Administration & Governance

James Gourlay, Artistic & General Director

James Gourlay was born in Scotland, where, at the age of ten, he was “volunteered” to play in his school brass band. Being the tallest in class, he was serendipitously given the tuba, an instrument he loves and continues to promote all over the world.

After much success as a solo champion, Gourlay entered the Royal College of Music but left after a short time to become the Principal Tuba of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at the age of eighteen. He continued working at the BBC Symphony Orchestra for ten years, then performed for an additional ten years with the Orchestra of the Zurich Opera. Gourlay’s career as a chamber musician and soloist continues to flourish. He has been a member of the Philip Jones and English Brass ensembles with which he has toured the world, and also continues to perform as a soloist extensively. He has recorded five solo CDs, the latest being British Tuba Concertos recorded for the Naxos label with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, which has since received international critical acclaim.

Gourlay’s early work within the Brass Band Movement forms a vital component of his creative output. After early success with the Brass Band Berneroberland, he became music director of the Williams Fairey Band with which he won the English Masters and British Open contents. Gourlay has also been the professional conductor of the Grimethorpe Colliery and the Etoiles, with which he has won the Swiss National Championships, the Swiss Open Championships, and second place at the European as well as at the World Brass Band Championships.

Gourlay’s commitment to music education is a continuing passion. He has been Head of Wind and Percussion at the Royal Northern College of Music and Deputy Principal and Music Director at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Salford University, a Masters degree from Leeds University, a Fellowship of the Royal Northern College of Music, a Fellowship of the London College of Music, and is also a recipient of the Henry Iles Medal, presented by the Worshipful Company of Musicians for services to the Brass Band Movement. Currently, Gourlay is International Vice President of the International Tuba and Euphonium Association and Artistic Director of the River City Brass.

Cindy Geib, Operations Director

Cindy Geib has been with RCB nearly thirty-three years and has a seasoned grasp on her areas of responsibility. These responsibilities include budget/financial management, marketing, ticket sales, concert series production, contracted performances, and implementing concert sponsorship packages. Cindy studied Arts Management at Seton Hill University from 1986 to 1990. She earned an Associated degree in 1991 from Community College of Allegheny County.

Phil Parr, Planning & Development Director

Phil Parr has over thirty years of substantial experience in the health and human service and public education sectors. He has managed non-profit organizations, operated a management consultation business, and served in the cabinet of the Superintendent of Schools of the Pittsburgh school district. His career in the school system culminated with the position of Chief of Staff. He has also co-founded two charter schools in Pittsburgh, the Environmental School at Frick Park and the Passport Academy in downtown Pittsburgh.

At RCB, Phil oversees the strategic plan and manages development activities to bring in contributed revenue from foundations, corporations, and individuals.

Abigail Langhorst, Operations Assistant, Personnel Manager

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Abby Langhorst is a freelance percussionist in the Pittsburgh area. She has performed with groups such as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, Resonance Works, Alia Musica Pittsburgh, and NAT 28. Outside of Pittsburgh, she has performed with the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra in Tennessee and the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra in North Carolina, under the direction of Gerard Schwarz.

Abby earned her Master of Music degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 2014, where she studied with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and River City Brass. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from DePaul University in Chicago, where she studied with members of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Cleveland Orchestra, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra (emeritus).

Outside of performing, Abby also works as a music educator. Inspired by her parents who both are music educators, she teaches privately and works as the percussion coordinator for the Keystone Oaks Golden Eagle Marching Band in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.

Abby is excited to join the River City Brass team and bring her considerable performance experience to administration and provide support to the organization behind the scenes.

Cassandra Muhr, Marketing & Communications Manager

Cassandra earned her Master’s of Arts in Music Business and Industry from West Virginia University in 2023 and her Bachelor’s of Arts in Communication Arts and Music from Washington & Jefferson College in 2021. While in undergraduate, she developed a love and passion for radio while hosting at WNJR 91.7FM for three-and-a-half years. During her time at WVU, Cassandra held several management roles at Mon Hills Music Group, a student-run record label. While completing her graduate degree, she also established a podcast that focuses on women in the country music industry.

Cassandra has various areas of interests and experience, including marketing, social media, radio broadcasting, podcasting, and artist management. In her spare time, Cassandra enjoys reading, attending concerts, songwriting, and working on music-related projects.

Jeffrey Nicodemus, Principal EB Soprano Cornet & Music Librarian

The Frederic B. Sargent Chair

Jeffrey Nicodemus joined the RCB in 1984. He played 2nd cornet, Repiano cornet and Flugelhorn until 1987, when he became the band’s Principal Eb Soprano Trumpet player. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, where he studied Trumpet Performance under the guidance of the renowned Anthony L. Pasquarelli. He was a two time winner in the Pittsburgh Concert Society Solo Competition in 1987 and has performed with many organizations, including the McKeesport, Westmoreland and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras and the Civic Light Opera Orchestra. He maintains an active freelance performance schedule and a private teaching studio. He is a member of the faculty at Chatham University and Carnegie Mellon University and teaches full time in the Pine Richland School District.

Kateryna Kuzminykh, Graphic Designer

Kateryna was born in Ukraine, in the small Crimean town of Yalta. She has been drawing since childhood, which helped determine her future occupation. After receiving a Bachelors in Graphic Design from the State Crimean University of Yalta, she worked at a local newspaper and then as a graphic designer at an advertising agency. In 2014, she moved to the United States and began working for River City Brass. She continues to draw and explore her love of photography.

Our Board

Chair

  • Mary Rodgers Schubert
    Professional Development Consultant

Vice-Chairs

  • Paul Furiga
    President
    WordWrite Communications
  • Thomas J. Nist
    Retired, Senior Vice President, Private Client Group Sales Development Leader
    The Huntington National Bank

Treasurer

  • Brad McGourty
    Head of Risk Capital Adequacy
    BNY Mellon

Secretary

  • Susan E. Kessler
    Attorney
    Jones Day

Directors Emeriti

  • Douglas D. Danforth
  • David F. Figgins
  • John C. Marous, Jr.
  • Mrs. John C. Marous, Jr.
  • Frederic B. Sargent
  • Mrs. Edward J. Sargent
  • Vincent A. Sarni
  • W. Keith Smith

Endowment Board

  • Gary R. Brandenberger
  • Robert A. Johnson
  • Edward A. Nicholson, PhD, Chairperson
  • W. Keith Smith, Director Emeritus
  • David L. Wohleber

Directors

  • Roderick T. Booker, Ph.D.
    Director of Music
    Westmoreland County Community College
  • Karen Bostick
    Investment Advisor Representative
    Cetera Advisor Networks
  • Matthew Cuomo
    Vice President
    Vision Benefits of America
  • Michelle Doyle
    Assistant Vice President, Senior Marketing Consultant
    Federated Hermes, Inc.
  • David W. Hoffmann, CFP, AFI
    Founder & CEO
    Justabout Wealth Management
  • Dolores Nypaver, MA MPM CFRE
    Director
    Office for Stewardship & Development Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh
  • James E. Ostrowski
    Vice President, National Account Manager
    Federated Securities Corp.
  • Philip Petraglia
    Retired Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
    Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse
  • Kelli Robbins
    President
    Contact One Communications
  • Grant J. Smith, M.B.A.
    Closely Held Business Manager
    BNY Mellon Wealth Management
  • Caleb B. Wallace, Esq., MPH
    Assistant Counsel and Sr. Health Policy Analyst
    UPMC Health Plan