Allegheny Music Academy Teachers

Highly Qualified Instructors

image0 (2).jpeg

Catherine Cocco

Voice, Flute, Piano

Ms Cocco has been teaching and performing music professionally for over 25 years.  A graduate of the University of South Carolina in music education, she has toured with the South Carolina Opera Theater and studied at Studio Lirico in Cortona, IT.   

A former elementary music teacher with the School District of Philadelphia and others, she created the "Music For Homeschoolers" curriculum to meet the needs of that special community.

285153709_530102545453080_4381315981713274746_n.jpg

Bobby Kunkel

Percussion

Mr Kunkel is best known for his band "North of the Mason Dixon." A graduate of Duquesne University, he has taught students of all ages for over 20 years.

283783525_689961895567653_7397644929692437689_n.jpg

Rick Murrell

Trumpet

Mr Murrell graduated from Ball State University in Music Performance and Education.  After one semester of graduate studies at the University of Iowa, he accepted the position of principal trumpet in the Veracruz Symphony Orchestra. Since returning to the US, he's won positions in many orchestras, including Quad Cities, Cedar Rapids, Binghamton, Tucson, and others. Rick has played with the Pittsburgh Symphony many times.

274161708_348906987117098_4470459350660594573_n.jpg

David Anderson

Trumpet

A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, Mr Anderson serves as principal the Pittsburgh Public Theater Orchestra. He also plays in the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestra, and he has made guest appearances with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

image_6483441.JPG

Jon Di Giulian

Guitar

Jonathan is a guitarist and music educator based in Pittsburgh, PA. He has over ten years of professional experience performing various types of music including Jazz, Classical, Rock, etc., and holds a bachelor's degree in Music Education. 
His main goal while teaching is to provide a space where students can have fun while learning. Whether someone is picking up a guitar for their first time or they are learning their hundredth song, having fun is what will bring them back to playing again. He guides students towards this mindset by providing small attainable goals, teaching them songs that they prefer, and reminding them that learning music is a journey. 

299679271_1929460014110879_3686672568830601280_n.jpg

Andrew Symington

French Horn

Andrew Symington deeply enjoys playing his French Horn with and for other people. He has performed extensively in and around Pittsburgh since 2016, after he graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Master of Music in Horn Performance. He regularly plays with the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra, Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, and River City Brass Band, among other ensembles. Andrew delights in training young horn players in his private studio and through masterclasses in Pittsburgh area schools. Two of his private students auditioned successfully for Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras (TRYPO) and the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, respectively. Outside of music, Andrew loves sports, outdoor activities, and animals. More than that, he loves his wife, Larissa, their daughter Anita, and their church family at Vintage Church PGH City. Andrew is thankful to the Lord for all these good things.

_edited.jpg

Julieta Ugartemendia

Clarinet

Julieta Ugartemendia has enjoyed a prolific and varied career as a clarinetist, teacher, and conductor that includes performances as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra member at important venues in North America, South America, and Europe; teaching assignments at schools and universities in a variety of musical subjects; and the formation of several successful musical
ensembles. She has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Carnegie Music Hall, Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, and the most important theaters of Argentina: Teatro Argentino, Teatro Colon, Centro Cultural Kirchner, and Teatro Avenida.
Active also in musical education, she was the coordinator and conductor of the Banda de Vientos Juvenil de Buenos Aires since 2015, created and conducted the Wind Ensemble Ayres del Plata, and
was a clarinet teacher at several youth orchestras from Argentinean’s Youth Orchestral projects.

271709827_1822212757967973_4533244140676878770_n.jpg

Chris Hemingway

Saxophone

Mr. Hemingway graduated from Duquesne University with a Bachelor's in Musical Performance.  With a history of music education over nearly 20 years, Mr. Hemingway is a seasoned performer as well, playing with the likes of the Stan Rubin Orchestra and Postmodern Jukebox.

PMB01473.JPG

Charles Wentz

Voice

Mr Wentz has been performing professionally for over ten years. He served as Associate Artistic Director of the Keystone State Boychoir, where he honed his conducting skills and choral expertise.  Section leader and soloist of Philadelphia's historic Christ Church since 2017, he can also be seen with the Philadelphia Symphonic Chorus, VoxAmaDeus, Philomusica, and The Quintave Singers, which he co-founded in 2018.
His notable solo performances include Berstein's Chichester Psalms and Mass, Schumann's Liederkreis, and Vaughan Williams' Songs of Travel.

08-12-21_Summer_Band_Bash-2.jpg

Elliott Ratliff

Trombone

Elliott Ratliff received his Bachelor's degree in Music Education and Performance from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and a Master's degree in Music Education from New Jersey City University.  He got his first taste of music teaching working as a trombone teacher for the Edinboro University Community Music School, and has been teaching ever since.  Mr. Ratliff is also part of Steel City Jazz Katts, a big-band jazz ensemble based out of Pittsburgh, PA.

taimonov_olga_800x800.jpg

Olga Taimanov

Violin, Viola

Ms Taimanov holds a Master of Music degree from the St Petersburg State Conservatory and an Artist Diploma from Duquesne University.  She has performed extensively with such orchestras as the Israel Philharmonic and the St Petersburg Philharmonic, locally with the Pittsburgh Opera and Pittsburgh Ballet, The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. She has performed in chamber music festivals throughout Europe, and her piano trio won the Pittsburgh Concert Society Competition in 2001. 
As a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University and as an independent contractor, she devotes her time to bringing up the next generation of great musicians.

_edited.jpg

Phil Zeo

Music Production

.

price-alex-200x250_edited.jpg

Alex Price

Guitar

Alex Price is a multi-instrumentalist, composer/arranger, and audio engineer. He can be found performing across the western Pennsylvania region in various symphonies, jazz groups, and pop ensembles. Prior to returning to work in the United States, he had spent years performing internationally in theaters onboard cruise ships, most notably the world famous ocean liner, the Cunard Queen Mary 2. A proficient sight reader and improviser, Alex has found work in a wide variety of genres ranging from jazz and classical to rock and gospel. Recently, he licensed music to a few films, including Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon. He holds Bachelor’s degrees in music education and performance from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (2016) and a Master’s in jazz guitar performance from Duquesne University (2022). He currently teaches privately and at Duquesne University.