Meet the Singers

Meet the Mendelssohn Choir Singers!

The Mendelssohn Choir is made up of 140 unique, talented, and brilliant individuals.  Check back here often for profiles of our fascinating singers!

+Briana Brickner-York, Alto

Full Name: Briana Brickner-York

Neighborhood of Residence: South Side

What do you spend your time doing when you’re not singing with the choir? I’m a high school teacher, and I’m also working on obtaining a Masters Degree in Choral Conducting.

Number of Years with MCP: 5

Most Memorable Moment with MCP: The ending of my first Beethoven 9. It was breathtaking to witness the audience stand up and cheer after such a triumphant finale! I totally teared up at every performance.

What are you most looking forward to in the upcoming MCP season? Another incredible collection of music to sing!

What is your current favorite band or artist? Meat Loaf! I’ve always been obsessed. My husband and I actually recently had a Meat Loaf themed wedding after getting engaged at one of his concerts! (For the record, he liked him too before we met!)

What do you do to celebrate / unwind post-show? Friday post-show nights are typically for ordering pizza and watching Golden Girls, and on Sundays I usually go straight to get groceries for the week!

What’s the best restaurant in Pittsburgh? There is no one answer to this question! Downtown I’d have to say Emporio or Salonikas, and in South Side we love Carmi, The Pretzel Shop, Emiliano’s…oh, and Twelve and Waffles InCaffienated has amazing brunch!

What’s always in your refrigerator? Grapes. I eat them at least twice every day!

Do you have any pets? We have a dog named Titan, and he’s the friendliest! We also have two gerbils named Biscuits and Gravy. Gravy is super sneaky, but Biscuits is pretty chill.

What is your most prized possession? A signed copy of one of Stephen King’s novels. I sat on the sidewalk for 5 hours to get a ticket to see him speak a couple of years ago, and getting an autographed book was just the icing on the cake! I’ve always been a huge fan.

+Brian Filtz, Tenor

Full Name: Brian Filtz

Neighborhood of Residence: Swissvale

What do you spend your time doing when you’re not singing with the choir? When am I not singing?! Seriously though…spending time with friends and family, going to movies, chasing after my cats, traveling, binging Netflix, and so forth.

Number of Years with MCP: 10

Most Memorable Moment with MCP: Performing with the PSO at Carnegie Hall in May 2014.

What are you most looking forward to in the upcoming MCP season? Learning, mastering, and performing new music (and revisiting some “old friends”).

Other than classical, what is your favorite genre of music? 80’s rock n’ roll (don’t hate!), but I have many others. Just want to bring a little controversy to the answers. HA!

What is your post-show ritual? Food and/or drinks with fellow choristers, friends/family that attended the concert.

What has surprised you most about participating in MCP? The friendly atmosphere of the organization and its continued dedication to excellent music performances.

Who is your biggest fan? My parents

What’s your favorite place to take out-of-town visitors? Mount Washington overlooks.

What’s always in your refrigerator? Bottled water, pierogis, and what’s a Pittsburgh refrigerator without some good ole Heinz ketchup?

Do you have any pets? Two cats: Storm and Nightcrawler.

What is your most prized possession? Off the cuff, one of them is: A souvenir program for ‘Wicked’ from the original Broadway cast signed by Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth and Stephen Schwartz.

What’s on your bucket list? Skydiving in Switzerland (who wants to go with me?!)