Helsel earned his Ph.D. in Music Education from Kent State University, which featured additional emphases on choral conducting and curriculum design. He also holds a Master’s degree in piano performance from Duquesne university and bachelor degrees in music education and piano performance from Westminster College.  He studied piano under David Allen Wehr and Dr. Nancy Zipay DeSalvo.  Conducting teachers have included Dr. Scott MacPherson, Dr. Jerry Blackstone, Dr. James Jordan, and Dr. Paul Rardin. 

Helsel has composed several choral works and has released albums of his own contemporary music. He has appeared on public radio as a pianist. He has been the conductor for the community choir of Butler County, and he is in demand as accompanist and guest conductor at county and District festivals, most recently in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina.  He has presented research and rehearsal strategies at state conferences in Pennsylvania and Ohio. He has appeared as guest artist in concertos with Regional Symphonies and bands playing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Concerto in F, I Got Rhythm Variations and Saint-Seans’ Carnival of the Animals. As a pianist and singer, Helsel has shared the stage with the likes of Shirley Jones and Garrison Keillor. Aside from performing and conducting, he owns and operates Helsel Music, a full production recording studio and is currently a doctoral candidate at Kent State University, working on his dissertation to earn a Ph.D. in music education. He resides near Saxonburg, Pennsylvania with his wife Heather and son Colin.

Bryan Helsel

owner / Recording Engineer

Beyond serving as chief recording engineer at Helsel Music, Bryan Helsel is the director of choirs and music technology at Butler Area Senior High School, teaching recording and songwriting in addition to running the choral program and serving as music department chair. Under his direction, choirs have received superior ratings at assessments and been invited twice to perform at the Pennsylvania state conference.

Active in the arts in Western Pennsylvania, Dr. Helsel plays piano in the Butler Symphony, organ and keyboards at various churches, trumpet in the Butler Brass Quintet and Musician's Concert Band, and can be found playing recitals locally or playing jazz and pop music at Pittsburgh area venues and private functions. He is listed in “Who’s Who among America’s Educators” as well as “Who’s Who in America.” His professional affiliations include PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators’ Association), NAfME (National Association of Music Educators), TI:ME (Technology Institute of Music Education) and ACDA (American Choral Directors’ Association).


Heather Helsel


Heather Helsel earned her Bachelor of Music (Choral Music Education/Vocal Performance) and Master of Arts in Teaching degrees from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA. She has taught elementary choir, general music, and high school choir in Virginia and is currently the choir director at Marshall Middle School in the North Allegheny School District.

Mrs. Helsel has been a guest director for Middle School Honors Choirs in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. She is a member of the National Association for Music Educators (NAfME), the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and the American Choral Directors Association of Pennsylvania (ACDAPA). 

Heather is passionate about her family, faith, fitness, and the power of music to inspire the best in humanity. She enjoys singing, taking bike rides, teaching group fitness, and ice cream. She lives in Western Pennsylvania with her husband, Bryan; son, Colin; and they are expecting their second child in October 2019. 

Heather can be reached at hnhelsel@gmail.com.

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Other professionals:

Particularly when Bryan is double booked with live on-location recordings, you might see Phil Ball, Chris Snyder, or other qualified professionals on-site to help you achieve a high quality recording. In these cases, Bryan generally will still serve as mixing engineer and graphic designer for the final product. Helsel Music Services is pleased to be associated with excellent people, all dedicated to bring your music to life in the best way possible!