Mid-Week Recital Series

First UMC celebrates that 2020 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Mid-Week Recitals!  Under the helm of Dr. Jim Smith, Director of the First UMC Music Department, what started as a suggestion by the Health Ministry nurse to offer the recitals followed by “healthy snacks” in the Fireside Room, has turned into a 20 year run of outstanding performances. Read below about the upcoming recital, and the newly added dates for 2021! 

December Recital: Calico Winds, wind ensemble – Scroll down page to read bio

Ways to Watch

Streaming LIVE, Wednesday, December 9 at 12:10 p.m.

Save the Dates!

  • NEW Mid-Week Recital Dates for 2021! :
  • January 13 – Trumpets and Organ – David Searfoss and Stephen Billington, trumpets, Ty Woodward, organ
  • February 10 – Aram Barsamian, baritone
  • March 10 – Rufus Choi, piano
  • April 14 – Kevan Torfeh and Friends (Tomasz Golka and Anna Kostyuchek, violins, Kevan Torfeh, cello, James Smith, organ and piano)
  • May 12 – David York, organ
  • Sundays at 10 a.m. – Online Sanctuary Service with Ty Woodward, organ, with various guest musicians

Calico Winds Biography

With style and grace, Calico Winds is taking wind music to the forefront of the chamber music world by artfully reinventing the conventional wind quintet.

They chose the name “Calico” to reflect the many colors and textures offered by the instruments of their ensemble. The group blends top-notch playing, great music and an appealing atmosphere, their repertoire incorporating a wide variety of classical music. “They cross all the style lines and get away with it.” (Los Angeles Times).

Calico Winds have delighted audiences across the country, touring to more than half the fifty states, including numerous cities throughout their home state of California. They are currently ensemble-in-residence at Glendale Noon Concerts. Said of their program, “The artists played in perfect balance with each other, each contributing lovely tone quality and flawless intonation. An unusually fine and beautiful program…played with rock-solid competence and interpretive flair. It was a fantastic evening of music.” (The Times Herald, Olean, NY)

In 2009 Calico Winds were concerto soloists with Frank Fetta conducting the Culver City Symphony, premiering Sinfonia Concertante for wind quintet and orchestra, a work they commissioned from Los Angeles composer Damian Montano. The ensemble performed at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall both as part of the “Classical Connections” Young Performers Career Advancement program sponsored by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and in recital with pianist Vivian Liu in a performance of Ludwig Thuille’s Romantic Sextet.

In 1998 Calico Winds released their first CD, All in One [Bach, Nielsen, E. Carter, L. Schifrin, Zappa] to critical acclaim. Their second CD, released on Albany Records (2004), Vintage America: A Musical Meritage, features a diverse collection of original and arranged works reflecting the music and life of early Americans. In this recording “Calico Winds bring refreshing lightness to music that is too often bellowed…the quintet’s suave phrasing, lively articulation and rhythmic buoyancy are a delight throughout.” (Gramophone)

Calico Winds has held residencies at La Sierra University, the Idyllwild Arts Academy and with the Claremont Youth Symphony Music Retreat in California as well as at the Birch Creek Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin. They have been the featured ensemble for the Coleman Chamber Music Association’s Meet the Musicians concerts. As winners of the 1998 National Flute Association (NFA) Chamber Music Competition the ensemble was featured in recital at the NFA convention in Phoenix, Arizona. They have received a grant from the City of Pasadena for The Weekend Muse Inter-Generational Concerts, a series they self-produced in Los Angeles and Pasadena.

The members of Calico Winds think of themselves as a team whose sum is greater than its parts. Despite their resisting the publishing of individual bios, presenters and audience members continue to be interested in each person on stage. To satisfy this curiosity, they have developed “Calico Stats” (vital statistics of each member) which you can view on their website calicowinds.com.

Here is some information about them as individuals:

Between the five of them they have earned one Bachelor of Arts, four Bachelors of Music, four Masters of Music and one (almost two) Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. Their combined musical travels have brought them from Europe to Israel to Mexico and all over North America. They are all active free-lance players in Los Angeles, together having a diverse array of musical experiences from ensembles such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony and Los Angeles Opera, to working with performers like Yanni, Michael Crawford, Cheap Trick, Elton John and Andrea Bocelli. All of them teach.


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Various guest musicians alongside Jim Smith, Music Director, and Ty Woodward, resident organist, during the Sunday online worship service.

Past Recitals

Wednesday, November 11, Kirill Gliadkovsky, piano

View the Recital Program (list of pieces and artist bio)

Wednesday, October 14, Nancy Roth, violin; Lorenzo Sanchez, piano

View the Recital Program

Wednesday, September 9, Aaron Shows, organ

View the Recital Program for Aaron Shows

August 12, 2020 – Susan Greenberg, flute; Cristina Montes Mateo, harp


July 8, 2020 – Connie Sheu, guitar, and Elise Henry, flute


June 11, 2020 – Duo Imaginalis: Ekaterina Bessmettseva, piano; Hugo Nogueira, guitar


Learn more about Duo Imaginalis on their website and Instagram.

May 13, 2020 – Mark Robson, Piano Online Recital


January 8, 2020 – David Childs, baritone

David Childs is a baritone who specializes in Jewish Music. He holds a degree in Vocal Performance from UCLA and is an alumnus of the Aspen Music Festival. David’s past musical endeavors include singing solo roles with several performing groups: Guild Opera, Pacific Opera Project, Aspen Opera Center, & LA Chamber Orchestra. In 2017, David performed a recital with pianist Mark Robson as part of Boston Court’s Emerging Artist Series. David also played accordion with the Latin-American folk-pop band, We The Folk. He currently serves as Cantorial Intern at Sinai Temple in Westwood and is studying at the Ziegler School of Rabbinics at American Jewish University.

March 11, 2020 – Sergey Kosemyan, cello; Anna Markosyan, piano

Sergey Kosemyan is a recipient of the UNESCO Gold Medal, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of Aram Khachaturian, 2008.  He is the prize winner of the following International Competitions:  Aram Khachaturian International Competition, 2006; Pierre Lantier International Chamber Music Competition (Grand Prix), Paris, 2002; the National Young Artist Competition in Yerevan, Armenia (1997) First Prize; and the winner of the Premier Prix de La Conservatoire National Superior de Paris, 2002.  He is the founder of the Classic Art Trio (2014), and Kosemyan Ensemble (2017) in Mexico.  His teachers have been Mstislav Rostropovich, Philipe Müller, Harry Hoffman, and Dominique de Williencourt.

Anna Markosyan is a graduate of the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory, and winner of the A. Babajanyan National Piano Competition (Armenia).  She has performed in chamber ensembles in Armenia, Russia, Europe, Mexico and the USA.

May 8, 2019 – David York, organ


April 10, 2019 – The Wilder Trio, clarinet, bassoon & piano


The Wilder Trio with Gernot Wolfgang, composer of “Uncle Bebop.”

March 13, 2019 – AlmaNova Duo, flute and guitar


February 13, 2019 – Lukas Hasler, organ 


March 14, 2018 – Duo Ondine: Boglárka Kiss, Flute; Alison Bjorkedal, Harp


February 7, 2018 – Althea Waites, Piano – February 7, 2018


May 10, 2017 – Jaebon Hwang, Organ

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.

May 9, 2018 – Christoph Bull, Organ


YouTube Thumb Christoph Bull

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