Mrs. Nova became executive director of Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras at the start of the 2011-12 season. During her tenure, TRYPO has dramatically expanded its program offerings, significantly increased the number of students it serves annually, and created numerous new community partnerships, resulting in a thriving and fiscally sound organization that is truly making a difference in the lives of Pittsburgh’s musically talented youth.
Mrs. Nova has a Bachelor’s of Music Performance in French Horn from the Eastman School of Music, where she also received the prestigious Performer’s Certificate, and a Bachelor’s of Arts in French from the University of Rochester. After graduating from Eastman, she spent a year as a guest lecturer at the Université de Rennes II in Rennes, France before earning a Master’s of Music Performance in French Horn from the University of Utah. She was the Director of Operations for Utah Symphony | Utah Opera prior to moving to Pittsburgh with her husband James Nova, who is the second/utility trombonist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Mrs. Nova serves on the board of the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, the New Leadership Council of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Arts Advisory Council of the Pittsburgh Public Schools, as well as on the Board of the League of American Orchestras Youth Orchestra Division. She is proud have participated in Leadership Pittsburgh XXXIV.
Ana María Díaz
Ana María Díaz is a graduate of Duquesne University where she majored in cello performance with Misha Quint. Ms. Díaz began her musical studies in her native Venezuela as a member of the famous Youth Orchestra Program known as “El Sistema;” she studied music at Conservatorio de Música “Vicente Emilio Sojo,” Conservatorio Superior de Música “Simón Bolívar” and Centro Universitario de Estudios Musicales (IUDEM) under the guidance of Miguel Rojas and William Molina and served in the faculty of Conservatorio de Música “Vicente Emilio Sojo” where she taught cello, kinder music, theory & solfege and coached the cello sections for the children and youth orchestras. Ms. Díaz has performed in Altoona Symphony Orchestra, Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, McKeesport Symphony and Washington County Symphony Orchestra. Currently, Ms. Díaz is the Program Manager of Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras; she is a member of Butler County Symphony Orchestra, and teaches cello at the Elizabeth Seton Center and the Hope Academy of Music and the Arts.
YC2 and Special Projects Manager
Ms. Cunningham has been managing chamber groups since her son started a string quartet at age 8. Ms. Cunningham is a passionate supporter of youth ensembles, and began a summer chamber music camp in Chautauqua, NY, along with her husband Jim Cunningham of WQED-FM. Ms. Cunningham earned a Masters in Teaching from Chatham University, and is a sought-after substitute teacher in many Pittsburgh area public and private schools. She has a background in development and project management, and has worked for WQED-TV, Carnegie Museums, and the Coalition for Christian Outreach.
Marketing and Communications Manager
Rachel Howard serves both TRYPO and Pittsburgh Youth Chorus (PYC) as the Marketing and Communications Manager. This shared position promotes both organizations – reaching as many young students as possible and enriching their lives with music.
After starting at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) working in concert production in 2007, Rachel eventually expanded her role to take on artistic planning for the PNC Pops Series and all popular programming performances. Rachel brought fresh programs to the stage including the live orchestral performance of Tim Burton’s ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ and A Night of Symphonic Hip Hop featuring Nelly – successfully expanding the PSO’s reach in the Pittsburgh community.
She knows music appreciation and education enhance our lives and looks forward to discovering new ways to meaningfully engage audiences and get the word out about the amazing programs TRYPO and PYC have to offer. In addition to her extensive arts management experience, Rachel is an accomplished harpist and was awarded first place in Duquesne University’s Women’s Advisory Board Scholarship Competition in 2005. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Technology, concentrating in Sound Recording Technology and Harp Performance, from Duquesne University and a Master of Arts Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University.
Project Coordinator and Librarian
Zoe Grubbs has a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising from Robert E. Cook Honors College at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. During her studies, she also completed a Fashion Business course at UAL: London College of Fashion in London, England. Zoe is passionate about the arts and has worked in both the cultural events and fashion industries. Previously, Zoe has worked as part of the Visual Merchandising department at American Eagle Outfitters, and as the Manager and Visual Merchandiser at Boutique La Passerelle. She has also been a member of the Guest Services staff and an Art Gallery Attendant at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center.
As a violinist of 18 years, Zoe has been involved with programs such as TRYPO Symphonette, PMEA, Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, IUP Symphony Orchestra, IUP String Ensemble, IUP String Project, and the Pittsburgh Philharmonic throughout the years. She understands and appreciates the positive impact that programs such as these can provide, as someone who has experienced it firsthand.
Sarah Hepfl is currently a sophomore at Duquesne University double-majoring in Violin Performance and Music Education. She studies under Charles and Rachel Stegeman of the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra and other various regional orchestras. Sarah graduated from the Butler Area School District with High Honors in 2018. During her time in high school, she was a Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra member on violin from 2014-2018. She prides herself as an alumnus and current staff member of TRYPO.
Marketing and Operations Intern
Akari Ogawa is currently an Artist Diploma student at Duquesne University studying Flute Performance. She holds her Master’s Degree from Chicago College of Performing Arts and a Bachelor’s Degree from Furman University. Akari’s notable teachers include Jennifer Steele from the Pittsburgh Symphony and Mimi Tachouet from Lyric Opera of Chicago. In addition to her studies, Akari is an active freelancing flutist in the Pittsburgh area.