Administration and Faculty

Staff

Tiffany Kaminski

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

Katherine Araya

Violin

Originally from Chile, Katherine started to play the violin when she was 9 years old as a self-taught musician. In 2013 she started a bachelor’s degree in music performance violin at Universidad de Chile. After four years, she got her bachelor’s degree in music performance, violin. After that, she also attended many music festivals in Chile and Brazil like FIMP and FEMUSC to get more experience in the performance area.

In 2019, she moved to the United States on full scholarship to study an Artist diploma program in Music Performance at Duquesne University, in Pittsburgh, PA. She was recently graduated from that certification in May 2021. She is currently a student of a master’s degree program in Music Performance in violin at the same school.

Katherine has plenty of experience as an orchestral musician. She currently performances in Butler County Symphony Orchestra, Butler, PA, and Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, Greensburg, PA.

Katherine has the ECC course, and Suzuki books 1, 2, and 3 certifications. She has experience teaching children from 5 years old, teenagers, and adult people. She is also bilingual, so she can teach violin in Spanish and English in a comfortable way. She got different violin teaching positions jobs in Chile, like in Trewhela’s school, Christian and Karen School, and Escuela de Música Enrique Soro.

Artist Diploma Program in Music Performance, Violin / B.A in Music Performance, Violin.

Lili Cai

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.

Yanchi Chen

Violin

A.D. Violin Performance – Duquesne University.  B.M. Violin Performance – Shenyang Conservatory, China.  Yanchi Chen began her musical studies on the violin at the age of four in the studio of Derong Wang, one of the top music conservatories in China. As a child, she won many awards and competitions. During her middle and high school years, she was concertmaster of the Student Symphony Orchestra in her hometown. Later at Shenyang Conservatory of Music, Yanchi studied with professor Xiaoyu Li, a student of Viennese world-class violinist Roswitha Randacher. Yanchi won school scholarships three years in a row and received her BA Degree in violin performance in 2003. After graduating, she worked as a violinist in Beijing. A member of the Classical Fashion Septette, she represented the Chinese Ministry of Culture, performing in the Netherlands for the Crown Prince, as well as in Liechtenstein, Belgium, and some of the major cities of Switzerland. In 2019, she earned the Artist Diploma in Violin Performance at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, studying under Rachel Stegeman and Charles Stegeman. She has also attended the Hartford Suzuki Institute summer teaching training program in Connecticut. Currently she plays with many local orchestras and continues her studies towards the MA Degree. She lives in Upper St. Clair with her husband and four children. Along with the love of teaching and of children, her philosophy on teaching is to ensure that each student in her lessons reaches their fullest potential, according to their own ability.  

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.

Daniela Jofre

Violin

Daniela Jofré Arroyo (violin, viola) began her violin lessons at the age of 9 at the University of Talca- Music Conservatory in Chile. Years later, she would continue her undergraduate studies in the same institution, graduating as the best student of her generation. In 2018 Miss Jofré traveled to the USA as a recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to continue her graduate studies at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville where she earned a master’s degree in music performance with an Emphasis in Suzuki Pedagogy. She also served as concertmaster in SIUE Symphony Orchestra.  In 2020, Daniela traveled to Pittsburgh to start an Artist Diploma Program at Duquesne University.  There she studies with well known violinist Charles Stegeman.  Miss Jofre has taught violin both in Chile and the US to students from 3 to 75 years old. She teaches the Suzuki method, having certification from Early Childhood through Book 8. Daniela can teach comfortably in both English and Spanish.

Becky Keeley

Becky Keeley

String Department Chair
Cello, Musikgarten

Becky 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

Josie Kost

Flute Department Chair
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

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.

Nicole Lennartz

Director of Marketing
Violin

Nicole Lennartz is currently the Adjunct String Teacher at Pittsburgh CAPA, Violin Faculty, and Director of Marketing at The Pittsburgh Music Academy. Her string group, Radiant Strings (co-founded with colleague and friend Julia Poetain) continues to expand – performing and recording with local pop, rock and R&B artists, weddings, events, and much more in the region. Nicole will graduate with a Master’s of Science from West Virginia University in Data Communications, which she plans to use as she continues to use to perform, teach, and advocate for classical music in the City of Pittsburgh and beyond. She is a continuing student of Charles and Rachel Stegeman. 

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. She represented Pittsburgh CAPA in PMEA festivals and NAFME All-Eastern Orchestra Festival in 2014. She was also a member of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra for three years, participating in the Eastern European Tour in 2014 to perform in locations including 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.

Nicole Lennartz received her Bachelor of Arts from Duquesne University in Marketing Communications and Music Performance, and studied with Rachel Stegeman. While at Duquesne, she was Principle Second Violin of the Duquesne Symphony Orchestra in 2017 under Maestro Daniel Meyer. She completed Suzuki Violin Unit 1 training with Marilyn O’Boyle in 2016. She continues to perform with regional orchestras Butler County Symphony Orchestra, Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, and the Johnston Symphony Orchestra. She has also shared the stage with Grammy Award Winning Artists like Josh Groban and Michael Buble in 2018 & 2019.

Jennifer Madge

Jennifer Madge

Academy Director
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 Opera 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 Peoples 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.

Ben Meyer

guitar

Ben Meyer, 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

Amaury Morales

Piano Department Chair
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.

Maya Petrovic

Maja Petrovic

Piano

Maja was 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.

Margaux Matz Pisula

Margaux Matz Pisula

Violin & Viola

Margaux 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.

Dr. Helga Scheibert

Piano

Dr. Helga Scheibert began her musical training at the High School of Arts in Targu Mures, Transylvania at age 7.  She has experience performing with orchestras both as a soloist and collaborator. She has performed several solo and chamber recitals in the U.S. and in Europe and had performances broadcast on Romanian National Radio. She is the winner of numerous piano auditions and competitions including Duquesne University Concerto Competition, Intersection of Classical and Jazz Piano Competition, Pittsburgh Concert Society and was awarded a full scholarship to Gheorge Dima Music Academy (Transylvania) where she earned her Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance. Ms. Scheibert got her Artist Diploma and Masters from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh where she got full assistantship and she studied with pianist David Allen Wehr. Recently she pursued Doctorate in Piano Performance at West Virginia University where she studied with Peter Amstutz. Her dissertation was focused on Hungarian folk piano music.

Currently she serves as a faculty at Carnegie Mellon Preparatory School, also teaches at Hope Academy and Seton Center School of Music. She is the Music Director at First United Methodist Church in Bridgeville and Washington PA.

She enjoys teaching piano, composing, accompanying voice and other instruments.

Gioconda Vasquez

Piano

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.”