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Jeff Dee

Artist Lecturer

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Jeff Dee joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as principal bass trombone in fall 2016. Prior to this appointment, he held similar positions with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra. Jeff has been in demand as a guest artist with the major orchestras in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Naples, New York, Rochester, and San Francisco, and has participated in festivals in Barbados, Durango, and Sun Valley. While in Buffalo, he made 32 recordings with the orchestra, including Eric Ewazen’s Triple Concerto for Three Trombones and Orchestra. Ewazen wrote the Triple Concerto for Jeff and his colleagues, Jonathan Lombardo and Timothy Smith, and together they gave the world premiere in 2012 under Maestro JoAnn Falletta.

Outside of the orchestra, Jeff has enjoyed numerous solo, chamber, and teaching engagements. He has been fortunate to solo in front of the Buffalo Philharmonic, Amherst Symphony, U.S. Army Orchestra, World Youth Symphony, Brooklyn Wind Symphony, and various college ensembles. A lover of chamber music, Jeff has participated as a member of the Buffalo Chamber Players, Buffalo Philharmonic Brass Quintet, and the Great Lakes Trombone Ensemble.

Jeff currently serves on faculty for both Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University. Additionally, he has served on faculty for the University of North Florida and SUNY Fredonia, and led master classes throughout the U.S. For several summers, Jeff was guest artist and faculty for the Third Coast Trombone Retreat, an enriching program for trombonists of all ages.

A native of Plano, Texas, Jeff attributes his love of music to his public school music education and his inspiring teachers. He received a bachelor’s degree in performance from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree in performance from The Juilliard School. His principal teachers include Joseph Alessi, Bob Burnham, Donald Harwood, and John Kitzman.


Eric DeFade

Artist Lecturer, Director of Jazz Orchestra

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Eric DeFade is in demand as a performing artist and studio musician. He has toured internationally with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the Artie Shaw Big Band, and has led his own combo in Tokyo. Mr. DeFade has played with Nancy Wilson, Rosemary Clooney, New York Voices, Roger Humphries, John Scofield, Dave Liebman, and has been a featured soloist for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Currently, Mr. DeFade is participating in concerts and workshops for the Pennsylvania Arts On Tour Program and filming a series of music specials for public television. He uses a pragmatic approach to understanding the jazz language while emphasizing sound, improvisation concepts, and versatility.

Robert Dell

Artist Lecturer in Music Education

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Robert Dell is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music with both a BFA in Music Education and BA in Clarinet Performance while studying under Louis Paul.  His significant influences in music education were  Dr. Oleta Benn, Dr. Carolyn Kennedy, Dr. Richard Strange. Dr. Frederick Dorian and Dr. Nokolai Lapotnikoff. In addition, he earned both a M.Ed. and an Ed.D.  in Administration and Policy Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. 

Dr. Dell has been an educator and administrator in the PA public school system for over 40 years and has been honored on numerous occasions as a Teacher of Excellence by the Teacher Excellence Foundation.  His diverse background includes teaching assignments at the elementary, middle and high school levels.  Those assignments have included middle school general music, AP music theory, comprehensive musicianship, concert band, wind symphony, jazz band and marching band. 

He has conducted seminars on the topics of effective lesson design, rehearsal techniques, ensemble adjudication, curriculum integration, school spirit, school climate, and student leadership.  As an administrator, he was responsible for curriculum development, student achievement, staff development, teacher evaluations, and the general administration of a junior-senior high school in Western Pennsylvania.  For many years Dr. Dell served as a cooperating teacher for aspiring music educators in the CMU music department.

Presently, Dr. Dell volunteers in the Music Therapy Department of a local nursing home, serves as a guest conductor and adjudicator for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA), and participates in the Washington Jazz Orchestra.


Mark Domencic

Artist Lecturer in Music Theory

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Mark Domencic is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music (BFA, MM in piano performance) and a current doctoral student at Boston University’s School of Music, where he is pursing a DMA in Music Education.  In addition to his duties as Artist Lecturer in Music Theory at CMU, Mr. Domencic also serves as a piano instructor in Carnegie Mellon’s Music Extension Division.  Outside of CMU, Mr. Domencic is a music instructor at Act One Theatre School.  He has also worked with various other musical and theatrical organizations throughout the Pittsburgh area as a solo and collaborative artist.  Past performance venues include Heinz Hall, the Byham Theatre, and Carnegie Music Hall.


Thomas W. Douglas

Director of Choral Activities, Director of Opera Studies

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Thomas W. Douglas has been involved with more than 175 musical theatre, symphonic, opera and oratorio productions. Highlights include conducting Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Phantom of the Opera in Basel, Switzerland, and the stage roles of Fats Waller in Ain’t Misbehavin’ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar, and King Amonasro in Elton John’s Aida

This is his first season as the Music Director and Conductor of the Newton Mid Kansas Symphony and has also worked as musical director for the Music Theater of Wichita, West Virginia Public Theater, East Carolina Theatre and Carnegie Mellon University having conducted production of Showboat, Ragtime, The Full Monty, Hairspray, Oklahoma, Cats, Footloose, and White Christmas, among many others. Douglas has served as musical director for many record breaking shows at Pittsburgh's City Theatre, including Master Class and Mundo Mangia with Jilline Ringle. 

Douglas has been a soloist with the Pittsburgh Opera, the Pittsburgh Symphony, Canton Symphony, Westmoreland Symphony and the River City Brass Band, and frequently performs Joe Negri’s Mass of Hope. Thomas is in his eighth year as the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Bach Choir who has received critical acclaim for innovative programming, including the Pittsburgh premiere of the Bernstein Mass. He has served as Chorus Master of the Canton Symphony and as guest conductor of the Dallas Symphony Chorus under Eduardo Mata. Next season he will be guest conductor with the Wichita Symphony.

He has also served as a member of the Choral/Opera panel for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and is a recipient of the Mary Jane Teall award for theatre in Wichita and the Robert Frankel award for development of new musicals at City Theater. Presently, Douglas is on the faculty of both the Drama and Music School at Carnegie Mellon University. He is the Founder and the Artistic Director of the Pinnacle Players and the Neighborhood Opera Company, which is preparing an urban rewrite of The Magic Flute.


Paul Evans

Artist Lecturer in Percussion

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Paul Evans graduated from Duquesne University in 1988, with a bachelor's degree in Jazz Performance. While at Duquesne, he studied privately with Lenny Rogers and Don Liuzzi. Evans went on to earn a M.M. at Temple University, studying with Alan Able of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He is currently section percussionist with the River City Brass Band. A former extra percussionist with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Evans maintains an active freelance schedule in the Pittsburgh area.


James Ferla

Artist Lecturer in Guitar, Director of Guitar Ensemble

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James Ferla's teaching reflects an integrated philosophy of musicianship skills and methodology by providing musical training that connects the broad spectrum of historical and current practices. The emphases throughout the guitar curriculum are connections, immersion in a wide range of musical repertoire, independent skills, sequential development of skills, and seeing the guitar as part of a great historical tradition. At Carnegie Mellon, Ferla also directs the Carnegie Mellon Guitar Ensemble. 

As a performer, James Ferla has given numerous solo and ensemble concerts throughout the United States including programs at the Smithsonian Institution, Arizona State University, Wolf Trap, the Chautauqua Institution, Florida State University, Oberlin College and Notre Dame. He has been heard on NPR, PBS, CBS, Voice of America, USIA, Chukyo TV-Nagayo in Japan, and, in Pittsburgh on WQED-FM. Mr. Ferla has published several articles on guitar repertoire in SoundBoard, the journal of the Guitar Foundation of America, and is heard on seven CDs. He performs most frequently in a guitar duo with colleague John Marcinizyn with a repertoire ranging from Renaissance to Jazz. In addition to concerts with the Ferla-Marcinizyn Guitar Duo, he has also performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, singer/actress Kate Young, the Renaissance City Winds, the Dear Friends Ensemble, oboist Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida, tenor Doug Ahlstedt and mezzo-soprano Daphne Alderson. Ferla is on the advisory board of the Guitar Society of Fine Art.


Cyrus Forough

Professor of Violin

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Noted for the “fiery intensity” and “poetic vision” of his playing, Cyrus Forough's reviews comprise a lexicon of superlatives in more than a dozen languages. In a recent review of Mr. Forough’s performance of the Debussy’s violin sonata Jim Lowe wrote, “…With a warm sound and deft technique, Forough was an expert musician, utilizing skilled articulations and a broad palette of tonal colors, in delivering Debussy’s unique mix of Romanticism and Impressionism.” 

A Laureate of the Tchaikovsky International Competition, he has won first prize in the Milwaukee Symphony Violin Competition and was a finalist in the Munich International Violin Competition. With his wife Steinway Artist Carolyn McCracken as the Forough/McCracken Duo, they won the United States Artistic Ambassador Program's National Violin/Piano Duo Competition. Mr. Forough also holds the World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media Award in recognition of his contributions to classical music and education.

Mr. Forough's unique succession of studies in three major cultural centers with three of the twentieth century's most legendary masters make singular his recognition as a prominent representative of the Franco-Belgium school of violin playing. 

When he was five years old he began his violin studies with his mother, who was a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, Belgium.  In Brussels and Liege she studied under the tutelage of E. Chaumont and L. Charlier, both  distinguished masters of the Franco-Belgium school. 

Cyrus Forough also attended the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels where, as the youngest ever to attend, he was exceptionally admitted at age nine to study with the legendary Belgian violinist Arthur Grumiaux for the first year of his studies. He graduated with a Superior Prize and Special Distinction Medal at age sixteen in both violin and chamber music. He then became one of only thirteen students chosen by national competition to attend Europe's most renowned school for promising young performers, the Chapel Musicale Reine Elisabeth, living and studying in Brussels and Waterloo for a total of twelve years. He then pursued post-graduate studies at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory for three years under the tutelage of the legendary violinist David Oistrakh. Upon Mr. Oistrakh's untimely death, he continued his third year of studies with David Oistrakh’s assistant Mr. Oleh Krysa who today is a Professor of Violin at the Eastman school of music. Subsequently Mr. Forough attended Indiana University School of Music for two and half years where he studied with and was the personal assistant to his teacher, Proessor Josef Gingold, who himself studied in Belgium under the great Belgian violinist Eugene Ysaye.

Cyrus Forough has performed in recital, with orchestras, and in chamber music ensembles throughout Europe, Asia, and North and South America, including live broadcasts on radio and television.  His solo performances for international dignitaries have included command performances for Queen Fabiola and Princess Paola of Belgium, the Shah and Queen Farah Pahlavi of Iran, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and President Kreiske of Austria.  He also gave a special performance for the birthday celebration of Queen Sirikit of Thailand. He has appeared at many summer festivals such as the Weimar Festival in Germany, the Plovdiv Music Festival in Bulgaria, the International Schubert Festival at Indiana University, and the American Sacred Music Festival in Milwaukee invited there by composer and conductor Lukas Foss.

Mr. Forough has championed contemporary music and gave the Milwaukee Symphony’s premiere performance of the Shostakovich First Violin Concerto in 1985.  He has performed the works of Behzad Ranjbaran, Reza Vali, premiered Vali's Khojasteh “Majestic”, a duo for violin and cello  which was dedicated to Cyrus Forough, at the National Gallery in Washington DC in January 2013. Other works include Witold Lutoslawski's Chain 2, dialogue for violin & orchestra, and he also premiered Alan Fletcher's Woman Holding a Balance, also dedicated to him and has performed numerous contemporary works.

The Forough/McCracken Duo performed William Kraft's Double Play with orchestra, and premiered the Violin/Piano Sonata of Shostakovich and Central Park Reel by Lukas Foss in numerous cities in the United States, the Caribbean, and South America. Called “musical treasures of absolute mastery,” the Forough/McCracken Duo has charmed and captivated audiences with the artistry of their unique duo partnership. They have performed in many concert venues, including the Kennedy Center, the Phillips Collection, the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and others.

As Artistic Ambassadors of the United States, they concertized in many countries, performing in recitals and with orchestras, giving master classes and interviews, participating in symposiums and discussions with universities and conservatories, and giving benefit recitals for educational and medical foundations, all for the purpose of fostering goodwill and cultural understanding between people and nations.

Mr. Forough's dedication to teaching and his skill at communicating his art have earned him a reputation as one of the most sought after and most effective violin pedagogues, drawing students globally seeking admittance into his studio.  Not only did he study with some of the greatest violin masters of the twentieth century, he also is one of the few last living links to the great schools of violin playing and pedagogy. At present he is a full-time tenured professor of violin at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music in Pittsburgh, has taught at several other universities and was an Artist faculty member of the Music Institute of Chicago's Academy for the Gifted, and was a visiting professor at Eastman School of Music in 2009, 2010 and 2015. In September 2016, Mr. Forough recorded the 4th violin concerto by celebrated composer Alireza Mashayekhi with the Ukraine National Sympony, Vladimir Sirenko conducting. Together with Mashayekhi's 5th violin concerto which is being prepared at the present time a CD will be produced. Both concertos are dedicated to Cyrus Forough including the 2nd violin and piano sonato by the same composer. 

In summer 2016 Mr. Forough was a faculty member at the Summit Music Festival in Pleasantville, New York. He has also been a faculty member at numerous other summer music festivals such as the Cambridge International String Academy, Cambridge, Great Britain; the Northwestern University Summer Violin Institute, Evanston, Illinois; the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Brunswick, Maine; the Schlern International Music Festival in Schlern, Italy; the Killington Music Festival, Rutland, Vermont;  the Meadowmount Summer School of Music, New York; the Indiana University String Academy, Bloomington, Indiana; the Chateau de Champ Music Festival, Paris, France; the International Music Academy in Pilzen, Czech Republic; the Sulzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival, Germany and numerous others. 

Mr. Forough has been an adjudicator for competitions including the Stulberg International Competition and the Sorantin International String Competition, and conducted master classes at the aforementioned summer festivals and at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music; Northwestern University; the Cleveland Institute of Music; Beijing Central Conservatory; Shanghai Conservatory of Music; Guangzhou Xinghai Conservatory of Music; Mount Royal College-Academy "Program for Gifted Youth" in residence, Calgary, Canada; the Glenn Gould School of the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music, and many others. An upcoming master class and violin recital at the Moore School of Music as part of the A.I. Lack Master Class series of the University of Houston will take place in March 2016.

Ever since Mr. Forough joined the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music faculty, his college students have been frequent winners of the school-wide concerto competitions and have distinguished themselves in international and national competitions, which was previously unprecedented. 

Having taught students as young as six, his college and pre-college students have received first prizes, awards, and other prizes in countless international and national competitions including:  Finalist and "Public Prize" at the Sibelius International Violin Competition, the Paganini Award at the Indianapolis International Violin Competition, Prizewinner at the Menuhin International Violin Competition, "Best Talent" at the Sarasate International Violin Competition, the Wieniawski International Violin Competition (3rd round), and other prizes, including first prizes at competitions such as the Washington International Violin Competition, the Johansen International Violin Competition, the Klein International Violin Competition, the Stulberg International Violin Competition, the Cooper International Violin Competition, Illinois Bell Young People's Concerto competition performing live with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on televised winners concerts, and first prizes at the Fischoff International, Rembrandt, and at other countless violin and chamber music competitions. 

Numerous students have been chosen to perform on "From the Top" including at Carnegie Hall, New York, and throughout the nation with broadcast on radio and television.  His students have included winners of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and as Presidential Scholar. Mr. Forough’s students are also members of many international and national professional orchestras including the Royal Danish Opera Orchestra, (concert master) in Copenhagen, Denmark; Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Symphony Orchestra, Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra, Argentina, Hong Kong Symphony, the Palladians and many others.

Mr. Forough performs on the 1718 " Wilmotte" Antonius Stradivarius. 


Nancy Galbraith

Professor of Composition

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Composer Nancy Galbraith is Professor and Chair of Composition at Carnegie Mellon University. In a career that spans three decades, her music has earned praise for its rich harmonic texture, rhythmic vitality, emotional and spiritual depth, and wide range of expression.

Galbraith's symphonic works have enjoyed regular performances by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, including premieres led by Gennady Rozhdetsvensky and Mariss Jansons. Her Piano Concerto No. 1 was recorded by Keith Lockhart and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Chamber Music Magazine hailed Galbraith's Rhythms and Rituals as "the kind of piece that should be the 'sound of classical music' on today's radio stations." Her chamber works have been performed by members of the New York Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and by Mexico's Sinfonietta Ventus and Cuarteto Latinoamericano. Galbraith's popular works for wind orchestras have become standard repertoire for concert bands around the world, and are recorded often by American college ensembles.

In recent years, Galbraith has produced a substantial body of major choral works, beginning with commissions from Robert Page and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh to compose Missa Mysteriorum and Requiem, a landmark achievement that was declared a 'masterpiece' by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. These successes have led to commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Providence Singers, Pittsburgh Camerata and many others.

Born into a musical family in Pittsburgh in 1951, Galbraith began piano studies at age 4. She later earned degrees in composition from Ohio University (BA) and West Virginia University (MA). Her works are published by Subito Music in Verona, New Jersey.


Ross Garin

Assistant Head

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Ross Garin graduated with BFA and MM degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, where he studied with Peter Sullivan and the late Byron McCulloh. His performance credits include the Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, River City Brass Band, Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Brass, and the Westmoreland, Johnstown, and McKeesport Symphonies, among many others. He has also played with Frankie Valli, the Temptations, Four Tops, Four Coins, the Gene Krupa Orchestra, Guy Lombardo Orchestra, O’Jays, Pat Boone, Jack Jones, and many local groups including the Benny Benack Band, the Balcony Big Band, No Bad JuJu, and the salsa band Azucar.
Ross has been on the staff of the School of Music since 2001, and has served as Assistant Head since 2006.