Music Director and Young Peoples Orchestra Conductor
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Mr. Worsdale attended public schools, the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division, and received his formal music training as a trombone student of David Finlayson (New York Philharmonic). He is a conducting protégé of the late Maestro Jonathan Strasser (former faculty of Manhattan School of Music) and has continued his professional studies working with Larry Livingston (on faculty of University of Southern California) and Anthony Maiello (on faculty of George Mason University). He had recently returned to the Manhattan School of Music as conductor of the Pre-College Division Symphony Orchestra.
His work as a guest clinician and adjudicator has brought him to cities throughout the United States. He has conducted Texas’ Region 23 Orchestra, The Southeastern Regional Orchestra for the State of Virginia and many other honor bands and orchestras. He is a senior teaching artist and consultant for The New York Pops and helps run their Kids on Stage program.
Having appeared on the podiums of the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, The Williamsburg Consort (VA), The Westchester Symphonic Winds, The Brooklyn Wind Symphony, The Kilkenny Youth Orchestra (Ireland), and the Royal Spa Brass Band (UK), he is in active demand as a guest conductor and clinician, frequently working with middle school and high school programs across the country. He is a champion of new music and young artists, having commissioned works for both wind ensembles and orchestras, including many new works from composer Michael Markowski.
Perhaps most importantly, Mr. Worsdale’s commitment to education shines brightest through his entrepreneurial efforts to build stronger wind band programs in New York City. The award-winning “InterSchool Orchestra of New York” Symphonic Band, which is one of the only private youth wind ensembles in the Metropolitan New York area, is an ensemble he began more than two decades ago. Last season, he served as Music Director and Conductor of the ISO organization and led the Symphony Orchestra. He also was conductor of the Grand Street Community Band.
During the summer months, Brian calls Delaware County, New York his home where he serves as artistic director and conductor of the French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts. There, he leads the symphony orchestra, conducting classes, and numerous pit orchestras while supervising one of the largest and most comprehensive summer performing arts programs in the United States.
Andrew Wickesberg began conducting Symphonette with the 2012-13 season. Mr. Wickesberg came to Pittsburgh in 2008 to join the viola section of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, having previously held a viola fellowship at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, FL. Mr. Wickesberg received Bachelor‘s degrees in Violin and Viola Performance from Indiana University, and a Master‘s Degree in Viola Performance from the New England Conservatory. He is an active faculty member of City Music Center at Duquesne University. A resident of Pittsburgh‘s historic Mexican War Streets neighborhood, Mr. Wickesberg is President of the Allegheny City Central Association, the Community Development Corporation for Pittsburgh‘s Central Northside neighborhood. Mr. Wickesberg enjoys teaching, renovating his home, and exploring the many icons of Pittsburgh.
Young Peoples Orchestra EQTeach Coaches
1st Violin Coach
Jeremy Black has been a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra‘s first violin section since 2002, and enjoys performing not only at concert halls around the world but also with his colleagues in Pittsburgh area hospitals and schools. In the summer months, he performs as Concertmaster of the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago, a position he has held since 2005. He began his orchestral career in 2000 as a first violinist in the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago and a frequent substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. An avid fan of chamber music, he has served as Concertmaster of the University of Pittsburgh‘s Music on the Edge Chamber Orchestra since 2002, and has performed in recital throughout the Pittsburgh region, including Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne Universities, Chatham College, West Liberty State College, and the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
2nd Violin Coach
Dennis O’Boyle joined the second violin section of the Pittsburgh Symphony in the fall of 2000 under Music Director Mariss Jansons, and rose to his current position of Assistant Principal Second Violin in 2011. Before arriving in Pittsburgh, Mr. O’Boyle spent three years in Florida as a fellow in Miami Beach’s New World Symphony and subsequently Principal Second Violin of the Florida Orchestra, Tampa Bay. Mr. O’Boyle holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder, as a student of Oswald Lehnert. He earned his Master of Music Degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Ik Hwan Bae. He lives in Squirrel Hill with his wife, Anna Wukich, and their two sons.
A native of Québec City, Canada, Marylène Gingras-Roy joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra viola section in the 1997 season, and in 2004 was promoted to fourth chair. She studied at the Conservatoire de Musique de Québec with Douglas McNabney and François Paradis and graduated in 1993 with unanimous First Prizes in both in viola and chamber music. She was the recipient of Canada and Québec Arts Councils’ Scholarship Grants, enabling her to attend the Harid Conservatory, where she studied with Victoria Chiang, and then at the renowned Curtis Institute of Music with Karen Tuttle and Joseph DePasquale. She earned an Artist Diploma in 1997.
Marylène is adjunct professor of viola at Duquesne University and has a full private studio at home. She is also an orchestra coach for the Three River Young Peoples Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony. A highly sought-after teacher and pedagogue, Marylène has over twenty years of experience with students at various levels of experience and distinction. Marylène has also taught at summer music festivals such as: Domaine Forget, Québec, Interharmony Festival in Germany and Italy and Advanced Chamber Music Seminar in Pittsburgh. Marylène has been featured as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Duquesne University Orchestra and Symphonette and she performs regularly in chamber music concerts.
She has participated in many festivals, including the Festival Dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, the Solti Project at Carnegie Hall, the Jerusalem Music Festival, the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra (where she served as Principal violist), and since 2000 the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho. Marylène’s recordings of chamber music include Leo Zeitlin’s Yedish songs and the Caprichos Nos. 2-4 by Leonardo Balada (world premiere recording) for the Naxos label. She has also recorded the Serenade no 6 for trombone, viola and cello by Vincent Persichetti. Marylèneʼs viola is by Italian maker Umberto Muschietti (1929).
David Premo joined the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1992 and now serves as Associate Principal. Mr. Premo has been Artist-Lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University since 1994. He came to Pittsburgh from Washington, D.C., where he was Assistant Principal Cellist of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra from 1980 until 1991. Since coming to Pittsburgh, Mr. Premo has appeared frequently as a chamber musician and soloist on Shadyside and Rodef Shalom concert series. In 1996 Mr. Premo won the prestigious Passamaneck Award entitling him to a solo recital which he gave in Pittsburgh‘s Carnegie Hall in April 1997. His cello, made in approximately 1860 is by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume.
Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, bassist Aaron White began his musical studies in public school system after moving to Irving, Texas. He continued his studies at Southern Methodist Univ. and then Duquesne Univ. His principal teachers include Thomas Lederer and Jeffrey Turner. In 2012 and again in 2014, he performed with the “All-Star Orchestra” lead by Gerard Schwarz. Prior to joining the Pittsburgh Symphony, Mr. White was a member of the Louisville Orchestra and the Florida Orchestra.
Mr. Rodgers has been the Principal Contrabassoonist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since September 2001. Formerly, he was the Principal Bassoonist with the Jacksonville Symphony, Associate Principal Bassoonist with the Florida Orchestra, Second Bassoonist with the Houston Symphony, and Contrabassoonist with the Colorado Symphony. Summer activities have included the Grand Tetons Music Festival, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Colorado Music Festival, and Tanglewood Music Center. His Bachelor of Music was earned at the University of Southern California, with a Master of Music from Rice University. He has been a soloist with the PSO several times and is a founding member of the Pittsburgh Reed Trio. Jim lives in Moon Township with his wife, Sue, and their feline family.
James Nova joined the Pittsburgh Symphony as second/utility trombone in 2009. Prior to this, he served as assistant principal/second trombone of the Utah Symphony for eight seasons. He attended the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree before moving on the New England Conservatory of Music for his Master’s Degree. Mr. Nova is adjunct trombone professor and brass coordinator at the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University. Since 2012, Jim has found a new passion using recording technology to explore multitrack recording, also known as “overdubbing” and created numerous stunning recordings of challenging new arrangements he’s done of a variety of exciting repertoire for trombone choir. These employ a number of trombones: contra bass, bass, tenor, small tenor, alto and even soprano trombones! To hear these, got to www.soundcloud.com/jimnova.
Paul Evans holds a Bachelors degree from Duquesne University and a Masters degree from Temple University in percussion performance. Mr. Evans has studied with many of the finest percussionists in the country, including Pittsburgh Symphony members Don Liuzzi and John Soroka, as well as Philadelphia Orchestra member Alan Able. Mr. Evans appeared with the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra as well as the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra. A veteran of many summer music festivals, Mr. Evans has toured the world with several orchestras including the Pittsburgh Symphony. Currently, he is a member of the River City Brass Band and on the faculties at Carnegie Mellon University and Chatham College.
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Symphonette EQTeach Coaches
1st Violin Coach
is a member of the first violin section of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She won her first job with the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra while pursuing her undergraduate studies. She has since held the positions of Principal Second violin, then Assistant Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Orchestra of Lisbon in Portugal for two years before moving onto the first violin section of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra in Spain. She also spent two years as an Assistant Principal First Violin in the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Ms. Cheng has also performed with the Seattle Symphony, New Haven Symphony, and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestras. Ms. Cheng has performed numerous solo recitals and chamber concerts in Western Europe, the East and West coasts of the United States, and in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She has performed as soloist with the Camarata di Sant’Antonio, Seattle Philharmonic, Bellevue Philharmonic, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Central Washington University Orchestra, and the Pacific Lutheran University Orchestra. She has been the winner of the Seattle Young Artist Competition, the Washington State Concerto Competition, and the McGraw Hill Young Artists Showcase–which featured her on WQXR in New York City. Originally from the Seattle area, Ms. Cheng received her Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music and her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington. While at Yale, she studied with Sidney Harth, and chamber music with the okyo String Quartet and Claude Frank. She also spent many years studying with Marjorie Kransberg-Talvi, Ilkka Talvi, and Erich Eichhorn. Ms. Cheng attended several summers at the Aspen and Waterloo Music Festivals.
2nd Violin Coach
Rachel Stegeman is on the Adjunct Violin Faculty at Duquesne University, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, since 2002. At Duquesne she teaches Applied Violin and Orchestral Literature and Repertoire Class, as well as Violin Boot Camp during the summers. Many of her students have performing careers in professional orchestras and are teaching at Universities themselves. She was trained in Washington D.C. at Catholic University and teachers include William Steck, Luis Haza, Leslye Gartrell, Ramona Coppage, Sidney Harth, and Robert Lipsett. She is Concertmaster of the Wheeling Symphony and Youngstown Symphony, Associate Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra and Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestra, performs as guest concertmaster for the West Virginia Symphony and Johnstown Symphony, and performs as a guest section violinist at Pittsburgh Symphony. Before moving to the East Coast, she was Associate Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Opera Pacific, Los Angeles Opera as well as other orchestras in the area. She was also a member of the Pacific Symphony and a recording studio violinist in hundreds of major motion pictures, records, television shows, commercials and live award shows.
Mr. Wickesberg is also Symphonette‘s conductor. See above for biographical information.
Kathleen Melucci is the Principal Cello of the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra as well as an active freelancer with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and many other local orchestras. She has a very active teaching studio with students who have achieved much success over the years. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music. Originally from Pittsburgh, she also is an alumna of Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras as well as the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony and is thrilled to be working with the next generation of TRYPO and PYSO members.
Amanda Rice-Johnston, a native of Northern Virginia, is a performer and teacher in the Pittsburgh area. She frequently performs as principal Bass with the Westmoreland Symphony, and with orchestras in Wheeling, Erie, and Akron, the Pittsburgh Opera, the Pittsburgh Ballet, and the West Virginia Symphony. She is also involved in many other musical initiatives within Pittsburgh, including the Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh and the Kassia Ensemble, a group dedicated to working with empowering women through quality performance and collaboration. Ms. Rice-Johnson currently resides in Pittsburgh‘s historic Squirrel Hill district where she moonlights as a Certified Cheesemonger and spends more time than she should attempting to teach her cat to sing Ode the Joy.
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