Our 2023-2024  First U Concert Series

Please join us for concerts this year!

Stay tuned for our 2024 schedule.

Concerts from earlier this year:

Sunday, December 3rd at 3:00 p.m.
Holiday Sing-along with the Diamond State Concert Band
Winter Holiday Concert and Sing-along

Featuring the Diamond State Concert Band, Fred Litcofsky, Music Director
We welcome back the Diamond State Concert Band to usher in the season with a holiday concert. Bring your friends and family and plan to sing along to your favorite festive songs!
The concert will be followed by a reception with seasonal treats.

FREE ADMISSION – Help to feed the hungry this holiday season by bringing non-perishable food items for donation to the Delaware Food Bank.

A special THANK YOU to church member Sarah Barlow for creating this beautiful image of our church in winter.

Please click here for our flyer to share with friends.

Sunday, November 12th at 3:00 p.m.
Wister Quartet

Named to honor Frances Anne Wister, founder of the Volunteer Committees of The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Wister Quartet has earned high praise from critics and audiences alike for its superb musicianship and memorable performances. It is the core ensemble of Philadelphia’s 1807 & Friends chamber music organization. The Quartet has recorded with DTR Recording Company, earning a Grammy nomination and critical praise for its “big vibrant sound, dramatic contrasts and brilliant effects.”  The program will feature works by G. F. Handel, Marcel Farago, Maddalena Lombardini-Syrmen and Felix Mendelssohn.

Nancy Bean has been a member of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 1983 and its Assistant Concertmaster since 1986, retiring in 2009 to devote herself to chamber music. She is Artistic Director of 1807 & Friends and the Amerita Chamber Players. A graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music, her teachers were Jascha Brodsky and Felix Galimir. She is violinist with the Casimir Trio, the Florian Trio, Trio Montage, Duo Paganini, Duo Parisienne, and the Amerita Chamber Players.

Meichen Liao-Barnes is Associate Concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. A graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, her teachers included Yumi Ninomiya, Arnold Steinhardt, Ivan Galamian, and Dorothy Delay. She is a top prizewinner with the Great Neck Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Juilliard Concerto Competition, and the Washington International Competition. She teaches both privately and at Temple University.

Meng Wang, guest viola, joined The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2017. In addition to his orchestral work, Mr. Wang enjoys an extensive career as a chamber musician. He is deeply committed to the genre and has collaborated with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Cho-Liang Lin, Jaime Laredo, Joseph Silverstein, Lang Lang, and pop star Bono. A graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music, Mr. Wang studied with violists Hsin-yun Huang, Michael Tree, Karen Tuttle, and Roberto Diaz.

Lloyd Smith joined The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1967 and was named its Assistant Principal cellist in 1988. He retired in 2003 to devote himself to chamber music and composing. A graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music, his teachers were Leonard Rose and Orlando Cole. A participant in the Marlboro Music Festivals, he was coached by Pablo Casals and by members of the Budapest String Quartet and the Beaux Arts Trio. His major compositions include a cello sonata, three string quartets, a string quintet and sextet, a quintet for harp and strings, a piano quartet, and a cello quartet and sextet.

This concert is given in loving memory of Phyllis Wynn, whose devotion to the arts and the people around her, who quickly became her friends, lives in our hearts and our thoughts for all time.

Songs and Sundaes
October 22, 2023 at 2:00 p.m.

The First U Choir invites you, your friends and family to a celebration and a thank-you concert as we close out the 2023 Counterpoint Fundraiser. Join us for a family-friendly mash-up of musical theater hits and other tantalizing tunes, featuring the First U Children and Adult Choirs, soloists, and Linda Henderson tickling the ivories.

After the concert, plan to stick around for a party, including an ice cream sundae bar and face painting!

In the Sanctuary and Parish Hall at First Unitarian Church, 730 Halstead Road, Wilmington, DE 19803. Please click here to view our flyer.

 

Organ Recital
September 24, 2023
2:00 p.m.
Featuring celebrated organist Bruce Barber
Suggested donation: $20

Flyer available here.

Join us in launching our 2023-24 First U Concert Series with a program featuring organist Bruce Barber holding forth on our extraordinary Rieger tracker organ! The program will include works by Mendelssohn, Bach, Buxtehude and others! This concert will also mark the launch of our annual Counterpoint Fundraiser. The concert will be followed by a reception and the opportunity to meet with Mr. Barber.

A frequent recitalist throughout the US, Bruce J. Barber II currently serves as Director of Music and Organist at historic Christ Church Christiana Hundred in Greenville, Delaware. He has also performed on many occasions in orchestral settings, including the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Symphony Orchestra, the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the direction of such notable maestros as Riccardo Muti, Bernard Haitink, James Conlon, David Zinman, Helmuth Rilling, Semyon Byshkov, Charles Dutoit, and Michael Tilson Thomas.

An avid conductor, he has conducted a wide range of sacred music, orchestral literature and concerto repertoire ranging from Bach to Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart, Brahms to Duruflé, Bernstein and Stravinsky. In his capacity at Christ Church, in 2018 he led the Choir on a set of Choral Residencies at both Bristol Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, UK. The Choir completed another week-long residency in July 2022 this time singing services at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. Bruce’s previous positions include Director of Cathedral Music at St. James Cathedral in Chicago, Illinois and Canon Precentor & Director of Cathedral Music at the Cathedral Church of St. John in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Trained as a choral and orchestral conductor, an organist and cellist, Mr. Barber holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida, and a Master of Music Degree from the Yale School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music.

The First U Concert Series and other music activities are supported financially in-part by the Counterpoint Society. If you’re interested in contributing to support music at First U, please visit our donate page on the website, here.

To learn about our past concert series, please click here.