Conductor Thomas Octave has earned degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University. As a conductor, Thomas is frequently seen in a multitude of varied genres of music. At home in the theater, he has conducted numerous operas and musicals, His collaboration with the Theater Department of Indiana of Pennsylvania’s production of “A Year With Frog and Toad” earned a Kennedy Center nomination. In recent years, he has collaborated with jazz legend Joe Negri in performances of Negri’s “Mass of Hope” and has worked with contemporary ballet choreographer Maria Caruso.
A champion of new music, Thomas has premiered several major works by composer Nancy Galbraith, including her “O Magnum Mysterium”, “God of Justice”, “Ave Maria”, “Music When Soft Voices Die”, “Novena”, “Lumen Christi”, and “Hodie”. In demand as a clinician, he has presented workshops and guest conducted ensembles for Indiana University of Pennsylvania, John Carroll University, Benet Academy, District, Region/State and County Choral Festivals, and workshops for local high schools. Thomas has presented music for the First Lady of Uganda and The Queen of Jordan upon their visits to the Pacem In Terris Institute. He has also served as the assistant conductor of the Bach Choir in Pittsburgh presenting with Maestro Thomas Douglas the Pittsburgh premiers of Bernstein’s “Mass” and David Chesky’s “The Agnostic”. At Saint Procopius Abbey in Lisle, Illinois he presented a series of concerts for peace in the Holy Land. This past summer he conducted the European premier of Nancy Galbraith’s Passion According to Saint Matthew in Manchester Cathedral in Manchester England.
Currently, Thomas is the music director of the Westmoreland Choral Society, the music director of Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, the Pittsburgh Festival Orchestra, Maestri Singers and the Diocesan Choir of Greensburg. He also an Assistant Professor of music at Saint Vincent College and the musical consultant to the Archabbot of Saint Vincent. At the college, he conducts the Saint Vincent Singers and teaches courses in voice, musical theater, and opera.
Keep up with all of Maestro Octave's upcoming performances by checking out his website at www.thomasoctave.com.
ACCOMPANIST: Nancy Finke Sheehan Nancy Finke Sheehan has performed with many community, church, and local musicians through her work as an accompanist, church musician, piano teacher, and choral director. She has also accompanied for students at Duquesne University, for the CCAC Boyce Campus Choir, and for Franklin Regional Middle School concerts. Ms. Sheehan re-organized the Westmoreland Children’s Chorus after it had been inactive for several years, serving as Director from 2012-2015. She is the organist and former director of the choirs at Christ’s Lutheran Church in Murrysville, where she has designed several unique worship services, both traditional and eclectic, including New Sound, a contemporary worship experience. Working from her home studio in Plum, Ms. Sheehan teaches piano students of all ages. A member of the Pittsburgh Piano Teachers’ Association, she is passionate about working with students to achieve their highest level of musicianship. Her students have been heard at local school events and at area nursing homes, and have achieved superior ratings each year in NFMC’s Junior Festival held at Duquesne University. During her tenure as Choral Director in Leechburg Area Schools, her choirs toured and performed in Toronto, Chicago, and Virginia. Her students were selected each year to participate in PMEA choral festivals, and the Pennsylvania All-State Choir. She has been vocal director and accompanist for many musicals, including Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story, Footloose, Hello Dolly!, The Music Man, and The Wizard of Oz. Ms. Sheehan is a graduate of Seton Hill University, with post-graduate work at Duquesne University and the University of Iowa, where she studied piano with James Avery and Carole Lesniak. It is her great joy to work with Director Tom Octave and the wonderful members of the Choral society! When she’s not performing, she loves spending time with her husband Ed, her children, and her new grandson Kai!
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