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.
UniSound Program Coordinator and TRYPO Marketing Assistant
Emily Bovan is the Program Coordinator for UniSound. After working in that position for five months, she joined the TRYPO staff full-time as she also now works as the TRYPO Marketing Assistant as well.
Emily is a Pittsburgh local and grew up in Gibsonia. She graduated from Point Park University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports, Arts, and Entertainment Management in December 2020. During her time in college, she interned with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, where she worked on the 60th-anniversary marketing campaign for the Three Rivers Arts Festival. Emily also worked with the Pittsburgh Youth Chorus as a Digital Marketing Intern. Emily has volunteered with the Pittsburgh Playhouse to put together an event called “Beyond the Stage” to help high school students learn about the career opportunities in arts administration and with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust in some of their arts education programming as well.
Emily has been involved in music programming as long as she can remember. She has played piano for thirteen years, flute for six, and studied voice for four. Emily sang in numerous choirs throughout her time in school and college, and was a member of the Pine Richland Marching Band throughout her high school years. In her roles, Emily is excited to bring those musical opportunities to other kids and teenagers around the Pittsburgh area.
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.
Program 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.
Manager of Youth Chamber Connection and Special Projects
Harpist Alyssa Hensley takes on the role of manager for Youth Chamber Connection this year! Having performed as a chamber and orchestral musician, she is excited to take on new projects and grow the chamber performance opportunities for students in the Pittsburgh area.
Ms. Hensley holds a Bachelor of Music in Harp Performance from Northwestern University, where she studied with Lynn Williams and Liz Cifani, and her Master of Music from Carnegie Mellon University, where she studies with Gretchen Van Hoesen. Her other teachers include Laura Fako-Utley and Joan Holland.
Coming from a very musical family, Ms. Hensley was thrown into playing chamber music with her brothers and sister when she began at age seven. She is an advocate for new music and serves on the board of directors for the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Harp Society.
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.
Manager of Institutional Advancement
Rachel Howard started her journey with TRYPO in 2017, serving both TRYPO and Pittsburgh Youth Chorus (PYC) as the Marketing and Communications Manager. The shared position eventually led to her current role with TRYPO as Manager of Institutional Advancement beginning this year. Rachel looks forward to harnessing TRYPO’s data to create deeper communities within the TRYPO Family.
Before her time with TRYPO, Rachel started working in Operations at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 2007. Her role eventually expanded to take on artistic planning for the PNC Pops Series and all popular programming. Rachel brought fresh programs to the stage, including the live orchestral performance of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, among others.
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 in Music Technology from Duquesne University and a Master of Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University. Rachel serves on the board of Save Our Symphony Pittsburgh and loves to explore all types of music with her husband and PSO musician, Micah, and their son Cassius.
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.