Music

Our History

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.

2021 – 2022 Season

Welcome to the 39th edition of the Westwood First Concert Series!   After a 20-month pandemic-induced hiatus, the longest-running concert series on Cincinnati’s West Side is pleased to welcome you back for an abbreviated schedule of concerts.  Because COVID is still making its presence known, we request that you wear a mask if the CDC recommends masks for indoor events.  Also, because of the ever-changing public health situation, please be aware that programs, dates and artists are subject to change.   This season brings a few changes to our series.  Concerts will begin a half hour earlier, at 2:30 PM.  They will be presented without intermission and will conclude by 4:00 PM.  These changes reflect the suggestions of our patrons.

Faux Frenchmen

Sunday, November 7, 2021

2:30pm

To kick off our 39th season, we welcome for a third appearance on our series Cincinnati’s popular jazz quartet, Faux Frenchmen.  These four outstanding musicians – Brian Lovely and George Cunningham, acoustic guitar; Don Aren, acoustic bass; Paul Patterson, violin – adapt the 1930s France/Hot Club-style gypsy jazz made popular by guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli for today’s American audience.  Blend gypsy music and popular music by the likes of John Lennon and Brian Wilson with the sounds of American jazz greats like Duke Ellington, Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong, and the result a unique take on gypsy jazz.

PHIL DEGREG QUARTET

Sunday, February 20, 2022

2:30pm

Phil DeGreg has been a popular performer on our series through the years.  Returning to Westwood First for a fifth time since his first appearance with his trio in 1994, this season he brings a quartet – Phil DeGreg, piano; Aaron Jacobs, bass; John Taylor, drums; Rusty Burge, vibraphone.  With a mission of reaching audiences and lifting their spirits through music, Mr. DeGreg’s jazz groups play with a keen sense of melody and arrangement.  From traditional jazz to jazz with a Brazilian flair to the many facets of the writing of Chick Corea, to whom this quartet has paid tribute in recent performances, this concert is sure to delight jazz fans.                                        

POSSIBLE CHORAL CONCERT

Sunday, March 27, 2022

2:30 p.m.

When the pandemic shut down Ohio in March, 2020, the Westwood First Chancel Choir was days away from performing the Brahms Requiem.  That concert was being made possible by a generous grant from longtime choir member and music educator, Lowella Stoerker, in celebration of her 99th birthday.  Lowella passed away in April, 2021, just weeks after her 100th birthday.  A choral concert in her memory is in tentative planning stages.  The path of the pandemic will continue to dictate the possibility of having a choral concert.  More details will be made available in the coming months.

HEATHER MACPHAIL: THE MIGHTY ORGAN

Sunday, April 24, 2022

2:30pm

When the Westwood First Concert Series first launched in the autumn of 1981, one purpose was to feature the Westwood First organ.  That first season included three organ recitals and three choral concerts with impressive organ accompaniment.  Since those early years, our series has strived for greater variety, but an organ concert is always in the lineup.  This year, organist Heather MacPhail presents a concert showcasing Westwood First’s 69-rank King of Instruments.  From classics to favorite hymn arrangements, from the softest stops to the biggest reeds, there will be selections for everyone.  Share and experience the joy of music offered in this finale which is sure to raise the roof!

Our History