Dr. Stephen Barr
Stephen Barr, director of the Shenango Valley Chorale, is honored to lead this excellent group of singers for the 2016-17 season. He is a product of the Shenango Valley, having graduated from Hickory High School and completing his undergraduate degree in music at Westminster College, and counting his predecessor, Ed Groves, as an important mentor. He brings a wide variety of conducting experience with both choral and instrumental ensembles, including large mixed choirs, chamber choirs, and women’s choirs, as well as symphonic winds and orchestras. Recent performances of choral masterworks under his baton include Duruflé’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. He serves as an adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor for high school assessments and district and regional choir festivals throughout Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. Recently he was selected as a Mentoring Conductor for the “Complete Conductor Orchestral Conducting” workshop with René Clausen, hosted by Distinguished Concerts International New York.
He is on the faculty of the Department of Music at Slippery Rock University, where he directs a dynamic choral program comprised of three ensembles—the University Concert Choir, Women’s Choir, and Chamber Singers—and also conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble. He has served as an adjunct instructor at the University of South Florida and University of Tampa, and taught choral music for two years in the Florida public school system. In addition to Westminster College, he holds advanced degrees from the University of South Florida (MM), and West Virginia University (DMA), where he was awarded a prestigious Swiger Doctoral Fellowship. His primary conducting teachers at WVU were Kathleen Shannon and Don Wilcox; in addition he has studied with William Wiedrich, René Clausen, and Robert Page.
Paula Kubik, accompanist, has extensive experience in the Penn-Ohio region as accompanist, teacher and organist. Her performance affiliations have included Opera Western Reserve and the Youngstown Symphony of Ohio, Valley Lyric Opera, Greenville Symphony Orchestra, and Mercer County Historical Chamber Players of Pennsylvania. She has served as accompanist for countless Choral Festivals, Opera and Oratorio performances, solo recitals, and chamber music concerts. Formerly Music Director at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Sharon, she is currently College Organist/Carillonneur at Westminster College and Instructor at Grove City College. She earned a Bachelor of Music Degree from Youngstown State University and a Master of Music Degree from Colorado State University and holds Certificates from the Summer Academy of Organists, Haarlem, The Netherlands, The Institute of Music, Munich, Germany and Accompanist Studies with Samuel Sanders, Akron University. Paula lives in Volant, PA with her husband, Bill Cooper, who is cellist in the Venango and Greenville Orchestras. She volunteers for Family Hospice with her two certified therapy dogs, Lenya and Bela.