Seasons Archives: Summer 2015

Chris DeNapoli Michael Exhibit

Chris Michael poster copy - Version 3

Painter and illustrator Chris DeNapoli Michael is the featured artist for Red Brick Gallery’s sixth installment of its 2015 guest artist exhibition series.  The exhibit will hang at the Red Brick Gallery from Friday, October 9 through Sunday, November 15. A “meet the artist” reception is set for Sunday, October 18, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Red Brick Gallery. 

Chris DeNapoli Michael’s rich and expansive career as an artist and designer has spanned over 40 years and includes forays into a broad spectrum of media. Michael explains that during her career she has explored woodworking, pottery, silver jewelry making, printmaking, leather crafting, fabrics, quilting, graphic design, architecture, and photography.  However, she always returns to her first love – painting.

Chris Michael poster copy

“ A view, a glance, a mist, a moment – art.  For me, it’s the  result of that defining moment of connection, trying to make concrete what exists only in our subconscious,” Michael says. “It is the process of that attempt that has intrigued me my entire life. An idea bursts into my mind, often when I least expect it. Balance, color, rhythm, style and media all play into the intricate dance of interpretation. The choices are endless, the ultimate box of chocolates.”


Michael’s works are themed around her farm – and truly reflect seeing the world through her eyes.  “The simple things of home and farm influence my artwork. I am forever grateful for the inspiration that comes from living in a beautiful rural area of Pennsylvania. I am grateful for the opportunities art has presented to me. Art is my journey through life.”

WE AINT NO LAYERS watercolor


1727954Chris earned a B.S. of Art Education and was an art teacher with DuBois Area School District for 34 years.  During her tenure in rural Pennsylvania, she had many unique designing opportunities that included sports fields, stage sets, yearbooks, t-shirts, murals, layouts and ads, gravestones, gardens and house additions. She has also conducted professional educational workshops and has taught for P.S.U. Kids in College art classes.

Family and extensive travel throughout the U.S. and overseas have provided a wealth of ideas and subject matter. “Throughout my career, I have immersed myself in art history through courses, lectures, workshops, and museums. I have ventured into many materials, such as wood, canvas, clay, graphite, paint, fabric, ink, film, and digital. I have explored many artists, concepts, techniques, and styles, attempting to share these experiences with children and adults in my classroom and studio.”

Currently Chris exhibits at the Winkler Gallery of Fine Art and Education in DuBois and the Elk County Council on the Arts gallery.  Additionally, she teaches private art lessons and classes, volunteers as a guide for Fallingwater and participates in local fairs and art competitions.



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.. For additional information on the Red Brick Gallery or other events sponsored by the Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts, please visit



Beatles tribute 2014

Last year marking the 50th anniversary of the first appearance of the Beatles on American soil – an event etched in the minds of Baby Boomers as if it was “Yesterday” – a Beatles Tribute show played to more than 300 people at the Crawford Center, benefitting Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts.

This year, to raise money for the Emlenton Volunteer Fire Department and the Blueprint Community Initiative, the Beatles Tribute Band is returning to Emlenton on Saturday, November 14, 2015, at 7:00 PM in the Crawford Center.

Nostalgia will prevail as the likes of John, Paul, George and Ringo return to the stage in Emlenton.  Well… not really, but close enough to have you believing that you might be in the audience of the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, when the Beatles made their US television debut.

Beatles Tribute Band copy - Version 2

This will prove to be an affordably priced family night of entertainment and fun and, if you’re of the appropriate age, you just may have to explain to your children how this English band took America, and then the world, by storm.

Tickets are Adults $15 and Students $5 and can be purchased online here  or reserved by calling 724-659-3153.

Be sure to Bring Your Dancing Shoes!!  Dancing in front of the stage and in the aisles will be encouraged!

Beatles Tribute 2014 dancing

The Beatles Tribute Band has an interesting backstory that highlights the good people that the Allegheny-Clarion Valley region is fortunate to have. Emlenton residents are already familiar with Barry Louise, an unsung community leader who gets beneficial things done behind the scenes.

Barry Louise recently said, “We’re grateful to have the Beatles Tribute Band back this year performing their wonderful show to benefit Emlenton’s Volunteer Fire Department and our three communities – Emlenton, Foxburg and Parker –  participating in the Blueprint Communities Initiative.  I wanted to do something to help them so I placed a call to my friend Bill Zalewski, one of the Beatles Tribute band members.  They had a great time last year performing for our audience in the Crawford Center and they wanted to come back.  Bill agreed that this would be a perfect event to benefit the larger community.”

Proceeds from the concert will help the Emlenton Volunteer Fire Department and provide the start of a fund to help renovate the sound systems and stage lighting of the Crawford Center, a regional resource with the largest seating capacity.


The Beatles Tribute Band, from the greater Pittsburgh region, has been delighting audiences for over ten years. When they saw the opportunity to benefit worthy causes in the community, they moved their commercial performances to a philanthropic, not-for-profit format, performing benefit events for non-profit organizations that serve children and worthy causes in their communities.

Bill Zalewski, a Certified Financial Planner for Merrill Lynch, has a passion for childhood wellness issues. An excellent musician himself, Bill found three other like-minded professionals and formed a band specializing in the music of the Beatles. They strive to limit their performances to helping charities and foundations that serve children’s issues raise money. This group donates their services as entertainers at high-level functions for these causes and are well regarded in these circles in the Pittsburgh region.

For this event, Bill and the band are donating their services in support of this fundraising effort. Bill said: “We are pleased that our performance will help continue the fine services of the fire department. Our show last year proved to us that the Crawford Center is a regional asset deserving of much needed upgrades.” ARCA is promoting and marketing this year’s concert in gratitude to Barry Louise and the Beatles Tribute Band for their generosity last year, supporting ARCA’s 2014-15 arts education program in the Allegheny-Clarion Valley Schools –  “The Music That Makes Us Dance” and “Dancing Off the Canvas”.

Make your plans now to re-capture your youth or bring your WHOLE FAMILY and give your children a crash course on a group that altered the musical landscape of the world.  Join the fun on Saturday, November 14 in Emlenton’s Crawford Center with the truly wonderful entertainment of the Beatles Tribute band – and help make a difference in the community.

Sally S. Heston – Watercolors & Pastels

Sally Heston PostCard-front copy

The Red Brick Gallery’s Fall Exhibit from Friday, August 28 to Sunday, October 4 will feature the refreshingly beautiful watercolor paintings and pastels of Sally S. Heston. 

Join us for the Meet-the-Artist Opening Reception with Sally Heston on Sunday, August 30 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. in the Red Brick Gallery, 17 Main Street in Foxburg.

Says Heston about the inspiration for her work:  “I paint those things that inspire my sense of beauty and good design. I am drawn to natural subjects, including landscapes and parts of landscapes like flowers, animals, and buildings. Lately I have been working with figurative subjects, sometimes adding them to a natural environment. Like the impressionists, whose work I have always admired, I like to portray the effect of light on those subjects. I work in a variety of media, but have always enjoyed the challenge of working with transparent watercolor, especially because I enjoy its transparency and the accidental effects that occur when it is manipulated.”

Sally Heston-lighthouse

To see more of Sally’s watercolors and posters and learn more about her exhibitions and awards, visit her website:

Join us for the Meet-the-Artist Opening Reception on Sunday, August 30 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. in the exhibition space on the second floor of the Red Brick Gallery.  


Sally S. Heston

Sally Heston photo Award winning artist, Sally Heston, works primarily in watercolor and drawing media.   Her work reflects her interest in a variety of subject matter including still life, landscape, florals, animals, and architectural structures. Her body of work includes a significant amount of commissioned fine art and graphic design work as well as paintings done for pleasure.   Her career as an artist and art teacher spans over 4 decades and includes work experience in a variety of media and content in both public and private schools. She holds a BS degree in Art Education (cum laude) from Indiana University of PA (IUP) and a Master of Education degree in Art from the University of Pittsburgh with a concentration in painting.   She has studied with many artists, including Frank Webb, Judi Betts, Don Andrews, Catherine Liu, Cheng Khee Chee, Mel Stabin and Frederick Graff.

A retired K-12 and college level art educator she currently teaches painting at the Cuyahoga Valley Art Center in Cuyahoga Falls, OH. A signature member of the Ohio Watercolor Society, the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society, and the Whiskey Painters of America, she has been part of numerous group art exhibits and has won many awards for her work. She is a curator at the MD Garage Art Gallery in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio.

Sally has had several one-person exhibits and her work is included in private collections locally and throughout the United States and Europe. Her biography is included in Who’s Who in American Women. Her work is also included in the book, Splash 8: Watercolor Discoveries, published by North Light Books.   She is a resident of Broadview Heights, OH where she lives with her husband and one small dog.

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. (divided into two 4 hour shifts for co-op artists); and Sundays, 12 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Meet Artist Sally Heston at the Opening Reception for this Exhibition on Sunday, August 30 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.


Greenville High School Steel Drum Band

The joyous young artistry of the Greenville High School Steel Drum Band is going to make the Foxburg Fall Festival 2015 one to remember!  On Sunday, October 11 at 2:00 PM more than forty young steel drum musicians from Greenville, PA High School under the direction of conductor Chris Williams will perform a FREE OUTDOOR CONCERT under the big tent between the Foxburg Inn and the Allegheny Grille.

Greenvill Steel Band

Pleased by the opportunity for the talented, young musicians to perform in Foxburg for its Fall Festival, Conductor Chris Williams said, “Steel Drum Band students at Greenville perform very often out in the community. We enjoy spreading joy through our music with a unique ensemble that many people have never seen before.  The students work very hard preparing and have a lot of fun performing for the public. I am fortunate to teach such a dedicated and talented group of students.”

During the 2014-2015 school year the steel band played thirteen performances out in the community as well as their normal school concerts.  In 2015, the Greenville Area High School Steel Drum band also was selected to perform at the PMEA State Festival in Hershey, PA.

Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy these extraordinary young musicians at 2:00 PM during the Fall Festival on the banks of the beautiful Allegheny River in Foxburg.

About the Greenville High School Steel Drum Band

The Greenville High School Steel Drum Band was established in 1989 in order to provide students with a unique music experience incorporating styles, rhythms, and traditions of the Caribbean culture. At inception, the group consisted of only a starter set of pans and percussion instruments. In the years that followed, the group continued to flourish to the current size of twenty-two sets of pans. Currently, the overwhelming success of the high school group has spread into two additional bands at the 7th and 8th grade levels. Each one of these students plays other instruments in the band program and many are involved in chorus.

The repertoire relies heavily upon the basic rhythms of calypso, soca, and latin music and also includes pop, classical, jazz, and show music. The ensemble has had the pleasure of playing for large audiences around the Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia area including performances at festivals, colleges, school assemblies, clinics, and community functions. Some of the ensemble’s most notable performances include performing in 2006 with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, performing in 2006, 2010, and 2015 at the PMEA State Conference, 2007 and 2008 at the Ohio Valley of Steel, and performances in 2009 and 2011 at the MENC All-Eastern Conference.

About Conductor, Chris Williams

Mr. Chris Williams earned his Bachelors degree in Music Education degree from Slippery Rock University, and his Masters Degree in Conducting from Youngstown State University. He currently teaches instrumental music, grades 7-12, in the Greenville Area School District.  Mr. Williams is responsible for the marching band, senior high concert band, junior high concert band, high school percussion ensemble, high school jazz ensemble, and three steel drum bands. The junior and senior high bands consistently receive excellent and superior ratings at adjudication festivals. In 2015, the GHS Steel Drum band was selected to perform at the PMEA State Festival in Hershey, PA.  Mr. Williams is a member of the International Tuba-Euphonium Association, International Society for Music Education, PMEA, and NAfME. Mr. Williams previously taught in the Franklin Area School District.


Emily RighterMezzo Soprano
James BobickBaritone
Billie Jo MillerPiano
Emily Righter poster banner

Enjoy a Golden Afternoon of Song with Mezzo Soprano Emily Righter and Baritone, James Bobick on Sunday, October 18 at 2:00 PM.  This dynamic pair of international opera stars with their spectacular voices, superb acting skills, good looks and kind hearts will dazzle and entertain – in a program ranging from musical theatre and art songs in English, German and French to operatic arias and duets which Emily and James have performed to rave reviews in opera houses in Europe and the United States.

This is a concert not to be missed… and you will want to bring along with you anyone who loves the voice and singing – particularly aspiring young singers!  Emily with her “gorgeously controlled mezzo voice and emotive, physically adept presence to match” and James with his  “burnished sound” and “good looks, excellent comic timing and strong stage presence” are sure to delight and inspire ARCA’s audience in the intimate acoustics of Lincoln Hall.

Emily & James Promotion
In this memorable afternoon of glorious singing, you also will be savoring the artistry of masters in our midst.  Raised in Clarion, PA Emily Righter has been singing opera in the United States and in Europe since graduating with a Bachelors from Carnegie Mellon University and a Masters from Yale University.  James Bobick is in residence on the faculty of Mercyhurst University, as he continues to perform recital and operatic engagements around the country.  Emily and James will be collaborating with Billie Jo Miller, noted pianist and accompanist from Pittsburgh with whom Emily worked during their years together at Carnegie Mellon University.

Emily also will be performing three workshop concerts on Tuesday, October 13 for the Elementary and Junior and Senior High Choruses of Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School, directed by Jennifer Lowrey.  Emily will share her personal journey  – from Clarion, PA to Salzburg, Austria – and sing several songs from her Lincoln Hall concert for A-C Valley choristers.

Tickets are $25 Adults, $20 Members, $5 Students  Following the concert there will be an ARCA Members special Meet the Artist Reception in the Red Brick Gallery on Main Street in conjunction with the opening of the new Chris DeNapoli Michael exhibit of water colors, acrylics, water colors, and sketches themed around her farm.

To reserve tickets and for more information call 724 659-3153 – or buy tickets online above.

Golden Afternoon of Song – Emily Righter and James Bobick

Emily RighterLincoln Hall will be filled with the glorious singing of two international opera singers with a special connection to western Pennsylvania.  In a program from opera arias and duets to English, German and French art song, musical theatre and popular music selections, Emily Righter, Mezzo Soprano, and James Bobick, Baritone, will take the audience on a musical journey through some of the most beloved classical and popular songs and operatic arias.

Emily Righter:  Hailed by the New York Times for her “star-making engagement”, reviewer Steve Smith wrote, ” Emily Righter sang with rich tone, focus and agility, and assumed her character with a buoyant physicality and impetuousness.”  Mezzo Soprano Emily Righter has received rave reviews for her emotive and impassioned singing of diverse repertoire form opera to musical theatre and cabaret.

A native of Clarion, PA Emily received her her B.F.A. at Carnegie Mellon University in 2007 and a M.M. from Yale University in 2009.  Since then Emily has performed in Europe and in the United States to rave reviews for her artistry and voice.

Emily’s Lincoln Hall concert will give audience members a taste of her glorious singing which has won the hearts of critics and audience in the United States and Europe.  Emily is one of the leading mezzo sopranos of her generation.  Her accessible and delightful program will offer gems of the classical song and opera repertoire (with many in English) as well as musical theatre and jazz songs, sure to warm the heart and lift the spirits.

James Bobick 4James Bobick is another master in our midst, making Erie, Pennsylvania, his home base as he and his wife are on the faculty of Mercyhurst University, raising their two young daughters in beautiful western Pennsylvania.  Students at Mercyhurst are the beneficiaries of his operatic experience in houses across the country in roles that range from the Barber in the Rossini classic to Marcello in Puccini’s La Boheme  to contemporary opera.

James Bobick has enjoyed a versatile career, from leading roles in the works of Donizetti, Verdi, Bizet, and Mozart to those in the contemporary operas of composers Jake Heggie, Mark Adamo, John Eaton, and David T. Little. Mr. Bobick was seen in over 20 roles at New York City Opera including two Live from Lincoln Center telecasts, including a Primetime Emmy-winning broadcast of La Bohème. Mr. Bobick has also appeared with companies including Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Portland Opera, Opera Colorado, Connecticut Opera, Opera Omaha, Opera Pacific, Opera Delaware, Virginia Opera, Baltimore Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, Dayton Opera, Central City Opera, Fort Worth Opera, and the Bard Festival.




A Golden Afternoon Of Song

Emily Righter, Mezzo Soprano James Bobick, Baritone  Billie Jo Miller, Piano

C’est l’amour vainqueur (Les Contes d’Hoffman)            Jacques Offenbach

L’Énamourée                                                                        Reynaldo Hahn

Poema en Forma de Canciones                                            Joaquín Turina
Los dos miedos
Emily Righter

Don Quichotte à Dulcinée                                                      Maurice Ravel
Chanson Romanesque
Chanson épique
Chanson à boire
James Bobick

Svegliatevi nel core (Giulio Cesare)                                   George Frederic Handel

Il Core vi dono (Cosi fan Tutti)                                             Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Emily Righter & James Bobick


Toreador Song (Carmen)                                                     Georges Bizet
James Bobick

Una Voce Poco Fa (Il Barbiere di Siviglia)                          Gioachino Rossini
Emily Righter

Soliloquy (Carousel)                                                             Rogers & Hammerstein
James Bobick

My Bill (Showboat)                                                                Kern & Hammerstein
Emily Righter

The Olive Tree (Kismet)                                                        Wright & Forrest
James Bobick

I Have Confidence (Sound of Music)                                  Rogers & Hammerstein
Emily Righter

The Prayer                                                                            Foster, Sager, Testa, Renis
Emily Righter & James Bobick

Emily Righter

Accomplished Mezzo Soprano, Emily Righter has been enchanting audiences     “…with her gorgeously controlled mezzo voice and emotive, physically adept presence to match.” (The Star-Ledger). After her performances of Alessandro in Eliogabalo, Alex Ross for The New Yorker wrote, “Emily Grace Righter stood out for her impassioned, idiomatic delivery of the role of Alessandro. Her Act I lament ‘Misero cosi va’ was the musical highlight of the night.” The multi-talented Ms. Righter is gifted not only in opera, but in jazz, musical theater, art song and chamber music. Past performances for the Salzburger Landestheater’s 2013-14 season included: Jacqueline in La Cage aux Folles; Dardane’ in Pilgrims from Mecca; Olga in Eugene Onegin; and Annio in La Clemenza di Tito. In July 2014, Emily appeared once again at the Tyrolean Festspielhaus (Austria) to perform a jazz concert of classics  and popular favorite alongside world-renowned Drummer, Pete York and Pianist, Johnny Schuetten.

In 2013, Emily made her New York City Opera debut singing Amenofi in Mosé in Egitto. She was also seen as Alessandro in Eliogabalo with Gotham Chamber Opera (New York City). For the 2013 Summer Festival, Emily was engaged at the Tyrolean Festspielhaus singing Flora in La Traviata; Ines in Il Trovatore; Maddalena in Rigoletto; and Alto Soloist in Beethoven 9th –all productions conducted by Maestro Gustav Kuhn. To conclude the summer festival, Emily proved that she was not only an opera singer by sharing with her audiences a night of jazz and a very successful liederabend with renowned Baritone, Michael Kupfer.Emily Righter & Jazz band

Emily performed in the 2011-12 season at the Salzburger Landestheater in Austria. There, she premiered the role of Sophia in the German-translated Sound of Music; Tisbe (covering Angelina) in La Cenerentola; Clomiri in Imeneo; Flora in La Traviata; and Margaret in Wozzeck. She received enormous success singing Miss Jessel in Turn of the Screw with Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy. In 2012, Righter made her debut in Tyrol, Austria and Trento, Italy as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro conducted by Maestro Gustav Kuhn.

Emily RighterIn 2011, Ms. Righter made her debut with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society as the Mezzo Soloist in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater under the baton of Maestro Rinaldo Alessandrini. Emily has been seen as Stephano in Romeo et Juliette at Bel Cantanti Opera in Washington, DC. In 2010, Righter was chosen for the Young Singers Project (YSP) at the Salzburger Festspielhaus (Austria) and covered the roles, Stephano in Romeo et Juliette and Die Garderobiere/Der Gymnasiast in Lulu. There, Emily was chosen to sing in master classes lead by Mezzo Soprano Christa Ludwig; Contralto Marjana Liposvek and Director Cristina Mazzavillani. For the final YSP Scenes Concert, Emily and the young artists worked under Maestro Ivor Bolton. Shortly after returning to the US, Ms. Righter was chosen to sing alongside Marcello Giordani in the Marcello Giordani Fundraising Gala Concert in New York City.

Since receiving a M.M. at Yale University in 2009 and her B.F.A. at Carnegie Mellon University in 2007, Ms. Righter has made several other national professional debuts at Santa Fe Opera, Carnegie Hall, Chicago Opera Theater and Vero Beach Opera.

Emily Righter

James Bobick

James BobickJames Bobick has enjoyed a versatile career, from leading roles in the works of Donizetti, Verdi, Bizet, and Mozart to those in the contemporary operas of composers Jake Heggie, Mark Adamo, John Eaton, and David T. Little. Mr. Bobick was seen in over 20 roles at New York City Opera including two Live from Lincoln Center telecasts, including a Primetime Emmy-winning broadcast of La Bohème.

Mr. Bobick has also appeared with companies including Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Portland Opera, Opera Colorado, Connecticut Opera, Opera Omaha, Opera Pacific, Opera Delaware, Virginia Opera, Baltimore Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, Dayton Opera, Central City Opera, Fort Worth Opera, and the Bard Festival.

James Bobick-Barber 2James Bobick is regularly praised for the quality of both his singing and his acting. As Figaro in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, the Washington Post singled him out for particular praise; “Among the many good things about Virginia Opera’s production of Rossini’s ‘Barber of Seville,’ the best was baritone James Bobick as Figaro. Bobick was a standout in a strongly cast production. He has a fine voice and his first-act aria ‘Largo al factotum,’ was given a bravura performance. With his good looks, excellent comic timing and strong stage presence, he exuded confidence and joie de vivre. It is a Figaro to remember.” After a performance of La Bohème, Opera News noted, “Bobick was an ideal Marcello, singing with comic point, emotionally volatile and vocally splendid in the Act IV duet.” In The New York Times, Mr. Bobick’s Elmer Gantry garnered the mention, “Many of the vocal performances were impressive, including that of James Bobick as Elmer.” The New York Times has also praised James for his “burnished sound and incisive diction” as the Gambler in Jack Beeson’s Hello Out There, and for his portrayal of Howard in David T. Little’s Dog Days, printing, “The vocal cast is uniformly fine, with particularly moving work from James Bobick as Howard.” In 2015, Mr. Bobick reprised the role of Howard with Los Angeles Opera, Ft. Worth Opera, and on the soon to be released original cast recording.

James Bobick 3In addition to his work in the standard operatic repertoire, Mr. Bobick has extensive experience performing the new works of contemporary composers. He has bowed as Bendrix in Jake Heggie’s End of the Affair, as Kinesias in Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata, as Dr. Bloom in John Eaton’s micro-tonal opera Pumped Fiction, as Donald Giovanni in P.D.Q. Bach’s The Abduction of Figaro, as Rob Petrie in Paul Salerni’s The Life and Love of Joe Coogan and as Howard in David T. Little’s critically acclaimed Dog Days. He has also performed large contemporary works while in concert, on recording, or as a frequent guest in New York City Opera’s VOX festival. These works include leading roles in Robert Aldrich’s Elmer Gantry, Robert Manno’s Dylan and Caitlin, John Eaton’s The Rev. Jim Jones, Herschel Garfein’s Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Timothy Geller’s Where Silence Reigns, Matt Marks’ Bluetooth Islands, Sergio Cervetti’s Elegy for a Prince and Yum!, Robert Paterson’s A Child Possessed, David T. Little’s Soldier Songs, and Ted Hearne’s Katrina Ballads. Recently, Mr. Bobick created the role of Moldenhauer in the world premiere of Michael Dellaira’s The Death of Webern.

James Bobick-BarberJames Bobick has also had a busy concert career. At Carnegie Hall, he has been heard in Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mendelssohn’s Die Erste Walpurgisnacht, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. He has performed at Avery Fisher Hall in Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Haydn’s Creation and Paukenmesse, Bach’s Mass in B minor, and Handel’s Messiah. Internationally, he has performed Messiah in Prague with the Prague Symphony; Carmina Burana and Messiah in San José, Costa Rica with the San José Symphony; Fauré’s Requiem in Paris, Reims, and Chartres, with the Orchestre Pasdeloup; and, Fauré’s Tu es Petrus in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris. Around the country, Mr. Bobick has performed Orff’s Carmina Burana, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat and Mass in B minor, Handel’s Israel in Egypt, Messiah, and the title role in Saul, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung and Lord Nelson Mass, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, Five Mystical Songs, and Songs of Travel, and Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio.


Billie Jo Miller

billie-jo_millerBillie Jo Miller actively performs as a collaborative pianist as well as maintaining a private piano studio in her home. She served as a studio coach / accompanist at Carnegie Mellon University for many years playing recitals and master classes, and has performed with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Miller performed last year on the Grand County Concert Series in Fraser, Colorado and will return this fall to the Pittsburgh Concert Society Series. She served as a piano teacher at the Creative and Performing Arts High School and the Carnegie Mellon Preparatory School and as a coach / accompanist for the Carnegie Mellon Pre-College Program. She holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, having studied with Ralph Zitterbart, Ward Davenny and Ian Hobson.

Poets of the Piano – Nathan Carterette

Nathan CarterettePianist
Nathan Carterette poster copy - Version 4

As the beautiful Allegheny-Clarion River Valley indulges in the colorful moods of autumn, you too can luxuriate in the musical poetry and timeless beauty of masters of the piano literature – Rachmaninoff, Schubert, Dubussy, Kim, and Chopin in the hands of brilliant pianist Nathan Carterette, who will share his insights on the musical legends of the spirit he has chosen to bring to his Lincoln Hall audience.

Join us for an afternoon of glorious music making as celebrated pianist Nathan Carterette performs “Poets of the Piano” in Lincoln Hall in Foxburg at 2:00 PM on Sunday, November 1.

Tickets are $5 for Students, $20 for ARCA Members and $25 for Adults.  You may reserve tickets by calling 724 659-3153 or may purchase tickets online at

Just an hour and half north of Pittsburgh, Lincoln Hall’s intimate acoustics provide a truly inspired environment to enjoy chamber music and pianists performing on its 7 foot Steinway. Built in 1909, the stage’s backdrop is an original hand-painted canvas of an actual scene downstream on the Allegheny River.  Lincoln Hall has a capacity audience of 120 and is located on the second floor of the Foxburg Free Library.

Plan to Make a Day of it in beautiful Foxburg!  Enjoy the autumn colors with a walk along the Allegheny River trail or rent bicycles with Foxburg Tours.  Have lunch at the Allegheny Grille with seating overlooking the Allegheny River, or for more casual fare, at Foxburg Pizza with salads, sandwiches and pizza.  Save time to enjoy wine tasting at Foxburg Wine Cellars and savor a gourmet coffee and hand made chocolate at Divani Chocolatier and Barrista.  Or spend the night in the lovely Foxburg Inn.

And of course, stop by the Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop to enjoy the offerings of talented Cooperative Artists from the region and do some early Christmas shopping and view an exhibit in the gallery space on the second floor by Chris DeNapoli Michael – “Through My Eyes”.


Enjoy a magnificent afternoon on Sunday, November 1 as pianist Nathan Carterette performs “Poets of the Piano” on Lincoln Hall’s Steinway at 2:00 PM, revealing the pianist as “reciter” and the composer as “poet” of music. You will be moved and entranced by Nathan’s pianist sensitivity and virtuosic bravura.  A master of sharing program commentary, Nathan will guide your discovery of the poetic essence of the music he is performing.

Nathan will weave together for ARCA’s appreciative audience two programs from the series of the same name he’s performing in Pittsburgh in the fall of 2015 at the Church of the Redeemer:  “Ballads, Tales, and Lays”, performing musical poetry, from the story-telling enchantment of Schubert to the fiery passion of Rachmaninoff, and miniature masterpieces of Frederick Chopin’s Preludes, op. 28, tiny poems in an astonishing emotional range – plus works by Nikolai Medtner, Korean composer Quentin Kim, and Claude Debussy.

Hailed as “wonderfully poetic,” (Westfalen Post) and “very compelling in his power and presence” (International Composer), Nathan Carterette has distinguished himself in the concert world by performing a huge range of works from Elizabethan keyboard music to music written today. His innovative programming has inspired audiences to approach unfamiliar music with open ears, and familiar music with new appreciation.

Tickets are $25 Adults, $20 Members, $5 Students

Poets of the Piano

Impromptu in c minor, op.90 no.1                Franz Schubert
Russian Folktale, op.42 no.1                           Nikolai Medtner
Etude-Tableau in D, op.39 no.9                      Sergei Rachmaninoff
Four Preludes                                                    Quentin Kim
I. Leggiero e languido
II. Patetico
III. Molto dolce
IV. Fantasmagorico
Ballade in g minor, op.23                                Frederic Chopin
——  Intermission  —–
Preludes, Book I                                                Claude Debussy
   The Sunken Cathedral
   The Girl with the Flaxen Hair
Preludes, op.28                                                 Frederic Chopin

I.  C Major–Agitato                            II.  A Minor—Lento

III. G Major—Vivace                       IV. E Minor—Largo

V.  D Major—Molto Allegro            VI. B Minor—Lento Assai

VII.  A Major—Andantino              VIII.  F# Minor—Molto Agitato

IX.  E Major—Largo                         X.  C# Minor—Allegro Molto

XI.  B Major—Vivace                      XII.  G# Minor—Presto

XIII.  F# Major—Lento                   XIV.  Eb Minor—Allegro

XV.  Db Major—Sostenuto             XVI.  Bb Minor—Presto con fuoco

XVII.  Ab Major—Allegretto           XVIII.  F Minor—Molto Allegro

XIX.  Eb Major—Vivace                  XX.  C Minor—Largo

XXI.  Bb Major—Cantabile             XXII.  G Minor—Molto Agitato

XXIII.  F Major—Moderato            XXIV.  D Minor—Allegro appassionato

Poets of the Piano

Nathan Carterette will perform on Lincoln Hall’s Steinway works from the first two concerts in the “Poets of the Piano” series he is performing at the Church of the Redeemer in Pittsburgh in the fall of 2015.

“Poets of the Piano” is devoted to the pianist as ‘reciter’ and composer as ‘poet’ of music. Nathan’s program will focus on story-telling music or those telling the story (Minstrels) as well as music in miniature, tiny poems in an astonishing emotional range.

Nathan Carterette has provided these notes regarding his program:

To paraphrase Tom Lehrer, it is a sobering thought that when Franz Schubert was my age, he had been dead for four years. Schubert died at 31 from syphilis, and although he had composed several masterpieces in his formative years, the last years of 1827 and 1828 have gone down in musical history as one of the most productive periods for any composer at any time. In that less-than-two-year span, Schubert completed dozens of works that are essential to the classical canon, including the eight Impromptus.

The title Impromptu was novel, and it refers to music that would have been improvised probably for a social gathering, in a salon. Schubert’s Viennese social circle is well documented, made up mostly of literary Bohemian bachelors, and this Impromptu would have been spun out for an intimate circle at someone’s home; very likely it would have been followed by a recitation of poetry, a popular song, cocktails, or all of the above.

In the first half of the 19th century, towards the end of Schubert’s days, character pieces for piano like the Impromptus became more important and thus more common. Rather than relying on generic titles like sonata or prelude and fugue, composers started imagining literary content to their music, a tradition that endured well into the 20th century. Both the Russian Folktale and the Etude-Tableau are examples of this.

Nikolai Medtner and Serge Rachmaninoff were friends and contemporaries, both pianist-composers who escaped the Russian Revolution (Medtner to England, Rachmaninoff to California). Medtner in particular composed in the character piece genre, mostly in pieces title Skazki, meaning roughly folk- or fairy-tale. He wrote about four dozen of these, the Russian Folktale being one. It depicts a series of scenes rich in suggestion: a lyrical gather-round-the-fire song; fresh music of springtime; a desperate night horse ride; the grand march of the Tsar’s army. Rachmaninoff designated his Etude-Tableau, a ‘tableau’ in the sense of a painting depicting an active scene, an Oriental March and Scene at the Fair. The wild frenzy of the end is like a Ukranian kopak, a peasant dance.

The tradition of pianist-composers is a strong thread of music history. Mozart and Beethoven wrote their concertos for themselves to play to the public; Liszt composed music so difficult only he could play it; Schumann damaged his hand but handed all his new music to his wife Clara; and the later Romantics like Scriabin and Rachmaninoff also made their mark as pianists playing their own music. Around the 1930’s that tradition started to thin out (though Gershwin belongs to it) and after the death of Medtner in 1952 it practically disappeared.

However, Quentin Kim is a living composer writing in that tradition. He is a virtuoso pianist, trained at Juilliard, who also composes piano music. In 2013 he asked me to come to Korea (he is Professor of Piano at Pusan National University) to record his complete works, about an hour in length total. The Four Preludes were composed in 2010 and are his shortest works, each one about two pages in length. They are perfect miniatures – the first a light song floating in mid-air; the second a dramatic declamation, like a classical actor; the third a yearning aria hovering over uncertain harmony; and the fourth
a phantasmagoric toccata that brings to my mind gargoyle statues on a Gothic cathedral, coming to life during some terrible storm. Short, to the point, but full of fantasy.

The title of Frederic Chopin’s opus 23, Ballade, was like Schubert’s title Impromptu novel. In its first publication it was advertised as ‘ohne Worte,’ or ‘without words.’ Poetic titles for instrumental music were still unusual, and had to be explained to consumers. In this grand Ballade, we feel a tragic epic unfolding through Chopin’s ingenious melody, his mastery of piano texture, and his fiery virtuosity that can burn down a fortress. This is one of the classic repertoire pieces, and still stands imperishable.

Claude Debussy took poetic titles to another level in his two books of Preludes. In a style usually called ‘Impressionistic,’ he wanted his music to evoke something visual. Each of his Preludes has a poetic title, but he actually wrote the titles at the end of each piece, so the pianist only saw it after he was done playing. The Sunken Cathedral refers to a specific Gallic legend of Ys, a secret underwater cathedral that on certain misty mornings would rise out of the sea and show its glory. In this piece, Debussy evokes the mist over the sea; the muted ringing of bells and liturgical chanting as the cathedral emerges; and the full organ ringing out over the shore. The Girl with the Flaxen Hair is based on a poem by Leconte de Lisle of the same name. It’s a simple pastoral, evoking nostalgia, simple love, and timeless beauty. Minstrels is a raucous piece probably based on 19th century British entertainers in blackface. We can hear juggling, somersaults, and other fine tricks.

Chopin had the ambition to write a book of Preludes in every major and minor key that came from his love of Bach, whose 48 Preludes and Fugues (two in every major and minor key) never left Chopin’s piano. Although we think of them as coming from different artistic worlds, Chopin revered Bach. Many of his Preludes are familiar, such as the ‘Raindrop’ in D-flat or the Little Waltz in A, but the overall effect is one of huge variety, a collection of legends of the human spirit.

Legend also surrounds the history of these short masterpieces. In 1838, the consumptive Chopin and his cross-dressing female lover Georges Sand escaped Paris for the salty, humid air of Majorca, an island south of Barcelona. It was believed that climate would alleviate symptoms of tuberculosis. Sand wrote a small book about their journey, ‘A Winter in Majorca,’ that described their stay in cells of the Cartuja Monastery; she wrote of waves crashing against the crags, rain beating down on the monastery windows, water dripping onto the piano where Chopin composed his Preludes. Unfortunately for Romanticism, the only truth to the story is their trip. Chopin had already composed the Preludes by the time they arrived in Majorca.

But we can forgive her; lofty language and inspiration has always followed in the wake of these Preludes. The composer Robert Schumann, writing as Chopin’s contemporary, has still the best words on the subject: “…these are sketches, the beginnings of etudes, or, if you will, ruins, eagle’s feathers, all strangely intermingled. To be sure, the book also contains some morbid, feverish, repellant traits; but let everyone look in it for something that will enchant him. Philistines, however, must keep away.”

Nathan Carterette

Nathan Carterette

Nathan CarteretteHailed as “wonderfully poetic,” (Westfalen Post) and “very compelling in his power and presence” (International Composer), Nathan Carterette has distinguished himself in the concert world by performing a huge range of works from Elizabethan keyboard music to music written today. His innovative programming has inspired audiences to approach unfamiliar music with open ears, and familiar music with new appreciation.

Nathan has performed in such venues as Weill Recital Hall and the Yamaha Piano Salon of New York City, the Gasteig in Munich, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe of Hamburg, and Cleveland’s Trinity Cathedral. He has been presented in several universities such as the Berklee School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Radford University, Kent State University, Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, and Carnegie Mellon.

His solo premieres include the U.S. premiere of James MacMillan’s Piano Sonata, the world premiere of Dafydd Llywelyn’s TimeQuake no. VII, part II (Hamburg) and several works of composer Quentin Kim, including Variations on an Ancient Korean Melody and Four Preludes. An adventuresome concerto soloist, Nathan has also played a wide repertoire of works, including Schoenberg’s Piano Concerto, op.42 with the University of Missouri-Kansas City for a Schoenberg Retrospective Festival.

Educated at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he studied with Robert Weirich, and Yale University, where he studied with Boris Berman, Nathan Carterette began his piano studies at the age of eleven with Cleveland’s legendary Birute and Anthony Smetona. A chance encounter in 2004 with Welsh composer-pianist Dafydd Llywelyn led to an invitation for intensive private study in Germany, both of the traditional repertoire and Llywelyn’s works.

Nathan has recorded both books of Bach’s monumental Well-Tempered Clavier and the complete solo piano works of Korean composer Quentin Kim. This video recording of his performance of the complete Bach Goldberg Variations in St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh is on youtube.


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

Let the trumpets sound! Foxburg’s Memorial Church of Our Father will be the exquisite Holiday setting for the 6th annual performance of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Brass Ensemble on Sunday, December 20 at 7:30 PM. The intimate atmosphere and superb acoustics of this stone church will resound with traditional Christmas favorites performed by some of the most celebrated brass musicians in the world.


pitt_symphony_brass_christmas_foxburg-22_0_1 - Version 3

Foxburg’s beautiful neo-Gothic Memorial Church of Our Father constructed by Hannah Fox of the Fox family, Foxburg’s namesake, will resound with glorious strains of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Brass Ensemble on Sunday, December 20 at 7:30 PM.  The  stone church, boasts an intimate atmosphere and superb acoustics, made more compelling by the poinsettias adorning the sanctuary – an ideal environment for this concert of traditional Christmas favorites performed by some of the most celebrated brass musicians in the world.  Join us for “The Song of Christmas”, an auspicious beginning of Christmas week.

You will be uplifted and touched by the elegant arrangements of Christmas favorites from the PSO Brass’ Christmas CDs.  Their concerts have been described as been referred to as “Holiday cheer delivered with virtuoso flair.”  AND you will be entertained!  Audiences are familiar with the friendly and jovial spoken introductions the PSO Brass offers before embarking on a Holiday musical journey in styles ranging from the traditional to Spike Jones.  It promises to be a holiday favorite you will want to make an annual tradition.

Join us for the closing concert of ARCA’s 2015 season, keeping your joyous spirits high for Christmas-only six days later! Indeed, let the trumpets sound!!

For the December 20 concert of the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass, parking will be in the AC Valley Medical Center, opposite the AC Valley Schools, up the hill from the church, one-half mile, on route 58.  Shuttle service to the church will begin an hour before the performance, at 6:00 PM.

Google Maps


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

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

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

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

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

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


George Vosburgh
Principal Trumpet

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

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

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

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

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

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


Neal Berntsen

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

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

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

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

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

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

William Caballero
Principal Horn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Peter Sullivan
Principal Trombone
Tom and Jamee Todd Chair

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

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

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

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

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

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

Craig Knox
Principal Tuba

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

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

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

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

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

Please visit for more information about Knox and his activities.


David Wickerham - Version 2

The world renowned organist, David Wickerham, will make a return appearance for a Christmas Concert on the Mighty McKissick Wurlitzer Theatre Organ in Foxburg’s Lincoln Hall on Saturday, December 12 at 2:00 PM.    ARCA is grateful to Paul McKissick, for his loving restoration of the Wurlitzer organ in Lincoln Hall which bears his name.

Join us for the joyous and generous virtuosity of David Wickerham in a performance of his Christmas favorites which many have treasured hearing on his CD, which is now out of print.  The concert will certainly be well sold, so be sure to reserve your tickets early.

About the Artist

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click the Wurlitzer menu item above to learn about the history of the Mighty McKissick Wurlitzer and Paul McKissick. Then, reserve your seat for this special holiday Wurlitzer concert featuring an artist who delights audiences both young and old. Once you hear the majesty and capability of a Theatre Organ, you will be hooked!
Three Rivers Ringers
Pittsburgh’s Premier Handbell Choir
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Ring in the Christmas Season as Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Ringers return Emlenton’s United Methodist Church on Saturday, December 5 at 2:00 PM. Experience the joy, wonder and beauty of the holiday season in their Winter Concert Program.   The virtuosity of Pittsburgh’s premier handbell ensemble will be on display in delightful selections from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, as well as timeless favorites like O Christmas Tree, Stille Nacht and more. They take the magical sound of handbells to new heights  – come join us and be amazed and inspired!

As a teaser for the concert, enjoy listening to LeRoy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride on youtube.

3 Rivers Ringers-Emlenton Methodist

Three Rivers Ringers in Emlenton Methodist Church, December 2014

Three Rivers Ringers’ Program

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2015 Program

Please check back for the 2015 Program. Last year’s concert program is listed below.

2014 Program

Sleigh Ride  Leroy Anderson, arr. Martha Lynn Thompson

Over the River and Through the Woods traditional American tune, arr. Valerie Stephenson

Marche from The Nutcracker Suite Peter Tchaikovsky, arr. William H. Griffin

Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy Peter Tchaikovsky, arr. Fred Gramann

O Christmas Tree traditional German carol,  arr. Sandra Eithun

Stille Nacht traditional German carol,    arr. Betty Garee

Fiesta Navidad  traditional Welsh Carol    arr. Dan R. Edwards

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day traditional English Carol   arr.  Jason W. Krug

Danse Arabe       Peter Tchaikovsky   arr. William H Griffin

We Three Kings John H. Hopkins, Jr.,  arr. Joel Raney

Danse Russe Trepak Peter Tchaikovsky,    arr. William H. Griffin

The First Noel 17 C. English Carol     arr.  Cathy Moklebust

About the Concert

3 RR

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is pleased to bring back to the Allegheny-Clarion River Valley by popular demand the Three River Ringers, making its debut performance last year an annual tradition for you and your family.  The audience certainly will be amazed as the Three Rivers Ringers perform virtuosic movements from The Nutcracker, in addition to traditional holiday selections in its Christmas Program.


The inspiring 2015 Christmas Concert of the Three Rivers Ringers ensemble returns to the Emlenton United Methodist Church’s excellent acoustics in its sanctuary and its intimate seating arrangement.  The Ringers once again will offer traditional Holiday favorites which include selections from a perennial favorite, The Nutcracker.  Emlenton UMC Reverend Kent O’Neil is pleased and excited to host this event in the spacious sanctuary of the beautiful Emlenton United Methodist Church and encourages everyone to attend.

This professional handbell choir of 14 ringers, founded in 2010, has quickly established itself as the premier ensemble of its type in the tri-state region.  Selected by audition, members perform on a 6-octave set of Schulmerich handbells, silver melody bells and 3 octaves of chimes.  They are noted presenters of educational clinics at handbell festivals and are dedicated to advancing the art of handbell ringing through performances of the highest artistic quality.

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TRR_bassRingers - two

Originally founded by five handbell musicians from Pittsburgh in March 2010, the Ringers have grown to include sixteen members selected by audition. It is recognized as Pittsburgh’s premier handbell ensemble and its excellent reputation has spread to neighboring states by way of performances in Ohio and West Virginia. They are dedicated to advancing the art of handbell ringing through performances of the highest artistic quality as well as educational programming. The Ringers also produce the Western PA Handbell Festival, which is an event filled with clinics and seminars led by nationally recognized artists and draws hundreds of attendees.

Compressed DOG PictureArtistic Director Nancy Lutz along has worked tirelessly to secure bells and hand chimes of the highest quality. Nancy states: “We brought this group together so that ringers and enthusiasts could experience this instrument to its fullest musical potential.” Their inventory consists of 6 octaves of Schulmerich handbells and 6 octaves of Schulmerich and Malmark hand chimes. This extraordinary collection offers an extremely wide range of notes and colors, thus allowing arrangers creative freedom in transcribing well known classics such as The Nutcracker for the unique requirements of the ensemble. Each musician has to use several bells, sometimes as many as eight, and place their notes with exacting precision. This skill may even require the use of three bells in one hand. Each bell can be played at least 19 different ways using various techniques, not even counting dynamics!

Chase away those early Winter chills and let the Holiday Spirit shine among your family, friends and neighbors. Let the bells ring forth!!

Nancy Lutz

conductor-in-church-2-269x300Nancy Lutz is the founding Artistic Director of the Three Rivers Ringers, fulfilling a long-time vision of creating an outstanding community handbell ensemble in Western Pennsylvania

Nancy is also Director of Handbells at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church where she leads two excellent adult ensembles and a youth quartet.

Nancy has been deeply involved in the Handbell Musicians of America (the Guild) since 1998 and served on the Board of Directors since 1999, retiring in 2012 as the appointed secretary. Nancy was presented with the first President’s Award at the National Seminar in 2012 for her years of service. During her time with the Board, the organization completely changed its governance model and underwent a rebranding that included a name change from the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers.

Mentoring new handbell directors and other handbell ensembles is of particular interest to Nancy. She enjoys leading workshops for directors and ringers, doing so extensively throughout the area on behalf of AGEHR.

Nancy is a founding director of the Western Pennsylvania Handbell Festival, an event for beginning and intermediate level handbell ensembles which holds an annual festival each spring. She has been honored to direct this festival along with several others.


Three Rivers Ringers is Pittsburgh’s premier community handbell ensemble.

Three Rivers Ringers (TRR) was founded in 2010 by five handbell musicians with a passion to achieve musical excellence with challenging repertoire while pushing the boundaries of the handbell medium. Today, they are a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and members of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.

This unique group of musicians is selected by audition and represents a wide breadth of experience. They rehearse at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church and use some of the church’s handbells and equipment. Their directors and members have volunteered significant time to develop and manage all aspects of the organization—from finances to marketing, and—of course—many hours of rehearsal. They are funded by contributions from the ensemble, our Board of Directors, and community members.

TRR had a successful 2012–13 concert season, giving 14 public performances (plus private events), premiering a major new work for handbells and narrator, and featuring a wide range of classical music in the spring. They have also begun to acquire equipment of our own; in addition to tables, mallets, and a new set of Schulmerich Silver Melody Bells, they are extremely pleased to announce that after only 3.5 years of existence, Three Rivers Ringers has taken delivery of its own 6-octave set of Schulmerich handbells and 3 octaves of Schulmerich chimes!

Three Rivers Ringers exists to advance the art of handbells.  They  are available to give concerts throughout the tri-state area, and also offer educational programs for ringers and directors.  In 2013–14, they gave 10 public concerts, made our first trip to Ohio, and worked on their first commercial recording project.


Matthew Adler holds a degree in Electronics but is a catalyst technician for a plastics manufacturer. He’s been a member of church & community music groups for 20+ years playing handbells and tuba. He and his wife, Erlina Mae, have been married since July 2010 and welcomed their first child in August 2013.

Deb Artim has been playing handbells for 12 years and piano since she was four years old. She is the organist and choir director at Sampson’s Mills Presbyterian Church and works as an instructor in Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh.

Linda Boice earned a degree in Music Education from Grove City College and serves as Minister of Music at Center Presbyterian Church in McMurray where she directs vocal, handbell, wind, and recorder ensembles. She and her husband reside in Washington, PA and have two daughters who attend Grove City College.

Sarah Boice – Bio coming soon

Karen Hecht Brown has been ringing handbells for over 20 years and is also a member of the Southminster Handbell Ensemble. She enjoys working at the Mt. Lebanon Public Library and volunteering for Produce to People. Karen and her husband have a son who is a senior at Colgate University.

Bobbie Calhoun lives in South Park and has been involved with music since she was a child. She initially played flute and piccolo, but has focused on handbells for 20+ years. She has degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Education, and a minor in Music Education. She has two children and four grandsons.

Beth Dakin has been ringing handbells for 25 years in choirs in Virginia, Georgia and Pittsburgh. She has a PhD in Genetics and works as a researcher in the Biology Department at Duquesne University. Beth and her husband have a son and a daughter.

Cynthia Donahoe lives in Mt. Lebanon and is Clerk of Session at South-minster Presbyterian Church. In addition, she directs the Southminster Handbell Ensemble and sings in the choir. She is a Stephen Minister and is on the Board of South Hills Interfaith Ministries. She and her husband have three daughters.

Mark Etzel has been ringing bells since the age of 9, beginning at Southminster Presbyterian Church, in Mt. Lebanon, PA, where he currently serves as the Assistant Director of Music Ministries. Mark is currently studying at the Mary Pappert School of Music, affiliated with Duquesne University, for his Bachelors of Science in Music Therapy. What he enjoys most about ringing is the potential it has for bringing young people together, regardless of their personal differences. Mark hopes to realize this potential in every group he influences and is a part of, both here at home, as well as abroad.

Dan Fernandez has played handbells for 23 years with choirs in New Jersey and the Pittsburgh area, and serves on the Board for Three Rivers Ringers. Dan is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and works for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He also plays clarinet, sings bass and enjoys hiking.

Jeffrey K. Funk began ringing at Susquehanna University, continued at Penn State where he earned his PhD, and also played at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church. He works as the lab manager for an environmental company and is Treasurer/Secretary of the Pittsburgh Area Planted Aquarium Society.

Helen Krichbaum – Bio coming soon

Linda Minnotte is a founding member of TRR and current President. She began the Mt. Lebanon UMC Chapel Bells and rings with them. Additionally, she has rung in national events since 2006. She lives in Mt. Lebanon with her husband Rick, and has a daughter at the University of Oklahoma.

Alison Peters learned handbells by joining Southminster Presbyterian’s Handbell Ensemble 11 years ago. She is a CPA who has her own CPA firm and works as the Financial Administrator for Mt. Lebanon Library and Southminster Church. She has 3 children and is thrilled to be ringing with her daughter.

Elizabeth Peters was introduced to handbells at Southminster Presbyterian Church. She currently attends University of Pittsburgh for Accounting and Chinese and is director of Pitt’s Handbell Ensemble. She enjoys composing music and plays organ for Crafton Baptist Church.

Samantha Reid, a Pittsburgh native and proud Penn State Alum, works as a Clinical Specialist/Diabetes Educator for Roche Diabetes Care. She is involved with the Southminster Sonorilo handbell team, volunteering with Cairn Rescue USA and all the while, planning for her July 2014 wedding.

Megan Snider is originally from southeastern Ohio and has been ringing handbells for 13 years. Megan and her husband moved to Pittsburgh four years ago to work for Petland in the Pittsburgh Mills, and spend their free time experiencing all Pittsburgh has to offer with their three children.

Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra

Francesco Lecce-ChongConductor
Katy Shackleton WilliamsSoprano
PYSOExperience an afternoon of inspiring music making by 100 of the most talented young instrumentalists from the greater Pittsburgh Region, as The Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra returns to the Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School Auditorium on Saturday, November 21 at 2:00 PM.

Their popular program includes the Overture The Mastersingers of Nurenberg by Richard Wagner with its stirring brass and woodwind playing and Dvorak’s famous New World Symphony, conducted by Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Resident Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong.  Acclaimed soprano soloist, Katy Shackleton Williams, joins the orchestra singing Leonard Bernstein’s tour de force virtuosic Glitter and Be Gay as well as beloved and popular opera arias in English by Giacomo Puccini and Johann Strauss.  A-C Valley students and children under 6 FREE – Adults $15 and A-C Valley parents $10.

PYSO_w-Francesco Lecce-Chong

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is proud to present 100 members of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra in the beautiful Allegheny-Clarion River Valley. We encourage you to bring your family – invite your neighbors – and accompany any young person who loves music and dreams of playing an instrument!

Last year the audience greeted Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony with a rousing standing ovation – and people commented as they were leaving that they wished they’d brought with them ALL the young musicians and students they knew – to be inspired by having a FULL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA of teenage musicians right here in Foxburg.  Well, now you have the opportunity with this second annual PYSO concert to invite your friends, neighbors and any young music student you know to join you FREE on Saturday, November 21 at 2:00 PM.

TICKETS for Adult are $15 – but A-C Valley students and children under 6 are FREE and A-C Valley parents are $10.

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The PYSO Concert Program

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Overture to The Mastersinger of Nurenberg               Richard Wagner

Adele’s Laughing Song from Die Fledermaus              Johann Strauss

Quando men vo, from La Boheme                                  Giacomo Puccini
Katy Shackleton Williams, Soprano

Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticate                           Pietro Mascagni

Glitter and Be Gay from Candide                                    Leonard Bernstein

—  Intermission  —

Symphony No. 9 in E Minor                                            Antonín Dvořák

Adagio – Allegro molto
Scherzo: Molto vivace
Allegro con fuoco


PYSO - AC Valley full shot

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is proud to present 100 members of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra performing a concert on Saturday, November 21 at 2:00 PM in the Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School Auditorium. Bring your family – invite your neighbors – and accompany any young person who loves music and dreams of playing an instrument!   Experience an unforgettable and inspiring afternoon of exuberant music making by some of the most talented young musicians in the greater Pittsburgh Region in its second annual performance in the Pennsylvania Wilds, right here in the Allegheny-Clarion River Valley.trombone-section-2015

The Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra is one of the Pittsburgh’s cultural treasures, one of the oldest youth orchestras in the country and one of the most advanced.  Founded in 1945, it cultivates in its members discipline, fine musicianship and an overall appreciation for excellence.  PYSO members bring a sense of amazement and excitement about classical music to diverse audiences-young and old, novice and seasoned.

PYSO will offer AC Valley residents a wonderful varied program under the baton of Music Director, Francesco Lecce-Chong with Soprano soloist, Katy Shackleton Williams.  On the program will be two popular symphonic favorites – the Overture to  Die Meistersinger, written by Richard Wagner and The New World Symphony by  Antonín Dvořák.


Soprano soloist, Katy Shackleton Williams, known for her performances with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra – and as the host of the PSO’s young people’s Fiddlesticks concerts, will perform Adele’s Laughing Song from Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss and Musetta’s waltz, Quando men vo, from La Boheme.  She also will perform the tour de force Glitter and Be Gay  from Leonard Bernstein’s musical Candide.

ARCA is grateful for a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts supporting the concert’s discounted family prices, to encourage attendance by the community and parents and students from the AC Valley Schools.

This rare opportunity is a must for young and old alike. Aspiring students can witness young performers at their best-whether or not they are seeking to choose music as a career.

Bring your entire family to an event that will showcase American youth at their best!


A component of ARCA’s mission is to provide educational and cultural experiences for students and children. We accomplish this by bringing performers to the Allegheny-Clarion Valley schools to conduct workshops during the academic day followed by a performance open to the public at very affordable prices in the evening.  ARCA also is committed to presenting inspiring family/community concerts at deeply discounted prices to encourage parents and students in the AC Valley Schools to attend.   We are grateful to the Board, Superintendent, Principals, Faculty, and music teachers in the A-C Valley School district for their vision in supporting cultural experiences that enhance the work A-C Valley’s Music Faculty and for providing a venue for students, their families and the public to enjoy performances they otherwise might not have a chance to attend.


DSF4847dThe PYSO is composed of talented young musicians from high-school to college ages who are selected by rigorous audition. Their talent pool draws aspiring performers from Pittsburgh, surrounding counties and from as far away as West Virginia and Ohio. By arrangement with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the conductor is always one of the Assistant Conductors of the PSO, in this instance, Francesco Lecce-Chong, PSO Resident Conductor.  Also, the members of PYSO are coached by members of the PSO.

Through their impressive performances, dedication and commitment they also serve as role models for aspiring younger musicians and students.  Through their demanding tours in the U.S. and internationally, they have become outstanding cultural ambassadors of the Pittsburgh region, Pennsylvania and the Untied States.

slide8-H-Ishizaki-R-Navid-1Many PYSO alumni have won positions in major symphony orchestras at home and abroad, including Boston, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and our own Pittsburgh Symphony.  Other have gone on to very successful solo and chamber music careers, as well as important teaching positions at colleges, universities, public and private schools and private studios.  Those who do have not chosen careers in music will undoubtedly cultivate a lifelong appreciation of the arts and become the audience of the future.

Founded in 1945 for the purpose of providing educational opportunities and the finest orchestral training of young musicians in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, it is one of the finest youth orchestras in the country. These 90 players gather each week at Heinz Hall to rehearse from September through May.

PYSO Violin-Section


Their concerts are held at prestigious locations such as Heinz Hall, Carnegie Music Hall and the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and they perform outreach concerts in various venues. They are broadcast regularly on Pittsburgh’s WQED-FM, 89.3.Such is the reputation of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra for excellence that they have won awards in national and international competitions and were selected as one of the top six youth orchestras in the United States to participate in the 2002 National Youth Orchestra Festival.

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Their last international tour took the group to the Czech Republic, Austria and Slovakia in 2014.  They performed in Italy at the Florence Youth Orchestra Festival in 2011 and in China in 2008. During a European Tour in 2005, PYSO was selected as the first American orchestra and the first youth orchestra to ever perform at the prestigious Smetana Festival in the Czech Republic.  Also during that trip, they were the first and only youth orchestra to perform at the renowned Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Germany.


Francesco Lecce-Chong


American conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong has worked with orchestras around the world including engagements with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. With the start of the 2015-2016 season, he begins his new position as assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra after serving four years as associate conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO). He will return to the MSO throughout the season for several guest engagements and will make his opera debut with the Florentine Opera. He also will continue as associate conductor of the Grand Teton Music Festival.

Lecce-Chong has earned a growing reputation and critical acclaim for dynamic, forceful performances, garnering national distinction, including the Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award and The Presser Foundation Music Award. He has also been featured in master classes with Bernard Haitink, David Zinman, David Robertson and Christopher Seaman, while working with the St. Louis Symphony, National Arts Center Orchestra and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich.

As a trained pianist and composer, Lecce-Chong embraces innovative programming, champions the work of new composers and supports arts education. While working with the MSO, he curated and presented the works of both active and lesser-known composers, including two works commissioned by the orchestra, as well as two U.S. premieres. He also helped create the first MSO Composer Institute, providing performance opportunities for young American composers. Lecce-Chong has complemented his programming with a strong commitment to arts education for all ages. In Milwaukee, he provided artistic leadership for the MSO’s nationally lauded Arts in Community Education program — one of the largest arts integration programs in the country — and he continues to be a frequent guest speaker for arts organizations around the country.

Lecce-Chong is a native of Boulder, Colorado, where he began conducting at the age of 16. He is a graduate of the Mannes College of Music, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree with honors in piano and orchestral conducting. Lecce-Chong also holds a diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied as a Martin and Sarah Taylor Fellow with Otto-Werner Mueller. He has been mentored by many world-renowned conductors, including Edo de Waart and Donald Runnicles, with whom he continues to maintain a close working relationship.




Katy Shackleton Williams has performed extensively in the Pittsburgh area with prestigious organizations such as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Opera, the Mendelssohn Choir, Pittsburgh Opera Theater, River City Brass Band and Pittsburgh Concert Chorale.

Ms. Williams was a featured soloist for several Pittsburgh Symphony Holiday Pops concert series and made her PSO Mellon Grand Classics debut in September 2005 with Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She was a soloist in the Heinz Hall performance of The Lord of the Rings and has been the special guest vocalist for the Fiddlesticks (which she loves) and Tiny Tots Children’s Concerts hosted by the PSO. She has many times toured with the River City Brass Band as a featured soloist and has recently performed in the chorus for CLO’s production of The Student Prince.

She has enjoyed solo performing with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic in Scranton, PA with PSO’s own Lawrence Loh, as well as Undercroft Opera, Edgewood Symphony, Pittsburgh Philharmonic, St. Vincent College Singers and Spoleto Festival in Charleston SC. She also had the honor of singing at the dedication of the Fred Rogers building at St. Vincent’s College with acclaimed songwriter/pianist Michael Moricz.

Operatic roles include ‘Adina’ in Elixir of Love, ‘Adele’ in Die Fledermaus, ‘First Mother’ in Dead Man Walking, ‘Love’ in Orfeo and Eurydice and ‘Barbarina’ in The Marriage of Figaro. Notable solo engagements include Theofanidis- The Here and Now, Vaughan Williams- Dona Nobis Pacem, Handel- Messiah, Bach- St. John’s Passion, Barber- Prayers of Kirkegaard and Honegger- King David. She has sung under the baton of Manfred Honeck, Sir Andrew Davis, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Robert Page, Marvin Hamlisch, Lawrence Loh, and Daniel Meyer.

Williams was praised in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s, Best Classical Performances of 2009, for her singing in Gustav Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony with the PSO. She has recorded Leonardo Balada’s Encenas Borracones with New World Records and his La Muerte de Colon under the Naxos label.

Currently, she is a member of the professional core for the Mendelssohn Choir, chorister in Pittsburgh Opera and is adjunct music staff at Washington and Jefferson College. She is the soprano soloist at Rodef Shalom, Oakland, and the vocal artist in residence at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Mt Lebanon. Williams is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Vocal Performance.




Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts