The Pittsburgh Festival Orchestra seeks to serve the public through presentation and interpretation of music by providing neighborhood concerts, with professional ensembles of highly skilled musicians
Since its beginnings in 2003, The Pittsburgh Festival Orchestra has brought a vibrant ensemble of talented local professional musicians to the neighborhood communities of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Originally conceived as a choral and orchestra medium, the Pittsburgh Festival Orchestra (formerly the St. Andrew's Festival Orchestra at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in the Highland Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh), soon branched out to perform Chamber music. In 2016, Paula Tuttle and Mary Beth Malek, both charter members of the Pittsburgh Festival Orchestra, began Chambersite to develop chamber ensembles that have the ability to reach more audience members through it versatility and broad range of repertoires. The Zaffiro Trio, featuring pianist Tina Faigen, clarinetist Mary Beth Malek and cellist Paula Tuttle perform beloved works of the classical and romantic eras and commission new works for this unique combination of instruments.In 2016 and 2019 Zaffiro presented and premiered commissioned works alongside the Brahms and Beethoven Trios also written for this instrumentation. The Diamante Trio is also very distinct, utilizing cello, clarinet, and Devin Arrington on violin is joined by soprano Lilly Abreu on their first CD No More BLues, performing music of Antonio Jobim and others. Diamante performs music of Latin America, France, Spain, India and a diverse selection of music from many cultures. Chambersite brings world music to the community, our motto being "The World Through Music". In 2019 we added the Quartz String Quartet with Ellen-Maria Willis and Katie Wickesburg violins and Louise Farbman, viola. Quartz performs a classical repertoire and is joined by Mary Beth for quintets written for string quartet and clarinet. Also in 2019, Diamante was expanded to the Diamante Orchestra. As a Classical, Latin, Pop crossover orchestra, the Diamante Orchestra has a large repertoire of music encompassing a multitude of styles and cultures.
The St. Andrew’s Festival Orchestra first performed in November 2003 at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in the Highland Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh. As an outgrowth of a concert by England's Hereford Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys, St. Andrew's produced an All Saints Festival which lasted a week, and which culminated in performances by the St. Andrew's Festival Orchestra and Chorus. Discussions in the Spring and Summer of 2004 led to the formation of a non-profit organization with a change of name. In recent years, the Pittsburgh Festival orchestra cultivated associations with Andres Cardenes, former concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony, in an evening of Chamber Music, the Westmoreland Choral Society, in two performances of their annual Christmas concert at the First Presbyterian Church in Greensburg, and a series of Baroque concerts at Mount St. Mary's Catholic Church on Mt Washington, Mount St. Peter's Catholic Church in New Kensington and Geneva College in Beaver Falls.
More recently the organization has increasingly presented a greater number of Chamber Music concerts. The gradual shift to more intimate scoring was an obvious one in the economic climate around 2008, as well as a flexibility to present concerts in venues with a variety of seating capacities. The Pittsburgh Festival Orchestra continues to perform at the All Saints Festival each year at St. Andrews. The Diamante Orchestra represents a new page in the organizations history of bringing unusual ensembles and diverse music to the community.
The 2016 and 2017 concert seasons included programs at University of Pittsburgh at Bellefield Hall in Oakland, Campana Lecture and Concert Hall in Greensburg, Heinz Memorial Chapel and Frick Fine Arts Auditorium. Concerts were performed at many community venues like and Penn Alps Great Hall in Grantsville Maryland, Longwood of Oakmont, Masonic Villages of Sewickley, and Friends of Music in Squirrel Hill’s Church of the Redeemer. Zaffiro and Diamante perform frequent educational programs. Recent performances at Pine Richland, Norwin, and Jefferson Hills, Mount Pleasant, West Mifflin schools and the Freedom Camp in Garfield have provided musical and cultural enrichment for over two thousand students. 2018 Concert performances include University of Pittsburgh performances at the Nordenberg Hall and Heinz Memorial Chapel, community events at Monroeville Library, Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling, Carnegie Library in Oakland, Fridays at the Frick in Point Breeze and muliple educational outreach concerts. In 2019 new performance venues like the Lawrenceville Art Crawl, Fox Chapel Cooper Siegel Library, Sewickley Music Club and Pittsburgh Opera's Diamond Horseshoe Ball were added to the shedule along with return perfomances to many of the previous concert listings.
Pittsburgh Opera and Pittsburgh Ballet Musician (Cellist),
Mary Beth Malek
Director of Operations
Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Ballet, Pittsburgh Festival Opera and Civic Light Opera Musician (Clarinetist),
Treasurer, Executive Director Emeritus
Opera Singer, Cellist
Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestra musician (trumpet)
Master Violin Maker
Homeless Children’s Education Foundation, Executive Board Emeritus
Minister of Music, Southminster Presbyterian Church
S.A. Neff Jr.
World Renowned Bookbinder and Chamber Music Patron