Community Music Faculty and Instructors
Alejandro Pinzón is the Music Director and Conductor of the Community Arts Orchestra (CAO). He is presently in his last year of course work of the doctoral program in orchestra conducting at WVU. Along with his student’s duties, Mr. Pinzón keeps a busy conducting and teaching schedule as an adjunct instructor at Waynesburg University, Music Director of the Latin American Choir of Pittsburgh, and as a guest conductor of ensembles in the region and abroad.
Carol Beall teaches in an independent piano studio in Morgantown. She is also active as a performer, regularly performing with the Monongahela Trio as well as in other solo and chamber music venues. She has served on the faculties of Eastern Illinois University, Fairmont State University, West Virginia University, and the Interlochen Center for the Arts. She has been a co-presenter at the Music Teachers National Association national convention and has been twice president of the West Virginia Music Teachers Association. Her CD recordings have been released by Cambria and the West Virginia University press.
Marguerite Bostonia, D.M.A, has devoted a lifetime to church music as an organist, organ teacher, conductor, soloist, and accompanist. As a founding member of the local chapter of the American Guild of Organists, she has coordinated various introductory sessions to pipe organ in the community. One of these classes is “Pedals, Pipes, and Pizza” offered both privately and in the Community Arts Program, to help people of all ages learn about the “King of Instruments.” She has also assisted in renovations of church pipe organs. Her experience with tower bell renovations was incorporated into her recent dissertation about the tintinnabuli style of contemporary composer Arvo Pärt. A native West Virginian, Marguerite received performance degrees in piano and organ from West Liberty State College and West Virginia University, and was the final candidate to receive a doctorate in organ under Dr. William Haller. As a member of Tre Claviers, Marguerite is part of a keyboard trio that has presented choral and solo programs in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan using organ, piano, and harpsichord. She currently is on the keyboard and theory faculty of West Virginia Wesleyan College where she also accompanies opera workshop.
Scott Elliott, adjunct assistant professor of Guitar at WVU, graduated cum laude from the Berklee College of Music with a Diploma in Professional Music (1979), holds a Master’s Degree in Music Theory from Duquesne University (1987), and was engaged in postgraduate studies in Music Theory at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati (1987-1990). He has studied guitar with Dr. Nels Leonard, Jr., Lance Gunderson, and Bill Breshnahan, to name a few. Professor Elliott developed and implemented the program of guitar studies at WVU in 1995. He also served as Instructor of Guitar for Washington and Jefferson College (PA), Staff Guitarist for the Upper St.Clair Country Club (Pittsburgh) and Alfano’s at the Quail (PA); first chair guitarist for the Pittsburgh Musical Theatre (formerly Gargaro Productions) and WV Public Theatre. Recent performing credits include: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Nat’l Philharmonic Orchestra, Wheeling Symphony Orchestra and Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, as well as many other internationally acclaimed artists and Broadway Series national tours. Professor Elliott is an Artist Endorsee for Moonstone Guitars, John Pearse Strings, AER Amplifiers, Bogner Amplifiers and Radial Engineering.
Jeanne Frieben is the director of the WVU Community Arts Program and an active performer and adjudicator in the region. She holds her BM and MM degrees from WVU. Jeanne is currently the principal clarinetist in the Johnstown Symphony and bass clarinetist of the West Virginia Symphony. Additional performances with the Ohio Valley Symphony, Westmoreland Symphony, River Cities Orchestra and Seneca Chamber Winds. She attended the Music Academy of the West Summer Institute in Santa Barbara, California, has performed as principal clarinetist in the Lyric Mountain Summer Festival and has served as Adjunct Instructor of Clarinet at WVU and Frostburg State University.
Janna Kisner has taught our infant and toddler classes since 1995 and has seven years experience as a public school elementary music teacher. She has completed certification in Orff-Schulwerk Level I and is a member of the West Virginia Music Teachers Association. In addition to her work with young children, Janna is the Minister of Music at First Presbyterian Church in Morgantown, operates a piano studio in her home in Waynesburg, and is an instructor of music at Waynesburg University. She received her undergraduate music degree from Central College in Pella, Iowa and is pursuing a master’s degree at Waynesburg University.
Lucy Mauro is Assistant Professor of Piano at West Virginia University. She is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University from which she received her Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees and where she studied with Ann Schein and Julio Esteban. Dr. Mauro frequently conducts master classes, workshops and other presentations. She is a very active performer, having performed at many prestigious colleges, the 2008 MTNA National Conference in Denver, among other venues. This summer, she was guest artist at the 2008 Asolo Song Festival and Institute in Italy and for the 2008 International Performing Arts Institute in Germany where Dr. Mauro is also a member of the faculty. Upcoming performances include those at the University of South Carolina at Columbia, the 2008 WVMTA conference, Randolph College, and the 2009 Mozart Festival in Wuerzburg, Germany. Dr. Mauro is also the co-editor of Essential Two-Piano Repertoire and other forthcoming books from Alfred Publishing, Co., Inc.
Christine Mazza has taught harp at the WVU Community Music School since 1995. She is currently interim principal harpist with the Pittsburgh Opera and also performs for the Pittsburgh Ballet, Pittsburgh Light Opera Company and the Latshaw Swing City Orchestra. She serves as principal harpist for the Johnstown and Huntington WV Symphonies. Past credits include the New Jersey Symphony, the Cleveland Opera Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Ballet. Ms. Mazza has performed in stage orchestras for Sammy Davis, Jr., Barry Maniow, Gladys Knight, Bernadette Peters, Johnny Mathis, and Mannheim Steamroller. She is also co-founder/performer in the “278 Strings” harp and piano duo with pianist Carol Beall.Ms. Mazza is director and founder of the Morgantown Harp Ensemble, performing monthly concerts at the Mountainview Health South Rehabilitation Center and in schools and hospitals throughout West Virginia. Christine received her Master’s degree in harp performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with Alice Chalifoux. For further information about Ms. Mazza and to hear samples of her work, visit her website at www.christinemazzaharpist.com.
The Morgantown Harp Ensemble represents the Morgantown Chapter of the American Harp Society. It began over 13 years ago, founded by the director, Christine Mazza. Members include harpists varying in age and musical background. The Ensemble has commissioned composers for new works for harp and provided scholarships for harp study. The group performs monthly concerts at Mountainview Rehabilitation Hospital in Morgantown, as well as occasional performances for schools and churches in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Western Maryland. Venues have included the Penn Alps Summer Recital Series, Tamarack, the St. Thomas A Becket Christmas Series and the Drummond Chapel Christmas Concerts, both in Morgantown, and the Greenbrier Resort. The Morgantown Harp Ensemble’s current project is to raise money for the restoration of the WVU concert grand harp.
Deborah Morgan is a native of Washington, D.C. and is currently the general music and choral instructor at Mylan Park Elementary School. She holds a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting with a minor in piano and her undergraduate degree is in Music Education with a major in voice and a minor in piano. Deborah has taught public and private school students of all ages, and has conducted many community and church choirs, as well as performing in straight theatre, musical theatre and opera.
Dorothy Skidmore, flutist, received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in performance from the University of Illinois. After completion of studies in Freiburg, Germany on a Fulbright Grant, she returned to the U.S and quickly established herself as a flutist and teacher at the Catholic University of America and Montgomery College. Dorothy has performed with the National Gallery of Art Orchestra, the National Ballet Orchestra and the John F. Kennedy Orchestra, as well as the Fairmont State University Orchestra, where she has maintained a successful flute studio for 14 years. Dorothy has performed as a soloist all over WV and the surrounding states and has been featured with the Monongahela Trio. Her principle teachers include Charles Delaney, Gustav Scheck and Albert Tipton.
William Skidmore: As Professor of Cello at WVU, coach of the resident graduate string quartet and other chamber groups, and Coordinator of strings, Professor Skidmore offers his students insight that is founded upon significant professional experience.He has presented numerous recitals throughout the Eastern US including performances at the National Gallery of Art, the Phillips Collection, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Professor Skidmore taught previously at the University of Maryland, was a member of the Baltimore Symphony for four seasons and has taught cello and chamber music at the Interlochen Arts Camp. As a chamber musician, he has been a member of the Maryland Trio, the Baltimore Symphony String Quartet, and the American Arts Trio. In addition to the Baltimore Symphony, he was principal cellist with the West Virginia Symphonette and the Ohio Valley Symphony. He holds degrees from the University of Illinois, his principle teachers being Peter Farrell, Louis Potter, Leonard Rose and Joseph Gingold.
Karen Taddie, NCTM, maintains an active private piano-instruction schedule and is also on the faculty of the Community Arts Program at West Virginia University. She currently holds the positions of: Immediate Past President and Treasurer of the West Virginia Music Teachers Association. She has also been a Past Teacher Certification Commissioner (Eastern Division) with the National Certification Commission of the Music Teachers National Association. She has adjudicated for such organizations as: the Massachusetts Music Teachers Association, the New Hampshire Music Teachers Association, the South Shore Massachusetts Music Teachers Organization, the Ohio Music Teachers Association, the Ohio Music Educators Association and the West Virginia Music Teachers Association. In the past Karen has performed in ensemble with the Cleveland State University New Music Associates, the award-winning Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and the Harvard Group for New Music. Karen is originally from Cleveland Ohio, and in her early career there she was the Chair of the piano department and taught at the Riverside School of Music in Lakewood Ohio for 13 years. She has also taught Music Theory at Cleveland State University, and was on the music faculties at Cuyahoga Community College and Lorain County Community College (both in Ohio). Additionally she has given piano lessons at the New School of Music and at Powers Music School, both in the Boston/Cambridge Massachusetts area. Her students have won honors from such organizations as: the Massachusetts Music Teachers Association, the American Association of Christian Schools, the West Virginia Music Teachers Association, and the Music Teachers National Association. Karen’s degrees (BA/Music Education, and MM/Piano Performance) are from Cleveland State University, Cleveland Ohio. Past piano instructors were Jacqueline Setny, Joan Terr Ronis, and Andrius Kuprevicius. Karen holds permanent national piano teacher certification through the Music Teachers National Association.
Catharine Thieme has an active career in opera, oratorio, musical theatre and solo recital concerts. She has performed operatic roles and oratorio roles with both the WVU Symphony, the Wheeling Symphony and the Bach Choir in Pittsburgh. During the summer, she has been a regular performer with the WV Public Theatre, performing such roles as The Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music and Nettie in Carousel and most recently Madame Bouche in Beauty and the Beast. Her professional operatic appearances include the mother in Hansel and Gretel, Giovanna in Rigoletto, La Ciesca in Gianni Schicci, and Martha in Faust. Ms. Thieme gained critical acclaim in West Virginia for her character creation of Zeena Frome, for the WVU premier production of Professor John Beall’s opera Ethan Frome.
Mary Wilson grew up studying piano with her mother and violin at The Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM). Her teachers at CIM were Margaret Randall and Joseph Gingold. Mary received the Bachelor of Music Education degree at Northwestern University. After teaching in Chicago area public schools she moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where she began to develop a violin class. She continued study at CIM. Since moving to Morgantown she has taught violin and accompanied her students in the Community Music Program since 1977, and has had State Winners for the last 29 years in the competitions of the West Virginia Music Teachers Association (WVMTA) and the West Virginia chapter of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA). Mary has been a mentor for violin students at the West Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts, most recently in 2007, 2008, and 2009. She received the WVMTA Outstanding Teacher Award in 1996, the WVU Community Music Program Outstanding Teacher Award in 2005, the ASTA Studio Teacher of the Year Award in 2008, and the WVMTA Distinguished Leader Award in 2008. She is the Founder and First Violinist of the Seneca String Quartet.