Pittsburgh South Hills Keystone Chorus Leadership

The Keystone Chorus thrives because of the energy and style of the people who have stepped up to lead. Here are a few of the people that make our ensemble tick:


Brandon 

  Brandon Rauch

  Director

  Voice Part: Tenor

  Member Since: 2009



 

In the fall of 2009 Brandon accidentally stumbled upon a performance by the Keystone Chorus at the Bethel Park Community Center. From that moment, Brandon has been actively involved in the Barbershop scene, having sung with three choruses, three quartets, having participated with a youth chorus that performed at Carnegie Hall, and holding various leadership roles in both of his active chapters.

 

                During a brief tenure in Mississippi after graduating from Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) in 2014, Brandon sang with the RSVP Chorus from Germantown, TN. Upon his return to Pennsylvania in 2015, Brandon returned to the Keystone Chorus, also joining Vocal Confluence (then the Steel City Harmonizers) as a section leader and assistant director, and continues to hone his skills as both a singer and director.

 

                In September of 2017 Brandon was named the frontline director of The Keystone Chorus, and in October of 2017 he led the chorus to the distinction of Johnny Appleseed District’s Most Improved Chorus.

 

                In addition to his chorus experience, Brandon has competed in several quartets- most notably Gateway, Top 20 finisher in the Youth Barbershop Quartet Contest in Las Vegas, NV, in 2017.

 

                Prior music experience includes Bethel Park High School Concert Choir and Top 21, along with W&J College Choir and Camerata Singers, for near 15 years of singing experience. During his time at W&J, Brandon received his B.A. in Music and German, where he concentrated the bulk of his studies in conducting and vocal performance.

 

                Outside of barbershop, Brandon is an accountant, currently pursuing his MS of Accounting with a concentration in Taxation.




 

DSCN0107

 

Ken Dobbins

President

Voice Part: Bass

Member Since: 1999

 

 
 

I grew up in Hopewell Township (near Aliquippa)

I attended Michigan State U and am now living in Mt. Lebanon.

I am a computer programmer with Federated Investors.I joined the chorus in 1999. “I had heard barbershop a few times in places like Disney World, and First Night and found it fascinating.” I found the chorus on the SPEBSQSA (now Barbershop Harmony Society) website. Prior to joining the chorus, my only group singing experience was the Catholic grade school boys’ choir. I have played guitar on and off for years and am still a novice at best, and sometimes sing along when I play.Since joining the chorus, my wife and I joined our church choir.

   Other than playing guitar, I jog, and enjoy most strategy games, such as chess, backgammon, and bridge.I’m also a closet mathematician.  If you ever want to be bored to tears, ask me about Pythagoras and the physics of barbershop harmony.







 

 

Stan Kelja2-PresidentStan Kleja

Immediate Past President

Voice Part: Lead

Member Since: 2003

President's Message

 




Stan is an IT Executive with a programmer’s heart has been a member of the Keystone Chorus since 2003 and President of the Chorus since 2008. Stan Loves to sing and especially loves the feeling of creating a ringing chord with 3 other singers. Stan’s hobbies include singing, carpentry, model trains, wine and food pairing and more singing! Stan received Barbershopper of the Year honors in 2007 and 2009.

 

 

 




 

director

 Ken Williams

 Associate Director

 Voice Part:Baritone

 Member Since:1982

 




I have been singing with the South Hills Chapter since 1980.  I have been the director for about 20 of them, beofre stepping aside this season.  In 1970 the chapter sponsored a highschool quartet contest which my sister entered with her friends.  I was inspired by that and the fact that my parents took me to a McKeesport Barbershop show when I was 10.  After graduating from Capital University in Columbus with a degree in music education (and not getting a job) I started singing with South Hills while cutting wood and hammering nails.  Whistling while working was only partially fulfilling.  I needed 4 part accapella.  I have sung in several quartets and competed with two; I sang baritone with Pittsburgh's Treblemakers and sang lead with Tones of Fun.  I also sang tenor with the Travelers but didn't compete.

 

         I enjoy helping other men learn to sing and love hearing and seeing the progress they make.  The team effort, whether a chorus or quartet, is like syncronized swimming for the ears.  What a feeling to ring a chord knowing that you were part of the product.  And the smile on the faces of the audiences we sing for is priceless.

      On a personal note (after 30 years of singing) I have a wife, Maureen, who has stood  beside me through all the rehearsals and show.  I also have two married children, Randy and Kelly and two grandchildren.  My home is in Bethel Park, my wife is from Bethel, my church is here and our Keystone Chorus is here.  My love goes to God, family and community.

 

 

 

 

Bill Smith2jpgBill Smith

Assistant Director

Voice Part: Tenor

Member Since: 1979






I have been singing my whole life.  I first sang in the Boy’s Choir at St. Thomas More Church, while I was in elementary school there.  During high school and college, I took a break and when I  began working a good friend of mine, Bill Ryan, who was then the Music Minister at St. Thomas More asked me to be part of the St. Thomas More Adult Choir.  I have been singing with them ever since and alternating been Tenor and Bass depending on the need at the time.  I’m also a Cantor for Mass at St. Thomas More.  In about 1979, my good friend, Don Mills, got me involved in Barbershop with the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter which then met in Swissvale.  From there we moved on to the North Hills Harmony Line Singers and in 1990 or 1991 I became a member of our South Hills Chapter and have been here every since!

I began here as a Lead and now have moved to Tenor because we have so few Tenors in our group.  I also serve as Music Vice President and Assistant Director.  It has been great these last few months seeing our chorus grow and adding new members.  I love the camaraderie among the group and the chance to help new singers improve and grow in their skills.

I recently retired from the US Post Office where I was employed since 1986 and it is great being retired!  I now have much more time to do the things I could never do before.   My wife, Lorraine, and I have been married for 30 years – and yes, we were married at St. Thomas More Church, because I worked there and sang there, and Lorraine was, and still is, the Administrative Assistant.  You might say St. Thomas More has played an important part in our lives.  We live in Georgetown Estates in Lawrence, PA with our “dog daughter”, Lexi Leigh.








Temp S

 Temp Smith

 Secretary

 VoicePart : Baritone

 Member Since: 2013

 
 

 

 

 


 

I have been interested in music all of my life (so far). In addition to my activities with the Keystone Chorus, I am a longtime church choir member and play the piano, accordion, guitar and harmonica. I also enjoy listening to, and singing, vocal music from Renaissance to (well, almost to) Rapp. A lifelong ambition is to sing numbers from “The Music Man” in a barbershop quartet.










PAul Buheler

 Paul Buhler

 Treasurer

 Voice Part: Lead

 Member Since: 2016

 

 
 

 

 
 Paul attended Crafton High School class of 1954 along with fellow member Jim Vighetti. Paul has been singing since grade school.  He was previously a member of The Village Singers a group that disbanded in 2015. Paul is a 1963 graduate of Duquesne University. His first wife Joan is deceased. Paul re-married in 2014 to his wife Margeret.  He has seven grandchildren and an Enlish Springer Spaniel named "Duke". In 2016 Pal and his wife attended a performance by the Pittsburgh South Hills Keystone Chorus and the Washington County Fair. He recognized Jim Vigehtti from his days at Craftn High and Jim encouraged  him to join the group. The rest is history !
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bob Seeger

 Robert Seeger

 VP of Membership

 Voice Part: Lead

 Member Since: 2016

 



 


Bob first heard about the Keystone Chorus from a mailing that came to his house. In it was an invitation to come out and try it for three weeks. He decided to go. He was welcomed with open arms.
 Bob's background in singing was limited to singing in church and on his own at home. He didn’t know how to read music. He can’t tell you how many guys have helped him over the past year. Some of the music is challenging, but the end result is always worth the work.
The camaraderie between the singers is palpable, and the sing outs (performances at nursing homes, private parties, etc.) are so much fun. Bob looks forward to each Tuesday evening together with the guys – to sing, laugh, and enjoy fellowship. It always lifts his spirit. He has learned a lot in a year (since joining in the spring of 2016) and he looks forward to more years with the group – singing and learning. Bob I am so glad he joined.
About Bob: Bob was born and raised in Pittsburgh, growing up in Wilkinsburg. he currently lives in Crafton, with his wife, Carole, and their two cats. Bob has been working at St. James School and Church in Wilkinsburg, PA for over 20 years. In addition to singing, Bob loves all Pittsburgh Sports, including the Pitt Panthers (Pitt is his alma mater), cooking, antiques, history, and enjoying the outdoors – whether grilling, fishing, walking/hiking, or cutting grass – as long as he is out in the fresh air/great outdoors!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Todd O'FarrellTodd Oa

 Member - At - Large

 Voice Part: Baritone

 Member Since: 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Johns 3

 David Johns

 Member - At - Large

 Voice Part: Bass

 Member Since: 2013

 

 

 

 

 

I was introduced to the Keystone Chorus at the end of 2013 by Temp  Smith. In high school, we had a wonderful music director who encouraged  all to sing. I was able to join the Octet in high school and we sang in a Forensics competition at CMU. I was hooked.

 

My wife (Robyn) and I live in Mt.Lebanon. Our two children (Jessica and David) returned to the area after college and are gainfully employed.

 

I started a plastics manufacturing company in 1982 which I since sold. Though I enjoy being retired, I am always looking for an interesting opportunity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo for mark 

 Carole Panno

 Board Member - At - Large

 Member since 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Carole Panno officially became active with the South Hills Keystone Chorus when she was elected as a board-member-at-large, with her term beginning in January of 2018. Prior to that, for more than a year, Panno was helping the group with general performance and choreography and also served as the stage manager for the chorus’ November 2017 show. Apart from the Keystone Chorus, Panno has worked in the field of fundraising for over 26 years, working at Carnegie Mellon for nearly 25. Both professionally and through her volunteerism, Panno has managed boards and volunteers, planned fundraising events and stewardship activities, managed both staff and programs, and solicited individual gifts at all levels, including contributions of $250,000 or more. Panno also taught dance of various varieties and to all ages for nearly 30 years and also taught professional speaking to graduate students at Carnegie Mellon for several semesters.

 

 

 
 
 
 

Mark S

Mark Schroeder

Webmaster

Voice Part: Baritone

Member SInce:  2012

Birthplace and Hometown: Bethel Park, PA

 

 Always having been enthralled by 4 part Barbershop vocal harmony, Mark joined the Keystone Chorus in May of 2012 after receiving a letter of invitation during our membership drive. Mark has enjoyed every minute of rehearsal and performance since joining the organization and highly recommends to any man who enjoys singing that they give Barbershop a try.

 

 Mark has been singing in Choirs and Musicals since the age of 11, including, Bethel Park High School Concert Choir, Top 21 and Music Theatre, IUP Oratorio Chorus, Christ United Methodist Church Chapel and Chancel Choirs, Stage 62 ( Sandy Dean, Brigadoon 1997).He is a former member (1980 -1999) and Past President of The Harmony Singers of Pittsburgh.

  Mark enjoys spending time with his wife Kathy and their family, bike riding, hiking, traveling, Steelers football, Penguins hockey, Pirate baseball , playing guitar, Civil War history, or just being at home with their pets. Mark was honored as the chapters Barbershopper of the Year in 2013.


 
© 2018 Pittsburgh South Hills - Keystone Chorus
Connected Sound - Websites for the Barbershop Community