Ethan LaPlaca

Assistant Organist

Ethan LaPlaca joined the Shadyside Presbyterian Church staff as Assistant Organist in October 2023.

Mr. LaPlaca is the Director of Choirs at Mt. Lebanon High School, where he conducts an active program of four choirs, vocal directs and produces the annual spring musical, and teaches a course in Advanced Placement music theory. He received the Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Duquesne University, where he studied organ with Dr. Ann Labounsky and Dr. David Craighead, voice with Patricia Donohue-Burns, and choral conducting with Christine Jordanoff. He earned the Master of Arts degree in choral conducting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he studied choral conducting with Dr. Gerrit Scheepers and organ with Dr. Christine Clewell. He holds the Colleague certificate from the American Guild of Organists (CAGO).

Under Mr. LaPlaca’s leadership, the Mt. Lebanon High School choral program has grown to exceed 130 singers in ninth through twelfth grade. The choirs have performed on numerous festivals and concerts in western Pennsylvania, and their recordings are often featured on Classical WQED-FM’s Performance in Pittsburgh series. In addition to his teaching career, Mr. LaPlaca performs regularly as a conductor, vocalist, recitalist, and accompanist throughout the Pittsburgh region. He was recognized as an up-and-coming “Who’s Next” in Pittsburgh Music for his contributions to regional performing arts and music education by The Incline.

Mr. LaPlaca has presented organ recitals throughout western Pennsylvania at venues including Heinz Memorial Chapel, Calvary Episcopal Church, East Liberty Presbyterian Church, and Smith Chapel of the Behrend College Campus of the Pennsylvania State University. He also has been a featured artist on local recital series, including Westminster Presbyterian Church’s Organ Summer (Upper St. Clair), St. Paul Cathedral’s Summer Organ Concert Series (Oakland), The Johnstown Concert Series (Johnstown, Pennsylvania), and the Organ Artists Series of Pittsburgh. His performance career has extended to Europe, where he has performed and accompanied choirs in England and France. Mr. LaPlaca’s organ recordings have been broadcast on Classical WQED-FM’s Pittsburgh Organ Series.

Ethan and his husband, Adam Bailey, are members of Calvary Episcopal Church. They live in the South Hills with their Barbet (French water dog), Tillie.