Staff & Board of Directors

PGC Staff

Ryan Keeling, Artistic Director, Concentio and Chamber Choir Director

Dr. Ryan Keeling is active as a teacher, conductor, and singer in the Pittsburgh area. Ryan is Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Girls Choir where he conducts Concentio and Chamber Choir. Ryan also serves as Director of Choral Activities at Westminster College where he conducts three choirs and teaches courses in conducting, diction, and choral methods. He is Artistic Director of Voces Solis, a premier chamber choir and Chancel Choir Director at Christ United Methodist Church in Bethel Park. As chorus master Ryan has prepared choirs for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Andrea Bocelli, Mandy Gonzalez, and The Chieftains. As a professional singer, Ryan has performed as soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Concert Chorale, and at the National Pastoral Musicians national conference and a chorister with Archipelago Vocal Ensemble and the Professional Core of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. Ryan holds the DMA degree in conducting, the MM degree in choral conducting, and the BA degree in music education.


Kathryn Barnard, Via Director

Kathryn Barnard is a pioneering figure in children’s choral music education in western Pennsylvania and the founder of the Pittsburgh Girls Choir. She studied at Concordia College New York, where she received degrees in Church Music and Piano Performance, earned the degree of Master of Music from the University of Texas, and has studied vocal development at Westminster Choir College and the Eastman School of Music.  Prior to founding PGC, she taught at the Peabody Preparatory School, and has conducted numerous children’s, youth and adult ensembles in Baltimore, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh. Ms. Barnard leads Melodia, Concentio, Chamber, and Via choirs, supervises all outreach and education classes, and has provided inspired artistic and organizational leadership to PGC (and its earlier incarnations) for sixteen years.  Apart from her work with PGC, she mentors young choral teachers.  A life time student, Kathryn studies conducting with Mark Anderson and Conversational Solfege with John Feierabend.


Emily Tiberi, Women of Song Director

Emily Tiberi, soprano, is a passionate singer, voice teacher, and choral conductor. She has sung numerous operatic roles (Giunia, Lucio Silla; Marie, Marie Begins; Noémie, Cendrillon; Mother, Avow; First Lady, Die Zauberflöte; Nella, Gianni Schicchi; Madame Silberklang, The Impresario; Lisette, La Rondine; Berta, I barbiere di Siviglia). Emily has premiered two roles: Princess Peach in I fratelli Mario, a comedic opera about Mario Bros., and Angela in Evenings in Quarantine: The Zombie Opera. She has placed first in both the state and regional NATS competitions. Emily is also an accomplished choral singer, singing regularly with the Philadelphia Symphonic Orchestra Chorus, regularly under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and twice as a Resident Chorister at Spoleto Festival USA. She is a graduate of Westminster Choir College, where she won the Westminster Voice Awards scholarship competition and served as the graduate assistant in the Presser Voice Lab. Emily has served as an Adjunct Professor of voice at Rowan University, as well as a choral conductor and educator for the Pittsburgh Girls Choir (PGC) and PGC’s Women of Song. She is thrilled to return to conduct Women of Song and work with the girls in Harmonia.


Samantha Smith, Melodia and Harmonia Director

Samantha Smith has been teaching music in urban and suburban public schools since 2010. Samantha earned her BA in Music from the University of Pittsburgh and her MA in Music Teaching from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. She has taught MusicPlay classes to preschoolers at Oberlin, K-8 General Music and Chorus in OH and PA, and has served as vocal music director for several high school musicals. 
Samantha, a soprano, spent nine years living and working in Cleveland, OH. While there, she sang with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst. She concluded her tenure with the organization after a performance at Carnegie Hall. 
After moving to Pittsburgh, Samantha taught music for Pittsburgh Public Schools and, most recently, North Allegheny School District (K-5 General Music and Chorus). Samantha has recently decided to step down from teaching full-time, and spends her days with her two young children. She loves working with the girls in Melodia and Harmonia!


Charise Webster, Melodia, Harmonia, Concentio and Chamber Choir Assistant

Charise Webster began studying music at the age of five and has taught music to children of all ages for the past thirty years. In high school, she studied piano, solfège, and theory at the Carnegie Mellon Music Preparatory School under Mineko Avery and Nancy Galbraith. Following completion of a Bachelor of Ministry degree in Music Education, she directed the special music program at her church in California and taught numerous college classes including music theory, sight singing & rhythm, and music history. She has trained various choral and small vocal groups of all ages and especially enjoys arranging. Currently she teaches private piano, coordinates the special music at her church, and directs a children and teen choir also at her church. Charise has a special passion for teaching youth of all ages how to sight-sing well and is thrilled to be joining the PGC team. 


Leah Givelber, Administrative Coordinator

Leah Givelber is an accomplished performer and violin teacher.  Leah began playing violin at the age of 4 and has degrees from the Eastman School of Music and New England Conservatory.   She has brought her love of the violin and classical music to students as a teacher for the past two decades.  Leah’s goal as a teacher is to help her students find beauty in music, life and in themselves through mastery of the violin. 

As a performer Leah can be found playing with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Opera and the Pittsburgh Symphony.  She is also a long term member of the Academy String Ensemble, performing  many string quartet performances in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas. 

Leah’s work on the Pittsburgh Girls Choir administrative team allows her to advance her belief in the arts as a powerful tool for both performers and audiences. 


PGC Board of Directors

Mariana Whitmer, Board Chair

Craig Denison, Vice President

Timothy Nye, Treasurer

John Barnard, Secretary

Ellen Allston

Kathryn Barnard

Dr. Paula Clemens

Leah Fain

Mariana Gowdy

Thomas May

Susan White