Accordions since 2009.

When not playing or writing music, Vladimir explores his passion for gadgets and technology and enjoys watching movies with this beloved wife.  He also works professionally as a web applications programmer.

Daphne & St Michel Band

Vladimir Mollov, Elisa Kohanski, John Marcinizyn, Daphne Alderson



Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts