As a child, David M. Spitko studied piano with Dorothy Heebner and participated in his church choir under Marian Archibald. Both experiences were instrumental in developing his love of music. During this time, when his church was in need of a summer organist, he taught himself to play the organ. In his college years, while studying political science at Ursinus College, he learned conducting and served as a student director of the college choirs for four years.
After his college years, David experienced theatre enjoying roles in The Music Man, Showboat, South Pacific, Yeomen of the Guard and The Mikado. In the busy year of 1978, he accepted the position of Organist/Choir Director at Upper Dublin Lutheran Church (UDLC) and formed The Choristers. In the mid-1980s, David took an 18-month sabbatical from his position at UDLC to assist and receive advanced training in directing from Robert Carwithen at First Presbyterian Church in Germantown. In 2004, David retired from his position at UDLC to concentrate on his position with The Choristers.
“Through the years, I have been incredibly blessed to have the experience of preparing and directing the wonderful music that the choir has presented.” David practices labor and employment law as a sole practitioner in North Wales where he lives with his wife, Sue (the choir’s Treasurer) and six cats: Sami, Braveheart, Friar Tuck, Midnight, Shadow and Chip.
Kelly Wyszomierski has been working with The Choristers as their Associate Director since 2014. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Penn State University, where she studied piano, and a master’s degree in Choral Conducting from Temple University. She spent five years teaching middle school choir in West Hartford, CT and returned to her home state of Pennsylvania to attend graduate school. Kelly now teaches choral music to students in grades 6-12 at Philadelphia Performing Arts: A String Theory Charter School. She is also the Artistic Director of the Pennsylvania Youth Chorale, a community children’s choir based in Abington. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys cooking and baking, skiing, Penn State football, the San Francisco Giants, and spending time with her husband Steve, sons Travis and Connor, and cat Cocoa.
The Choristers welcomes Astghik “Astrik” Sakanyan as its Collaborative Pianist – joining the artistic staff of the choir in spring 2021.
Astrik started her piano career at Yerevan’s Sayat Nova School of Music in Armenia. She thereafter attended the Joaquin Rodrigo Conservatory of Music in Valencia, Spain receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in piano performance with honors. During the last year of her undergraduate studies, she was awarded a full scholarship to study under Dr. Sándor Falvai at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary.
Continuing her international studies, Astrik then moved to California to attend the San Francisco Conservatory of Music studying Collaborative Piano under Dr. Timothy Bach, the Chair of the department. Astrik received her Master’s in May 2017 – again graduating with honors. While at SFCM, Astrik also served as a piano teacher at Berkeley’s Golden Key Piano School.
Upon graduation, Astrik served as a school pianist at San Francisco Ballet, a collaborative pianist for the San Francisco Girls Chorus and at Acalanes High School in Lafayette, and piano teacher at The Hamlin School in San Francisco.
Throughout her musical career, Astrik has collaborated with many outstanding musicians. Among them are Isabella Moore (Soprano), Jeremiah Shaw (cello), Keisuke Nakagoshi (piano), Evan Kahn (cello), Ani Bukujian (violin), Joseph Christianson (violin).
Astrik now lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and child – working as a professional freelance musician and maintaining a private studio teaching piano.