Christmas Concert 2020

During these turbulent times we all need music- to calm our minds, uplift our spirits, and inspire joy. This year, we have a fantastic program lined up, including pieces for choir, organ, voice and harp. Joining us for this special event are readers from the congregation, chancel choir members, tenor Young Kim, Contralto Signe Myhren, Baritone Mark Cotton, and Harpist Kristi Shade. This event will premiere live on our facebook and youtube pages on December 13th at 3pm. Hope you will join us there!

Meet the musicians!

Young Kim

Young Kim earned a Bachelor of Music degree at Nyack College (2019).  Tenor Young Kim was a Soloist at Promise Church of Queens and Ensemble Conductor at the Lord’s Vision Church up until 2018. He has worked as a choir Conductor and Soloist at The Korean Church of Queens, the Antioch Missionary Church, and the New York Missionary Choir (2007).  In June 2010 and July 2014, Kim sang the National Anthem for the New York Mets at Citifield. In 2006, he was featured in a singing role in the feature film, Never Forever, which was selected for the closing night of the 2006 Asia Society Asian Film Festival. Kim performed with the Amato Opera Company in The Merry Widow & La Traviata at the Amato Opera Company, as a member of Chorus. Since 2011, he had performed with the NY Lyric Opera where he sang Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni (2019), and in 2017 had roles in Rigoletto (Duke) & The Magic Flute (Tamino).

Signe Myhren

Signe Myhren, Contralto, has done solo work at the Riverside Church and at Jan Hus Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, at First Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood, NJ and at First Congregational Church in River Edge, NJ. She was contralto soloist at the Pro Arte Chorale’s 40th anniversary concert.

Signe is a graduate of Westminster College in Pennsylvania and has pursued additional studies at the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies in England and at Westminster Choir College. She recently retired from the Woodcliff Lake Public Schools, where she taught elementary school vocal music for the past 23 years, and during which time she was named a Master Teacher by the New Jersey Symphony.

Mark Cotton

Baritone Mark Cotton possesses a strong ringing voice and a stage presence that brings his characters tolife with great comic and dramatic range. Mr. Cotton’s Germont has been described as, “A rich and resonantbaritone voice… Full throated projection and careful annunciation“(Times Herald Record).

The 2018–2019 season started with several performances as Germont in La Traviata. Firstly, in Germany at the Hocheim Am Main Festival immediately followed by the Linguaglossa Arts Festival in Sicily to which he added Escamillo in Carmen. The baritone then headed to Poland for the Ścinawa Cultural Arts Association’sproduction of La Traviata for his third production of the season singing Germont.

In August Mr. Cotton joined Soprano Justyna Giermola as they presented a joint recital, Musica a Milano, selections of Italian Operatic Arias at the Presbyterian Church in Westfield, Westfield New Jersey. InSeptember he joined other local singers on a program entitled “Why We Remember- A Patriotic Concert” forhis company debut with BRAVO Alliance of Performing Artists in Livingston, New Jersey.

He headed to Colorado Easter Weekend to sing the Baritone solos in the complete Messiah for Messiah Choral Society of Grand Junction Colorado. Mr. Cotton, upon returning home, unexpectedly jumped in to sing Alfio for the Hudson Lyric Opera’s Cavalleria Rusticana. The highlight of the season, he headed to Espenschied, Germany to make his role and company debut as Amonasro in Aida for Opera ClassicaEuropa’s Summer Fest.

The 2019-2020 is no less busy. In October the Baritone will pair up with Soprano Justyna Giermola foranother BRAVO Alliance of Performing Artists to present “Puccini versus Verdi“ recital in Livingston NewJersey. Next Mr. Cotton will be joining the Gateway Classical Music Society for their 2019 Opera Gala. Andin November he’ll head to sunny Miami Florida where he’ll be a featured soloist in Miami Lyric Opera‘s Concert Gala. He will perform selections as Rigoletto, Enrico in Lucia, Nabucco, Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera and Germont in both Galas.

During the 2017 season Mr. Cotton spent a great deal of time on the Concert and Opera Stage. He was the Baritone Soloist for Messiah, the Mozart Requiem, Beethoven 9th, the Dvorak Te Deum and the Verdi Requiem all for the Paul Madore Chorale in Salem Massachusetts. He also made his company debut as Escamillo in Carmen for Eastern Opera of New Jersey. His Escamillo was described as “The Perfect Toreador”…(

2016 had Mr. Cotton performing a variety ofworks. Messiah inDecember, VerdiRequiem inJuly, Beethoven Ninth and the Mass in C in June for the Masterworks Chorus. But 2016 just wasn’t concert work. On justtwo weeks notice, he sang the role of Simon Boccanegra for the Opera Company of Brooklyn in September. And in January he was the American Consulate Sharpless in their production of Madama Butterfly.

Kristi Shade

Kristi has had a long-standing relationship with First Presbyterian Church, playing for concerts, most notably our annual Christmas concert, and services for many years. Her biography is below.

Kristi Shade is a harpist based in New York City, where she maintains an active performing schedule and private teaching studio. Kristi is the Principal Harpist with The Chamber Orchestra of New York, with which she has recorded four albums on the Naxos label. She is a member of the flute-viola-harp trio, Hat Trick, and the harp duo, Duo Scorpio. Duo Scorpio has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards from Chamber Music America, the Classical Recording Foundation and the American Harp

Kristi has been a guest artist with the Baltimore Symphony, the Florida Philharmonic, the Miami Symphony and the Albany Symphony Orchestra. She has been on faculty at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division since 2007 and served as the Vice President of Metroharp, the New York Chapter of the American Harp Society, from 2010-2015.