Dr. Yugo Ikach

Professor and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research


Dr. Ikach, a native of McKeesport, Pa., is a frequent recitalist as well as stage performer in both opera and musical theater. He has performed with the Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Natchez Opera Festival, West Virginia Opera Theater, Wheeling Symphony, Ohio Valley Symphony, McKeesport Symphony, C.W. Post Opera and Lake Chautauqua Opera.

Some of his performing credits include the roles of Governor/Vanderdendur ("Candide"), Valere ("Tartuffe"), Danillo ("The Merry Widow"), Eisenstein ("Die Fledermaus"), Tito ("Lend me a Tenor"), Frederic ("Pirates of Penzance"), Sid Sorokin ("Pajama Game"), Lt. Cable ("South Pacific"), and Cornelius Hackl ("Hello, Dolly!"). Recently, Dr. Ikach created roles in two new musicals: Matteo ("In the Colony") and Friedrich Nietzsche ("The Good European").


Although a frequent tenor soloist, he is never too far from the conducting podium. In addition to being a past assistant conductor and director of choruses of the McKeesport Symphony Orchestra, he was featured as a guest conductor in a program titled "Love and Redemption." The program included the "Triumphal March and Hymn" from "Aida," "Va Pensiero" from "Nabucco" and Beethoven's "Ninth Symphony Choral Finale." The headline of the McKeesport Daily News review afterward read: "Two standing ovations: Not a bad way for McKeesport Symphony Orchestra to end its season."


In the fall of 2005, he began his tenure as principal conductor and music director of the Washington (Pa.) Symphony Orchestra, which performs for large audiences at four mainstage concerts per year. In addition, he is music and choir director of Immaculate Conception Church in Washington, Pa. His choir there has sung annual concerts with orchestra for the past 10 years, including Mozart's "Requiem," Handel's "Messiah ," Vivaldi's "Gloria" and Rutter's "Requiem" and "Magnificat."


In the four years since Dr. Ikach was appointed as director of California University Choir, it has performed at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, at the White House and at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., in addition to its local performing schedule.


  • University Choir
  • California Singers
  • The American Musical
  • The Opera
  • Voice Class
  • Creative Digital Music
  • Special Music Project
  • Introduction to Music

Affiliated PennWest California Departments

With the inception of the Commercial Music Technology major, we will collaborate with the departments of Communication, Design and Culture , Applied Engineering and Technology , Communication Disorders ,  Art and Languages, Business,  and Music and Theatre.


Also, Dr. Ikach has collaborated with the Department of Theatre and Dance to conduct a production of "Pirates of Penzance ." Most recently, he conducted the Washington Symphony Orchestra in a concert of dance music while PennWest California dancers performed.


Research Interests

Dr. Ikach continues to hone his abilities as a professional in related fields as a performer (both as a singing actor and conductor). He is especially interested in American popular musical influences upon what might be considered classical music.


Student Research Projects

Often, he creates collaborations between outside professional performing ensembles and PennWest California performing ensembles. For example, the California String Ensemble performs regularly with the Washington Symphony Orchestra, as does the University Choir and dancers from the Department of Theatre and Dance.


Service Learning Projects

PennWest California choirs routinely provide their services to the University by performing for most official ceremonies and in the community by singing at local churches and community events. Dr. Ikach is active in fostering musical projects in Washington, Pa., and Pittsburgh, Pa. He serves on the Community Advisory Board of WQED Multimedia.

  • B.F.A.: Voice Performance, Carnegie Mellon University
  • M.M.: Voice Performances, Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University
  • D.M.A.: Voice Performance, West Virginia University
  • Numerous apprenticeships with opera companies
  • Level I and II certification from Technology Institute for Music Educators (TIME)