West Center Chancel Choir Quartet to present special concert on May 21
Sunday, May 14, 2017
The Chancel Choir Quartet of West Center Congregational Church, 101 Pondfield Road West at Chatfield Road, Bronxville, will present a special concert on Sunday, May 21 at 2:00 p.m. in the sanctuary.
Ain'-a That Good News will feature singers Jordan Gumucio, Alayne Faraone, Roger Ohlsen and Russell Ashley, accompanied on the piano by Robert Wilson, and they will be performing an All-American program of works by composers ranging from George Gershwin to Leonard Bernstein to Carly Simon and the Quartet's own Russell Ashley. Singing solos, duets and all together, they will perform Maria and Simple Song by Leonard Bernstein, Bess You Is My Woman Now by George Gershwin, Medley of Three Songs by Russell Ashley, Let the River Run by Carly Simon, Ain'a That Good News by William L. Dawson, Ain't It A Pretty Night by Carlisle Floyd and more.
California native and soprano Jordan Gumucio made her professional debut in 2000 with the Los Angeles Opera and appeared as Musetta in student matinee performances of La Bohème. Other roles include Barena in Janacek's Jenufa and Berginella in Offenbach's La Perichole with the Long Beach Opera. While in Europe, Ms. Gumucio not only sang in Milhaud's L'Enlèvement d'Europe from his Trois Opéras Minutes, she also co-choreographed and performed a featured modern dance sequence. In 2001 she placed third in the Metropolitan Opera Competition's Western Regional Finals and was a finalist in 2002. Upon moving to the East Coast, she sang for the Asheville Lyric Opera and South Carolina Opera. Currently Ms. Gumucio teaches voice, specializing in beginning and intermediate singers, particularly children and is a distributor for LimeLight by Alcone, a professional theatrical makeup company.
Alayne Faraone has been praised in Opera News for her “powerful soprano” and has performed extensively in opera and on the concert stage. She made her debut as Musetta in La Bohème with the El Paso opera and has also appeared with the Los Angeles Opera, the San Diego Opera Ensemble, the Pacific Repertory Opera, the Taconic Opera and others. She has been featured as a soloist with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra and Chorale at Carnegie Hall as well as with the award-winning Debussy Trio and the Halcyon Trio. She was also a member of the chorus for the Three Tenors concert in Los Angeles. A graduate of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington with a Bachelor of Music, Ms. Faraone also has her Master of Music degree from USC. Recently returning to her musical roots in jazz, she enjoys performing with pianist Michiki Fukumori, Aidan O’Donnell on bass and Paul Francis on drums.
Roger Ohlsen joined the Edmonton Opera Chorus at the age of 15 and sang many small roles and in the chorus from ages 16 to 19. He moved to New York in 1973 and studied with soprano Uta Graf for 20 years. Mr. Ohlsen sang Cavaradossi and Fenton with the Houston Grand Opera in 1978 and performed in Manon and La Bohème at the Julliard Opera Center in 1982 and 1983. Mr. Ohlsen sang with the New York City Opera Chorus from 1983 to 2012, performing 25 roles and numerous covers. He is currently teaching voice and has a Reiki healing practice.
Russell Ashley has been a familiar face to audiences in the tri-state area since moving to New York from Arizona 32 years ago. He has appeared as a guest soloist with the Gregg Smith Singers, the Robert DeCormier Singers and Amor Artis in New York and has been a featured baritone at Madeleine and Chartres Cathedrals in France and at the Madeira Bach Festival. Mr. Ashley has performed frequently with the Metropolitan Opera Chorus, the National Grand Opera, the National Chorale, the Opera Orchestra of New York and the New Jersey State Opera.
West Center Church first began 105 years ago when a Sunday School was organized and is celebrating the 90th anniversary of its incorporation in June. The present sanctuary was completed in 1962 and is noted for its beautiful mid-century modern chunk glass windows designed by the Willet Studios of Philadelphia as well as its outstanding acoustics. The church is home to the Bronxville Montessori School, the Tai Chi School of Westchester, and various organizations hold meetings and events there, continuing a tradition of serving the community that started in 1912.
While there is no admission charge, there is a suggested donation of $10. The church is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, and there is parking on the street. For more information, please call the church office at (914) 337-3829, send an email to the church at Westcenterucc@Verizon.net or log on to West Center’s website: www.westcenterchurch.org.