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T he Pittsburgh Youth Concert Orchestra (PYCO) School of Music has been enriching the minds of local musicians in the Wexford and surrounding areas since it opened in January 2016. The PYCO School of Music features two recital halls, numerous classrooms and studios—all equipped with Steinway pianos—and a full-service music store. The academic side is operated by PYCO, and a board of directors comprised of musicians and business leaders runs the business side. PYCO is under the direction of Pablo Ardiles, Artistic Director. Ardiles, 51, and his wife, Claudia, were born in Argentina and have been living in Pittsburgh for 26 years. The two are residents of Wexford, and have two children—Santiago and Gabriela. Ardiles obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Chamber Music, with a concentration in violin performance and conducting, at the University of La Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and his Master of Music in Violin Performance at Carnegie Mellon University. He also holds an Artist Diploma from Duquesne University. While at Carnegie Mellon, Ardiles studied with Aaron Bitran and Andrés Cárdenes, former concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony. Ardiles has coached and conducted several youth orchestras, as well as ensembles and professional groups in the USA and abroad. In Pittsburgh, he has conducted the Pittsburgh Philharmonic, PMEA District 1 Orchestra and PYCO. He has been the artistic director of PYCO since 2006, which he conducted both in the USA and during international tours in the European cities of Salzburg, Vienna, Prague, London, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Paris. The PYCO School of Music was created to gi ve a home to the Pittsburgh Youth Concert Orchestra—a nonprofit organization that was established in 2006—and to provide a comprehensive music program and music resources to children, youth and adults in the Pittsburgh area. “PYCO was created by a team of musicians from the Pittsburgh Youth Concert Orchestra and a group of people committed to music education in the community,” says Ardiles. “PYCO was brought to Wexford because most of the families in the orchestra were coming from the North Hills area of Pittsburgh, and a full- service music store was needed to fill the void left by the closing of Musik Innovations.” The PYCO School of Music offers private lessons for all ages and instruments, including voice, in addition to classes for early childhood music, music theory, composition and Royal Conservatory programs. The school also offers the following ensembles: Symphony Orchestra (9th through 12th grades), Chamber Strings (6th through 9th grades), Junior Strings (4th through 7th grades), Junior Wind Ensemble (5th through 8th grades), Chamber Woodwinds (8th through 12th grades), Chamber Brass (8th through 12th grades), Youth Choir (7th through 12th grades), Jazz Ensembles (6th through 12th grades) and Rock and Fiddle Groups (6th through 12th grades). The PYCO retail music store has over 30,000 sheet music titles in stock, as well as gifts and accessories. It offers rentals and sales of all instruments. Brass and woodwind rentals, sales and repair are offered in the location by Hollis & Germann. “The PYCO School of Music offers a beautiful and comfortable, well-designed music facility,” says Ardiles. “Along with its well- crafted music programs and dedicated professional teachers, musicians of all ages can share and develop their love of music and musical pursuits in a nurturing and caring environment.” He adds that it is “the only private high-quality music instruction facility of its kind in the Greater Pittsburgh area. By being located in Wexford, a thriving family-oriented community, the PYCO School of Music adds to the vibrancy, attraction and retention of families in the North Hills area.” Future plans for the PYCO School of Music include launching an innovative short-session chamber music program, expanding its composition and theory programs, and continuing its community outreach. The orchestra is currently gearing up for its third international tour of Europe this July. It will perform in Venice, Florence and Rome. All musicians and guests—regardless of whether they are current members of PYCO—are welcome to join the group. The PYCO music store is open Monday through Thursday from noon to 9 p.m., Friday from noon to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. The School of Music is open every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. by appointment depending on what program, class or event is taking place outside of the music store hours. For more information, call 724.934.PLAY (7529), visit pycosom.com or stop by the school at 150 Lake Drive, Wexford, 15090. ■ The PYCO School of Music Recital Hall is a beautiful open space overlooking North Park where events such as concerts, recitals, movement classes, dance classes, presentations, productions and receptions can take place. The Recital Hall is 60 feet long by 30 feet wide and has a 17‑foot-high ceiling with stunning acoustics. It can accommodate up to 180 people, and features a movable curtain system that can change the acoustics of the space from a dry rehearsal room to a live concert hall. The hall features a Steinway B piano, and includes access to a full kitchen for receptions. There are 100 parking spaces available on a level parking lot directly outside the School of Music, with direct access to the Recital Hall through double doors for easy load-in. The Recital Hall rental fee is $50 per hour. The following services are available for an additional cost: stage lighting, portable stages, tables, audio equipment, sound and video recording, and event staff. To book the Recital Hall, or for more information, send an email to info@pycosom.com. PINE-RICHLAND ❘ SPRING 2018 43