Dr. Herbert Vincent-Ricardo Pea’dro Jones and The Heritage Gospel Chorale of Pittsburgh
Director of The Heritage Gospel Chorale of Pittsburgh since its founding, Dr. Jones is one of the nation's foremost figures in choral conducting and pedagogy and an expert in the intersection between theology and musical expression. A Southern transplant to Pennsylvania, Dr. Jones has cultivated a broad-based, multifaceted career as a choral conductor, educator, operatic and oratorio bass, liturgical dancer, orator and pastor, teaching and performing across the United States and Europe.
Dr. Jones holds numerous degrees: B.S. in Music, M.S. in Counseling Psychology, M.Mus. in Choral Conducting/Music Education, M.Divinity (M.Div.) in Sacred Music, Dance & Drama, D.M.A. in Music, Choral Conducting, Performance Pedagogy & Choral Music Education, and has done Ph.D Studies in Ethnomusicology. Dr. Jones has taught in the Public Schools of Mississippi (grades 6-12), the Private High School sector (The Piney Woods School, Mississippi, The Neighborhood Academy-Pittsburgh) and colleges in universities in North Dakota, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi, respectively.
Dr. Jones is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Music Educators National Conference, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Tau Beta Sigma, and the National Guild of Sacred Dancers. He has published articles in the Mississippi ACDA/Mississippi Music Teachers Journal, the Academic Division of GMWA, the Milestone Christian Bookstore Newsletter, and several others.
Dr. Jones is listed in: Who's Who Among American Teachers (dual listing); Distinguished Church Musicians In America, Outstanding Personalities of the America, Marquise International Who's Who, Residential Scholars, Choral Scholar, (University of Mississippi); in 2011, 50 Men of Excellence (selected by the New Pittsburgh Courier), in 2013, one of 5 men selected as “Men of Distinction” recognized by the Rachel Randall Education Ministry of the Pentecostal Temple Church of God In Christ, Pittsburgh, PA., and several others.
Dr. Jones is considered a leading authority on the music of Moses George Hogan. His Doctoral Dissertation, “THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN SPIRITUAL AND GOSPEL SONG: THE MUSICAL CONTRIBUTIONS OF MOSES GEORGE HOGAN, COMPOSER AND ARRANGER”, is the only definitive work on the life, music, compositional style of the composer.
An Ordained Minister of Music, Dr. Jones is Executive Administrative Assistant to the Academic Dean, Academic Division, of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Inc. (GMWA), and sits on the Boards of The Simmons Scholarship Foundation, Inc. (Columbus, OH), the Afro-American Music Institute (AAMI) (Pittsburgh, PA), ‘All Nations Dance’ (Pittsburgh, PA), the Pentecostal Temple Development Corporation, Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA), Professionals for Christ, Inc. (Birmingham, AL), and RAISE Academy (Columbus, OH), and is on the faculty of Community College of Allegheny County, Allegheny Campus – Department of Music.
Dr. Jones continues to maintain an active schedule conducting seminars and workshops, guest conducting, and adjudicating choral festivals and competitions.
Anita Levels, MS
Anita Levels is a vocal artist, songwriter and producer who began singing at the age of 3 years old in Frankfurt, West Germany. As a preacher’s kid from a New Orleans musical family, singing and music were in her blood.
She has sung in front of national and international audiences, has toured the country of Holland as the director and founder of the then Carlow College Gospel choir, Blessed, with ethnomusicologist Dr. Portia Maultsby. Anita was featured in the NFL Super Bowl 50 commemorative commercial, the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival, and many other private and public events. She has a plethora of original music on all streaming music platforms.
Anita Levels has a Master Degree in Training and Development from Carlow University and believes that music should evoke the spirit of love, healing and thought. She is also a proud mother of two girls and a potential fish (contingent on if the girls do their chores consistently☺).
Since 2007, Michael has served in the music ministry of numerous churches, including Nazarene Baptist Church, Covenant Church, Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, Resurrection Baptist Church, Baptist Temple, First Baptist Church of Bridgeville, First Baptist Penn Hills, Wesley Center A.M.E. Zion, and Sixth Mount Zion. He currently serves as the Journey Praise Team Director at East Liberty Presbyterian Church. Michael has led gospel choirs at The University of Pittsburgh, Slippery Rock University and Geneva College.
In the Summer of 2015, Michael traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria where he performed as soloist at an International Music Festival. In 2017, Michael became the first Duquesne student to ever hold the title “Campus Superstar” which is an American Idol like competition for collegiate students from all across the greater Pittsburgh area. After competing ins several rounds against 120+ students, Michael eventually was crowned the champion.
Now in his third season, Michael serves as an Anthem Singer for the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he performs both the U.S. and Canadian Anthems at PPG Place during the regular season. Most recently, Michael performed with Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. in November of 2019 for an event sponsored by The Pittsburgh Promise, and Michael also emceed at the event. And just a few weeks later, Michael completed his first solo album titled A Peace of Christmas where he sings a mixture of holiday classics and songs celebrating peace.
Michael graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Music Education (2017) and a Masters of Science in Education Administration (2018) from Duquesne University, and is preparing to defend his dissertation and graduate from the Doctor of Educational Leadership program at Duquesne University (2022).
Currently, Michael serves as the Assistant Principal at Pittsburgh King PreK-8 (Pittsburgh Public Schools), after serving as the Director of Choirs in the Avonworth School District where he taught 5th-12th grade choir and 6th-8th grade general music the past few years. Michael is also the Project Hope Fellow, a homeless education initiative sponsored by Duquesne University; the recipient of the Young, Gifted and Black Award (2020) for his commitment and service to his community; and the Duquesne Duke of the Decade recipient (2020) for his accomplishments after graduating from the Mary Pappert School of Music and the School of Education.
vanessa german is a citizen artist creating sculpture, performance, immersive installation and photography, that center the earthling’s experience with loving, connection, intimacy, vulnerability and creative power, as definitive Human Technologies. German’s work centers the insistence of heart, Soul, and, loving, as critical engines of shape-shifting and future-making in the dynamic ecosystems of body and community.
Lynne Hayes Freeland
Lynne Hayes Freeland is a general assignment reporter known for live, late-breaking reporting for KDKA-TV News. She is also producer/host of “The Lynne Hayes-Freeland Show,” a weekly half-hour show that concentrates on local African American issues.
She began her broadcast career as the producer of the Roy Fox Show on KDKA-Radio. Since joining KDKA-TV2 in 1976, Lynne has held a variety of positions. She was a field producer for the station’s “Evening Magazine” program. In 1981, Lynne moved to the station’s programming department where she created “Weekend Magazine,” produced what was then known as the “Vibrations” program, and directed a variety of commercial efforts. In 1985, Lynne began a five-year stint as the producer of KDKA’s Annual Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund Telethon. As a result of those efforts, Lynne was named Director of Community Programs until her move to the news department.
An active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, Lynne has also been involved in a variety of community service work including volunteering time on several local Boards. Her work has been recognized by organizations both locally and nationally.
A graduate of St. Paul’s Cathedral, now part of Oakland Catholic, and Duquesne University, Lynne resides in Pittsburgh.