artistic personnel

Joanne Luchsinger

photoMezzo-soprano Joanne Luchsinger has appeared on stage in numerous operas including Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (Cherubino), Cosi fan Tutte (Dorabella), Die Zauberflote (Die Zweite Dame), Strauss’ Die Fledermaus (Prince Orlofsky), Britten’s Albert Herring (Florence) and Bizet’s Carmen (Mercedes).  She also appeared as Mad Margaret in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore.

In the Oratorio solo repertoire, she has performed Handel’s Messiah, and Bach’s St. John Passion, St. Matthew Passion, Magnificat in D, Jesu, der du meine Seele, Lobet Gott in seinem Reichen, and Bereitet die Wege, die Bahn.  Other performances include Missa Solemnis (Beethoven), Elijah (Mendelssohn), the Mozart Requiem, the Vivaldi Gloria, the Alto Rhapsody (Brahms), King David (Honnegger) and Copland’s In the Beginning.
She has been a soloist with the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Oratorio Society, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Johnstown Symphony, the Westmoreland Symphony, and has toured and performed with orchestras throughout the United States, England Spain, Italy, Austria, and Germany.  For twenty years, she was the alto soloist at Calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside.

After taking an early retirement in May of 2000, Ms Luchsinger began studying the cello.  In 2004, she became Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Festival Orchestra, and co-founder of the All Saints Festival at St. Andrew’s, which has just completed its seventh year.

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Tom Octave

Tom OctaveConductor Thomas Octave has earned degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University.  As a conductor, Thomas is frequently seen a multitude of varied genres of music.  At home in the theater, he has conducted numerous operas and musicals. His collaboration with the Theater Department of Indiana University of Pennsylvania production of “A Year With Frog and Toad” earned a Kennedy Center nomination.  In recent years, he has collaborated with jazz legend Joe Negri in performances of Negri’s  “Mass of Hope, and has worked with contemporary ballet choreographer Maria Caruso.

A champion of new music, Thomas has premiered several major works by composer Nancy Galbraith, including her “O Magnum Mysterium”, “God of Justice”,  “Ave Maria” “Music When Soft Voices Die” “Novena”  “Lumen Christi” and “Hodie”.   In demand as a clinician he has presented workshops and guest conducted ensembles for Indiana University of Pennsylvania, John Carroll University, Benet Academy, District and County Choral Festivals and  workshops for local high schools.  He has also served as the director of music for the Diocesan Choir of Greensburg, the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, and La Roche College Campus Ministry. Thomas has presented music for the First Lady of Uganda, and The Queen of Jordan upon their visits to the Pacem In Terris Institute.  He has also served as the assistant conductor of the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh presenting with Maestro Thomas Douglas the Pittsburgh premiers of Bernstein’s “Mass” and David Chesky’s “The Agnostic”.  At Saint Procopius Abbey in Lisle, Illinois he presented a series of concerts for peace in the Holy Land .

Currently, Thomas is an Assistant Professor of Music and the, Chair of the Music Department at Saint Vincent College and musical consultant to Archabbot of Saint Vincent. At Saint Vincent College he conducts the Saint Vincent College Singers, and teaches courses in voice, musical theater, and opera He is the music director of the Pittsburgh Festival Orchestra and a regular guest conductor with various musical groups in Pittsburgh and beyond. This season he continues with the Westmoreland Choral Society as their music director for their 41st Season as the third music director in the Society’s history. He is also the happy husband of Elizabeth who is a math teacher in the Butler School District.

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