2016–2017 Concert Calendar

Asbury-Crestwood United Methodist Church has a long history of outstanding music programs and a record of community service. Music at Asbury was designed as a social service to the community, offering performances by some of New York City and the Hudson Valley’s finest musical artists.
Concerts will be held in the sanctuary at Asbury-Crestwood United Methodist Church, 167 Scarsdale Road, Tuckahoe, NY 10707.
Ample parking is available. Admission is free for all shows, but reservations are strongly encouraged.

Upcoming Events

Our 2016-2017 season has ended. Check back soon for 2017-2018 events!


Past Events

May 7 2017 – 3 pm

Young People’s Chorus of New York
Music at Asbury is thrilled to welcome the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, the premier children’s choir in the United States. Forty young people will present a high-energy, diverse program under the leadership of conductor Elizabeth Nunez. Winning five gold medals at last year’s Golden Gate International Choral Competition, YPC is renowned for its superb musicianship, brilliant showmanship, and as a model for an inclusive society.

Young People's Chorus Spring concert and final graduation for seniors at the 92nd Street Y on June 11,2016. Photo Credit: Stephanie BergerThe Young People’s Chorus of New York City is internationally renowned not only for its superb virtuosity and brilliant showmanship, but as a model for an inclusive society that is being replicated globally. Founded in 1988 on a mission of diversity and artistic excellence by Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez, a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow, YPC harnesses the power of music to fulfill the potential of children and has heightened an awareness of the ability of young people to rise to unforeseen levels of artistry. YPC appears frequently on national television and receives invitations to perform on four continents. Within a period of four months in 2015 YPC won five gold medals at the Golden Gate International Choral Competition, was invited to sing for Pope Francis, an event seen by millions worldwide, and returned from Munich, where YPC became the first American choir to win first prize in the 54-year history of the European Broadcasting Union’s Let the Peoples Sing competition. More than 1,600 children participate in the after-school and in-school programs of YPC, which has been recognized with America’s highest honor for youth programs: a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.

 

Elizabeth Núñez is the Associate Artistic Director of the award-winning Young People’s Chorus of New York City, renowned worldwide for its diversity and supreme level of artistic excellence. At YPC Elizabeth created and directs YPC’s acclaimed Cantare chorus and serves as vocal coach for all six YPC divisions, 400 children in all. She is also the director of YPC’s in-school Satellite Schools Program, bringing YPC’s unique music education program to an additional 1,100 children annually in 15 New York City public schools. Since joining YPC in 2004, Elizabeth has led Cantare at international choral festivals in British Columbia, Wales, and at the Adolf Fredrik Choral Festival in Stockholm, Sweden, where Cantare was the first American choir ever invited to participate in this prestigious choral event. In 2015 she helped lead YPC to five gold medals at the Golden Gate International Choral Festival. Elizabeth is also the founding artistic director of The SoHarmoniums, an intergenerational women’s community chorus, and as a choral clinician and conductor, she is sought after for workshops and performances nationwide. She made her Metropolitan Opera singing debut in Mendelssohn’s “A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream” in 2007 and returned to the role in 2010 and again in 2014.

 

Photos by Stephanie Berger


April 2, 2017 – 3 pm

Asbury Summer Theatre
Back by popular demand, the alumni of Asbury Summer Theatre will present a program titled “Quiet, Please, There’s a Lady On Stage: A Tribute to Judy Garland.” Asbury Church was home to the acclaimed Asbury Summer Theater for 32 years, during which it presented 30 sold-out shows to thousands of audience members.

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Under the dedicated and inspired leadership of Lu and Carl Gmoser, Asbury Summer Theatre brought high quality theater to Lower Westchester, presenting over 30 sold-out shows to thousands of delighted audience members during its 32-year history.  The members of AST are among the most active and sought-after performers of community theater in the greater New York area, recently appearing in leading roles with the Clocktower Players, the Elmwood Playhouse, White Plains Performing Arts Center, Center Stage Playhouse, Actors’ Conservatory Theater, and others. AST’s founding producer, Lu Gmoser, was the recipient of the prestigious Griffon Award for outstanding contribution to the performing arts in Westchester from the Untermyer Performing Arts Council of Yonkers.

 

Director’s Note on “Quiet Please, There’s a Lady on Stage”
I have always been a big fan of Judy Garland. Ever since I was a boy (a very long time ago) and first saw “The Wizard of Oz”, I have been captivated by Dorothy Gale, the young girl from Kansas who reminded us all that “there is no place like home”.

After first seeing Judy Garland in “The Wizard of Oz,” I started watching many of her films. I enjoyed them all, especially the musicals, where she introduced memorable songs such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, “The Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe”, “The Boy Next Door” and “The Man That Got Away”. Many of the songs that she introduced in her films became part of her repertoire during her concert years. Numerous critics regard her as one of the greatest concert performers of her time, while the American Film Institute placed her eighth among the greatest female stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

What is especially unique about Judy Garland is that, unlike many of her contemporaries who have long since been forgotten, she lives on in American popular culture. As long as “The Wizard of Oz” is shown each year on television, Judy Garland is introduced to a new generation of Americans. For both the young and the young-at-heart, she is forever the young girl from Kansas trying to find her way home—she is forever Dorothy.
— Mauro Contrastano


January 15, 2017 – 3 pm

Bill Owens, Trumpet & Craig Williams, Organ
Asbury’s historic Austin organ will be featured in a program of virtuoso works from the Renaissance to today, performed by the associate principal trumpet player of the West Point Band and West Point’s chapel organist and choirmaster. Download the program here.

Listen here.

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Bill Owens is currently the associate principal trumpet player with the West Point Band as well as a member of the West Point Brass Quintet and the mixed ensemble, Quintette 7. Upon receiving his Bachelor’s degree from The Juilliard School in 2005, Bill moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a free-lance chamber and orchestral musician. He quickly established himself by performing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Diego Symphony, the Santa Barbara Symphony as well as numerous other orchestras in Southern California. For six years, Bill was a member of the national touring ensemble, Presidio Brass. While maintaining a busy performing schedule with Presidio, Bill and organist Alison Leudecke performed recitals in venues throughout SoCal. In addition to performing, Bill is the artistic director of the Purchase Symphonic Winds as well as a member of the chamber music faculty at SUNY Purchase. He continues to edit, arrange and write music for his instrument within varying contexts including a recent publication, Basic Training for Trumpet and a series of arrangements for solo trumpet and organ.

craig-williams-2009Craig S. Williams serves as Organist and Choirmaster of the Cadet Chapel, United States Military Academy West Point, where he plays the world’s largest church pipe organ and directs the Cadet Chapel Choir. He is only the fourth organist to hold that position since the present cadet chapel building was erected in 1910, and is presently included in Who’s Who in America. He was the first Currin Scholar (full graduate scholarship) in organ performance at Westminster Choir College, studying under Eugene Roan. He received a Master of Music degree in piano performance from The Juilliard School, where he performed with the Juilliard Chamber Symphony at Lincoln Center, and his Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern California. His organ credits include performing at Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in addition to giving numerous recitals and workshops for prominent cathedrals and churches throughout the country, including the famed Crystal Cathedral in California. He has been a featured performer for conventions held by the American Guild of Organists and the American Institute of Organbuilders. Recently, Mr. Williams recorded a CD, released by Calcante Recordings (CD046), performing at the Baptist Temple in Brooklyn. He is an adjunct professor of organ at Nyack College and serves on the conservatory faculty at Westminster Choir College (Princeton, NJ), teaching a professional certification program for church musicians.


November 6, 2016 – 3 pm

Academy Wind Quintet of West Point “For Veterans By Veterans”
Asbury UMC is proud to once again celebrate Veterans’ Day with the superb musicians of West Point. A program of works by Elgar, Holst, Poulenc, Rimsky-Korsakov, Barber, Berlin, and Sousa, all of whom served in their country’s armed services.

Academy Wind Quintet

Comprised of graduates from America’s finest music schools, the professional musicians of the Academy Wind Quintet provide world-class music and support to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets and to serve as ambassadors of the United States Military Academy and the Army for local, national, and international communities. This ensemble comprises players from within the West Point Concert Band and carries on the great tradition of woodwind playing that has existed at West Point since 1815. The Academy Wind Quintet presents a varied and colorful program of virtuoso chamber music for winds, featuring repertoire ranging from the late eighteenth century courts of Europe to the contemporary masters of the twentieth century. The Quintet performs music for official military functions, social occasions, formal concerts, public service and educational youth clinics and concerts.

The members of the ensemble are:

Staff Sergeant Briana Lehman, bassoon, is in her first year serving as the principal bassoonist of the West Point Band. Before joining the band, she was enrolled in the artist diploma program at Oberlin College. She completed undergraduate studies at Rice University and also attended the Colburn School Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. Staff Sgt. Lehman has participated in festivals at the Music Academy of the West, Round Top Festival-Institute, and the Bowdoin International Chamber Music Festival. She has appeared as a substitute musician with the Houston Symphony and the New World Symphony.

Staff Sgt. Torin Olsen, flute, joined the West Point Band in April of 2010. He received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern California and his Master of Music from Duquesne University. Before arriving at West Point, Staff Sgt. Olsen performed with the Warren Philharmonic, Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, W.D. Packard Concert Band, and McKeesport Symphony Orchestra, where he was featured in the world premiere of Todd Goodman’s Echos, a concerto for piccolo and orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Staff Sgt. Olsen was a founding member of Zephyrs, a Pittsburgh based woodwind quintet, and along with his flutist wife, Brianne, formed the chamber group “The Olsen Duo.”

Staff Sgt. Sam Ross, clarinet, joined the West Point Band in September of 2012. Originally from Russellville, Arkansas, Staff Sgt. Ross earned his Bachelor of Music in clarinet performance from the University of Arkansas and his Master of Music from the University of North Texas. While at North Texas, Staff Sgt. Ross performed with and recorded multiple CDs with the North Texas Wind Symphony. In 2011, Staff Sgt. Ross won third prize in the International Clarinet Association Young Artist Competition in Northridge, CA. He attended the Hot Springs Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, and Round Top Festival Institute, and has performed with the Arkansas Symphony, Victoria (TX) Symphony, Texarkana Symphony, Ft. Smith Symphony, and Lone Star Wind Orchestra.

Sergeant First Class Matthew B. Smith, French horn, joined the West Point Band in September of 2010. Originally from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Sgt. 1st Class Smith received his Bachelor of Music in horn performance from Arizona State University (2001), and then pursued graduate studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the University of Louisville. Prior to joining the West Point Band, Sgt. 1st Class spent three years with the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band at Fort Monroe, VA. While with the TRADOC Band, he performed in brass quintet and concert band, and served as Chief Audio Engineer. Sgt. 1st Class Smith has also performed with the Phoenix Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony and Pops, Richmond (VA) Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Evansville Philharmonic and Louisville Orchestras.

Staff Sgt. Natalie Wren, oboe, joined the West Point Band in February 2014. She holds both a Doctorate of Music and a Master of Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of Music from Furman University in Greenville, SC. In 2007, Staff Sgt. Wren studied oboe performance at the Conservatoire de Versailles in France. As a member of the West Point Double Reed Quartet, Staff Sgt. Wren was a featured performer at the International Double Reed Society (IDRS) in New York City and Tokyo in 2014 and 2015. Staff Sgt. Wren has held teaching positions throughout Ohio and Indiana, including Earlham College and the Indian Springs Academy of Music and has given master classes and guest lectures at universities throughout the country. Staff Sgt. Wren performs extensively as an orchestral and chamber musician, having appeared with the Louisville Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, South Carolina Philharmonic, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Carolina Pops Orchestra, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, and the Cincinnati Sinfonietta. Additionally, she worked as a studio-recording artist for Monastery Records in Cincinnati, OH. She has attended festivals including the American Wind Symphony Orchestra, CCM-Spoleto Music Festival, and the Eastern Music Festival. Staff Sgt. Wren has given recitals throughout the United States, and she has made solo appearances in Italy, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Natalie was a featured soloist with West Point Band in 2015, as well as the Furman Symphony Orchestra in 2008 and the Youth American Debut Orchestra in 2013.

Sergeant First Class Yalin Chi, piano, joined the West Point Band in January of 2008. Originally from Beijing, China, she gave her debut with the Central Opera Symphony Orchestra in 1997. In the same year, she moved to the United States and studied with Victoria Mushkatkol at the Interlochen Arts Academy. Sgt. 1st Class Chi completed both her Bachelor and Master of Music at The Juilliard School. She has performed in such prestigious venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Gardner Museum in the United States, in addition to Kumho Art Hall in Seoul, Korea. SFC Chi has attended the Taos School of Music, Music Academy of the West, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival, where she held an orchestral piano fellowship in 2006. She has performed in master classes for Arie Vardi, Richard Goode, John O’Conor and Boris Berman. SFC Chi has collaborated with many musicians, including Joseph Alessi (principal trombone of New York Philharmonic), Philip Cobb (principal trumpet of the London Symphony Orchestra), Andrew Wan (concertmaster of Montreal Symphony) and clarinetist Charles Neidich.


April 17th, 2016 – 3 pm

Asbury Summer Theatre “Tin Pan Alley
Back by popular demand, AST alumni will close the season with a program of rousing solo and ensemble renditions of some of Broadway’s greatest classic songs.

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Under the dedicated and inspired leadership of Lu and Carl Gmoser, Asbury Summer Theatre brought high quality theater to Lower Westchester, presenting over 30 sold-out shows to thousands of delighted audience members during its 32-year history.  The members of AST are among the most active and sought-after performers of community theater in the greater New York area, recently appearing in leading roles with the Clocktower Players, the Elmwood Playhouse, White Plains Performing Arts Center, Center Stage Playhouse, Actors’ Conservatory Theater, and others. AST’s founding producer, Lu Gmoser, was the recipient of the prestigious Griffon Award for outstanding contribution to the performing arts in Westchester from the Untermyer Performing Arts Council of Yonkers.

The “Tin Pan Alley” program celebrates a unique period in American musical history. From the late 19th century until the first part of the 20th century, the center of the musical publishing industry was located on West 28th Street in Manhattan. Composers, lyricists and publishers churned out a huge volume of musical compositions during that period of time and gave America some of its most memorable music. Some of the famous names associated with Tin Pan Alley include George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, and George M. Cohan. Come join AST as we celebrate these famous American composers and others who were part of the Tin Pan Alley scene. “Tin Pan Alley” will be directed by Mauro Contrastano with music director, Kurt Kelley.


February 7th, 2016 – 3pm

Victor & Gemma Keremedjiev
Join the husband and wife guitar / vocal duo in a program of classical, folk, and popular songs from a variety of cultures and languages entitled, “Music Around the World.”

unnamedVictor and Gemma Keremedjiev are a husband and wife guitar/voice duo. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, Victor Keremedjiev has performed extensively throughout the metropolitan area, both as a soloist and chamber musician. His interpretation of nineteenth century guitar music earned him top honors at the International Guitar Competition in Stresa, Italy. Mr. Keremedjiev has been a member of the faculty of Montclair State University and Upsala College, and is currently on the faculty of County College of Morris; he also directs The Classical Guitar Studio of Denville, New Jersey. Ms. Keremedjiev has studied voice extensively with some of the finest coaches on the east coast. Her vocal flexibility has enabled her to perform a wide spectrum of musical styles ranging from classical to jazz, popular and ethnic repertoire. Ms. Keremedjiev has appeared with the Oratorio Society of New Jersey and the St. Peter Claver Baroque Chorale. She is presently extending her vocal talents to a career as a voice over artist.

See full Bio & Program


November 15th, 2015 – 3pm

West Point Brass Quintet
Comprised of graduates from America’s finest music schools, the West Point Brass will perform a program in honor of Veterans’ Day titled “Classic Brass, On the Edge!” featuring a mix of classical, jazz, contemporary, and patriotic selections.

West Point Brass QuintetComprised of graduates from America’s finest music schools, the professional musicians of the West Point Brass provide world-class music and support to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets and to serve as ambassadors of the United States Military Academy and the Army to local, national, and international communities. Founded in 2003, the West Point Brass presents a diverse repertoire, from Renaissance to modern works, to its audiences. In support of military functions, the quintet has entertained the United States Corps of Cadets and performed for visiting dignitaries and heads of state at West Point. Additionally, the ensemble actively performs throughout the New York metropolitan area as well as the rest of the country.

See full Bio & Program