Music

Director of Music Ministries—Heather MacPhail

Heather has been an important part of the music ministry at Westwood First Presbyterian Church since 1993. She holds a Master of Music degree in accompanying and a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She serves as Music Assistant to Director Robert Porco for the Cincinnati May Festival Chorus, where she also serves as an accompanist, as well assisting in preparation of the Summer Chorus for performances at Riverbend. Previous choral work includes the Cincinnati Opera Chorus, Cincinnati Choral Society, and Cincinnati Children’s Choir. Heather is on the faculty at Miami University, Oxford, OH. She coaches undergraduate and graduate piano majors in accompanying, and performs in master classes and recitals with students, faculty, and guest artists. She serves as the Staff Accompanist there, and is the pianist for Miami3, a faculty trio of clarinet, violin and piano. Heather is also a frequent keyboardist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

She is a regular performer on the Westwood First Concert Series as piano and organ soloist and accompanist. In addition, she is active as recitalist throughout the Cincinnati area, including the Taft Museum Chamber Music Series, Music at Noon series in Oxford, Ohio, Christ Church Glendale, and other local churches. She is a member of the American Guild of Organists and maintains a private teaching studio for piano and organ.

Chancel Choir

Adults rehearse every Thursday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. and sing for Sunday morning and special worship services, in community outreach projects, and on the Westwood First Concert Series. For more information, contact Heather MacPhail, hmacphail@cinci.rr.com

Chancel Bells

This adult group includes those interested in learning to read music and ring bells, as well as those with basic reading skills. The group meets on Thursdays from 2:00 – 3:30pm in Calvin Hall. Activities include participation in special Sunday worship services, other Westwood First events, and community mission events. The group is directed by Heather MacPhail.

Westwood First Concert Series

The Westwood First Concert series has been a West Side tradition since 1981. Throughout its existence, concerts have been offered in a wide range of genres—from sacred to steel drum, bluegrass to Broadway—and have featured many well-known musicians from Cincinnati and the surrounding region.

2022 – 2023 Season

Welcome to the 40th edition of the Westwood First Concert Series!   The longest-running concert series on Cincinnati’s West Side is pleased to welcome you back for an exciting schedule of concerts celebrating 40 years of making music. Concerts will begin at 2:30 PM.  Most will be presented without intermission and will conclude by 4:00 PM. 
Programs, dates, times and artists subject to change.

Spectrum Brass

Sunday, October 2nd, 2022

2:30pm

The Spectrum Brass Ensemble will open our 40th season in high style and features some of the region’s top musicians. Members perform with many of the area’s leading groups including the Dayton Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Ballet, and Opera, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, Springfield Symphony, Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra and Seven Hills Brass. In addition to active performing careers, members are educators in area universities, including Miami University, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, University of Dayton, Northern Kentucky University and Xavier University. They will be conducted by Marie Speziale, long-time CSO trumpeter and teacher.  The program will include a 10-minute intermission.     

James Bunte Jazz Trio

with Emily Jordan, vocalist

Sunday, December 4th

2:30pm

Jazz is always a favorite request of our audiences.  This year we welcome the James Bunte Trio made up of CCM jazz faculty members James Bunte on saxophone, Kim Pensyl at the piano and Aaron Jacobs on bass.  For this concert, they will be joined by emerging vocalist Emily Jordan as they produce a fresh take on the Great American Songbook.  Join us for a swinging afternoon in the beautiful Westwood First sanctuary decorated for the Christmas season.                                       

Frank Huang, Pianist

Sunday, February 19, 2023

2:30pm

Having received music degrees at The Julliard School and The Cleveland Institute of Music, pianist Frank Huang has presented concerts worldwide.  New York Concert Review has praised him as a “thoughtful and accomplished performer” and called his playing “impressive for its maturity and refinement.”  Enjoy Mr. Huang’s concert of solo works as well as keyboard collaborations with his Miami University Piano Faculty colleague Heather MacPhail.

Westwood First Chancel Choir

Sunday, March 19, 2023

2:30pm

As an offering for this Lenten season and as a memorial to Lowella Stoerker, a longtime Westwood First member and chorister, music educator and friend of this concert series, the Westwood First Chancel Choir, under the direction of Heather MacPhail, will present selections from the choral repertoire which held special meaning for Lowella.  A generous gift from Lowella on her 99th birthday makes possible this concert on what would have been her 102nd birthday.      

Westwood  First Chancel Choir Soloists

Sunday, April 23, 2023

2:30pm

Our season comes to an entertaining close with an afternoon of song showcasing the talented Westwood First soloists.  Performing musical genres ranging from opera to gospel to Broadway and Pop, including selections ranging from solos to a variety of ensembles, and evoking emotions ranging from comedic to nostalgic to dramatic, these talented singers are sure to delight the audience, sending off each patron “with a song in my heart.”