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1146 Greentree Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15220
The Pittsburgh Music Academy

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Our parents say it best
Administration and Faculty

Tiffany Kaminski, Financial Administrator/Office Manager

Josie Kost, Flute Department Chair

Jennifer Madge, Academy Director

Amaury Morales, Piano Department Chair

Carrie Walsh Erdely, CEO, String Department Chair, Director of Marketing

 

Staff

Tiffany Kaminski, Financial Administrator/Office Manager - Associate of Science, CCAC, with additional courses in Accounting and Bookkeeping as well as Taxation courses with Edward Jones.  Tiffany is a new addition to PMA, starting in July, 2018.  With more than 11 years of experience, she is a skilled professional able to handle a variety of bookkeeping and accounting responsibilities necessary to manage a small office. She also has experience with forensic accounting processes.  Past positions for Ms. Kaminski include Breakfast Manager/Formation Educator at SS. Simon & Jude Elementary School and Multi-Task Office Assistant for the Chartiers Valley School District.  Clients will enjoy working with this energenic, dedicated, and organized individual.  She is also a certified master gardener!

 

Faculty

Lili Cai, piano - BM Piano Performance, Colorado State University as a student of Dr. Janet Zandreth. Lili is a new addition to The Pittsburgh Music Academy, starting in 2017. She is experienced in using the Faber Piano Adventure Method and her students have won prizes in the Hong Kong International Piano Competition. Ms. Cai won the Silver Medal in the 2012 Tokyo International Piano Competition and the Bronze Medal in the 2014 International Keyboard Odyssiad and Festival. 

Gina Glenn, piano – BS Respiratory Therapy, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Gina worked in several hospitals in the Pittsburgh area for over 22 years before beginning her career as a piano teacher. She started at the Pittsburgh Music Academy as a parent in 1992 with her son, and her daughter began taking lessons shortly after in 2000. After spending many years at PMA as a parent, she began teaching Music Together® and piano as a member of the PMA faculty. In 2010, an orthopedic injury prevented her from continuing to teach Music Together® and working in healthcare, and has been a piano teacher ever since. She describes her job as one that people only dream about, teaching children how to make music with joy in their hearts. Gina completed her Suzuki training with Katherine Monsour Barley, and has been a member of the PMA faculty since 2001.

Kelia Ingraham, piano earned her Bachelor's degree in Piano Performance at The Hartt School, and is now pursuing her Masters in Collaborative Piano at Carnegie Mellon University. She has been teaching piano for ten years, previously in Maine and Connecticut. She is an active chamber musician and a promoter of new works.

 

Becky Keeley, cello, is a native Pittsburgher and PMA alumna! After receiving her BA in Cello Performance from University of Maryland she decided that her true passion was in teaching. She received her Suzuki training with Alice Vierra at the Greater Washington Suzuki Institute and opened her own Suzuki cello and piano studio in 2011. In addition, she has training in both Music Mind Games and Music Together and was the Music Director at Reston Montessori School where she started a Suzuki cello program for the Elementary students. Becky has had the opportunity to play with various groups in and around Washington DC. She has performed at The Kennedy Center, The Mansion on O Street, and The Atlas Theater as principal cellist of the Capital City Symphony. 

Josie Kost, flute - BM Performance, Wheaton College; MM Performance, Duquesne University; Artist Diploma, Duquesne University. Studied with Anita Rieder, Damian Bursill-Hall; summer study with Jill Felber. Suzuki training with David Gerry and Kelly Williamson. Member of PMA faculty since 2010.

Josie is the principal flute with the Greenville Symphony. She has also performed with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Westmoreland Symphony, Johnstown Symphony, and Altoona Symphony. She plays piano for church services at Port Vue United Methodist Church and also work as an adjunct professor at Duquesne University, conducting the flute ensembles. Teaching children is one of the most rewarding aspects of her week. She strives to engage each child in a way that is educational, fun and age appropriate. As a result, each child gains confidence that carries over from the instrument to other areas of daily life.

Jack Kurutz, piano – A native of New York, Jack Kurutz is an avid recitalist, chamber musician, and advocate of contemporary classical music. He is a founding member of the Living Room Chamber Music Project, which aims to make live music accessible and enjoyable by bringing performances from the concert stage into the home.   

Mr. Kurutz received his undergraduate degree from the University of Miami, studying with Ivan Davis, and earned his Master of Music from New England Conservatory in Gabriel Chodos’ studio. In 2005, Kurutz completed an Artist Diploma from Carnegie Mellon University, and currently coaches with Ralph Zitterbart.

In September 2007, Mr. Kurutz won First Prize, Artist Division, in the Liszt-Garrison International Piano Competition sponsored by the Baltimore-Washington Chapter of the American Liszt Society. Additionally, he was awarded a prize for the best interpretation of a Franz Liszt composition. He was a finalist in the 2009 Simone Belsky Competition and the 2010 Steinway Society of Massachusetts Competition.  In addition to serving on the faculty at the Pittsburgh Music Academy, he currently teaches a private studio, holds a teaching position at the Carnegie Mellon University Preparatory School, and teaches at the Greater Pittsburgh Suzuki Institute. Jack completed his Suzuki training with Katherine Monsour Barley, and has been a member of the PMA faculty since 2007.

Jennifer Madge, violin – MM Violin Performance, Duquesne University; BM Violin Performance, Summa Cum Laude, Duquesne University; Undergraduate studies in violin performance and music education, Wichita State University. Studied with Charles Stegeman (Pittsburgh Oper and Ballet, and Pacific Symphony Concertmaster), Huei Sheng Kao (Pittsburgh Symphony Assistant Concertmaster), Andre Grabiec (Rochester Philharmonic Concertmaster), Masao Kawasaki, Won Bin Yim. Suzuki Training with Vera McCoy-Sulentic, Linda Flore, Lorraine Fink, Edward Kreitman, Doris Preucil, Thomas Wermuth, Linda Case, Stevie Sandven, Katherine Monsour Barley. Member of PMA faculty since it’s founding in 1996.

Jennifer has taught violin in many different capacities – as a teacher, a professor, and an adjuct professor – at the Greater Pittsburgh Suzuki Institute, Carnegie Mellon Summer String Workshop, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Seton Suzuki School, Musik Innovations, Duquesne University Studio Teaching, and Three Rivers Young People’s Orchestra. She currently plays with the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Orchestra, and is a member of the Suzuki Association, Chamber Music America, and American String Teachers Association. 

Debbie McDowell, piano  Originally from Olean, NY, Debbie has performed extensively in the Pittsburgh area and beyond. She currently serves as a member the Butler County Symphony Orchestra and the Aeolian Winds of Pittsburgh, and the Brass Roots. She has also performed with the Westmoreland Symphony, Wheeling Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, Johnstown Symphony, and the Academy Chamber Orchestra.
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Deborah attended the Bowdoin International Music Festival on fellowship, received a scholarship to study at the Pierre Monteux School for two summers, and played the Corno Obligatto part in Mahler's Fifth Symphony at the National Music Festival. Debbie received degrees in music from Carnegie Mellon University and Youngstown State University. Her principal teachers were Steve Kostyniak of the Pittsburgh Symphony, and Bill Slocum, formerly of the Cleveland Symphony.
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In addition to performing and teaching, Debbie enjoys spending time with her two precious Pomeranians, renovating her house, playing piano, and teaching some of the most animated and talented young students in Pittsburgh. Debbie is new to PMA in 2019.

Ben Meyer, guitar - began his guitar journey in Illinois where he received a Bachelor of Music Business from Millikin University in Decatur, IL. From 2012 to 2015, his passion for teaching became inspired by the methodology of Aaron Shearer where he was met by Co-authors of the Shearer Method, Alan Hirsh and Thomas Kikta. Before long, the teachings became entwined in his mission to develop guitar education in advancing the program with the addition of new curricula and curating a thriving environment for students, teachers, and schools of the guitar for all ages in Illinois. Following his passion he studied the Shearer method extensively with Thomas Kikta from 2015 to 2017 at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa, where he received a Master of Classic Guitar Performance. Ben serves on the board of the Aaron Shearer Foundation as an active performer, archivist, and secretary in preserving and educating the legacy of Aaron Shearer’s pedagogy. Currently, he teaches across the Pittsburgh area as an adjunct professor for Duquesne University and various studios. He performs around the United States and abroad in Paris, France with the United States Guitar Orchestra, small and large ensembles, and solo guitar.

Amaury Morales, piano - Regarded as “an authority in the classical music world (Ciudad Corazón)” and “a vigorous, energetic performer (Toplicke Vesti)” pianist Amaury Morales has performed widely in major venues of Latin America, the United States, Europe and Asia; Amaury has been praised as “a mixture of maturity and youth that reveals an underlying serenity (La Información).” For his methodical choice of repertoire, his performances of Latin-American music have earned him a reputation of an advocate of the region’s classical music: “It was really refreshing to hear a completely different, unconventional Latin rhythm performed by the pianist from this territory who has been awarded many times (Toplicke Vesti, Serbia).” The recipient of several awards, Amaury was awarded for three consecutive years with the Dr. Mark H Cooley scholarship award for outstanding achievement, and has received recognition in competitions such as 3rd place in the Latin American piano festival (2001), 2nd Place in the Manuel Rueda piano competition (2003), 2nd place in the American Protegé (2011) international competition and 1st place in the Silverman chamber music competition (2009). His orchestra appearances include the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Mellon University baroque ensemble, and the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic.

Born in the Dominican Republic, Amaury started his piano studies at the Institute of Culture and Arts in the city of Santiago. He studied piano with Dr. Hilda Melis, and music theory with Mercedes Machín. He received Bachelor’s degree at the Boston Conservatory as a student of Max Levinson, and earned his Master’s Degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he studied with Dr. Sergey Schepkin. Amaury furthered his artistic education with legendary German pianist Klaus Schilde as an active participant of pianosummer-Vranje festival in Serbia. A devoted educator, Amaury has given masterclasses in Latin America, Istanbul, Serbia, Singapore, and the United States. Along as serving as the Chair of the Piano Department at the Pittsburgh Music Academy, Amaury also belongs to the piano faculty of Carnegie Mellon University’s preparatory division. Amaury completed his Suzuki training with Katherine Monsour Barley. For more information, visit www.amaurymorales.com.

Nicole Lennartz, violin.  Nicole Lennartz is an alumna of the Pittsburgh Music Academy, beginning studies at age 3 with Jennifer Madge. She developed a passion and excelled in violin throughout her childhood, attending the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) middle and high school in Downtown, Pittsburgh. She participated in the McKeesport Symphony Orchestra concerto competition, winning 3rd place, soloing with the orchestra in 2010. She also participated in PMEA festivals throughout high school, winning Concert Master of District and Regional Orchestras (2013), and traveling to PMEA All-States 2 years in a row. She traveled to the NAFME All-Eastern Orchestra festival to represent Pittsburgh in 2014. She was also a member of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra for three years, traveling to Eastern Europe in 2014 to perform at locations like St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Austria and the Slovakia Radio Hall in Bratislava, Slovakia. She was also concertmaster of the EQT Pittsburgh Symphony Side-by-Side orchestra in 2013 & 2014, as well as a board member for education outreach in 2014. She worked on projects for ticket sales to the education concerts for the spring 2014 PSO season.

Receiving her Bachelors of Arts Degree from Duquesne University in Marketing Communications and Music Performance, Nicole is an advocate for classical music and music education here in Pittsburgh. She studied with Rachel Stegeman in college, expanding her technical abilities on the violin, and was Principle Second Violin of the Duquesne Symphony Orchestra in fall 2017 under Maestro Daniel Meyer. During her time at Duquesne, she completed Suzuki Teacher Training at the Greater Pittsburgh Suzuki Institute in 2016, certifying her in Book 1 teaching. She performs with regional orchestras like the Butler County Symphony Orchestra, Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, and the Johnston Symphony Orchestra. She’s performed with Grammy Award Winning Artists like Josh Groban and Michael Buble in 2018 & 2019 at PPG Paints Arena, and performs with her string quartet, Radiant Strings which she started with friend and college, Julia Potain. She found a passion for teaching in high school when she volunteered regularly with CAPA’s music department, assisting with Saturday Music and All City Music sponsored by the Pittsburgh Public Schools.


Nicole hopes to pursue a masters in Communications with a focus on Arts Education research to continue to advocate for arts education and classical music here in Pittsburgh. 

Margaux Matz Pisula, violin & viola, began her musical profession as a nine-year-old Suzuki violin student and holds degrees in violin and viola performance from Duquesne University. She is a member of the Youngstown and Huntington Symphonies, and has also performed with several other orchestras, ensembles, and festivals within the US and Italy. Margaux has taught through the Pittsburgh Music Academy since 2007 and has also held teaching positions through Hope Academy of Music and the Arts, Lyons Guitar & String, the Greater Pittsburgh Suzuki Institute, and Greenville I.S.D.’s Suzuki in the Schools program in Greenville, TX. Notable Suzuki pedagogues that Mrs. Pisula has studied with include Sonja Zeithamel, Marilyn O’Boyle, Roger Stieg, Ronda Cole, David Strom, William Preucil, Sr. and Dr. Julia Hardie. Margaux is happily married to her sweet husband Aaron Pisula, a paralegal and trombonist. They reside in Pittsburgh’s Mt. Washington neighborhood with their green eclectus parrot, Jasper.

 

Maya Petrovic, pianowas born in Serbia, where she finished primary and secondary music school. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the Music Academy in Eastern Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She went on to earn her Master’s degree at the Faculty of Music in Skopje, Macedonia. Maja is a Duquesne University Artist Diploma recipient in piano performance, where she studied with David Allen Wehr. During her studies she won over 30 awards, both as a soloist and as a member of a chamber music ensembles. Maja attended a number of summer courses delivered by world renowned music pedagogues, among whom were Jurij Kot (Ukraine), David Westfall (USA), Ian Jones (UK), and Klaus Schilde (Germany). Maja’s solo career has brought her to perform in Serbia, around Europe, and the United States. Maja has collaborated with orchestras, dance and opera companies around the Pittsburgh area and has several years of experience collaborating with both singers and instrumentalists. As a pedagogue Maja has several years of experience teaching young, advanced, and adult students; she has served as judge in many competitions in Serbia and USA.

Dawn Posey, violin, is an in demand chamber musician, teacher, and performer both in Pittsburgh and beyond. She has performed with the Boston Conservatory Honors Quartet, Festival A Tempo in Caracas, Venezuela, the Chamber Music Festival of Amman, Jordan, Blossom Music Festival, and Tanglewood Music Center. Additionally, she has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in Missouri, Indiana, and England. Dawn also makes regular appearances with the new music ensemble, Alia Musica.

She is a founding member of Kassia Ensemble, a new chamber music ensemble in Pittsburgh made up entirely of female performers. Kassia Ensemble seeks to empower women through quality performance, collaboration, and outreach. Dawn is also a devotee of baroque performance practice, and a frequent guest artist with Chatham Baroque. Dawn was a member of the violin faculty at the Sherwood Conservatory, the Merit School of Music, and the University of Evansville, Indiana, and she continues to teach at the Pittsburgh Music Academy and as adjunct professor of violin at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. In Evansville, Dawn was the second violinist with the Eykamp String Quartet and Associate Concertmaster with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. She has also served as assistant concertmaster with both the Youngstown Symphony and the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Dawn is currently associate principal second violin with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra. Dawn completed her Suzuki training with Nancy Jackson, Edward Kreitman, Moshe Neumann, and Anna Montzka-Smelser, and has been on the faculty of PMA since 2009.

Carrie Walsh Erdely, violin, has been teaching the violin and viola for over 15 years. She has her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Violin Performance from Duquesne University, and also attended Carnegie Mellon University. Carrie teaches students of all ages and has had great success in placing many students in youth orchestras throughout the Pittsburgh area. Mrs. Erdely is the Head of the String Department as well as the Director of Marketing at the Pittsburgh Music Academy. Since 2010, she has proudly been a part owner of PMA as well. From 2005-2013, Carrie was a violin master class teacher and group teacher at The Greater Pittsburgh Suzuki Institute. In 2014, she was named the Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Intensive Camp, sponsored by the Pittsburgh Music Academy. Along with her studio, Carrie is also a performing violinist as well. She has played with, and continues to play with, many local orchestras in the Pittsburgh area such as the Wheeling Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh, Butler County Symphony, Washington Symphony, and the Youngstown Symphony. She performs regularly at her church giving recitals as well as weddings throughout the area. Carrie completed her Suzuki training with Carrie Reuning Hummel, Ed Kreitman, Roger Stieg, and Barbara Barber, and has been a member of the PMA faculty since 2002.

Doris Weir, piano -- Bachelor or Music, Duquesne University.  Piano study with Beverly Nero.  Organ study with Brett Edler and Ann Labounsky Steele.  Suzuki training with Kiki Barley.  PMA faculty member since 2000.

In addition to teacheing piano, Ms. Weir served as Director of Music Ministry, Organist and Choir Director at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.  Currently, she is playing for various churches for weddings, funerals and other masses and services. From Ms. Weir, "Being with and teaching children is an absolute joy.  As a mother of five, I understand the uniqueness of each child and feel my parenting enhances my ability to teach."

Lauretta Werner, violin – M.M. Suzuki Pedagogy, Ithaca College; B.M., Violin Performance, Ohio University. Violin study with Stephen Miahky, Solomiya Ivakhiv, and Susan Waterbury. Suzuki Method Long-term Training with Carrie Reuning-Hummel. Suzuki Method Short-term training with James Hutchins, Kimberly Meier-Sims, Tom Wermuth, and Ed Kreitman. Member of PMA faculty since 2016.

Lauretta M. Werner began her studies in violin at age seven in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at The Pittsburgh Music Academy. Dr. Werner completed a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from Ohio University where she studied with Stephen Miahky and Solomiya Ivakhiv, and a Master of Music degree in Suzuki Pedagogy from Ithaca College where she studied violin with Susan Waterbury and Suzuki Pedagogy with Carrie Reuning-Hummel. In May 2019, Dr. Werner completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Violin Performance from West Virginia University where she studied with Mikylah Myers and worked as a graduate assistant.
As an active chamber musician, Dr. Werner frequently performs and competes with chamber music ensembles, such as the West Virginia University Faculty Clarinet Quintet, the West Virginia University Faculty Chamber Players, and the Re|Ignite Trio. Recent performances and competitions occurred in Boston, Memphis, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, Fredonia, and Morgantown. During the summer of 2019, Dr. Werner taught and performed as a quartet teaching fellow with the Montani String Quartet at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Michigan.

Dr. Werner teaches undergraduate violin students as Lecturer of Violin at West Virginia University and teaches Suzuki violin group classes and lessons at The Pittsburgh Music Academy.
 

Upcoming Events
Saturday, December 21 - PMA pianists to perform for the Youth Express Radio Show on the Saturday Light Brigade.
Saturday, January 4 - Pre-Twinkle Camp 1:00-3:30 pm in Greentree
Saturday, February 8 through Sunday, February 9 - Collaborative Piano and Concerto Workshops
Why choose PMA?

The cornerstone of our school is the conviction that every child can,with careful teaching and parental support, become a successful musician able to make music a part of his or her life. We believe music study will enrich their lives through appreciation of beauty, development of disciplined work habits, and increased self-esteem.