NEWTOWN SQUARE–Episcopal Academy students Jake Aronchick, Karen Christianson, Nicolas Christianson, Joanie Hofmeyr, and Matthew Vegari will perform “Christmas Concert with a Cause” on December 9th at 3 p.m. in Episcopal Academy’s Class of 1944 Chapel in Newtown Square. Concert-goers are encouraged to donate $10 or an unwrapped toy to benefit the toy drive for West Kensington Ministry in Philadelphia.
Karen Christianson ’13, who will be playing the organ at the concert, began studying the organ at age 7 and, since then, has given more than 50 solo recitals throughout North America and Europe. In the past year, Karen has performed at Harvard University; Central United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Missouri; First United Methodist Church in Moorestown, New Jersey; St. Philip's Cathedral in Atlanta, Georgia; Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, California; Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Gloucester Cathedral in England. In February, she will return to England to perform at Westminster Abbey on the massive Harrison and Harrison organ first installed for the coronation of King George VI in 1937. She will be the youngest organist to ever perform there. In addition to her recent appearance on "From the Top" on National Public Radio, Karen has been featured in several broadcasts on Philadelphia radio stations WRTI and KYW. She studies organ with Alan Morrison, head of the organ department at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. For more information, please see Karen's website at http://home.comcast.net/~karen.christianson/site/.
Nicolas Henry Christianson ’17 will be playing piano at the concert. He is in the eighth grade at Episcopal, where he studies piano with Donna Harrington. Nicolas is a member of the Middle School Singers, and he was recently selected for the Junior High Honor Choir, which will perform at the 2013 National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Dallas, Texas. Nicolas is also a member of the Middle School String Ensemble at Episcopal, and plays in the Delaware County Youth Orchestra. He studies cello with Kathryn Picht Read, who holds the Winifred and Samuel Mayes Chair in the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Matthew Vegari ’13 will be giving a vocal performance at the concert. His musical accomplishments include: American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Regional Choir, 2012, in Providence, Rhode Island; ACDA National Choir, March 2013, in Dallas, Texas; High School Honors Performance Series Choir at Carnegie Hall, February 2013; two-time Episcopal Academy Dora Khayatt Music Prize Winner; Horton the Elephant in Episcopal production of Seussical; and Albert Peterson in Episcopal production of Bye, Bye Birdie.
Jake Aronchick ’13 is an accomplished cellist. He has been playing the cello for eight years. Jake is a member of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra and studies with Derek Barnes, a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has performed in Kroatia, Broteslava, Vienna, and Italy and made district orchestra in 2010 and 2011, and regional orchestra in 2011.
Joanie Hofmeyr ’14 will also be giving a vocal performance. Originally from South Africa, Joanie attends Episcopal through an exchange program in the USA. She has been singing from an early age and started classical voice training in 2008 with Joan Wilken in Johannesburg, South Africa. Joanie has performed as a guest artist with the South African cellist Francois Human, and has performed with the South African composer and former concert pianist Rexleigh Bunyard and concert violinist Zanta Hofmeyr. She participated in the South African National Eistedfodd competition as a soloist and as part of an a capella ensemble - a student initiative - which won first prize in the larger vocal group category. Since being in the United States, she has travelled to Suffield, Connecticut, for a solo performance opportunity and she looks forward to a week of training and performance in Dallas, Texas, as part of the ACDA National Honors Choir. Most of her performance venues include church halls, cathedrals in the heart of Johannesburg, school halls, and old age homes as well as the Promusica Theatre and Linder Auditorium in Johannesburg.
This press release has been provided by The Episcopal Academy.