Board Of Directors
Michael Langston, President
A recent transplant from Louisville, Kentucky, Michael Langston is an adjudicator, teacher, conductor and musician performing across Philadelphia and the suburbs. In addition to playing with the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, Michael also plays with the Southeast Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra in Lansdale, the Montgomery County Concert Band-soloing with them twice, and has performed with major orchestras across the Mid-West and the South.
He maintains a private studio of 18 students on flute, oboe and bassoon, teaches in Delaware County schools and arranges music for bands, woodwind ensembles and flute choirs for two publishers.
Michael holds a Bachelor's of Music Education from the University of Louisville and a Master's of Music, Multiple Wind Instrument, Woodwind Specialist from the University of Michigan.
He makes his home in Eagleville, PA with his husband, daughter and silver lab, Daisy Mae
Michael W. Pettis, Vice President
Michael W. Pettis is a passionate musician, composer, arranger, and educator whose life’s work is to inspire creativity, growth, and understanding through music. Michael has earned his Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Theory and Composition from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. At West Chester University Michael studied composition with Larry Nelson, Andrew Yozviak, Mark Rimple, Van Stiefel, Adam Silverman, and Robert Maggio. Michael also studied tuba under the guidance of Jonathan Fowler during his undergraduate career. Continuing his education, Michael is currently pursuing his Masters in Music Performance on Tuba, at Rutgers University. Michael studies tuba with Alan Bear, Principal Tuba of the New York Philharmonic, and Brass Department Chair at Rutgers University. As a performer, Michael has had the pleasure of playing alongside various artists such as Canadian Brass, Tine Thing Helseth, and Michael Truesdell. Michael is currently an active member of Rutgers University Brass Ensemble, and Graduate Brass Quintet, and the Philadelphia Wind Symphony. Michael has participated in multiple recording sessions as can be heard on the following albums; Borrowed Inspirations, Reanimations, and Like a Flame to a Moth.
Elizabeth Kell, Treasurer
Elizabeth Kell is a passionate advocate of music as a lifelong pursuit and avocation. Liz graduated with a BA in Physics from UPenn with a minor in music history, and studied for a Master of Design at the Institute of Design in Chicago. She is currently director of the user research practice for Comcast product design. As a Philadelphia-area native, Liz was flute section leader in the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra for several years, receiving PYO’s Helen Karp Distinguished Service award. In addition to PYO, Liz was an active performer in orchestras, chamber ensembles and theater productions in the greater Philadelphia community and at Penn. After a long break, Liz returned to the flute as an adult where it quickly became an avid pursuit outside of her professional work. Along with piccolo in PWS, Liz is a member of the flute sections of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony and The Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, and performs with the First State Flute Choir. She recently won first prize in the Flute Society of Washington DC Adult Amateur Competition and performed in masterclasses for Jeffrey Khaner. She is a former student of David Cramer and currently studies with Mimi Stillman.
Joe Brausam, Secretary
Joe Brausam is a music teacher at Berkeley Township Elementary School in New Jersey and also works with Allentown High School as the assistant marching band director and director of the chamber music program. Joe holds a Bachelor of Arts in music education from The College of New Jersey and a Master of Music in Wind Conducting from Messiah College. Joe regularly freelances as a horn player in New Jersey and also performs with the Exit 4 Woodwind Quintet. He has also been a member of the Philadelphia Wind Symphony since 2013. As a member of the Board of Directors for the South Jersey Band and Orchestra Directors Association, Joe oversees the junior high honors wind ensembles as the program coordinator and conducted the group in their 2015 concert.
Peter Schoenbach, Member-At-Large
Dr. Peter J. Schoenbach was born in Philadelphia in an 1941 and educated in the public schools and at Swarthmore College. After earning a Masters and Certificate in Latin American Studies at Columbia University and a Doctorate at Rutgers, he served as a music administrator at such institutions as the Curtis Institute, Boston and Wayne State Universities, serving as Dean/Director/Chair. Prior to that he held teaching positions at Columbia, Temple, Rutgers and Minnesota. His last position was Director of the School of Music at the State University at Fredonia in which he served for ten years. He is an accomplished bassoonist and woodwind coach and has performed at summer festivals such as the Berkshire Music Festival (Tanglewood), Marlboro, and Bowdoin, and was Director of the School of Music at the Chautauqua Institution from 1997 until 2002 where he played with the Chautauqua Symphony and taught bassoon. He has also played part-time with the Philadelphia, Minnesota, English Chamber, Detroit, Buffalo, and Western New York orchestras. He has published extensively in the fields of Latin American Literature, especially theatre with emphasis on Brazil, and the music of the Hispanic world. These articles include "Portuguese Music Today," in the Portuguese Studies Review, and a Study Guide and Bibliography on Brazilian Classical Music by the Institute of Latin American Studies of the University of New Mexico. He retired in January of 2006 and moved to Philadelphia in November of 2007. There he teaches part-time at the Curtis Institute of Music, and continues to play the bassoon as founding member of the Philadelphia Wind Symphony, and to give lectures and serve as a consultant.