Mid-Week Recital Series

Presented by Dr. James E. Smith, First UMC Music Director, the Mid-Week Recital series is held on the second Wednesdays of the month (subject to change.)  Recitals begin promptly at 12:10 p.m. online (see ways to watch below.)  

February 2021 Recital: Aram Barsamian, baritone; accompanied by Mark Salters, piano.Bios below

View the Program

Save the Dates!

  • March 10 – David York, organ
  • April 14 – Kevan Torfeh and Friends (Tomasz Golka and Anna Kostyuchek, violins, Kevan Torfeh, cello, James Smith, organ and piano)
  • May 12 – Rufus Choi, piano David York, organ
  • Sundays at 10 a.m. – Online Sanctuary Service with Ty Woodward, organ, with various guest musicians

Ways to Watch:

Aram Barsamian, baritone

Aram Barsamian, baritone, received his B. M. degree from CSU Fullerton and his M. M. degree from the University of Southern California, honored as the Outstanding Music Graduate. While still completing his master’s degree, he made his professional opera debut as Schaunard in La bohème, with the New West Symphony. In 1996 he made his debut with Sacramento Opera, as Schaunard, which led to his re-engagement with the company for the productions of Gianni Schicchi, Il barbiere di Siviglia, The Merry Widow, Tosca, Carmen, Rigoletto, Les côntes d’Hoffmann, La traviata, Roméo et Juliette, and La Cenerentola. In 1997, while a member of the prestigious Merola Opera Program, he sang the role of Dandini in La Cenerentola, co-starring Joyce di Donato. Immediately thereafter, he made his San Francisco Opera debut in Britten’s last opera, Death in Venice. Favorite roles include Malatesta in Don Pasquale (Opera Santa Barbara), Belcore in L’elisir d’amore (Pacific Repertory Opera), Guglielmo in Così fan tutte (Pacific Repertory Opera), Belfiore in Verdi’s Un giorno di regno (Lyric Opera of Los Angeles), and Papageno in The Magic Flute (Nevada Opera Studio). The baritone has sung the role of André in several concert performances of Jules Massenet’s opera Thérèse and is a co-founder of The Thérèse Project. Mr. Barsamian is a two-time district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

An active concert artist, Mr. Barsamian sang in “Debbie and Friends,” the concert that inaugurated Meng Concert Hall in 2006, singing alongside distinguished CSUF alumna Deborah Voigt. As baritone he has performed the solos in numerous oratorios, among which are Messiah, Judas Maccabaeus, the requiems by Mozart, Fauré, Brahms and Duruflé, St. John Passion, Ich habe genug, Dixit Dominus, etc. In 2011-2014 he performed recital programs honoring the poetry of Francesco Petrarch and Heinrich Heine at La Sierra University, Pasadena City College, Mt. SAC, CSULA and the Intimate Opera Company.

Mr. Barsamian began his teaching career in 2001 at La Sierra University, where he directed/conducted Massenet’s operas Cendrillon (2004) and Thaïs (2006), as well as Pauline Viardot’s salon opera Cendrillon (2008). He joined the faculty of CSULB’s Bob Cole Conservatory of Music in 2014. Currently, he is the Coordinator of Classical Vocal Studies and the Director of Opera Studies at Fullerton College. Barsamian has also served on the voice faculties of Pasadena City College and Mount San Antonio College. A member of the Pacific Chorale since 2004, Mr. Barsamian is currently the bass section leader, as well as Assistant to the Artistic Director and Language Coach.

Mark Salters, piano

Mark Salters is opera co-director, vocal coach, and pianist at California State University, Fullerton.  Originally from New York, Salters served on the coaching staff of the Opera Department at the University of Michigan under Gustav Meier.  Prior to that, Mr. Salters was on the faculty of the Yale University graduate opera program headed by noted director Tito
Capobianco.  He has accompanied master classes by many well known singers and coaches including Frederica Von Stade, Roberta Alexander, Vladamir Chernov, Carlo Bergonzi, Sherill Milnes, Madame Régine Crespin, Richard Bonynge, Rodney Gilfry, George Shirley, Carol Neblett, Horst Günther, Marni Nixon, Paul Sperry, Richard Pearlman, Lili Chookasian, as well as many others.  In addition he has worked with conductors and directors from Los Angeles Opera, New York City Opera, Frankfurt Opera, St. Louis Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera.  Mr. Salters has also served on the music staffs of the University of Connecticut, Opera Theater of Connecticut, and the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven Connecticut. 

Currently Mr. Salters regularly accompanies the National Association of Teachers of Singing symposiums in Los Angeles and Orange County, as well as the Classical Singers Association classes and concerts.  He has also worked for Opera Pacific, Opera Ala Carte, Cal State Long Beach, Pacific Chorale, Pacific Symphony, Riverside Opera, Southland Opera, and the Intimate Opera Company. He also serves as Director of Music and Principal Organist  at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church in Irvine.  As an active freelance accompanist he regularly accompanies many of the finest young vocal artists of the Los Angeles area in recitals and competitions.​


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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, January 13: Ty Woodward, organ; David Searfoss, trumpet; Stephen Billington, trumpet
View the Recital Program here

Wednesday, December 9: Calico Winds, wind ensemble
View the Recital Program here

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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