Mid-Week Recital Series

Presented by Dr. James E. Smith, Music Director, the Mid-Week Recital series is held January – May on the second Wednesdays of the month (subject to change.)  Recitals begin promptly at 12:10 p.m. and are followed by a reception with the artists.  Fill out the form below to be added to the Music, Theater, Arts email list to receive information on upcoming events in those categories.  

Free Concerts in the First UMC Sanctuary
Wednesdays from 12:10 to 12:40 p.m.

January 9 – Mark Robson, piano
Mark Robson has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a pianist with “one of the great techniques,” “an inquiring mind” and a performer capable of evoking an “exquisite engulfing pastel haze,” and he continues to impress with his multi-faceted career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. As a collaborative artist with singers and instrumentalists, he commands the respect of his peers in both the recital and chamber settings. He presents an annual recital for the LA series Piano Spheres and has performed for Jacaranda on numerous occasions.

February 13 – Lukas Hasler, organ
Mr. Hasler is currently studying organ at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria and cultural management at the University of Hamburg, Germany. In addition to his participation in the opening ceremony of the Salzburg Festival, he has already performed at the Tyrolean Festival Erl as well as the International Organ Festival in Düsseldorf. Lukas is gaining recognition for his colorful and passionate musicality and has performed many organ recitals in Austria, as well as internationally in Germany, France, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States.

March 13 – AlmaNova Duo, flute and guitar
The award-winning ensemble, AlmaNova, is an innovative flute and guitar duo presenting an eclectic program of chamber music. Flutist Jessica Pierce and guitarist Almer Imamovic are both masters of their instruments, elevating the flute and guitar ensemble to the highest level of virtuosity and artistry. Their live performances are filled with energy and passion creating a “…graceful, intuitively choreographed display of seamless connection.” (Fresno Beehive).

April 10 – The Wilder Trio, clarinet, bassoon and piano
Based in Los Angeles, The Wilder Trio was formed in 2008 by three seasoned free-lance musicians who have worked as colleagues in a variety of music ensembles for the past 20 years. As individuals, these musicians perform regularly with such ensembles as the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the LA Philharmonic, the Pasadena Symphony and Pacific Symphony, chamber music with a variety of local and touring ensembles, jazz ensembles, as well as appearances as recitalists and soloists. The trio’s musical inspiration derives from composer Alec Wilder, an innovator of the 20th century who had an affinity for popular music and jazz as well as classical music. Programs range from Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Strauss and Poulenc, to Wilder, Barber, Gershwin and Ellington.

May 8 – David York, organ
A native of the Pacific Northwest, David York graduated with honors from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma Washington, and completed a Master’s Degree in Organ Performance at the University of Southern California. He has served as Minister of Music at Lutheran Church of the Master in Los Angeles since September 2009. Prior to this, he has been Director of Music at several churches in Southern California including First Presbyterian, San Pedro and St. Luke’s Episcopal, Long Beach. David is organist at Temple Israel in Long Beach and a Lecturer in Music on the faculty of the Bob Cole School of Music, California State University Long Beach.

View Recitals Online!

With the new technology available, we are thrilled to share the art of the excellent musicians to those unable to attend the recitals and a wider audience in general.  Subject to change.  Scroll down to view select past recitals.

To view the recitals live on the church Facebook page, the viewer will need a Facebook account. For assistance or more information contact the church office (310) 393-8258.



Duo Ondine: Boglárka Kiss, Flute; Alison Bjorkedal, Harp – March 14, 2018 – Click image to view video. To view the recital program click here.

Haru no Umi (arr. by Josef Molnar)
Michio Miyagi (1894-1956)

The Song of the Lark
Song to the Waking Sun
Into Darkness
Charles R. Young (b. 1965)

L’Histoire du Tango
Nightclub 1960
Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)

Founded in 2005, the flute and harp duo were recently selected by the Beverly Hills Auditions as one of the top chamber groups in Los Angeles.  Both artists maintain active schedules as professional musicians and teachers: Alison is on the faculty of California Institute of the Arts, and Boglárka teaches at Pasadena City College. Both musicians hold the Doctor of Musical Arts degree.  Read more…

Althea Waites, Piano – February 7, 2018 – Click image to view video.  To view the recital program click here.

Toccata in G Minor, BWV 915
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Momentum (1984)
Tania Leon (b.1944)

Fantasie in F Minor, Opus 49
Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849)

Internationally acclaimed American Pianist, Althea Waites, has concertized extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as a brilliant soloist, chamber musician and collaborative artist. She is currently on the keyboard faculty at California State University/Long Beach, and organist/pianist at Rolling Hills United Methodist Church.  Read more…

Jaebon Hwang, Organ –  Recital May 10, 2017 – Click image to view video.

The finale of the 2017 Mid-Week Recital series is with award-winning composer and organist, Jaebon Hwang!  She is organist at Westwood United Methodist Church where she presides over one of the largest organs in the region.  Awarded the Fellow of American Guild of Organists, the organization’s highest level of certification, she is active as a recitalist and as a collaborative artist.

Christoph Bull, Organ – May 9, 2018 – Click image to view video. To view the recital program click here.

Toccata in D minor, op. 59/5
Max Reger (1873-1916)

Serene Alleluias
Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)

Choral in A minor
César Franck (1822-1890)

Vic 1
Christoph Bull

Fugue in D major, op. 59/6
Max Reger (1873-1916)

Christoph Bull has concertized around the world, including Europe, Russia, India, Taiwan, China, Japan, El Salvador and many U.S. states. He’s performed at national and regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society.  Read more…

YouTube Thumb Christoph Bull