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  Johnstonbaugh's Music   Centers

  North
  4375 Gibsonia Road
  PO Box 150
  Gibsonia, PA 15044
  724.444.5660
  724.444.5670 Fax

  East
  140 Sandune Dr.
  Pittsburgh, PA 15239   724.519.2114
  724.519.2410 Fax

  South
  Chartiers Valley
  Shopping Center
  1025 Washington Pike
  Bridgeville, PA 15017
  412.221.2990
  412.838.0800 Fax

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Instructor: Alan Skwarla
Focus Areas: Brass
Instruments: Trumpet ($25/30 minutes)
Locations: Gibsonia, Bridgeville
Description: Alan is a professional trumpet player with over 35 years performing and teaching experience. He is a graduate of Duquesne University School of Music where he majored in trumpet. He was a public school music teacher for 16 years and has been a private teacher for more than 35 years. Alan has performed with groups including the Pittsburgh Opera Workshop, the Bucco Band, and house bands at the Twin Coaches and Holiday House. He has recorded with his own Latin ensemble, Algo Latino, and with jazz, rock, classical, dixieland, Latin, swing, theatrical and top-40 groups throughout the region. Alan has also performed at major venues including Heinz Hall, Carnegie Music Hall, Byham Theatre, Mellon Arena, Three Rivers Stadium, Starlake (Post-Gazette) Amphitheater, the Amphiteater in Sation Square, Pitt Stadium, Syria Mosque, and The Balcony nightclub.

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    Instructor: Amy Kuehn
    Focus Areas: Brass
    Instruments: Trombone, Baritone/Euphonium, Tuba ($22/30 minutes)
    Locations: Golden Mile
    Description: Amy is originally from the State of Ohio where she spent 20 years teaching grades 5-12 instrumental music in her local public school district. During her tenure as a teacher she also performed with both professional and civic ensembles. These include the Emperors of Swing, Gabriel’s Horns, Seasonal Brass, The Cleveland Symphonic Winds, Lakeland Civic Band, The University of Akron summer brass ensemble and other various free lance and community ensembles/theatre. Her academic History includes a BA in Music Education from Cleveland State University and MA in Music Education from the University of Akron. Her studio teachers include: Jim Taylor, Tucker Jolly and Ed Zadrozny. As a public and private low brass instructor and educator her students would regularly and successfully participate in adjudicated solo and ensemble events, All-Ohio State Fair Band, receive appointments to Collegiate Honors Bands and overall experience the enjoyment that comes with an active, productive and successful participation in their school ensembles. Since relocating to Pennsylvania she has been teaching students at Johnstonbaugh’s Music Center and is currently performing with the West Moreland Symphonic Winds and community ensembles.
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    Instructor: Carrie Vertin
    Focus Areas: Brass
    Instruments: French Horn
    Locations: Gibsonia
    Description: Hailing from Indianapolis, Indiana, Carrie Vertin is a
    freelance horn player and teacher in the greater
    Pittsburgh area. She has performed with the
    Canton, Akron, Westmoreland, and Ohio Valley
    Symphony Orchestras as well as The Brass
    Roots, Aeolian Winds, Pittsburgh Chamber
    Orchestra, Resonance Works Pittsburgh, and the
    Academy Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh.
    Carrie also has extensive opera experience,
    most recently as a member of the Ohio Light
    Opera orchestra. She has taught and worked as
    a staff member at Kendall Betts Horn Camp
    since 2015. Carrie also has extensive orchestral library experience and works as a librarian for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Carrie holds a Master of Music degree and an Advanced Musical Studies certificate from Carnegie Mellon University, where her primary teachers were Bill Caballero and Stephen Kostyniak. During this time, she was the winner of the Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition, performing fellow Indiana native JamesBeckel’s The Glass Bead Game. Carrie earned her bachelor’s degree in horn performance from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, studying with Randy Gardner.


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    Instructor: Chuck Jacks
    Focus Areas: Brass
    Instruments: Trombone, Bass Trombone, Baritone, Euphonium, Tuba. ($25.50/30 minutes)
    Locations: Bridgeville
    Description: Chuck Jacks is a Tenor Trombone & Bass Trombone Jazz specialist who also teaches all Low-Brass Private Lessons at Johnstonbaugh’s Music Centers (Bridgeville Store). A professional trombonist, Mr. Jacks is a 5-year former employee of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, who has performed with many professional singers, dancers, musicians and entertainers from all over the world. Mr. Jacks has performed with pit orchestras, church cantatas, avante-garde stage productions, big bands, and rock bands in the Pittsburgh area. An Alumnus of South Fayette High School (Class of ’94 - McDonald, PA), Mr. Jacks was president of the "Little Green Machine" Marching Band and director and founder of the basketball pep band. He is a former member of the Duquesne University Marching Band (Pitt., PA), and the Robert Morris University "C-Jam" Marching Band (Moon, PA). Mr. Jacks earned his Music Teacher Certificate while Graduate Assistant to the Marching "Blue Band" & Director of the "Pride of the Lions" Basketball Pep Band at Penn State University (Main Campus-State College, PA), and he holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Performance from Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA). While at Duquesne, Mr. Jacks was employed as an usher for three years at Heinz Hall, home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (Penn.). His previous academic appointments were at Monessen Elementary School & Jr.-Sr. High School (The City of Monessen, PA), Muncy Jr.-Sr. High School (Muncy, PA), Penn State University (Main Campus-State College, PA), Robert Morris University (Moon, PA), Charleroi High School (Charleroi, PA), and the "Art & Music Emporium" (Bangor, PA).


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    Instructor: Gonzalo Fernandez
    Focus Areas: Brass
    Instruments: Trombone ($25/30 minutes)
    Locations: Gibsonia
    Description: Gonzalo Fernandez holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Trombone Performance from Ponti_cia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile, and a Master’s Degree from Carnegie-Mellon University, where he also held a performance residency. He has studied with Peter Sullivan, Principal Trombone of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO), Steven Witser, Assistant Principal Trombone of the Cleveland Orchestra, the late Byron McCulloh, Bass Trombone with the PSO, and various members of the Orquesta Filarm%F3nica de Santiago, Chile. His performance credits include the Westmoreland, Johnstown, Pittsburgh Festival and McKeesport symphony orchestras as well as a number of symphony orchestras in Chile and Argentina.
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    Instructor: Matt Pienkowski
    Focus Areas: Brass
    Instruments: Trumpet ($25/30 minutes)
    Locations: Golden Mile
    Description: Matt is currently the principal trumpet for the Washington
    Symphony. A graduate of West Virginia University and
    Carnegie Mellon University, Matt’s previous teachers
    include Neal Berntsen, George Vosburgh, John Winkler, David
    Hickman, and Paul Weber. Matt has maintained a trumpet
    studio since college and has had great success with his
    students placing in various orchestras and bands. Matt has
    performed all over the area playing with orchestras such as
    Wheeling, West Virginia, and Canton, Ohio. Recently
    married, Matt spends his free time lifting weights and with
    his wife, Christina.


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    Instructor: Matthew McCormack
    Focus Areas: Brass
    Instruments: Trumpet ($25/ half hour)
    Locations: Gibsonia
    Description: Matthew McCormack is a freelance trumpet player from Guthrie, Oklahoma currently located in the greater Pittsburgh area. He performs regularly with the Canton Symphony Orchestra and has appeared with the Butler County Symphony Orchestra, the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh and the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh. In 2015, Matthew performed in the second season of the Miami Summer Music Festival where he is featured in their promotional recording of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring as principal trumpet. Matthew has recently completed his Advanced Musical Studies certificate at Carnegie Mellon University. He also received his Masters of Music in Trumpet Performance from Carnegie Mellon, studying with Pittsburgh Symphony members Neal Berntsen and George Vosburgh. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where he studied with Dr. Ryan Gardner and Dr. Jonathan Martin.
    Matthew has been a frequent competitor in the National Trumpet Competition, competing as a semi-finalist in the Graduate Solo division in 2014 and 2015 and both the Undergraduate Solo division in 2013. Additionally, as a member of the Oklahoma State University Trumpet Ensemble, he was a semi-finalist in the NTC Ensemble division and was selected to perform in the International Trumpet Guild as a Prelude Performance opening one of the featured recitals.


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    Instructor: Michael Visnick
    Focus Areas: Brass
    Instruments: Trumpet ($22/30 minutes)
    Locations: Golden Mile
    Description: Michael is a 2011 graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a B.S.Ed in music education. He has studied trumpet with Dr. Kevin Eisensmith of Indiana, PA and Charles Lirette of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Michael performed with various ensembles during his tenure at Indiana and was a featured soloist of the 2009 and 2010 marching band seasons. He acted as the solo soprano cornet in the Allegheny Brass Band from 2012-2013 He has been teaching privately since 2007 and has been working in the Franklin Regional and Penn-Trafford School Districts since 2012.
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    Instructor: Molly Zebell
    Focus Areas: Brass
    Instruments: French Horn (25/30min)
    Locations: Bridgeville
    Description: Molly Zebell, Biography Southwestern Michigan native Molly Zebell is a dedicated advocate for new and lesser known solo horn and chamber music and an active orchestral musician. She is currently performing as a member of the contemporary music ensemble NAT 28, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which strives to give the highest standard of performances of pieces both standard and new, but in evocative and innovative ways. Molly Zebell began her formal music education at Western Michigan University, where she received her Bachelors of Music in French Horn Performance under the guidance of Dr. Lin Foulk. Molly discovered a wealth of contemporary and non-standard horn literature during her undergraduate studies and became passionate about exploring the full range of horn repertoire, with works such as the Reinecke Clarinet and Horn Trio and Hindemith’s Horn Quartet as examples. This led her to the studio of prominent horn and choral composer, Dr. Paul Basler at the University of Florida. There, she pursued a master’s degree in Horn Performance with an emphasis on contemporary and 20th century recital repertoire, including Francois Poulenc’s Elegie, Yehuda Yannay’s “Hidden Melody” for Horn and Cello, and Primitive Modern for horn and tape by James Beckel. While at the University of Florida, she served as Principal Horn of orchestras and bands, and was honored with the opportunity to perform in the school’s endowed graduate chamber music program. Other noted orchestral horn appointments include the Orlando Philharmonic, Ocala Symphony, and the Gainesville Orchestra. Her enthusiasm for inspiring children to pursue music in all its forms is evident in her master classes for children, showcasing the history of the horn and small folk instruments. She has enjoyed teaching beginning students in her private studio as well as serving as a sectional teacher at Howard Bishop Middle School.


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    Instructor: Ryan Raven
    Focus Areas: Brass
    Instruments: Trumpet
    Locations: Bridgeville ($25/30 minutes)
    Description: Ryan Raven is a recent graduate of the University of Northern Colorado, where he earned his Master’s in Jazz Studies (’15). He studied with Dr. John Adler, Professor Steve Kovalcheck and Professor David Caffey. He was a member of the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Northern Colorado’s premier performing group Lab 1. Ryan’s time with Lab 1 included performances with Chris Potter, Deborah Brown, Bill Watrous, Patrick Williams and Julia Dollison. Ryan was also a two time semi-finalist in the National Trumpet Competition’s ensemble division.

    As a private instructor Ryan has nine years of experience with students ages 8- 65. He regularly workshops middle and high school age brass players, and is on staff with the UNC Summer Jazz Workshop. He believes in equipping his students for success with an approach grounded in fundamentals, and structured practice time.

    Ryan has also studied with Jim Ketch at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Dr. Larry Wells of Methodist University.

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    Instructor: Ryan Wolf
    Focus Areas: Brass
    Instruments: Trumpet ($20.50/30 minutes)
    Locations: Bridgeville
    Description: Ryan Wolf is a trumpet artist who is currently pursuing his degree in Music Education at West Liberty University, studying trumpet with Dr. Matthew Inkster. In addition to performing with many of West Liberty’s ensembles, Ryan was also a winner of the 2015 Honors Recital and the 2016 Concerto Competition. As an educator, Ryan has been a sought after brass instructor throughout the Pittsburgh area for marching bands, concert bands, and jazz bands. He is the former Assistant Director of Bands at Sto-Rox High School, and has also taught brass in the Monessen, Carlynton, Northgate, West Jefferson Hills, Riverview, and South Fayette school districts. Currently, he is the Assistant Band Director at Montour High School. Over the last few years, Ryan has taken the initiative to create several student based performance ensembles, including the Bridgeville Brass (brass quintet), the Thomas Jefferson High School Brass Ensemble, and the Brass Camp, a summer brass program that in 2016 attracted over seventy students grades 5-12. As a freelance player, Ryan is a frequent lead player in pit orchestras in local school musicals, as well as being a soloist and brass ensemble member at many local church functions. He has also performed with the West Hills Symphonic Band, Allegheny Brass Band, Pittsburgh Philharmonic Orchestra, Stage 62, and City Heat. Ryan has studied with several noted trumpet teachers, including River City Brass Band soprano cornet Jeff Nicodemus and Chad Winkler of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. While the instruction in Ryan’s lessons is catered to the needs of each individual student, Ryan does have a general philosophy that encompasses the method behind his teaching. The ultimate goal is that each student will be able to achieve "musical independence," which is being able to independently interpret the written form of music and present it through their instrument. This thinking would employ the concepts of rhythm reading, dynamics, expressionism, articulations, style, sound, and much more. Achieving this independence would allow the student to transition from being "just a trumpet player" to "musician."

    For more information about Ryan’s lessons, please visit http://www.wolftrumpetlessons.com.


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    *Act 33/34 Clearance Teacher* This means that the teacher has received Act 33/34 Clearances from the State of Pennsylvania. Act 33/34 Clearances are designed to ensure that people who work with children have a record clear of child abuse and crime. All schools in Pennsylvania require that teachers and school staff have Act 33/34 Clearances. In June of 2005, Johnstonbaugh’s Music Centers implemented a policy that all new teachers are required to have Act 33/34 Clearances.

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