In Watertown: First Congregational Church to Host Hope on the Horizon Concert

WATERTOWN — The First Congregational Church is offering a “Hope is on the Horizon” holiday concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, December 4 at 40 DeForest St.

Deborah Lifton is one of today’s most compelling performers of contemporary American opera and song. She possesses a rich, expressively direct lyric coloratura voice. Ms. Lifton is the First Place Winner of the Joy in Singing Competition Prize, and her work has been honored by the National Federation of Music Clubs, the David Adams Art Song Competition, and the Hellenic Foundation.

Ms. Lifton has taught vocal performance at New York University, Ithaca College, and Western Connecticut State University, along with adjunct appointments at Syracuse University and Cornell University. She is currently an associate professor of voice at The Hartt School in West Hartford.

Violinist Darwin Shen has been performing as a soloist in concert halls with ensembles and orchestras all over the United States for more than twenty years. Although he continues to perform much of the standard violin repertoire of concertos, sonatas and short pieces, in recent years he has specialized in resurrecting lost or rarely performed works of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Mr. Shen maintains a teaching studio for pre-college students in the New York metropolitan area. He is the founder and executive director of the Violin Audition Prep Program in Southport, an annual, intensive one week program which is designed to teach young musicians how to approach and perform in auditions of all types, including for college and conservatory admissions and orchestra placements. He is also the conductor of the Young Artists String Ensemble in Greenwich.

A native of Quebec, Canada, Eric Trudel graduated with top honors from the Quebec Conservatory of Music. He won the prestigious Prix d’Europe competition, which enabled him to study privately with pianists Garrick Ohlsson, Jean-Claude Pennetier, Marc Durand and Louis Lortie.

He has taught and performed extensively throughout Canada, Italy, Germany, Austria, Japan, Korea, Spain, and the United States. 

Mr. Trudel has worked as a pianist, coach and conductor with many organizations, including the Montreal International Piano Festival, the Banff Center Festival for the Arts, L’Opéra de Montréal, Connecticut Grand Opera, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the OK MOZART Festival the Pro Arte Singers and the Stamford Chorale.

He currently is on faculty at The Hartt School, the University of Hartford and Southern Connecticut State University.

Admission to the concert is free, but reserve tickets are required to plan safe distancing in the sanctuary. Those interested may call the church office at 860-274-6737 to reserve a ticket. Masks will be required to enter.

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