The WSO Welcomes New Musicians and Announces Several Promotions

Categories: WSO General

The Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director Daniel Meyer are pleased to announce the appointment of several new musicians and several promotions. They include three new members of the first violin section: Emilia Poirer-Molina, Mariya Krastanova and Danielle Barbosa and a second violin Anderson Lacerda was offered a one-year contract. The group also includes two new viola section players Charlie Alves and Tyler Brugman, and section cellist Cecilia Caughman. Jacob McAleavey was promoted to principal bass and Emily Tarantino was selected as assistant principal bass. Will Teegarden was promoted to principal cello.

All the new musicians participated in a multi-step audition process led by Artistic Director Daniel Meyer, Executive Director Natalie Kasievich and personnel manager Richard Palermo.

“We are thrilled to welcome to the Westmoreland Symphony a group of outstanding musicians who bring their passion, talent, and experience to the stage. We are so fortunate in this area to be home to a professional orchestra and hear world-class music so close to home,” said Natalie Ann Kasievich, Executive Director.

Many of the newly appointed musicians will be performing in the WSO’s next three classical concerts coming up February 11, March 11, and April 22, 2023 at the Palace Theatre. Learn more about our upcoming concerts and reserve your seats! 


Charlie Alves – Originally from Tallahassee, Florida, Charlie received a BA in Music and BS in Social Sciences from Florida State University. He then went on to get his Masters in Music Performance at Penn State University. Afterward, he spent three years at Carnegie Mellon studying in the Advanced Music Studies Certificate program. In addition to playing in his schools’ orchestras, Charlie has been a member of numerous orchestras throughout the country, including the Tallahassee Symphony, Cheyenne Symphony, and Johnstown Symphony. A current resident of Pittsburgh, Charlie enjoys freelancing and teaching lessons both on Zoom and in person.

Danielle Barbosa – After starting Suzuki Method studies at age 10, Danielle studied with Graziela Pagotto at the Conservatório Dramático e Musical Dr. Carlos de Campos de Tatuí. She graduated in Violin from the University of São Paulo.

She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in violin performance at Duquesne University with Charles Stegeman and Rachel Stegeman.

Previously she was studying at the University of Massachusetts with Elisabeth Chang, where she was actively performing chamber music.

During her career, she has had classes and masterclasses with renowned violinists from South America such as Emmanuele Baldini, Claudio Micheletti, Elisa Fukuda, Carmelo de Los Santos, Maria Fernanda Krug, and Davi Graton.

She has performed with orchestras in Pennsylvania and Ohio such as Canton Symphony Orchestra, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, and Washington Symphony Orchestra.

Tyler Joseph Brugmann, born in St. Louis, Missouri, began playing viola at the age of 7. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance from Indiana University Bloomington Jacobs School of Music as a student respectively of both Edward Gazouleas and Stephen Wryczynski, as well received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish Linguistics and Speech Pathology. After completing his degrees, Tyler went on to study with David Harding and Tatjana Chamis at Carnegie Mellon University where he is currently finishing his Advanced Music Certificate.

Tyler is an active orchestral player and continues to play in the viola section with the Erie Philharmonic, Westmoreland Symphony, Cleveland Pops, Firelands Symphony, Johnstown Symphony, Altoona Symphony, and Butler Symphony Orchestra. Outside of music, Tyler enjoys cooking new recipes, drinking red wine, working at a coffee shop, practicing yoga, and spending time with his friends and family.

Cecilia Caughman holds a Master of Music degree and Advanced Music Studies certificate in cello performance from Carnegie Mellon University, where she studied with Anne Martindale Williams. She was a member of the Honors String Quartet and co-principal cellist of the CMU Philharmonic. She is currently a member of Cello Fury and Kamratōn. Cecilia performs with numerous regional ensembles, including the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Butler County Symphony Orchestra, Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, and Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra. Certified as a Suzuki cello teacher, Cecilia maintains an active teaching studio in Pittsburgh.

A native of Shaker Heights, Ohio, Cecilia earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Richard Weiss. During her senior year, she served as principal cellist of the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra and as the Librarian of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.

Cecilia has spent her summers at the National Repertory Orchestra, Round Top Music Festival and Chautauqua Institution Music Festival, among others. She has played in masterclasses for cellists Desmond Hoebig and Richard Aaron and has been coached by the Pacifica and Cavani String Quartets, as well as Peter Salaff, Noah Bendix-Balgley and Alisa Weilerstein.

Mariya Krastanova was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, and started her musical studies at the age of 6. At the age of 7, she was accepted into the Lubomir Pipkov National Music School. At the age of 10, she won the Young Talent Contest in Sofia. After that, she occupied the spalla chair at the Lubomir Pipkov School Young Symphonic Orchestra.

In Brazil, she played with the Original Broadway company as a concertmaster in the musicals My Fair Lady, Les Miserables, and The Phantom of the Opera. Living in Brazil since 2006, she was a student at the University of São Paulo in the violin bachelor’s course. She is a graduate student at Duquesne University, studying with Charles Stegeman.

As an orchestral musician, she joined Ribeirão Preto Symphonic Orchestra in 2007, and worked there until 2014, participating in many opera and ballet performances. She was also a soloist with the Ribeirão Preto Symphonic Orchestra, under the direction of Cláudio Cruz.

Since then, she played with many orchestras in the countryside of Brazil, and in 2014, she played with the State of São Paulo Symphonic Orchestra as a guest musician. That same year, she joined São Caetano do Sul Symphonic Orchestra and in 2015, she joined São Paulo Chamber Orchestra (OCAM) and Repertoire Experimental Orchestra (OER), where she still plays.

As a teacher, she worked on the famous social project “NEOJIBA”, which is an extension of “El Sistema”, acting as an orchestral monitor on many levels and as a violin teacher. She also participated in the social project “Araraquara Young Orchestra” where she taught group and individual classes from basic to advanced levels.

Emilia Poirier-Molina is a Canadian violinist who truly believes in the power of music over people. Her career is rich in orchestral experiences and she knows the thrill of the collective heartbeat of the orchestra. During the years with the Orchestre symphonique du Conservatoire de musique de Montréal (OSCMM), Emilia had the opportunity to occupy the position of Assistant Concertmaster for many years and was conducted by renowned conductors such as Kent Nagano, Yoav Talmi, Vasily Petrenko and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

She is also regularly asked to participate in the regular season concerts of the Orchestre symphonique de Sherbrooke, the Sinfonia de Lanaudière, and has participated in the Quebec tour of the Orchestre de la Francophonie in 2017.

In addition to her great devotion to orchestral music, Emilia loves to share her love for music with others through teaching. Emilia devotes herself to teaching the violin, but also to teaching musical awakening to toddlers.

Emily earned a Master’s degree in Music at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal in the class of the renowned pedagogue Mrs Anne Robert, Emilia is currently an Advance Music Student (AMS) at Carnegie Mellon University under the tutoring of Mr. Andrés Cárdenes.

Emily Tarantino is a double bassist and educator based in Pittsburgh. She holds a B.M. in Music Education from the State University of New York at Fredonia and an M.M. in Performance from Duquesne University. She also holds an Advanced Musical Studies Certificate from Carnegie Mellon University. Emily’s formative teachers include Micah Howard, Aaron White, Brett Shurtliffe, and Peter Guild.

In 2019, Emily became an Associate Musician of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and has performed regularly with the ensemble since. She has also had the pleasure of performing with the Erie Philharmonic, Canton Symphony Orchestra, Akron Symphony Orchestra, Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, Resonance Works Chamber Orchestra, and the Kassia Ensemble. She is one half of the double bass duo, Contraduo, that performs in the Greater Pittsburgh area. In addition, Emily also writes new compositions and arrangements, and hosts workshops with her duo partner & husband, Riley Zimmermann.

Emily also holds a private studio of strings & piano students, and serves as Orchestra Manager for the Pittsburgh Youth Concert Orchestra (PYCO). Emily lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, Riley and their two cats, Ru & Mattie.


Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

2023-2024 Season

Learn More

Recent blog posts

Mahler’s Epic Titan Symphony March 9th

Westmoreland Symphony Presents Mahler’s Titan with guest artist featuring Micah Wilkinson, trumpet The Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra presents Mahler’s Titan on Saturday, March 9, 2024 at 7:30 p.m. at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg. The centerpiece of the concert is Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 ‘Titan.’ “Mahler’s symphony is extraordinary not only in its breadth but also in its emotional content. Mahler… Read More

Read more

Young Artists Competition Winners 2024

The Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra announces that the 2024 Young Artists Competition Winners’ recital will be held at the Seton Hill University Performing Arts Center on Sunday, February 11, 2024 at 2:30 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public. On Sunday, February 4, 2024, the finalists competed for cash prizes and a chance to perform at the Winners’… Read More

Read more

Hear Beethoven’s Iconic Fifth Symphony February 10

The Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra presents Beethoven’s Fifth on Saturday, February 10, 2024 at 7:30 p.m. at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg. Tickets | learn more The centerpiece of the concert is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. “There is no more iconic symphony of Beethoven than the Fifth with those famous first four notes,” said Daniel Meyer, Artistic Director. Composed in 1808… Read More

Read more