Chamber music society to perform benefit concert at Wilkes-Barre

Concert features work from Wilkes-Barre faculty member
Chamber musicians

From left: Timothy Burns (piano), John Michael Vaida (violin) and Theodore Buchholz (cello).

Credit: Courtesy NEPACMS

DALLAS, Pa. — Penn State Wilkes-Barre will host its annual Northeastern Pennsylvania Chamber Music Society (NEPACMS) benefit concert on Jan. 10 featuring a special performance of music composed by a faculty member at the campus. "A Bohemian Winter" begins at 7 p.m. in the historic Hayfield House and is open to the public.

Jonathan Pineno, lecturer in art and music, will debut a new arrangement of his work “Phoenix Quartet,” previously known as “Quartet No. 2” when he wrote it in 1976. The piece includes three movements and will be performed by Pineno on clarinet, Timothy Burns (piano), John Michael Vaida (violin) and Theodore Bucholz (cello).

NEPACMS performs in a group typically consisting of two to nine people. In this chamber type of music, there is one musician per part of the song. Chamber music derives its name from the location at which it was originally played: in a small chamber of a home or building. “A Bohemian Winter” will take place in the ballroom of historic Hayfield House.

Pineno holds a bachelor of science degree in music education from Mansfield University and a master’s degree in clarinet performance from Temple University. He studied for four years with Anthony Gigliotti, first chair clarinetist of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

From 1979 to 2006, Pineno performed as the principal clarinetist for the Northeast Pennsylvania Oratorio Society Orchestra, Schuylkill Symphony Orchestra, Wyoming Valley Band and Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra in more than 50 shows. He performed clarinet, saxophone and vocals with Eddie Derwin and The Polka Naturals from 1994 through 2005.

He is a full-time arts and humanities faculty member at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, where he teaches art and music history, American popular music, history of hip hop, history of photography and forensic photography. Pineno also manages the on-campus Friedman Art Gallery and is the president of Arts at Hayfield.

“It’s an honor to have my original composition played by the talented musicians of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chamber Music Society,” Pineno said. “Hayfield House provides the perfect intimate setting for a chamber music group and this piece.”

Pineno taught music classes for 34 years in the Lake-Lehman School District in elementary, junior high and senior high and also served as the assistant high school band director. At Lake-Lehman, he directed elementary musicals and produced and directed high school plays and musicals.

For 40 years, Pineno has been an adjunct faculty member at Misericordia University. He also taught online humanities and arts classes for the University of Phoenix for six years.

He began composing and arranging music in 1965 with the help of his parents, who were music teachers. Pineno has composed and arranged multiple pieces for bands, choruses and orchestras. Some of his more recent compositions and musical arrangements are included in the documentary films “Harvey’s Lake – A Video Postcard,” “The Battle of Wyoming” and “The Frances Slocum Project.”

Space is limited for “A Bohemian Winter.” Tickets are available online at for $20 each. This year’s performance benefits the NEPACMS annual performance season and is co-sponsored by Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Arts at Hayfield, Back Mountain Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce.