Staff & Board of Directors
Kathryn Barnard, Artistic Director & Founder
Kathryn Barnard is a pioneering figure in children’s choral music education in western Pennsylvania. 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 Shupp, Harmonia Instructor
Emily Shupp is a recent graduate of Wheaton College Conservatory of Music where she studied music pedagogy with an emphasis in voice and choral conducting. Passionate about choral music, Emily sang in the Wheaton College Women’s Chorale where she served on the choir cabinet as secretary and later as president. During her senior year, she also served as honor’s conductor for the group. In May of 2019, she had the privilege to travel to Europe with the Women’s Chorale to tour in Austria and Hungary.
New to the Pittsburgh area, Emily works at Kathy’s Music, LLC as a voice instructor and Kindermusik teacher. She also recently accepted a position at Hillcrest Christian Academy as the K-8 music educator. When she isn’t busy preparing for a rehearsal or teaching music, Emily loves to read and get coffee with friends. She also enjoys talking about sociology, philosophy, and theology, especially with her husband, Chris.
Emily is passionate about music education and helping students find the magic in music. She is excited to begin work with the training choirs at PGC and inspire them with a deeper love of choral music. Her hope is that students would have fun in rehearsal while growing as musicians in their musicianship and love and appreciation for choral art.
Julianna Grabowski, Interim Managing Director & Women of Song Director
Julianna Grabowski is a conductor, music educator, soprano and pianist from Syracuse, New York. Her passion for teaching and performing has led her to obtain dual Bachelor’s degrees from the State University of New York at Fredonia in Music Education and Vocal Performance, studying both voice and piano, as well as an M.M. in Vocal Performance from Duquesne University, where she also served as a Graduate Assistant in Duquesne’s Choral Department. As a professional soprano, Julianna was a Young Artist with Finger Lakes Opera, and has performed with professional groups including the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, Lake Junaluska Singers in North Carolina, and The Dukes Music in Pittsburgh. She has also worked as a collaborative pianist at public schools and universities across the states of New York and Pennsylvania. Julianna is a Teaching Artist with New Groove Music Studio in Pittsburgh where she provides lessons in both voice and piano, and the Assistant Conductor and Soprano Section Leader in the Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. She currently serves as Conductor of Pittsburgh Girls Choir’s adult ensemble, Women of Song.
Monte Bohna, Development Officer
Monte Bohna is PGC’s fundraising specialist; he manages relationships with PGC’s individual and foundation supporters, and researches and writes grant proposals. He has worked with several non-profit organizations in the Pittsburgh region as a program developer, grant-writer, fundraiser, and advocate. A student of history (the adjacent photo was taken at Battle Abbey, Hastings, Sussex), he holds degrees from the Universities of Oregon, Pittsburgh and Rochester, and has taught at the University of Pittsburgh, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Washington & Jefferson College, and Chatham University.
Abigail Eagleson, Staff Pianist & Rehearsal Assistant
A Pennsylvania Native, Abigail Eagleson is a collaborative pianist and mezzo-soprano. Abigail holds a Masters of Music in Collaborative Piano degree from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a B.A. in Music (Voice and Piano) from Elizabethtown College. During her various studies she has performed frequently in recitals, both as a soloist and as a collaborator. At Elizabethtown College she was a featured choral soloist, the winner of the Elizabethtown College Concerto Contest, and studied piano pedagogy with a recipient of PMTA’s Teacher of the Year Award. Abigail is a member of the National Music Honor Society Pi Kappa Lambda.
Ms. Eagleson is active in Pittsburgh as a vocalist, collaborative pianist, and teacher. She teaches piano and is a pianist and assistant with the Pittsburgh Girls Choir, a staff pianist at Duquesne University, and a member of the Shadyside Presbyterian Chancel Choir. She has also served at Franciscan University of Steubenville and West Virginia University as a staff pianist. As a collaborator, she has enjoyed performing with various Pittsburgh based musicians and ensembles, such as sopranos Meghan DeWald and Anastasia Robinson, students from Carnegie Mellon University, and the Pittsburgh Camerata. Abigail has appeared at Music at Rodef Shalom, the Music in a Great Space series, and the Music for Midsummer Nights series at Shadyside Presbyterian Church; performing with her trio, Mezzo-Soprano Kara Cornell, and the Pittsburgh Camerata. During the summer months Abigail enjoys traveling, performing, and serving on the piano faculty at Elizabethtown College’s summer music camp.
Melissa Tickner, Via Assistant
Melissa Tickner is a Pittsburgh native and avid choral music enthusiast. She studied music at Community College of Allegheny County. Melissa, being a charter member of the Pittsburgh Girls Choir (formerly Oakland Girls Choir), has worked with Kathryn Barnard for 15 years and very passionately believes in Kathryn’s mission for education and community for young girls. Melissa directs the Children’s Choir at Church of the Ascension, assists Kathryn in teaching the Pittsburgh Girls Choir, sings in a local a Capella group, and enjoys making music all the time and everywhere.
PGC Board of Directors
Karen Crenshaw, Board Chair
Mark Anderson, Vice Chair
John Barnard, Secretary
Dr. Miya Asato
Dr. Paula Clemens