Music At Asbury

Committee Members

Mary Thombs, Asbury UMC Minister of Music and chair, Music at Asbury, New York, NY
Mary Thombs brings to Asbury Church a varied background in vocal, violin, piano, and organ performance as well as extensive experience in the teaching of violin, voice, and choral and string ensembles. She assumed the position of Minister of Music in April of 2006 after having served as Asbury’s Director of Children’s Music for eleven years. She has taught violin and voice for the Rivertowns Arts Council program in Hastings-on-Hudson since 1996 and was a member of the voice faculty of The Dwight School’s Conservatory Program from 2006 - 2020 (where she was formerly Director of Choral Studies). As a violinist, she served as concertmasterof both the Sarah Lawrence Community Orchestra and the Sound Shore Symphony. Prior to hercurrent work as a music educator and performer, Mary Thombs enjoyed a successful career as an arts administrator. She served as Administrative Director of the internationally-acclaimed Bowdoin Summer Music Festival from 1985-1996; Director of Development and Special Programs at the JCC Thurnauer School of Music for ten years; and Director of Development at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s School in New York

Lindsay Baker, Bronxville, NY
Lindsay Baker has been active at Asbury United Methodist Church for over 25 years, including serving as Superintendent of the Sunday School, congregational liaison to Methodists in New Directions, and currently as chair of the Finance Committee.. An enthusiastic supporter of the arts, Lindsay has been a Board member and Treasurer of the Play Group Theatre, a performing arts educational program for children and teens based in WhitePlains, NY. Lindsay is a graduate of Tufts University (BA) and New York University (MBA) and recently retired as Vice President of Finance for the Montefiore Health System. She is active as a financial consultant for the healthcare industry.

Mauro Contrastano,  Bronxville, NY
Mauro Contrastano is a recent retired attorney specializing in the fields of Workers’ Compensation law and SocialSecurity Disability claims and a partner in the firm of Caruso, Spillane, Leighton, Contrastano, Savino & Smollar, P.C. When he is not at the office, Mr. Contrastano is an accomplished musical theater actor and director, having performed in twenty-four productions and directing four musical revues for Asbury Summer Theatre from 1987 until 2007. He is thrilled to be working again with AST, having directed five shows for the Music at Asbury series from 2015-2021. He is currently the director of theater programming at the Pelham Manor Club. 

Lu Gmoser,  Yonkers, NY
Lu Gmoser has been enjoying presenting programs on opera and musical theater for thirty years. Earlier in her career she was in the educational department of the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and became personal secretary to Mrs. August Belmont, founder of the Guild. Later on, she was a reporter and feature article writer for Gannett newspapers in Westchester, and authored a book, “Great Composers.” Mrs. Gmoser was, for more than twenty-five years, producer of Asbury Summer Theatre, an acclaimed community theatre in Yonkers. In addition to her “one woman” programs with recorded music, Mrs. Gmoser is creator of and commentator for an ensemble known as Three for the Show, which regularly presents educational music programs on a variety of topics throughout Westchester County. She is a recipient of the Cab Calloway Lifetime Achievement Award and the Untermyer Performing Arts Council Griffon Award, both for her contribution and commitment to the performing arts.

Diane Kamble, Bronxville, NY
Diane is a trauma nurse at the Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center in the Bronx and a member of Asbury UMC. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation.

Gemma Keremedjiev,  Denville, NJ
Originally from Mt. Vernon, NY, Gemma Keremedjiev is both an educator and a professional singer. She taught English for several years in the Mt. Vernon public schools and for the past twenty years has been on the faculty of the Far Hill Country Day School in Far Hills, NJ. As a singer, she performs regularly in recital throughout the tri-state area with her husband, guitarist Victor Keremedjiev. Her debut album, Cantando in Liberta, can be purchased on She is also founder of the non-profit, Music 2 Make a Difference.

Laura Leopard,  Yonkers, NY
Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, Laura Leopard had an active career as an Equity Actress prior to founding hercompany, Leopard Solutions, the premier legal database resource for legal recruiters, attorneys, law firms and lawstudents. As an actress, her credits include(An Ideal Husband at The Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey, Quartett(at Brooklyn Academy of Music, Amadeus(at the Barter Theatre in Virginia, and Claire in Proof atMill Mountain Theatre in Virginia. She is also a founding member of Gotham Radio Theatre, which performs classics from theatre, literature and the silver screen with actors and sound artists performing live in vintage radio style. For the past several years, Gotham Radio Theatre has had a residency at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts.

Ruth Mackey,  Tuckahoe, NY
Ruth Mackey has been an active member of Asbury United Methodist Church for over forty years, where she has served as a Trustee, Superintendent of the Sunday School, and Chair of the Asbury Nursery School Board. With a MSE in Special Education, she taught for a number of years before spending fifteen years in a variety of administration positions at Sarah Lawrence College. She has been active on the production end of Asbury Summer Theatre since its inception.

Joan Mallory,  White Plains, NY
Joan Mallory is Assistant Professor of Music Education at Nyack College following a stellar 30-year career as a New York State public school music educator, having received the “Model Classroom Teacher Award” from the Music Educator’s National Conference and the “Jenkins Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education.” Ms. Mallory was the general and choral music educator and music department chairperson in the Mt. Vernon (NY) Public Schools. She was the general music specialist and hostess of “The Classical Music Show” on WCWP-FM from 1997 to 2000 and has presented workshops at Concordia College, Hunter College, King’s Highway United Methodist Church. She has been a featured presenter for NYSSMA, NMSA (National Middle Schools Association) NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children), ACEI (Association for Childhood Education International), Niagara University (Music Education Seminars for Social Learning Through Music), and Wesley College (Music Education Seminar), among others. She is the creator and host of “An Opera Experience,” an adult music education program presented in libraries, community centers, and adult education venues throughout Westchester and Rockland counties in addition to monthly at Angelina’s Restaurant in Tuckahoe. She is currently the Lay Leader of Asbury UMC, chairperson of the Lay Ministry Team, and a certified Lay Speaker. Joan is the current President of the Westchester Chapter of 
Zonta International, a global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.

Michael Quigley,  Brewster, NY
Michael Quigley is a retired NYC police officer and real estate agent who has also had a long career as a star of Westchester community theater, having appeared recently with the Armonk Players, Three for the Show, the Pelham Manor Club Players, and in over 20 shows with Asbury Summer Theatre from its inception to the present. He is currently an Associate Real Estate Broker with Century 21 / VJF Realty in Putnam County.