Peter Hilliard, Director
Peter Hilliard is deeply involved in the musical life of the greater Abington area and is also active on a national scale. Peter holds a bachelor’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory and a Master’s in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU. His musicals and operas have appeared at The New York Musical Theatre Festival, the Tanglewood Institute, Manhattan Opera Theatre, Lyric Opera Of The North, Urban Arias, Opera Memphis, Carnegie Mellon, and the Chicago Fringe Festival, among many others. His new opera received a reading at Carnegie Mellon this Spring and a full production will be mounted in Washington, DC this Fall. Other new works performed this season include premieres by baritone Todd Thomas, the Abington Symphony, and Upper Dublin High School.
Peter has accompanied Broadway legend Christiane Noll, Tony nominee Marla Schaffel, and local theatrical luminaries like Krissy Fraelich, Jeff Coon, and Alex Keiper. He has provided vocal arrangements and orchestrations for the Barrymore Awards and Another Holiday Show with the Swing Club Band at Theatre Horizon, as well as orchestral music for the Old York Road Symphony, the Abington Symphony and the Ocean City Pops.
His choral music has been performed by numerous choirs including The Mendelssohn Club, Vox Musica, The San Francisco Choral Artists, and the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia. His music has also received awards and nominations from the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Turner Classic Movies Young Film Composers Competition, Vocal Essence, The Young New Yorker’s Chorus, and the Ned Rorem Award.
Peter has music directed on both coasts and Off-Broadway, was the music director for a reading of Kerrigan and Lowdermilk’s new musical Republic at the Arden, and was assistant music director for a workshop of Saturnalia by acclaimed percussionist/ composer Susie Ibarra and Pulitzer Prize winner Yusef Komunyakaa at the Music Theatre Group in New York. Peter is an adjudicator for the Mario Lanza Scholarship, serves as accompanist for the choirs of the Abington School District; is the minister of music at Berachah Church in Cheltenham, the Music Director of The Savoy Company, and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Villanova, where he teaches music history and is the musical director of the Graduate Theatre Program. In August 2018, Peter will return to the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in Harrogate, England to conduct the Savoy Company’s production of Iolanthe. He occasionally plays jazz piano with the Bob Wagner Quartet and the Sean J. Kennedy Trio. Peter works and teaches in Glenside where he also lives with his wife Allison and their four children.
Keith Beale, Assistant Director
Keith Beale is a graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in music education. Keith has had a varied career, teaching music in public schools, working for Verizon Communications, and, after retirement, he served as part-time administrator at the Church of the Open Door and was the director of finance and marketing at CLC Ministries International. He is very involved with West Chester University having served on the Board for 12 years and as Chairman of the Board for the last two years. Mr. Beale has sung the lead in a few operas, performed many concerts as a core soloist with the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, sang with the Philadelphia Orchestra and was the interim director of the Abington Choral Club. He currently sings with the Abington Choral Club and Ambler Choral Society and he is the choir director at Church of the Open Door. He is an accomplished organist and pianist. His wife, Nancy, is a pianist and often accompanies him in solo concerts and at church.
Roburt Gajdos, Accompanist
While attending the Pennington School on a music scholarship Roburt studied piano forte with Mathilde McKinney of the Westminster Choir College of Rider University, and at Oberlin College with Joseph Schwartz and Albert Stanziano.
He continued his studies at the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts with Susan Starr. Roburt studied composition with Dr. Eugene Copeland for an M.A. at The College of New Jersey, and also studied tone production with Olga d’Stroumillo, an associate of Vladimir Horowitz. From his earliest studies, Roburt realized a powerful attraction to the Romantic composers, and a startling ability to comprehend and interpret their music. He appeared as a soloist with local symphony orchestras and was the winner of numerous awards and scholarships.
Roburt is currently on the faculty of the Central Bucks Conservatory. He has been the pianist and organist for St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in New Hope, PA since 2001. He is currently performing in Duo D’Esterhazy with violinist Alexandre Djokic. The duo has performed extensively in Philadelphia, Chicago, New York City and Bucks County, PA. Roburt also gives solo concerts featuring works of the Romantic and Impressionist composers, as well as original compositions.
Board of Directors
President: Richard Gustafson
Vice President: Karen Guy
Treasurer: Sue Schmid
Corresponding Secretary: Marianna Sullivan
General Secretary: Therese Maher
Directors: Myriam Hertzog, Noel Kress, Tina Sirkin, Alan Wendell
Music Committee Chair: Sharon Dicker
The Music Committee sets the musical direction of ACC and works with the Music Director to select the pieces for each concert.
Chairperson: Sharon Dicker
Music Director: Peter Hilliard
Assistant Music Director: Keith Beale
Board President: Richard Gustafson
Music Librarian: Jane McCrabb
Soprano Representatives: Diane Dilks and Annie Scozzare
Alto Representatives: Laurie Pellicore
Tenor Representative: Keith Beale
Bass Representatives: Edwin Barnes and David Small
Other Committee Chairpersons
Membership: Keith Beale
Patrons: Marianna Sullivan
Concert Attire: Therese Maher
Social Media: Erin Onady
Ushers/House Management: Patricia Imms
Website: Rachelle Leese and Chari Small