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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Jason Kush

Artist Lecturer in Saxophone

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Dr. Jason Kush is an active saxophonist, educator, and scholar.  Kush earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Miami after obtaining his Master of Music degree in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Miami and his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education, magna cum laude, from Slippery Rock University.   

Kush has performed as a soloist and ensemble member in wide variety of genres in the United States and Europe.  Kush has extensive experience as an orchestral musician, performing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (over 100 services that include a 2013 European tour), the Russian National Orchestra, and New World Symphony (including a 2008 European Tour).  In addition to his membership in the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, Kush has worked  as a free-lance jazz/commercial saxophonist with the Woody Herman Orchestra, the MCG Big Band, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, the South Florida Jazz Orchestra, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, Eddie Daniels, Christian McBride, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Benny Golson, Sean Jones, Freddy Cole, Kevin Mahogany, Wayne Bergeron, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Dave Koz, Andrea Bocelli, Barry Manilow, Megan Hilty, Patti LuPone, Michael Feinstein, Johnny Mathis, Freddy Cole, Michael Bolton, the Temptations, the Supremes, the O’Jays, and the Four Tops, among many others.  Kush’s Carnegie Hall debut occurred in 1998 with a performance by the All-Eastern U.S. High School Honors Band, with a return visit in 2008 to premier Christopher Rouse’s “Wolf Rounds” for wind ensemble.  In addition to live performances, Kush recorded with the South Florida Jazz Orchestra, Hector el Father, the South 9 Ensemble, the Nathan Douds Ensemble, as well as Eddie Daniels, Tom Scott, and the Henri Mancini Institute Big Band, a project that received a two Grammy Nominations in 2006.  In January 2014, the Jason Kush/Billy Test duo released Intersecting Lines on New Focus Recordings (New Focus/Naxos).

Kush’s scholarly work includes a dissertation on the life and innovations of Belgian inventor François Louis, as well as feature articles and interviews in various magazines and journals pertaining to saxophone performance and pedagogy, including in Saxophone Journal, Polyphonic.org, The Instrumentalist, and PMEA News. In addition to extensive performance and scholarly activity, Dr. Kush held positions at Barry University and the New World School of the Arts, in Miami, Florida. Currently, Dr. Kush is an Assistant Professor at Slippery Rock University where he teaches Applied Saxophone, Improvisation, Computer Technology in Music, and directs the SRU Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combos, Saxophone Quartets, and Saxophone Ensemble.

In 2013, Kush established the Three Rivers New Music Consortium, an internationally reaching non-profit organization whose goal is to unite musicians, arts enthusiasts, and musical composers in a common quest for newly composed music.  The first commission by this organization premiered in 2014 – Out of this World – a trio for alto saxophone, cello, and piano by David Maslanka.

Kush proudly endorses the Selmer (France) and Conn-Selmer (USA) instrument companies, as well as the fine mouthpieces, reeds, and ligatures of Belgian craftsman François Louis.

Kush is an Associate Professor at Slippery Rock University and an Artist Lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University.   

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Lance LaDuke

Artist Lecturer in Euphonium & Music Business, School of Music Freshman Advisor, and Coordinator of Special and Creative Projects

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Lance LaDuke is internationally known as a performer, writer, speaker and educator. In addition to his duties on trombone and euphonium (and singer/court jester) in Boston Brass, Lance teaches at Duquesne and Carnegie Mellon Universities. Prior to joining Boston Brass, he served as principal solo euphonium with the River City Brass Band, the only full time professional brass band in the country. Lance has written for countless organizations, including sketches for radio, stage and themed attractions. He studied comedy improv and was a member of several improv troupes and regularly steps in front of audiences around the country in a number of character and comic roles.

A graduate of Michigan State University, Lance received a bachelor’s degree in Music Education, with a cognate in English. After graduate study at the University of Akron (euphonium performance) and George Mason University (instrumental conducting), Lance joined the United States Air Force Band in Washington D.C. While there, he performed for two presidents, countless dignitaries and heads of state and in hundreds of protocol functions, ceremonies, and public relations tours. He maintained a Top Secret security clearance, played for well over a million people from the White House to Red Square, and can be seen (with a magnifying glass) in the movie A Clear and Present Danger.

Lance has also performed with many of the top professional brass groups in the country, including the Brass Band of Battle Creek and the Nothing But Valves brass quartet. He has taught and/or given master classes at some of the world’s finest universities and conservatories, including Juilliard, the Royal Academy of Music in London and Yong Siew Toh in Singapore. He has appeared on over thirty recordings, has produced nine others and has toured extensively throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia. His performances have been seen and heard on numerous television and radio programs.

Lance co-wrote and produced (with Deanna Swoboda) Band Blast Off, a band recruiting DVD and is currently in development on another. His comedy songs, including a touching elegy to a dead goldfish and a song about getting underwear for Christmas, are available for viewing through lanceladuke.com. Additionally, he has recently launched a speaking career, sharing his ideas on practice, leadership, and self-development.

His new book, Music Practice Coach, Five Workouts to Get the Most Out of Your Practice Time! is available through marketingvp.us or in all ebook formats.

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Carla LaRocca

Associate Teaching Professor of Keyboard Studies

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Carla LaRocca is a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she began her musical studies at the age of six with her father, Anthony LaRocca, a former New Orleans jazz pianist. She later studied with Natalie Matovinovic, Charles Fisher, Laura Kargul, and Nelson Whitaker. Miss LaRocca holds the B.A. from Albion College (summa cum laude) and an M.F.A. with honors from Carnegie Mellon. LaRocca was the pianist of the Ann Arbor Symphony and has performed at the Albion College Concert Hall, Steadman Theater, and Salle Ockeghem, Tours, France. She has performed for Norman Dello Joio and was honored to play for the Ambassador of Italy. Her latest endeavors include releasing a CD of her piano solos and creating educational computer software for college level study. Miss LaRocca also serves on the Board of the Steinway Society.