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Curtis Johnson

Artist Lecturer in Saxophone

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Curtis Johnson, retired Associate Professor of Music at West Virginia University, had been on the WVU faculty for more than twenty years.  He received his Master of Music degree in saxophone performance from West Virginia University and his Bachelor of Music Degree from West Liberty State College.  Curtis has been an adjunct faculty member at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Washington & Jefferson College, and West Liberty State University in West Virginia.   

Classically, Mr. Johnson has performed on numerous North American Saxophone Alliance Conference programs, World Saxophone Congress programs, and national Saxophone Symposium programs.  He has performed as soloist with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. 

Mr. Johnson is also a renowned R&B performer.  He has backed such performers as Ray Charles, Little Anthony, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Chubby Checker, Chuck Berry, Isaac Hayes, Lou Rawls, The Spinners, Dionne Warwick, Martha Reeves, Cheryl Lynn, and is currently touring with Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.

Mr. Johnson currently performs as a freelance performer and has completed many successful tours of Europe for over 30 years.   Since 2008 he performed on several International Jazz Festivals in Russia.  In addition, Mr. Johnson performs with the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra under the direction of world-renowned trumpeter Sean Jones. 

As active as he has been in his performance career, Mr. Johnson has never left the classroom.  Jazz education continues to be Mr. Johnson’s forte.  He began his career as Director of Jazz Studies at West Virginia University, taking several large ensembles and small groups to regional conferences and national performances.  He has conducted numerous all-star high school and college bands, including The 1996 Maryland All-State Jazz Ensemble.  Mr. Johnson has served as Artistic Director for the Krakow (Poland) School for Jazz and Contemporary Music Summer Jazz Academy.  Recently, Mr. Johnson has been named a quarter-finalist in the Grammy Educator category.

Creative Music Solutions, an organization run by Mr. Johnson since 2001, has sponsored numerous tours to Europe with various performing groups since 2002 and began sponsoring High School and College music group tours to Europe during the summer 2005. 

Mr. Johnson is an Artist/Clinician for the Yamaha Corporation of America Band and Orchestra Division.


Paul Johnston

Artist Lecturer in Musicology

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Paul Johnston comes to the School of Music with 25 years as an award-winning classical music broadcaster.

His broadcasts on WQED-FM, Pittsburgh, were twice named 'Best Public Affairs Program/Series' by the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters. He has also been honored by the New York Festival Awards and the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. He received the Golden Quill Award from Pittsburgh journalists for his overseas arts reporting.

Comfortable with the controls as well as on-air, Mr. Johnston has recorded for National Public Radio, American Public Media (formerly Public Radio International), NHK Japan, Vatican Radio, and Minnesota Public Radio. His work has been heard on such nationally syndicated programs as 'All Things Considered,' 'Performance Today,' 'First Art,' and 'Pipedreams.' He presently edits Pittsburgh Symphony performances for nationally syndicated broadcasts.

In addition to his teaching duties at Carnegie Mellon, Mr. Johnston is an ordained Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. 'Fr. Paul' serves at Trinity Cathedral downtown. He is interested in the interface of creativity and spirituality.

Mr. Johnston lives in Squirrel Hill with his wife Sharon and cockatiel Arban. They share the house with one subwoofer, two shofars, and three tubas.


Sharon Johnston

Director of Student Services / Undergraduate Advisor

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Sharon Johnston grew up outside of Washington, D.C. , reading The Washington Post, visiting the Library of Congress where her father worked, and thinking every child’s father had his salary set by an act of Congress. She earned an undergraduate degree in education from Columbia Union College, and a master’s degree in education from Andrews University. A clarinetist, she participated in music performance ensembles at both schools, including the Concert Band, the Orchestra, and the Wind Ensemble.

Previously, Sharon worked in the education departments of Hanson Planetarium in Salt Lake City and the Children’s Museum in Pittsburgh. Currently, she is Director of Student Services in the School of Music, a position she has held since its creation in 1988. Her involvement in music performance has been lifelong, including playing the recorder in early music groups and singing alto in church choirs. 

Sharon lives in Squirrel Hill with her husband Paul and cockatiel Arban (who whistles Beethoven when he feels like it). They share the house with one subwoofer, two shofars, and three tubas.


Dr. Annabelle Joseph

Professor Emerita, Director Emerita of the Marta Sanchez Dalcroze Training Center

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Dr. Annabelle Joseph is a Professor in the School of Music and Director of the Marta Sanchez Dalcroze Training Center. She teaches Dalcroze Eurhythmics at undergraduate and graduate levels and to senior citizens. She holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon, MM from Duquesne University, DA from Carnegie Mellon, Dalcroze License from the Dalcroze School of Music, NY and Dalcroze Diplome from the Institut Jaques-Dalcroze Geneva, Switzerland. 

As a Fellow in the Studio for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon, she has been involved in educational research including Piano Tutor, an intelligent tutoring system for teaching beginning piano and Rhythm Project, an interdisciplinary course exploring the role of rhythm in the arts and beyond. She is a past president of the Dalcroze Society of America and consults and gives Dalcroze workshops throughout the United States and abroad.


Dr. Kenneth Keeling

Professor Emeritus of Music, Associate Head

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Dr. Keeling, who holds degrees from Catholic University, The University of Michigan and Virginia State University, has had a long and distinguished career in higher education, involving clarinet studio teaching, musicology, conducting of instrumental ensembles, and administration.  He began his professorial career at Norfolk State University while in his early 20’s.  He has since headed music schools at several universities, including Carnegie Mellon, the University of Tennessee, the University of Rhode Island, and Morgan State University.  Throughout this period, he has performed as a professional clarinetist, conducted instrumental ensembles and opera performances, and served as consultant to schools of music while teaching, both in studio and classrooms.

Keeling has performed recitals and appeared as clarinet soloist in musical venues across the country, including chamber appearances with the Alard, Capitol and Feldman String Quartets, and the Cuarteto Latinoamericano.  He is a former member of the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra (now the Virginia Symphony), The Concerts on the Island (Newport, RI) and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (TN). His performing activity in the past has involved professional recording, including a disc of chamber music by Johannes Brahms.

He held national office as member of the Commission on Accreditation of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) for a number of years, serving as Visiting Evaluator, as well as consultant to numerous music schools throughout the country.

In addition to his duties as Associate Head in the School of Music, he currently teaches courses in music history and is teacher of students enrolled in elective clarinet studio.


Sung-Im Kim

Artist Lecturer in Collaborative Piano

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Sung-Im Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea. She started playing the piano at the age of seven. Two years later she won first prize in a national competition.

By the age of fifteen, she had her debut as a soloist with the Seoul National Philharmonic Orchestra. She went on to win the Eum Ak Chun Chu and Jung-Ang competitions, amongst the most prestigious in Korea.  She also played many solo and chamber concerts in Seoul, including professional debut recital by Cho-Sun Daily Newspaper.

After obtaining her first degree from Kyung-Won University under Dr.Young-Ho Kim, she continued to study at the Royal Academy of Music under Mr. Frank Wibaut and Mr. Christopher Elton, gaining a Diploma in Advanced Studies and Licentiate Piano Teacher. While in England, she gave solo performances at many venues, including the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Glenilla Arts Foundation, and the Pump Room in Bath. In addition, She won prizes including the Haverhill Sinfonia Soloist competition in England, Ibla International Piano competition in Italy, and the Sterndale Bennett Prize at Royal Academy Of Music.

After arriving in the United States, Sung-Im studied at Texas Christian University with Mr. Jose Fegali. Here she started to focus on chamber music and collaborative piano and participated in the Mimir Chamber Music Festival.

In 2007 she obtained a Master’s Degree at CMU under Mr. Enrique Graf. She has also studied with Mr.Sergey Schepkin in the Performance Residency program. While studying at CMU, she premiered piano concertos with contemporary ensemble by composers Jorge Variego and Bomi Jang, and a piece by Bomi Jang at Heinz Hall for the Pittsburgh 250 celebrations.

Most recently, Sung-Im has collaborated with Ray Chen (St Vincent College, PA), Cyrus Forough (CMU, Lynn University, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Oberlin Conservatory) as well as the Pittsburgh Concert Society, the Freya string Quartet and members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She performed compositions by Reza Vali for the Chatham University Music Program and the National Gallery of Arts Concert Series in Washington D.C.

She is also working as staff pianist and teaching preparatory school at Carnegie Mellon University.


Craig Knox

Artist Lecturer in Tuba

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Craig Knox was appointed Principal Tuba of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 2005. His previous orchestra positions included Acting Principal Tuba of the San Francisco Symphony as well as Principal Tuba of the Sacramento Symphony and the New World Symphony (Miami). Prior to his appointment in Pittsburgh, he was in demand as a regular guest artist with many major American orchestras, including those of Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit and Minnesota. Since 1995, he spends part of each summer as Co-Principal Tuba of the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyoming.

Since joining the PSO, Mr. Knox also performs with the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass, and with his colleagues in the PSO trombone section, he recorded "From the Back Row" - an album of chamber music and orchestral excerpts for low brass quartet - on the Albany label. He has been an active chamber musician for many years, having co-founded the Center City Brass Quintet, an ensemble which has performed in recital throughout the U.S. and Japan, and been heard numerous times on NPR. Its five recordings on the Chandos label have met with critical acclaim, the first being described by American Record Guide as 'one of the all-time great brass quintet recordings'. In addition, he has played for several seasons with the Chicago Chamber Musicians Brass Quintet, with which he recorded for the Naxos label, and has toured with the Empire Brass.

Mr. Knox has performed on the soundtracks for numerous major motion pictures, including Spy Kids, Mars Attacks!, Jefferson in Paris, One Fine Day, and Elmo in Grouchland, which won a Grammy Award for Best Children's Album. He can also be heard on nationwide television every Saturday during football season in the music for ABC College Football.

Prior to joining the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University, Knox served on the faculty at Kent State University, California State University-Hayward, as well as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he was Director of the Brass Chamber Music program. With the Center City Brass Quintet, he has presented master classes and seminars at universities and conservatories throughout the U.S., and has been in residence annually at the Music Masters Course in Kazusa, a festival in Japan which draws conservatory students from four continents. He has also taught at the University of Maryland's National Orchestral Institute.

A native of Storrs, Connecticut, Knox's first teachers included Gary Ofenloch, Samuel Pilafian, and Chester Schmitz, and he attended the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Paul Krzywicki of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and earned a bachelor's degree in music.


Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida

Associate Teaching Professor of Oboe

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Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida has enjoyed playing as Principal Oboe of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 1991.  For two years prior to this she was Associate Principal Oboe of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Ms. DeAlmeida has been featured with the PSO in concertos by Bach (Concerto in A major for Oboe D’amore, Frans Bruggen, cond.), (Brandenburg Concerto nos.1 and 2, Jeannette Sorrell, cond.) Haydn (Sinfonia Concertante in B flat major, Alessandro Siciliani, cond.), (Concerto in C major, Manfred Honeck, cond.);Vaughan Williams (Concerto in A minor, Yoav Talmi, cond.); Strauss (Concerto in D major, Sir Andre Previn, cond.); Mozart (Concerto in C major); and  Francaix (The Flowerclock, Leonard Slatkin, cond.).  She has performed Bach’s Concerto for Violin and Oboe with the PSO and Vladimir Spivakov, Andres Cardenes,  Pinchas Zukerman, and Noah Bendix-Balgley.

Ms. DeAlmeida has been honored with the commissioning of three oboe concerti for her by the PSO. The first one, commissioned  by Lorin Maazel, was composed by Leonardo Balada and premiered in 1993, Lorin Maazel conducting.  The following season she recorded it with Maazel and the PSO for New World records. The second PSO commission for Ms. DeAlmeida was written by Lucas Richman. She premiered it in 2006 with the PSO conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.  In 2015 she recorded this concerto with the PSO, Lucas Richman conducting, for Albany Records.  A third commissioned concerto, composed by Alan Fletcher, was premiered with the PSO and Manfred Honeck in June 2015. Ms. DeAlmeida has also appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Knoxville Symphony, the Haddonfield Symphony, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, and the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic.

Ms. DeAlmeida is an avid chamber musician, having performed numerous recitals at Carnegie Mellon University since 1993. She has commissioned and published several compositions from these recitals.

Each summer since 2002 she performs and teaches as a faculty member of the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California.  Several of her performances there have been featured on NPR’s ‘Performance Today”.  Ms. DeAlmeida has also performed at the Strings Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the La Jolla Festival in La Jolla, California, and the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont and on Music from Marlboro tours.

In November 2002, Ms. DeAlmeida’s first solo CD was released on the Boston Records label. Classic Discoveries for Oboe was hailed by American Record Guide as “a masterly recording… Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida is simply one of the finest exponents of the instrument anywhere.”  Her second solo CD entitled Mist Over the Lake on the Crystal Record label was released in 2006 to rave reviews: “Ms. DeAlmeida is hands down one of the best players in the world…” In November 2015, her latest solo CD, Silver and Gold, was released on Crystal Records.

She can also be heard on Crystal Records’ recording of Sir Andre Previn’s Sonata for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano with Sir Andre Previn, as well as all the PSO recordings since 1991 under Lorin Maazel, Mariss Jansons, Marek Janowski, and Manfred Honeck.  In 2009 Mrs. DeAlmeida travelled to Berlin to perform the German Requiem of Brahms with Marek Janowski and the Radio Orchestra of Berlin (RSB). The performances were recorded for a CD on the Pentatone label.

Teaching has always been a rewarding part of Ms. DeAlmeida’s artistic life. She has been Associate Teaching Professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music since 2012, and a faculty member there since 1991. She has held teaching positions at Temple University in Philadelphia and Trenton State College in New Jersey, and has taught at the National Orchestral Institute at the University of Maryland as well as the New World Symphony. She is frequently asked to teach masterclasses at universities in the U.S. and abroad.

In 2003, Ms. DeAlmeida was featured on national television on the CBS “Early Show” in a story relating to the oboe and its remarkable health benefits for asthma sufferers, which led to her work as an ambassador for the American Respiratory Alliance in Pittsburgh.

Ms. DeAlmeida volunteers at the classical radio station WQED in their fundraising pledge drives. She participates in the PSO’s outreach and education department playing and speaking to young people in various venues throughout the Pittsburgh area.

Ms. DeAlmeida received the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan, studying with Arno Mariotti, and the Master of Music degree from Temple University, as a student of Richard Woodhams. She proudly plays on F. Loree oboes of Paris, France.


Peter Kope

Assistant Teaching Professor of Dance

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Peter Kope, founder and artistic director of Attack Theatre, has created and performed works for the Avignon Festival (France), the 7th Next Wave Dance Festival (Japan), the Spoleto Festival USA, Tanzmesse (Germany), and the Broadway production of Squonk. He has also performed with Jacob Pillow’s “Men Dancers: The Ted Shawn Legacy”, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Dance Alloy, and PerksDanceMusicTheatre. Peter interests in visual and installation art have led to many cross-disciplinary collaborations and site-specific commissions. Attack Theatre’s performances integrate dance, live music and video and have recently commissioned music by Dave Eggar (NYC) and Somei Satoh (Tokyo). Attack Theatre was featured in Dance Magazine as one of “25 to Watch for 2007,” named “Best Dance Company for 2007” (City Paper), “Best Dance Performance for 2006” (for The Kitchen Sink in the Post-Gazette), and received the National Dance Project touring award for Games of Steel. 

Attack Theatre is the company in residence at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music, where Peter is a teaching professor of dance. Peter has taught at numerous universities throughout the US and at hundreds of primary and secondary schools. He holds degrees from the University of Dayton.