Staff Information

The people that make everything work

Nicholas Barthen

  •  Director of Bands – Moon Area High School
  •  K-12 Music Coordinator – Moon Area School District
  •  412-264-9440 ext 2154

Nick Barthen is the Director of Bands at Moon Area High School, conducting the Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band I & II, and Pep Bands. Nick is also the K-12 Music Coordinator for Moon Area School District, overseeing the entire district’s music department in curricular, budgetary, and operational matters.

Nick graduated from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelors of Science degree in Music Education and has completed course work towards his graduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh in Educational Leadership. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the NAfME Council of Music Program Leaders, and is a member of the Executive Board for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Marching Band Association.

Nick’s ensembles have enjoyed great success and recognition. In 2010 and 2011, the MAHS Marching Band was crowned Class 4A Champions in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Marching Band Association Championships; 2016 the Marching Band was the Bands of America Monroeville, PA Regional Class 2A Champions and Finalist Runner-up. The Symphonic Band was chosen to perform at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association State Conference in Erie, Pennsylvania in 2013 and 2017. Under Nick’s direction, the Symphonic Band has received Superior Ratings (1) since 2007 in the Pennsylvania Music Performance Assessments.

In addition, under Nick’s leadership, the Moon Area School District Music Department has solidified its roots as a leader in music education in the state of Pennsylvania. The music department annually sends students to the All-State Music Ensembles, performs in master classes with world-renowned educators and performers, and produces an All-District Music Celebration/Concert, which incorporates over 550 music students ranging from grades 4th-12th, in a continuous music concert extravaganza. The MASD Music Department has been named a 2014, 2015, and 2016 NAMM Best Communities for Music Education School.

As a trumpet player, Nick has studied with Dr. Stephen Hawk, formerly of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, Chuck Lirette, Co-Principal Trumpet of the Pittsburgh Symphony, and Frank Eisenriech, former Principal Trumpet for the Pittsburgh Ballet and Opera Orchestra. Nick continues to perform in and around the Pittsburgh area in both classical and jazz idioms. He is also an alumnus of the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corp from Canton, Ohio.

Nick resides in Moon Township, Pennsylvania with his wife Janice and children Grace and Christopher.

Alan Fear

Mr. Fear serves as the director of percussion for the Moon Area School District teaching 6th -12th grade percussion classes, Comprehensive Musicianship II, 8th Grade Music Appreciation, and 5th grade band classes. Many of the groups that Mr. Fear has worked with have been perennial BOA Regional and Grand National finalists and semi finalists, WGI regional finalists, class champions in the PIMBA marching band and TRWEA indoor circuits, performed all around the country including performances at the Music For All National Percussion Festival. In addition his groups have performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony and at PAS days of percussion. In 2011, Mr. Fear was honored by being chosen to arrange music for NBC and the NHL for the Winter Classic between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, which was viewed by over 4.5 million fans.

As a consultant and clinician Mr. Fear has worked with several band and percussion programs around the country. He was instrumental in the creation and instruction of the Matrix Open percussion ensemble in 2015 and the creation of a new percussion ensemble in the Pittsburgh area, Three Rivers Indoor Percussion in 2010. Mr. Fear also served on the percussion staff for the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011 and 2012. Most recently, Mr. Fear will be working with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps for their 2017 season.

Mr. Fear is a graduate of the Duquesne University Mary Pappert School of Music with a B.S. in Music Therapy with an emphasis in percussion performance. He has studied with Chris Allen of the Pittsburgh Symphony, Rolando Morales-Matos, Lenny Rogers, and Stanley Leonard. In 2001, Mr. Fear has marched with the General Butler Vagabonds and placed in the top ten at the DCI Individual and Ensemble snare drum competition while marching with Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps. He completed a teacher education certificate program at Carnegie Mellon University. Mr. Fear has also served as a music judge for the Pennsylvania Federation of Contest Adjudicators. He currently resides in Coraopolis, PA and performs as much as possible around his busy teaching schedule. Mr. Fear proudly endorses Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets and would like to thank them for their support.

Jennifer Minamyer

Jennifer Minamyer is the Director and Designer for both the Moon Area High School Marching Band Color Guard and the Indoor Winter Guard Programs. Jen has performed with numerous local color guard groups, most notably four years with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps from Canton Ohio. She has instructed and designed for various groups ranging from Slippery Rock University Color Guard to several area high school groups. Jen has been with MAHS Color Guard since 2004 and was the founder of the MAHS Winter Guard Program. Jen is employed by Clearview Federal Credit Union.

Abigail Finkelstein

  • Middle School/High School Band Director
  • Assistant Marching Band Director
  • 412 264 9440  Ext. 3228

Abigail Finkelstein is a band director at both Moon Area Middle School and High School. She has the unique opportunity to work with students in both settings. She is also the Assistant Director for the Moon Area High School Marching Band. Abigail graduated from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education where she headed up the collegiate chapter of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association as President. Abigail earned her graduate degree at Duquesne University in Trumpet Performance where she held an assistantship to help teach Brass Techniques to pre-service music education students. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association and National Association for Music Education.

Abigail has been a clinician at several successful music programs, including Mars, Seneca Valley, and North Allegheny. She has taught private lessons in the Pittsburgh area for 10 years. As a performer, she has a vast and diverse background. She has performed with the Slippery Rock University Winterguard, earning 1st place in the 2014 Three Rivers Winter Ensemble Association Championships. She also marched for two years in Drum Corps International groups: 2013 with Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps, and 2014 with Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps, winning 11th and 5th place at World Championships, respectively. Abigail traveled to Japan with the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps in 2014 to perform and put on clinics in Makuhari and Takasaki as part of a festival sponsored by Yamaha. In 2015, Abigail was a member of Rhythm X Winds during their inaugural season when they earned 1st place in the World Guard International Winds Championships.

As a trumpet player Abigail has studied with Stephen Hawk, formerly of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, as well as Chad Winkler, of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and of Duquesne University. Abigail was the first place winner of the Robert and Carolyn Shankovich Wind Concerto Competition at Duquesne University in 2017 and performed a solo concert at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland. Abigail currently resides in Oakdale, PA with her husband, dog, and cat, and enjoys performing in and around the Pittsburgh area in both the classical and jazz idioms.