Seasons Archives: Spring 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Beo String Quartet at A-C Valley Schools

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

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

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

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

Beo String Quartet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you love the oldies and Doo Wop and 60s close harmony, then whatever you do this spring do not miss PURE GOLD:  Spring Doo Wop and Golden Oldies on Saturday, May 12 at 7:30 in Foxburg’s Lincoln Hall. Celebrate Mother’s Day Weekend with ARCA – and dance in the back of the hall, rocking’ and rollin’ the night away to five voices in perfect harmony and a red-hot rhythm section that add up to nothing less than PURE GOLD.

“Pure Gold possesses so much pure talent and class…established as one of the finest oldies acts in the country… more than soulful messengers as they resurrect and restore these songs with the passion of an avid record collector.”   Dave Goodrich, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

With signature acappella vocals and four-part harmonies, Pure Gold delivers diverse sounds and musical styles with a stage presence that transcends audience ages and backgrounds. Bringing the golden age of American vocal harmony to performances from Radio City Music Hall to The Waldorf Astoria and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Pure Gold doo-wops their way through the decades, performing material from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, as well as a blend of blues, standards and original material to highlight their unique talents and range – as heard in their four CD releases:  Collage • Forever • Acappella Christmas • The Acappella Album.

Celebrating their 40th Anniversary in 2018, PURE GOLD has performed for 30 million viewers on PBS in programs over the years, including Doo Wop 50; Doo Wop 51; and Rock, Rhythm & Doo Wop.  Other television shows include Soul Spectacular; Soul & Inspiration; This Land Is Your Land; Red, White & Rock; and Rhythm, Love & Soul.  AND you can hear them LIVE in Lincoln Hall on Saturday, May 12 at 7:30 PM.  

Give a special gift for Mother’s Day – a musical trip down memory lane!

Tickets are Adults $30, Members $25 and Students $5. This concert will SELL, so be sure to buy online here in advance or reserve at 724-659-3153.  Tickets also will be sold at the door as available, by cash or check only.

Make a day of it in the beautiful Allegheny River Valley! Discover quaint and scenic Foxburg:   tour the Red Brick Gallery exhibit of Photographer Dennis Keyes and Coiled Basket artist Linda Thompson after a walk along the river,  wine tasting at the Foxburg Wine Cellars, lunch or dinner at The Allegheny Grille, or at Foxburg Pizza, enjoy gourmet coffee and desserts at Divani Chocolatier and Barrista.  And perhaps overnight at the Foxburg Inn or in Emlenton at the Barnard House.  Perhaps start up the river in EMLENTON with afternoon shopping at Amy’s Closet, or biking along the Emlenton river trail, with a pre-concert super at Little It Deli in Emlenton. Photograph by Glenn Thompson Photography, a Red Brick Gallery Cooperative Artist.

PURE GOLD

PURE GOLD is synonymous with quality. Pure Gold has performed with more than 100 major acts over the life of the group: Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons, the Four Tops, Temptations, Beach Boys, Franki Valli, Dionne Warwick and Little Anthony and the Imperials among them. They have performed for 30 million on PBS; 100,000 roared as they took the stage with Chuck Berry at a July 4th celebration in Pittsburgh; fans cheered as they sang the National Anthem at the AFC Championship game and provided pre-game entertainment for hockey’s 41st All Star Game and their performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was met with overwhelming success.

Pure Gold has kept close company with some of music’s biggest legends like Chuck Berry, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, The Four Tops and The Isley Brothers. Thirty million viewers hung on every note as this eight-piece vocal/instrumental group provided accompaniment for the nationally televised PBS specials Doo Wop 50, Doo Wop 51 and Rock, Rhythm & Doo Wop. As the first non-inductees to play at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Pure Gold’s overwhelming success prompted an invitation to return as the first group to perform there on New Year’s Eve.

The highly-polished band orchestrates the perfect mood with music, adding ambiance and excitement to any affair. Pure Gold has performed at countless engagements from corporate events to wedding receptions, birthday parties to anniversary celebrations. Pure Gold has been afforded the opportunity to play for The National Football League (NFL), The National Hockey League (NHL), Heinz USA, and the Young Presidents Organization.

With signature acappella vocals and four-part harmonies, Pure Gold delivers diverse sounds and musical styles with a stage presence that transcends audience ages and backgrounds. Bringing the golden age of American vocal harmony to performances from Radio City Music Hall to The Waldorf Astoria and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Pure Gold doo-wops their way through the decades, performing material from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, as well as a blend of blues, standards and original material to highlight their unique talents and range.

Celebrate Mother’s Day weekend with your sweetheart – and enjoy a nostalgic trip down memory lane, experience PURE GOLD – the musical best of America’s Doo Wop generation – right here in Lincoln Hall, Foxburg!

 

Shane AlexanderSinger, Songwriter & Guitarist

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is proud to present  Smalltown in our Bloodstreams – an evening with Shane Alexander on Saturday, April 28, 7:30 PM in Lincoln Hall, Foxburg.  Join us for a captivating evening of story and song with internationally renown singer/songwriter/guitarist Shane Alexander.  In a club-like environment right in Lincoln Hall, Shane will performs songs from all of his albums, some of his favorite covers, and debuting new material to be released later this year!

A native of nearby Butler, Pennsylviania, Shane now resides with his family in Southern California. Since his debut in 2005, he’s toured the US and Europe countless times – both as a headliner and as an opener for tours with Jewel, John Hiatt, Seal, Bon Iver, Suzanne Vega, Styx and Yes. Songs from his catalog have been featured in over 100 televsion shows and films. ‘Skyway Drive-In’, a song written about growing up in Butler, recently passed 14 million streams on Spotify.

Well beloved in and around his home town of Butler, world renowned Shane Alexander will bring his heart-opening, touching and evocative acoustic music to Lincoln Hall’s intimate acoustics for an evening of music making that will rock your soul and renew your spirit.

ARRIVE for the opening reception of the Exhibit of Photography by Butler-based Dennis Keyes and Hand made coiled baskets by Linda Thompson at the Red Brick Gallery from 5:00 – 7:00 PM on Saturday, April 28 – immediately before Shane Alexander’s concert.  Bring your friends – make new friends – and enjoy an evening in Foxburg you’ll long remember.  

Tickets are Adults $25, Students $5.  Call to reserve – 724-659-3153 – or buy online here.   Wine and Beer will be available by donation.

Shane Alexander

‘Music for the heart and soul – premier songwriting and pristine delivery, a winner in every respect. Essential’ – Power of Pop

‘One of the most beautiful albums of the year’ – WoNo Magazine ‘

‘Alexander’s sweet tenor, acoustic guitar work, and catchy well-hooked songs flow seamlessly into one another’ – The Morton Report

Since his debut The Middle Way in 2005, Shane Alexander has forged a singular style blending west coast folk, rock and psychedelia into a successful sound that has appeared in over 100 television shows and films.

Touring the US and 11 other countries both as a headliner, and supporting acts like Bon Iver, Jewel, John Hiatt, Suzanne Vega, Seal, Styx and Yes, the fiercely independent artist has developed a loyal international fanbase, further enhanced in recent months when ‘Skyway Drive-In’, a solo acoustic track from the album Ladera, crossed over 14 million streams on Spotify.

The new album – Alexander’s first self production, was the first record made at his new Buddhaland Studios facility in Southern California. Bliss is a timeless tribute to the artist’s classic rock influences, featuring Alexander’s crystalline tenor and deft acoustic guitar work at the heart of all the tracks.

For all of the heartache and lessons learned on the album, the closing title track leaves the listener on a sublime note of peace and forgiveness, one that is mirrored in the cover image, hand-drawn by veteran rock and roll artist Alan Forbes.

Since the release of Bliss, and tours in The United States and Europe, Shane produced Shelby Figueroa’s debut Highwire (which reached NUMBER ONE on Amazon’s Singer/Songwriter chart) and Sallstrom’s EP Strangers Like Us  – to be released in late spring.

Ken DoubleTheatre Organist

On Sunday, April 22nd at 2:00 PM, Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts welcomes back to the Lincoln Hall McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer one of the preeminent theatre organists and recording artists of the day – KEN DOUBLE. This internationally acclaimed, world traveled organist will perform a program of diverse theatre organ favorites from his ten CDs.  Theatre organ mavens will be spell bound by his dazzling arrangements that will show the McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer and its percussion instrument “toy shelf” to their full glory!

Tickets are Adults $25, Members $20 an Students $5.  at 2:00 PM in Lincoln Hall.  After the concert, ARCA $100 and above donors are invited to attend a reception at RiverStone Mansion.

During his concert career, Ken Double has performed all over the United States in addition to seven tours of Australia and New Zealand and two trips to Great Britain, including stops in Seattle, WA; Wilmington, DE; Tampa, FL; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; the famous Casa Loma in Toronto. In addition to his hundreds of concerts, he has ten CD’s to his credit, including  The Music of Casa Loma, the first-ever recording on the Mighty Wurlitzer in the Great Hall of Toronto’s historic castle.  He also shares the great privilege of being one of the two organists who perform at the Atlanta Fox Theatre on famed Mighty Mo, the great Moller organ in Atlanta.   Ken is thrilled with the opportunity to return to scenic Foxburg, PA for another visit with the Mighty Wurlitzer.

Ken Double and Skip Stine at the University of Oklahoma, Sharp Hall

ARCA’s McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer Organ

McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ – www.denniskeyesphotography.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Artist

Ken Double has smoothly moved from two performing careers in his nearly 40-years on stage, on radio and on television. His broadcasting career included play-by-play work for the NBA Indiana Pacers, Purdue basketball, the Indy 500 and 17 years of NHL, IHL and AHL hockey.   After 33 years in broadcasting, he put the organ lessons of his youth along with his “gift of gab” to work in a new career.

A Chicago native who now calls Atlanta home, Ken began organ lessons at age 8; while in college in Indianapolis played the organ at Tommy Bartlett’s Water Show in Wisconsin Dells; for sporting events at Market Square Arena; has performed hundreds of concerts all over the world; and has 18 recordings to his credit, including his latest, Let’s Play Two, which features two private installations in North San Diego County, CA.

Ken takes pride in having performed the Grand Opening concerts on the restored theatre organs at the Long Center in Lafayette, IN; the Wurlitzer at Manual High School Indianapolis; the Page pipe organ at the Anderson, IN Paramount Theatre; and at the Indianapolis Warren Performing Arts Center Barton organ, all where for many years, Ken called home.

Ken has performed all over the country in addition to his seven tours of Australia and New Zealand, and two trips to Great Britain.

He operates Ken Double Entertainment; is the current president of the ATOS chapter in Atlanta; is President of the Long Center Theatre Organ Society in Lafayette, IN; and after leaving ATOS’ top post, he is now assisting the effort to restore the mammoth Midmer-Losh organ, “The largest musical instrument in the world,” at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City as the chief fund-raiser for the Historic Organ Restoration Committee.

He also shares the great privilege of being one of the two organists who perform at the Atlanta Fox Theatre on famed Mighty Mo, the great Moller organ in Atlanta.

Ken is thrilled with the opportunity to return to scenic Foxburg, PA for another visit with the Mighty Wurlitzer.

Sportscaster, musician, promoter, executive – Ken has worn many hats in his professional career with an aim at having fun and getting paid for it! Or, as the song goes, “Nice work if you can get it.”

STRING BOUQUET
Jin YangPipa
Mimi JongErhu
APPALASIA
Mimi JongErhu
Jeff BermanDulcimer
Susan PowersBanjo and Vocal
FERLA-MARCINIZYN DUO
James FerlaGuitar
John MarcinizynGuitar
Daphne AldersonContralto

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yang Jin, pipa

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mimi Jong, erhu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Jeff Berman, dulcimer

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

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

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

Susan Powers, banjo and vocal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

James Ferla, guitar

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

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

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

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

John Marcinizyn, guitar

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

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

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

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

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

 

Daphne Alderson, contralto

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Academy Chamber Ensemble & SRU Chamber Singers

ACADEMY CHAMBER ENSEMBLE
Warren DavidsonViolin
Leah GivelberViolin
David SinclairViola
Paige RiggsCello
Gino FaraciBass
SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY CHAMBER SINGERS
Christopher Scott, ConductorConductor

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Allegro
Andantino

Leah Givelber and David Sinclair


Divertimento in C Major                                                        Michael Haydn (1737-1806)
Allegro
Adagio
Menuetto
Presto

Warren Davidson, Paige Riggs, and Gino Faraci


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

 

——  INTERMISSION  ——


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


Mass in G Major, D. 167                                                           Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Kyrie
Gloria
Credo
Sanctus
Benedictus
Agnus Dei

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Dr. Warren Davidson

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

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

Leah Givelber

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

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

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

Dr. Paige Riggs

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

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

David W. Sinclair

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

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

Gino Faraci

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Christopher Scott

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

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

Slippery Rock University Chamber Singers – Spring 2018

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

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

Sopranos

Jenn Foster, Sophomore – Music Education    Pittsburgh, PA

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

Mizuho Ishiguro, Senior – Psychology    Shiga, Japan

Jacqui Rush, Sophomore – Music Therapy    Quakertown, PA

 

Altos

Hannah Floyd, Sophomore – Music Therapy    Sheffield, OH

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

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

Lindsey Stank, Sophomore – Music Therapy    Williamsport, PA

Kayla Terry, Freshman – Music Therapy    Waynesboro, PA

 

Tenors

Noah Reed, Freshman – Theatre     Butler, PA

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

Kyle Steinle, Freshman – Communications, Music    Cranesville, PA

Chase Upchurch, Junior – Music Education     Titusville, PA


Basses

Austin Cornelius, Sophomore – Music Education    Industry, PA

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

Frank Paden, Junior – Digital Media Production    Brookville, PA

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

Nathan Turley, Senior – Music Education    Prospect, PA

 

Brian LowryKeyboards, Accordion, Hammered Dulcimer
Kelly LowryVocals & Percussion
Caitlin Lowry ShegogVocals & Bodhran
Benjamin LowryBass, 6-String Guitar, Vocals
Joshua LowryFiddle, Mandolin, Banjo, Vocals
Roy AbbottFlute & Vocals
Daryl HartmanVocals, 12-String Guitar, Mandolin
Jonathan ShegogHighland pipes, small pipes, Vocals

Returning by popular demand, the superb Irish Band CARNIVAL OF SOULS will sound the call for the Irish on Friday night, March 16, 2016 at 7:30 PM at Lincoln Hall in Foxburg. 

Begin your St. Patrick’s Day Celebration with this joyous evening of superb Irish and Celtic Music with the very talented Lowry Family and Friends. Leprechaun magic will abound with the call of the highland bagpipes and all those lucky enough to be Irish – and all those hopefuls who wish they were Irish  – will tap their toes and kick up their heels celebrating St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Foxburg.

Led by Brian and Kelly Lowry the band features highland pipes, bodhrán drum, 12 string and bass guitar, mandolin, fiddle, accordion, and keyboard along with high spirited vocals.   Listen to their music from their CD No Scone Unburned – Forty-two Pound Checque/Wind that shakes the Barley on their website, Carnival of Souls.    More samples of No Scone Unburned  and their second CD, SconeHenge,  is available through their website and CD Baby.  CDs will be available for sale at the concert.

Tickets are $15 for Adults and $5 for students.  To reserve, call 724 659-3153 or you  can buy tickets online on this page.

CARNIVAL OF SOULS has been performing traditional and original Celtic music in Western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and West Virginia for nearly twenty years. The group uses a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional instruments to produce a rich range of music that would be at home in a pub in Dublin or a coffee shop in Shadyside.

Their first CD, “No Scone Unburned” was released in 1999 and has been acclaimed by Dirty Linen, the international magazine of folk music, and is in the Irish music archives in Dublin. They can be heard at a variety of venues in the tri-state area.

The band includes talented members of the extended Lowry family.  The band members are:

Roy Abbott – flute

Daryl Hartman – vocals, 12-string guitar, mandolin

Brian Lowry – keyboards, accordion, tin whistle, hammered dulcimer

Kelly Lowry – vocals, percussion

Jonathan Shegog – Highland pipes, small pipes

Caitlin Lowry – vocals, bodhran, keyboard

Benjamin Lowry – bass, six-string guitar, vocals

Joshua Lowry – fiddle, mandolin, banjo, vocals

 

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