Paradise Valley United Methodist Church (PVUMC) announces 2018-2019 Community Concert Series

Paradise Valley United Methodist Church (PVUMC) announces its 2018-2019 Community Concert Series: Music for Everyone:

  • 10/19/18      Broadway and Beyond – Caelan Creaser, Eric Flyte and Andria Fennig
  • 11/16/18      Nicole Pesce in Concert
  • 12/9/2018*   PVUMC Christmas Concert
  • 02/1/2019     Trotters Wake
  • 03/8/2019     Tetra String Quartet
  • 04/26/2019* Jazz at the Perk – Dennis Rowland and Diana Lee with trio* All concerts are at 7 pm except for the Christmas concert, which begins at 6 pm. All concerts are in the sanctuary except for Jazz at the Perk, which is outdoors on the patio of the Paradise Perk, the church coffee shop in the Fellowship Center.

As with all the PVUMC community concerts, there are no tickets or fees, but you are encouraged to register on Eventbrite. Registered attendees will receive invitations to upcoming concerts, advance notice before each event and handy reminders.

A free-will offering will be taken at each of the concerts, in support of the series and the participating musicians. Donations are appreciated. To give online, visit GIVE NOW and choose “Other” from the menu. Type “PVUMC Community Concerts” or indicate a specific artist/concert in the comments box. We appreciate your support.

Free, high-quality childcare is available at each event with a 48-hour reservation, making this a great date night. To reserve a spot for your child(ren) in our Childcare Center, please call the church at 602-840-8360, ext 134, at least 48 hours before the event. To cancel childcare, even at the last minute, please call the number again.

The series features six concerts from October through April:

Friday, October 19, 2018
7 pm, Sanctuary
Broadway and Beyond

Enjoy selections from Broadway musicals and operas, both classical and contemporary, featuring Caelan Creaser, soprano, and Eric J. Flyte, tenor. The concert includes solo and duet pieces from these professional vocalists and from three talented young PVUMC vocalists accompanied by Dr. Andria Fennig on piano.

Caelan Creaser, soprano

Caelan Creaser was born and raised in the beautiful Pacific Northwest near Seattle, Washington. At the age of four, Caelan saw her first musical, The Wizard of Oz. During the show, she leaned over to her mom and whispered: “I’m gonna be Dorothy onstage someday.” Since that moment, Caelan hasn’t stopped performing in musicals, concerts, and recitals. She has appeared in numerous Phoenix Theatre productions and won an AriZoni Best Actress award in 2017 for her role as Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Caelan’s passion for performing led her to Ithaca College where she worked towards her BFA in Musical Theatre from 2013-2015. While there, Caelan realized she wanted to pursue careers in both theatre and communications. Caelan made the difficult decision to re-audition for programs that allowed her to pursue both career paths. Caelan is now a senior at Arizona State University and will graduate in Spring 2019 with a Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre and a Minor in Communications. When she is not studying, she is performing and teaching at local professional, regional, and collegiate theaters in both Arizona and back home in Washington. After graduation, Caelan plans to pursue her passion for performing in New York City.

Eric J. Flyte, tenor

Eric J. Flyte has performed in recital, concert, and staged performances throughout the USA, Austria, and southern Germany. A current Doctoral Student of Voice Performance at Arizona State University, Eric performs regularly with the ASU Music Theatre and Opera (formerly Lyric Opera Theatre) and ASU Chamber Singers. Recent stage credits at ASU include Sir Joseph Porter, KCB in HMS Pinafore, Paul Gallico in the new musical reading of BABE, Monostatos in The Magic Flute, Damon in Acis and Galatea, Vasek in The Bartered Bride, and Le Mari in Mamelle de Tiresias. Favorite past credits include Alfred (Die Fledermaus) with Opera Ithaca, with whom Eric served as an Apprentice Artist, King Ouf I (L’etoile), and many others. Under the baton of Maestri Marzio Conti and Lukas Beikircher, Eric spent this past summer in Graz, Austria performing orchestra concert and recital programs with the American Institute of Music Studies. Off the stage, Eric serves as section leader for the choir of Paradise Valley United Methodist Church in Phoenix. He is a student of Carole FitzPatrick.

Click here to RSVP for up to 10 people on Eventbrite.


Friday, November 16, 2018
7 pm, Sanctuary
Nicole Pesce in Concert

Nicole Pesce is a pianist, keyboardist, composer, and arranger. She entertains audiences with a unique blend of virtuosity, humor, and pizzazz. With a repertoire consisting of over 12,000 memorized songs, Nicole is often dubbed “the human iPod” and is recognized as one of the “top 10 musicians to hear in Phoenix” by The Arizona Republic.  Arizona Foothills Magazine honored Nicole with the “Best of 2014 Award” for Best Local Band/Musician.

Nicole has performed for Muhammad Ali, Ricky Martin, George Bush, Sr., Waylon Jennings, Taylor Hicks, George Benson, Janet Napolitano, Shaquille O’Neal, Jimmy Carter, Chris Rock, Steve Nash, The Gypsy Kings, Glen Campbell, and Brian Setzer. She’s appeared with American Idol contestant David Hernandez, The Moscow Ballet, Zowie Bowie, The Cast of Mary Poppins, Young Frankenstein, and Mamma Mia. At the age of 10, Nicole won First place in the Discovery National Television Competition. At 12, she appeared on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon which aired to over sixty million viewers; followed by an extensive US tour. Later that year, Nicole accompanied Debbie Reynolds at Debbie’s hotel and Casino, as well as Rich Little, Pat Boone, and Lew King. Nicole has appeared on Phoenix’s prime time news, television and radio stations, including Fox 10 News with Rico D’amico & Cory McCloskey, Good Morning Arizona, Sonoran Living, The Pat McMahon Show, Arts on the Town – AM 1480, and Channel 3 News. Feature stories include Phoenix Magazine, The AZ Republic, The New Times, and Phoenix Downtown Magazine.

For over a decade, Nicole was the headlining pianist at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Phoenix where she regularly entertained fans with everything from Bach to Lady Gaga. Previous performance venues also include:The Orpheum Theater, Tempe Center for the Arts, Herberger Theater, Desert Ridge Marriott, Phoenix Theater, Kerr Cultural Center, Mesa Arts Center, The Royal Palms, Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenician Resort, The Wrigley Mansion, The Fairmont Princess Hotel, The Nash,The Biltmore Resort and the Shemer Arts Center.

Nicole’s “Happy Birthday Variations” video has over three million views on YouTube.

“Jaw Dropping. A dazzling piano genius.”– Stacy Sullivan–

“One of the top 10 musicians in the valley.”– The AZ Republic

“A one-woman piano phenomenon.”– Kenneth LaFave – LeFave On The Arts

“Phoenix’s best new keyboard Queen”– The AZ Republic 

“I enjoy the amazing tinkling of the ivories by pianist Nicole Pesce”– David Liebowitz – Channel 3 News

“She’s like a Human iPod”– Phoenix Magazine

“Nicole Pesce makes a lot of stuff sound cool!!”– Robert Pela – The New Times

Click here to RSVP for up to 10 people on Eventbrite.


Sunday, December 9, 2018
6 pm, Sanctuary
PVUMC Christmas Concert

Usher in the Christmas season with the PVUMC Christmas Concert. This event weaves music, poetic texts and audience sing-a-longs for an uplifting evening. Children, youth and adults perform alongside professional instrumentalists in a showcase of some of the best Advent and Christmas choir, handbell and instrumental music from around the world. A dessert reception follows in the Fellowship Center, and the Serendipities gift shop will be open for business, 5-8 pm. Shop for Christmas gifts before the concert (while your children rehearse), during intermission and during the reception time.

Click here to RSVP for up to 10 people on Eventbrite.


Friday, February 1, 2019
7 pm in the Sanctuary
Trotters Wake

Trotters Wake, a seven-piece acoustic Irish band, breathes new life into traditional Irish music with their unique blend of vocals and lively mix of new and old Irish songs. Instrumentation includes guitar/mandolin, electric or upright bass, fiddle, banjo, keyboard, bodhran (Irish hand drum), and vocals. From rebel songs to ballads to traditional instrumental tunes and even a few pub tunes, Trotters Wake offers a new look at Celtic music.

Click here to RSVP for up to 10 people on Eventbrite.

Friday, March 8, 2019
7 pm in the Sanctuary
Tetra String Quartet

Tetra String Quartet is redefining the role of chamber music in today’s society. With relevance and versatility at the forefront of their mission, Tetra performs with the goal of connecting with all audiences. As both educators and performers, the quartet has toured throughout the United States, Europe, and South America.

Invested in their home state of Arizona, Tetra became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to create more opportunities that link performance with public service. Their strong local presence engages audiences from every corner of the community and reflects their belief that access to the arts is an
essential human right.

Tetra’s ongoing projects expand access to the community by putting music where it’s not. In 2015, Tetra created the Phoenix chapter of Azure Family Concerts. These free events are fun, friendly, and engaging performances tailored to those on the autism spectrum or with similar challenges. In an effort to further connect with diverse populations, the quartet regularly performs at memory care and assisted living facilities, the Phoenix VA Hospital, and Maricopa County Juvenile Detention Centers. Tetra has been invited to share the impact of their work at events including TEDx Arrowhead Ranch “Act Today, Change Tomorrow”, and Stanford University’s Summer Arts Institute, “Why Music Matters”.

Click here to RSVP for up to 10 people on Eventbrite.

Friday, April 26, 2019
7 pm on the Paradise Perk Patio
Jazz at the Perk: Dennis Rowland and Diana Lee

Award-winning recording artists and Arizona legends Dennis Rowland (former lead singer of the Count Basie Orchestra) with friend and musical partner Diana Lee take the stage on this special night, backed by the Greg Warner Trio. The final concert of the PVUMC 2018-2019 Community Concert Series is outdoors on the patio of the Paradise Perk, the church’s campus coffee shop inside the Fellowship Center. Enjoy an exquisite blend of cool jazz and hot coffee on the patio of the Paradise Perk. The coffee shop serves coffee drinks, tea, smoothies, and snacks. All proceeds benefit youth missions.

Vocal jazz fans will not want to miss this concert, as two of the Phoenix area’s most beloved performers take the stage together.

Dennis Rowland is beloved by jazz devotees and theatergoers around the globe. The Detroit native and Phoenix, Arizona resident was the voice of the world-renowned Count Basie Orchestra between 1977 and 1984, where he shared the stage with Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Joe Williams, and Tony Bennett. He is also featured on the Basie Band’s Grammy award-winning record “On the Road”. Since the Count Basie days, Rowland has lived and performed in Phoenix and has been a Valley icon for decades. Recently, he was named one of two Artists of the Year at the Governor’s Arts Award ceremony held at the Arizona Biltmore Estate.

An electrifying live performer, Rowland’s musical tours in recent years have taken him to Germany, Russia, England, Spain, Portugal, Scandinavia, the Czech Republic, and Croatia. Stateside, he has performed at major jazz festivals, with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and at metropolitan Phoenix-area jazz clubs and performing arts venues.

Born and raised in the ‘Valley of the Sun.’ Diana Lee has found her inspiration through instrumentalists, vocalists, and music of all genres. To hear her is to be seduced by her true unique interpretation. The daughter of proprietors of a prominent music store, Diana Lee plays nearly every instrument and became a professional singer at age 17. Her first original recording was 1985’s, ”Call on Your Friends”. After touring the southwest she collaborated with Donnie Dean on guitar establishing several rock & soul albums and recordings. She has performed and toured with countless superstars all over the world such as Reba McEntire, Sister Sledge, Diana Ross, Neil Sedaka, David Foster, Stevie Wonder, George Benson and more.

Click here to RSVP for up to 10 people on Eventbrite.

For more information about the musicians and concerts, please contact Dr. Ashley Snavley Strawser at 602-840-8360, ext 116.


Please Note: The church has a strict no alcohol and no smoking policy.

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