Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Concert Fundraiser Starring Harmonica Virtuoso Jiayi He - Help Restore The First Presbyterian Church of Newtown

You are cordially invited to a unique concert starring notable harmonica virtuoso Jiayi He. 

 When? Sunday, May 4 at 1:30 PM 

Where? At the historic First Presbyterian Church of Newtown, south side of Queens Blvd and 54th Ave.

The concert is also a fundraiser that will address a much-needed restoration of the church, which was recently designated State & National Register of Historic Places status. The public will pay a $10 admission fee.

Fundraiser contributions can also be mailed to:

First Presbyterian Church of Newtown, 
54-05 Seabury Street 
Elmhurst, NY 11373

An early 20th century photo, Courtesy of the First Presbyterian Church of Newtown
 The church was founded in 1652, and the present Gothic sanctuary was built in 1895, and features distinctive attributes such as stained glass by Tiffany artists and a 1788 bell. In the 1920s, the church was transported to accommodate the widening of Queens Blvd. A diverse history which ties into Queens' Colonial past is as follows:

Historic & recent church photos, Courtesy of Michael Perlman, Rego-Forest Preservation Council:

About the concert - "Harmonica Music from Classical to Modern"

“Jiayi He plays one harmonica for many pieces & many harmonicas just for one piece!” Jiayi He has won prestigious awards in America, Europe, and the Far East. Performing concerts around the world, he plays an extensive range of harmonicas, which includes Chromatic, Diatonic, Tremolo, Bass, Wheel, multiple harmonicas... as well as the largest harmonica and the smallest harmonica in the world. He will also play "Sheng," which is a forefather of the harmonica and the earliest Chinese reed instrument with blow and draw playing. It was invented nearly 3,000 years ago. The harmonica was invented in Germany in 1821.

Jiayi He will perform with a Woodwinds Quintet and a Harmonica mixed with Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn and Bassoon, among a new and unique combination of music. Jiayi He's daughter, Jenny He, will accompany her father on the piano.

The concert will world premiere "Cantabile for Solo Harmonica and Woodwind Quintet" by renowned composer Michael Isaacson. It is a new work special written for Jiayi He.

The concert program will include: Blue Danube Waltz, Skaters Waltz, Turkish March, Flight of the Bumblebee, Little Swan Dance, music by Gershwin, Blues... and Wind Quintet Selections from Cosi Fan Tutte by W. A. Mozart.


Harmonica: Jiayi He
Flute: Abbe Krieger
Oboe: Suzette Jacobs
Clarinet: Aaron Abramovitz
Horn: David Moldenhauer
Bassoon: Kukiko Otani
Piano: Jenny He

Jiayi He is a world-class harmonica virtuoso. He won silver medals at the World Harmonica Championships in Germany in 1989, in Japan in 1995, and the bronze medal at the International Competition in the U.S. in 1991. He taught master classes and judged competitions in Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Hangzhou and Singapore. He has soloed with the China National Symphony Orchestra, China National Ballet Symphony Orchestra, Nassau Symphony Pops, Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra, California Pops Orchestra, Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, Carson City Symphony, Calcutta Chamber Orchestra and numerous others. Mel Bay Publications, Inc published his book Recital Pieces for Chromatic Harmonica. Jiayi regularly performs in recitals throughout Europe and Asia. He has appeared on ABC, NBC, News 12 Long Island, Queens Public Television, Sino Television, and recorded for movies and CDs. He has performed at the General Assembly Hall of United Nations and at a pre-game show at Shea Stadium for the New York Mets. New York City Mayor Bloomberg attended his seminar, and learned how to play harmonica at Harmonica Mass Appeal MMNY in 2012. Jiayi also performed at International Peace Day in China 2012. He has received award the honorary title of "Messenger of Peace" by Friends of the U.N. and the Organizing committee. Jiayi is a faculty member at the Turtle Bay Music School in New York City.

PentaWinds was founded on the principle of five breaths or energies working together in the form of a quintet. Dedicated to serving audiences of all ages and backgrounds, Penta plays traditional quintet repertoire and is devoted to exploring new musical media with the awareness of the effortlessness of breath. To that end, PentaWinds has recently embarked on an operatic/musical journey that will include an adaptation of Cosi Fan Tutte and the world premiere of Musical Soup. Comprised of esteemed musicians flutist Abbe Krieger, oboist Suzette Jacobs, clarinetist Aaron Abramovitz, hornist David Moldenhauer and bassoonist Kukiko Otani, recent engagements have included the Roerich Museum, the New York City Bar Association, the Art on the Corner series, and the Mahwah Public Library.

Jenny He began her studies in music and piano at the age of four. She has performed in various venues including TV shows at News 12 Long Island TV and Queens Public Television. She performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, as well as in many other live concerts. Jenny is also a mechanical engineer working at a consulting firm in NYC.

For questions, please contact Michael Perlman, Chairman of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council at

 Preserve this icon & enjoy a quality concert!

No comments:

Post a Comment