1. Poetry Slam and Music Jam

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    Hope Academy’s teen theater company (HAT Co) performs poetry and songs in an informal, end of the term recital. Each student will perform 2 poems, with the high school students competing to represent Hope Academy in the regional round of the national Poetry Out Loud contest. Families should bring cookies or something to share during the reception following the performance.

  2. Hope Academy Winter Term 2018 Registration

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    Hope Academy’s winter term begins on Saturday, January 6, 2018

    Because of recent, unforeseen developments in our renovation project, we need to limit some of our offerings for the winter term due to a lack of available space. Our classes and most of our private lesson studios are currently full.

    We do have space in our new Flute Ensemble (5 Saturdays from 1:00-2:00 pm with Brittany Trotter – 1/13, 1/20, 2/3, 2/24, 5/10); and in Ben Barson’s Saxophone & Clarinet Ensemble (new day and time: Wednesdays from 6:15-7:15 pm). Both ensembles are free for students taking private lessons with Brittany or Ben; or $40 for other young musicians interested in being part of an ensemble.

    Both sections of Musical Theater Workshop, all Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre dance classesMusic Discovery, In partnership with Pittsburgh Girls Choir, and our teen theater company ensembles (HAT Co and HAT Co Jr) are filled.

    Private Voice and Instrument Instruction + Flute Ensemble and Saxophone/Clarinet Ensemble
    We have limited openings in our private lesson studios.

    There are spaces open in the Saxophone/Clarinet Ensemble (moving to Wednesdays from 6:15-7:15 pm with Ben Barson) and our new Flute Ensemble (on Saturday’s from 1:00-2:00 pm with Brittany Trotter). Other private lesson studios with extremely limited openings include: Voice (with Katherine Bell on Thursdays and Fridays; and Gizel Rodriguez on Saturdays), Cello (with Ana Diaz on Tuesdays), and Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba (with Karen Sloneker on Fridays). Students interested in any of these ensembles or private lesson studios should fill out an Inquiry Form for Private Lessons.

    Registration and Payment for Winter 2018
    Continuing students, or those on the wait list who have been notified of an opening, can complete an online registration form and either send it in with their check or money order, or make an online credit card payment to reserve their spots in classes and lesson days/times/teachers for private lessons. Checks should be made out to “ELPC” and mailed to: Hope Academy @ ELPC, 116 S. Highland Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

    All of our scholarships have been awarded for 2017-2018.

    Thank you for your patience
    We apologize for the limitations and are looking for some alternatives for people interested in private music instruction. The best way to be updated as we add courses and open up spots in private lesson studios, is to complete a wait list form (for courses) and/or and Inquiry Form for Private Lessons.

    If you have any questions about registration or payment, contact Karly Threets at KarlyT@coh.net,or 412-441-3800 x117

  3. Hope Academy’s Un-Halloween Party

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    NO tricks and NO treats,  but lots of fun dressing up for classes and private lessons on Halloween.

    This is a dress-up day so use your imagination and come in your favorite costume. Keep it G-rated for all of the little ones (nothing scary, bloody, violent, suggestive or adult-themed); and make sure you can move easily and safely (no boots, flip flops, bare feet, or masks that obstruct vision).

    We will have a photographer here to take photos of everyone and the teaching artists will incorporate your characters into the lessons for the day.

    Please note: There will be an event on Penn Avenue and Highland Avenue will be blocked off to just before the circle driveway for the 2nd Annual Harvest Fest. Give yourselves enough time to navigate around the roadblock.

    Other East Liberty events that day include the 2nd Annual Harvest Fest on Highland, Pennm Center and Baum, and the 9th Annual Halloween Mayhem at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater.

  4. Orion Quartet with Tara O’Connor Field Trip

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    Hope Academy families are invited to a concert featuring Orion Quartet with Tara O’Connor, flute. Tickets have been generously donated to us by our partner, Chamber Music Pittsburgh. This performance is recommended for students whose attention span and behavior is equivalent to an 8 year old.

    Please read about the performance, so that you know what to expect; and the etiquette guidelines, so that you understand the expectations; then RSVP here by Sunday, October 1.

    About The Artists:
    The Orion Quartet
    Daniel Phillips (Violin); Todd Phillips (Violin); Steven Tenenbom (Viola); Timothy Eddy (Cello)

    Since its inception, the Orion Quartet has been consistently praised for the extraordinary musical integrity it brings to performances, offering diverse programs that juxtapose classic works of the standard quartet literature with masterworks by twentieth and twenty-first century composers. The Quartet remains on the cutting edge of programming with wide-ranging commissions from composers Chick Corea, Brett Dean, David Del Tredici, Alexander Goehr, Thierry Lancino, John Harbison, Leon Kirchner, Marc Neikrug, Lowell Liebermann, Peter Lieberson and Wynton Marsalis, and enjoys a creative partnership with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. The members of the Orion String Quartet—violinists Daniel Phillips and Todd Phillips (brothers who share the first violin chair equally), violist Steven Tenenbom and cellist Timothy Eddy—have worked closely with such legendary figures as Pablo Casals, Sir András Schiff, Rudolf Serkin, Isaac Stern, Pinchas Zukerman, Peter Serkin, members of TASHI and the Beaux Arts Trio, as well as the Budapest, Végh, Galimir and Guarneri String Quartets.

    Formed in 1987, the Quartet chose its name from the Orion constellation as a metaphor for the unique personality each musician brings to the group in its collective pursuit of the highest musical ideals.

    Tara Helen O’Connor, flute
    Tara Helen O’Connor is a charismatic performer noted for her artistic depth, brilliant technique, and colorful tone spanning every musical era. Winner of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a two-time Grammy nominee, she is now a season artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. A Wm. S. Haynes flute artist, Tara regularly participates in the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, the Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass, Spoleto USA, Chamber Music Northwest, Mainly Mozart Festival, Music from Angel Fire, the Banff Centre, the Great Mountains Music Festival, Chesapeake Music Festival and the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival.

    A much sought after chamber musician and soloist, Tara is a founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning New Millennium Ensemble, a member of the woodwind quintet Windscape and the legendary Bach Aria Group. She has premiered hundreds of new works and has collaborated with the Orion String Quartet, St. Lawrence Quartet and Emerson Quartet. Tara has appeared on A&E’s Breakfast with the Arts, Live from Lincoln Center and has recorded for Deutsche Gramophon, EMI Classics, Koch International, CMS Studio Recordings with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Bridge Records.


    It is important that audience members remain quiet during the performance. Since music is mostly a listening activity, any extra sounds that are not part of the music can get in the way and will distract and disturb the musicians and other audience members.

    Before the Concert
    Wear something you might wear to a special event – because it is!. Please don’t wear anything that might be distracting (light up shoes, clanging jewelry, etc)
    Arrive no later than 7:00 pm to get your tickets.

    Before You Take Your Seat
    Take care of all rest room needs.
    Leave all food, drink, and gum outside, in the lobby.
    Leave all cameras and recording devices outside, as well. There are strict copyright guidelines about recording concerts.
    Turn off all cell phones, pagers, ipads, watch sounds, alarms, or anything that might make a noise. The only sounds that should be heard are the ones that appear in the musical score (and the audience reaction after the music).

    Once You Take Your Seat
    A parent or guardian must sit next to each child.
    Remain seated and quiet while the musicians are playing. Do not get up during the concert or change seats.
    No talking, whispering, sighing, tapping or kicking feet, or rattling of programs or papers.
    Be sure to sit without fidgeting so you don’t distract your neighbors or the performers on stage.

    Feel free to leave during intermission, if this is a late night for your children; and if they fall asleep during the concert, that’s okay too. This should be an enjoyable experience for them, and you!

  5. A Benefit Concert for the Karl Sellner Memorial Scholarship Fund

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    Please join us for what is sure to be a great evening of music, food and friendship in remembrance of former Hope Academy student, Karl Sellner. Performers include The Billy Price Band and Afro Yaqui Music Collective with Hope Academy students. Come early to purchase food from food trucks on Penn and Whitfield Avenues and join us for Dinner in the Square. All proceeds will benefit the Hope Academy scholarship fund in Karl’s name.


    5:00 – 8:00 pm – Dinner in the Square – purchase food from trucks on Penn and Whitfield

    6:00 – 7:00 pm – Afro Yaqui Music Collective + Hope Academy’s HAT Co Singers and Band

    7:00 – 8:00 pm – The Billy Price Band


    We are happy to make this a free event so that it is accessible to all of our students, families, friends and music lovers, regardless of their ability to pay. We are equally happy to accept your generous donation to provide scholarships to Hope Academy in Karl Sellner’s name.

    Suggested donation: $20 adults – $10 students

    You can make a donation (cash or check) at the door; or RSVP for tickets and make a credit card donation online by clicking here.


    Billy Price has been entertaining audiences in Pittsburgh, Pa., since the early 1970s. In April 2016, he was officially recognized and inducted as a Pittsburgh Rock ’n Roll Legend at an award ceremony sponsored by the Cancer Caring Center of Pittsburgh. Members of the Billy Price Band are Steve Delach (guitar), Tom Valentine (bass), Dave Dodd (drums), Jimmy Britton (keyboards), and Eric DeFade (tenor sax). Billy Price first attracted national attention during his three-year association with guitarist Roy Buchanan. Price is the vocalist on two of Buchanan’s LPs, That’s What I’m Here For and Livestock. Price assembled Billy Price and the Keystone Rhythm Band in 1977. Before their breakup in 1990, the band recorded four critically acclaimed LPs and developed a reputation as one of the most exciting touring bands in the U.S. With the Keystone Rhythm Band, the Billy Price Band, and solo projects, Billy Price has recorded and released a total of 15 albums, CDs, and DVDs. His album This Time for Real, with recently deceased Chicago soul singer Otis Clay, received a 2016 Blues Music Award by the Blues Foundation of Memphis, Tennessee in the category of Best Soul Blues Album. A live recording of the Billy Price Band, Alive and Strange, was released by Nola Blues/Vizztone Label Group in April 2017.


    Hope Academy teaching artists, Ben Barson and Gizelxanath Rodriguez, bring jazz, funk and soul into dialogue with indigenous music of the 21st century.The Afro Yaqui Music Collective (AYMC) is a 9-piece outfit which descends from the ensembles of Guggenhiem award winner Fred Ho, whose work was influenced by West African, global Indigenous and East Asian musics. The AYMC is co-led by Gizelxanath Rodriguez, an internationally performing soprano and activist, who is also a winner of the 2014 ACE Award. The band is also led by her partner, Ben Barson, Fred Ho’s Baritone protege who “he felt has the heft and sound to represent [Ho’s] assertive approach (The New York Times).” Special guest artist, Havana – based musician Albertico Lescay.



    Hope Academy of Music and the Arts, an outreach program of East Liberty Presbyterian Church, offers a safe place where young people of diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, socioeconomic, religious and linguistic backgrounds can further their personal and artistic growth through the study and performance of theater, dance and music. We strive to create a diverse and inclusive artistic community that provides deep arts instruction through a sequential and progressive program; that supports the personal and artistic growth of students and teaching artists, alike; and contributes to our community’s positive growth and cultural vibrancy. Over 350 young people and their families participate in Hope Academy’s programs throughout the year.



    From an early age, Karl Jacob Sellner was simply captivated by his grandfather John Alden’s music, foreshadowing his life-long love of the performing arts.  This passion was nurtured by his family and by his many experiences as a student of Hope Academy. As a teen and young adult, Karl became an accomplished guitar player and lyricist.  As with his love of music, Karl found the other things he cared about early in life, including his wife Shelby and his calling to join the US Army to serve, like his grandfather had during WWII.  Like so many gifted musicians before him, Karl’s light was also shadowed by bi-polar disorder. On, September 11, 2016 Karl’s pain was too much and he ended his life.  The support of the Hope Academy community was treasured by his parents and 6 siblings during this time of grief and together they channeled this sadness into the Karl Jacob Sellner Memorial Fund for Hope Academy.  This fund honors his memory and ensures that his  love of music will live on through the beautiful voices, playing of various instruments, dance and acting of children for many years to come.

  6. Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Dance Placements

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    We recommend that students taking Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre dance classes at Hope Academy register for the level that corresponds with their age as of Sept 1. If you feel that your child should be in a different level for some reason, or if you aren’t sure if they are ready for Creative Movement (ages 3 & 4), please attend this placement session. PBT instructor, Kerra Alexander, will assess the students and may re-assigned them to different levels, if appropriate.

    The placement session will begin at 10 am. We will measure students from 10 am to 12 noon to order dance clothes. Registered students may also try on donated dance shoes (ballet and tap) and leotards. If you have dance shoes or clothing to donate, please drop it off at the front desk.

    Classes begin on SAT September 24. If you haven’t registered yet, please call Karly Threets at 412-441-3800 to see if there is space open in the class you are interested in.


    If your child has grown out of their dance clothing and shoes (ballet and tap), we will measure them and place an order for you.

    Please note the required DRESS CODE

    You can order your dance clothing online at Discount Dance. If you don’t know your size, or if you don’t have a credit card to order online, come to the Ballet Placement session on Saturday, September 9 at 10 am.

    We can order the appropriate clothing for you and you can reimburse us with cash or check at the beginning of the term.

    Girls are required to a wear black leotards (short sleeve or tank), pink footed tights and pink leather ballet shoes.

    Boys may wear fitted black yoga pants or shorts, a white t-shirt, white socks and black leather ballet shoes.

    Students may dress in clothing that best represents their gender identity or expression

    Here is an example of what you can order from Discount Dance.


    Dress Code for Ballet Dancers at Hope Academy - GirlsGIRLS

    Black Leotard – Capezio cc400C @ $15

    Pink Tights – Capezio 1816C @ $10

    Pink Leather Ballet Shoes – Capezio 2033C Cobra @ $20

    (no skirts or tutus)

    Boy Dance Clothing Dress Code



    Boy Dance Clothing Dress CodeBOYS

    White t-shirt

    Black yoga/sweatpants (fitted)

    White Socks

    Black Ballet Shoes – Capezio 2033 C Cobra @ $20

  7. Just the FAQs: PBT Classes at Hope Academy 2017-2018

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    PBT PreBallet B Fall 2013This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre dance classes at Hope Academy, including the class schedule for Saturdays, PBT teaching artists and Hope Academy staff, the calendar for 2017-2018, what to wear, our safety and respect rules; and policies and procedures.


    The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School has been offering dance classes at East Liberty Presbyterian Church since 1993 as part of PBTS’ Community Schools initiative. The Community Schools initiative began as a way to build relationships with people and communities who may not have otherwise had access to the classical art of ballet. Since then, PBTS faculty members have continued to provide the highest-quality studio experience, in order to open children to the great challenges and aesthetic achievements of the professional world of dance.


  8. Hope Academy’s 2017-2018 Season of Theater, Music and Dance

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    Registration for Hope Academy’s 2017/2018
    school year is now open

    Classes and private lessons begin on  September 19, 2017

    Download and print Hope Academy’s  2017-2018 Course Brochure & Registration Form; fill out the registration form by hand and then mail it in or drop it off with your tuition payment.

    You can also fill out a 2017-2018 Registration Form online, print it and mail it in or drop it off with your tuition payment

    Musical Theater Workshop and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s dance classes at Hope Academy fill quickly, so make sure we receive your registration form and payment soon to avoid being put on the wait list.

    HAT Co

    HAT Co (Hope Academy teen Theater Company) HAT Co Jr and HAT Co Rock Bands – for teen singers, actors, dancers and musicians – are by audition only. Fill out this online HAT Co Application Form. We will contact you with information about the Saturday, September 9 audition. Generous need- and merit-based scholarships are available for teens who are interested in singing, acting and dance classes and private instrument and voice lessons; plus performance opportunities.


    If you are interested in registering for private music instruction, please complete the online Inquiry Form for Private Lessons at Hope Academy. This will help us to have a more informed conversation with you, and will expedite the process of matching your child with a teacher and finding a lesson day/time that will fit into your schedule. We will contact you with options for lesson days/time and teachers – after returning students are placed. Please do not register and pay for private lessons until we have placed your child with a teacher and scheduled a lesson day and time.

    If you are interested in finding out more about our Suzuki program (violin, cello and guitar) please indicate on the Inquiry Form for Private Lessons.


    Scholarship applications for courses and private lessons are due by August 20, 2017, but we will accept applications until all of the scholarships have been given out for the year. Please complete the online 2017-2018 Scholarship Application Form.

    Preference is given to returning Hope Academy students (in good standing), and those who qualify as being low-income and/or who represent a racial, ethnic, or cultural minority.

    Courses include: Musical Theater Workshop 1 & 2 (singing, acting and tap); Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT) dance (Creative Movement, Pre-Ballet A, Pre-Ballet B, Ballet 2); Clarinet and Saxophone Ensemble; Music Discovery for 4-6 year olds and a parent/guardian; and HAT Co (Hope Academy Theater Company) including HAT Co Jr and HAT Co Rock Bands. Please make sure to look at the yearly schedule before applying for a scholarship. Scholarship students are held to a high standard and must attend all classes and participate in all scheduled open classes, recitals and performances.

    Private lesson scholarships will be considered for:

    • Returning scholarship students, including those in the Suzuki Violin and Suzuki Cello program (on the same instrument and with Hope Academy teacher recommendation)
    • NEW Suzuki music program students from 4 to 6 years old interested in violin, cello, or guitar
    • Hope Academy Theater Company (HAT Co) students including HAT Co JR and HAT Co Rock Band
    • Invited Musical Theater Workshop students interested in voice or instrument lessons

    *Please note: new Suzuki music program students are required to take the Music Discovery course during the fall term before taking lessons.


    In order to be intentional about creating a diverse, multicultural community, Hope Academy’s scholarships, tuition assistance, and half of our available spots for classes are reserved for students who qualify as being low income and/or who represent a racial, ethnic or cultural minority.

    Preference is also given to returning students and families. Please help us live into our mission by answering the diversity questions on the registration form.

    Connect with Hope Academy

  9. Just the FAQs: Musical Theater Workshop at Hope Academy 2017-2018

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    This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about Musical Theater Workshop (Singing, Acting and Tap Dance) at Hope Academy, including the schedule for Saturdays, the calendar for the entire year, what to wear and bring; our safety and respect rules, policies and procedures; and performances.


  10. Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Scholarship Auditions

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    Hope Academy students are encouraged to audition for scholarships to study at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre for the 2017-2018 school year.

    Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School will host a community audition on Saturday, August 5, for children, ages 5 to 8, who are interested in pursuing a Children’s Division scholarship for the 2017-2018 school year. Registration begins at 12:15 pm with auditions following from 1 to 2:30 pm at PBT Studios in the Strip District, 2900 Liberty Ave. Latecomers will not be permitted to audition.

    Now entering its fifth year, PBT’s Community Youth Scholarship Program supports early ballet training for talented students who demonstrate financial need. The program is committed to making PBT School and the art form of ballet accessible to passionate students throughout the Pittsburgh region. Full scholarships will be awarded to young dancers who show talent and passion to attend Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre school during the 2017-2018 school year.

    The audition will consist of a basic dance class taught by PBT School faculty members. No previous dance experience is required and students DO NOT need to prepare any dances for the audition.  Children must be 5 to 8 years of age by Sept. 1, and must qualify for the Free and Reduced Lunch program to be considered for scholarships. Parents may be required to provide 2016 tax statements to show proof of eligibility. Scholarship recipients will be selected based on their talent and dedication to pursuing dance training at PBT School.

    As PBT’s first dedicated program for Children’s Division scholarships, the annual program aims to broaden access to early ballet training for talented young students from varied socioeconomic backgrounds. The program is generously funded by an endowment fund from the Ladies Hospital Aid Society, Sandy and Bill Lambert, and individual donors who value and appreciate the power of dance to enrich the lives of children.

    Who is the audition for?
    Students must be 5 – 8 years of age by September 1, 2017. While no previous dance experience is necessary, students must meet the following criteria:
    Talent for training in ballet and other dance styles
    Desire, commitment, and discipline to study dance in a training academy
    Ability to get to and from classes on a regular basis

    Dancers must be eligible for the federal Free and Reduced Lunch program. Parents may be required to provide 2016 tax statements to show proof of eligibility.

    Where will the audition be held?
    Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Studios 2900 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15201

    How do I register?
    Email Director of Education Christina Salgado at csalgado@pittsburghballet.org or call 412-454-9105. An online registration form will also be available on PBT’s website: Community Youth Scholarship Program

    When will the audition take place?
    Check-in begins at 12:15 p.m. on Sunday, August 5, 2017
    Audition begins promptly at 1:00 p.m. (unfortunately, latecomers will not be permitted to participate)

    What will the audition be like?
    The audition will be a basic dance class taught by PBT School faculty members of the Children’s and Student Divisions. Students DO NOT need to prepare any dances for the audition.

    What should my child wear to the audition?
    Ballet clothing is preferred.

    Girls: leotard, tights, and ballet slippers. Hair should be pulled up and away from the face.

    Boys: T-shirt, tights, and ballet slippers.

    If you don’t have ballet clothing, that’s OK! Please wear fitted clothing such as a t-shirt, shorts, opaque leggings and socks.

    Will parents be allowed to watch the audition?
    The audition is for students only. During the audition a special “Get to know PBT and Ballet” information session will be held for parents and family. Refreshments will be provided.

    Download a pdf of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Scholarship Audition Flyer here.