VPC Concert Series

published October 23, 2019


Dear Friends of Music,

I am excited to share the 2019/2020 Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church Concert Series with you! We have talented artists from our own neighborhood and talented artists from around the globe! We have chamber music, organ recitals, a brass and percussion Christmas extravaganza, choir concerts and many super-talented soloists. There is something for everyone. Please browse through this brochure, and mark your calendars accordingly! In order to present talent on this level, we need your financial support. Please consider giving generously, as you are comfortable. If you are unable to give, please come to the concerts anyway! This free concert series was started in 1991 as an outreach to our community in an effort to introduce them to our church family and beautiful facility. I am thrilled by the number of people we are reaching in the area, but would love to see more of our own members at the concerts. Attend the concerts! Invite your friends to a concert and dinner. And then invite them to join you in church the next Sunday! Outreach!

In addition to our own fantastic Chancel Choir, who will present our Annual Lessons and Carols Service in December and the Rutter Mass of the Children in March, we will present the Princeton University Glee Club in concert in January. Also in January will be international concert artist Johann Vexo, one of the organists at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. In November, the TWO winners of the James Cochran Prize in Organ Playing at the Eastman School of Music will present a joint recital. Our chamber concerts will include talented members of the Florida State University faculty and the Naples Philharmonic orchestra. The orchestra’s Assistant Principal Flutist, Blair Francis, will be joined by cellist Tom May and Violinist and Naples Philharmonic orchestra Assistant Conductor, Radu Paponiu. They will collaborate with pianist Milana Strezeva, playing the stupendous Fazioli Grand Piano!

Please take a look at what we are offering this year, and contribute as generously as you can. And then, tell your friends and attend these remarkable world-class concerts!

Sincere thanks,

Dr. James B. Cochran, Director of Music



Sunday, November 17 – 4 p.m. – Cochran Organ Prize Winners Ivan Bosnar and Chelsea Barton shared the 2019 Cochran Prize for best organ recital of the year at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester. Ivan and Chelsea will share this Naples winners’ recital. Don’t miss two rising stars in the organ world, performing the music of Bach, Saint-Saens, Widor, Mozart, Alain, and an on-the-spot improvisation!


Three Thirty-Minute Advent Noontime concerts: 12:00 pm
Escape the hectic outside world and relax in our beautifully decorated Sanctuary!
Wednesday, December 4 – Gilbert Mendoza, Tenor
Wednesday, December 11 – Sherry Hardgrove, Soprano
Wednesday, December 18 – James Cochran, Organ

Sunday, December 8 – 4 p.m. – Lessons and Carols Service

Nine Lessons and Carols Each December, the Chancel Choir and the VandeReaders present the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols made popular by King’s College, Cambridge, UK. A highlight of this years’ service will be Ralph Vaughan Williams’s “Fantasia on Christmas Carols.” This service of lessons, choir carols, and congregational carol singing is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit! Soloists, Choir, Trumpet, Timpani, and Organ

Sunday, December 15 – 7:30 p.m. Naples Brass Christmas Extravaganza!

Do not miss this extraordinary Christmas experience! Seven of the best brass players in SW Florida, including players from the Naples Philharmonic, 2 percussionists and a keyboard player bringing you Christmas spirit in carols and songs of the Holiday Season. Steve De Ladurantey will conduct the ensemble.


Sunday, January 19 – 4. p.m. Organ Recital by Johann Vexo, Notre Dame de Paris

Johann Vexo was born in the French city of Nancy–a city close to the borders of Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany. Surrounded and influenced by the rich musical and cultural heritage of that region of France, Johann’s training and performance career developed so rapidly that at age 25 he was appointed Organiste de Choeur (Choir Organist) at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris. Soon thereafter he was also appointed Organist of the grand Cavaillé-Coll organ of the Cathedral in Nancy. He is also Professor of Organ at the Superior Music Academy in Strasbourg. His very physical approach to playing results in wonderfully rhythmic music-making, “the kind you feel as well as hear, and in riveting performances where there is no notion of organ playing as dull or dutiful or pompous.” (Dallas Morning News)

Sunday, January 26 – 4 p.m. Princeton University Glee Club

The 85+ member Princeton University Glee Club embraces a vast array of repertoire, from Renaissance motets and madrigals, Romantic part-songs, and 21st-century choral commissions to the more traditional Glee Club fare of spirituals, folk music, and college songs. The spectrum of Glee Club members is perhaps even broader: undergraduates and graduate students, scientists and poets, philosophers and economists -all walks of academic life are represented, knit together by their belief in the nobility and joy of singing together. The Glee Club is conducted by Gabriel Crouch.


Sunday, February 2 – 4 p.m JT Posadas, viola Dr. Eunmi Ko, piano

Music Inspired by Poetry:
Featuring Rebecca Clarke’s Viola Sonata, On-Ear, and Ear by Hilary Tann, and Selections from Romeo and Juliet by Sergei Prokofiev.


Sunday, March 15 – 4 p.m. Chancel Choir Spring Concert

The Chancel Choir and guest instrumentalists will present John Rutter’s “Mass of the Children” and “A Gaelic Blessing.”


Sunday, April 26 – 4 p.m. Duo Recital: Blair Francis, Flutist, and Milana Strezeva, Piano

Blair and Milana will be joined by Violinist Radu Paponiu, Violist J. T. Posada, and Cellist Tom May in the Mozart Flute Quartet in D Major. The rest of the program will be duos for flute and piano.




Seraphic Fire – hear the finest vocal artists perform engaging and uplifting programming in South Florida’s reverberant and intimate spaces. Tickets are required and are available at the website – SeraphicFire.org or by calling 305-285-9060.

This exciting series is new at Vanderbilt Church this year! Hear some of the most exceptional and prominent pianists from around the world perform in our beautiful church.

Tickets are required and can be purchased at grandpianoseries.com or call 646-734-8179. Subscription and group discounts are available. Contact Milana for more info.