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Sacred Heart Concert Series at Oberlin

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The Sacred Heart Concert Series is a project with a mission to connect Oberlin Conservatory musicians with the local community. Presenting concerts during the academic year, SHCS offers an assortment of solo and chamber ensemble repertoire at Oberlin’s Sacred Heart Catholic Church. SHCS staff include Simon Housner (Founder & Executive Director), Johnum Palado (Artistic Director), Faustina Housner (Editor) and Christopher Gokelman (Advisor).

With the graduations of Christopher Gokelman (2020), Simon Housner, Johnum  Palado, and Ben Jalenski (2022) – the baton of the Sacred Heart Concert Series is being passed to Matthew Brown (Oberlin Conservatory class of 2026) who is studying composition and piano.

On, Sunday, 19 November 2023 at 4pm, the SHCS presented a Classical Piano Recital.  Oberlin piano students Guillermo Ramírez Ortega and William Chen performed works by:
• Bach
• Rachmaninov
• Chopin
• Brahms, and
• Beethoven

On Sunday, 12 November 2023 at 4pm, Oberlin’s new contemporary classical choir “The Now Chorale” performed under the direction of Sacred Heart’s student pianist/organist, Matthew Brown. This program featured choir pieces with lyrics sourced from non-traditional places including: letters, tweets, speeches, book titles, and newspaper articles. A highlight was three premiere pieces by Oberlin student composers Sasha Paris-Carter, Will Judd, and Matthew Brown.

On Sunday, 22 October 2023 at 4pm, Nik Divalli (a senior at Oberlin College and Conservatory) presented a Classical Guitar recital featuring works of:
• J.S. Bach
• Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco
• Augustin Barrios, Sergio Assad, and
• Astor Piazolla.
This program spanned the 17th century to the 20th century and featured many styles of guitar music from Germany and Italy to Argentina and Paraguay.
PLEASE NOTE: This video begins mid-stream, as there was a technical issue with the audio; the stream picks up at the point the audio was restored. 

On Mother’s Day, 14 May 2023, the SHCS presented: A Mother’s Day Special! featuring Ben Jalensky ’22 (Trombone) and Adam Chlebek ’23 (Organ).

The Musikos Collective presented a spring concert on Sunday evening, 16 April 2023 at 5:30pm.

Sunday, 18 December 2022 at 5:30pm the SHCS presents Christmas at Heart: a concert of instrumental carols featuring Oberlin students.

Sunday, 4 December 2022 at 5:00pm the SHCS welcomed The Musikos Collective as they presented a Chamber Recited.
(The live-stream is posted beneath the program below)
A problem with audio during the first piece led to a silent performance; the first full piece with audio is found at 18:18 in the video.  The program for the 4 December 2022 concert that is part of this video includes:
Felix Mendelssohn String Quartet No. 5 in Eb Major, Op. 44 No. 3
I. Allegro vivace
II. Scherzo. Assai leggiero vivace
—Erin Koo, Marisa Tayal, violin
—Lily Bronson, viola
—Walker Whitehouse, cello
Felix Mendelssohn String Quartet No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 44 No.2
—Larissa Michel, Arianna Pope, violin
—Kate MacKenzie, viola
—Adan Caldera Quintero, cello
Paquito D’Rivera: Brass Quintet
—Alex Ayoub, trumpet
—Jonathan Bruzon, french horn
—Shane Niland, trumpet
—Abe Frato, Evan Beachy, trombones

Sunday, 9 October 2022 at 6:00pm the SHCS hosted a grand celebration of PAST AND PRESENT.  It featured recent Oberlin College grads Johnum Palado (violin), Ben Jalenski (trombone), and Christopher Gokelman (viola). Accompanying these recent grads was Oberlin College freshman Matthew Brown (piano).

Sunday, 22 May 2022 at 3:30pm the SHCS hosted its last concert of the Spring 2022 semester, entitled: A Medtner Finale
The concert featured two monumental works by Russian romantic composer Nikolai Medtner! The first was his grand Violin Sonata No. 2 in G major, a seamless three-movement work exploring Russian folk songs.  What follow ed was his Piano Quintet, a piece Medtner himself describes as the ultimate summation of his musical life.

Featured performers were:
Johnum Palado and Lucy Kim, violins
Jasper deBoor, viola
Maxwell Schultz, cello
Ohad Nativ, piano

Sunday, 15 May 2022 at 6:30pm: SHCS & Musikos presented: Pantomime | Songs from the Canyon.
This concert featured a special collaboration with Musikos; a student collective founded by cellist Daniel Knapp that seeks to meld disciplines of Oberlin Conservatory, the Arts & Sciences, and the local community.

Daniel returns to the SHCS with his twin sister, Amina, as they perform music spanning centuries: from J. S. Bach’s Violin Partita No. 2 in d minor, to world premieres of new works “Pantomime” and “Songs by the Canyon” by Evan Judson. More program information to be announced!
For more information about Musikos and its mission, please see the link below:

Sunday, 8 May 2022 5:30pm: Don’t have a gift for mother’s day? Fear not! The Sacred Heart Boizz got you covered with a free concert featuring free improvisation—meaning the music can be whatever you want for your special one : )

The Weds, 4 May 2022 7:30pm “Celebrating Voices of Our Time” concert was, perhaps, the biggest concert in the history of the series – with 18 players coming together to celebrate music by composers of this generation! Not only did this concert premiere unique works by two Oberlin composers Owen Collier and Michelle Li, but it also featured a plethora of musical styles: from free improvisation, to the luscious lyricism of a 12-piece string ensemble, to minimalist grooves and patterns in loops. Despite such a varied program, all these pieces share a sense of peaceful and even prayerful tranquility that is only fitting to hear in a church setting.

The Thursday, 28 April 7:30pm “Brahms Horn Trio” concert was a fundraiser – all free-will donations were collected to help Ukrainian families; funds were forwarded to Catholic Relief Services, who will distribute them to their European sister-organization of Caritas.  The works performed at this concert included a Prayer for Ukraine, Meditation of “Pray for Ukraine” (attaca), and Trio in E-flat Major for Horn, Violin, and Piano, Op. 40.

The 20 February 2022 5:30pm concert was the first SHCS concert of the Spring 2022 semester and featured “The Steven Plank Trio” (Johnum Palado, Max Schultz, and Ohad Nativ) and Aaron Lieberman!  The program highlighted Germanic works for solo, duets, and trios spanning the 18th-20th centuries.
Program overview:
• Fugue from J.S. Bach, Violin Sonata No. 3 in C major
• Hindemith, Duet for Two Cellos
• Selections from Bartók, 44 Duos for Two Violins (arr. for two cellos)
• Schumann, Allegro in b minor
• And selections from the following:
— Beethoven, String Trio No. 1 in E-flat
— (Fanny) Hensel, String Trio in d minor
— Reger, String Trio No. 2 in e minor
— Henze, Kammersonate

On Friday, 21 January 2022 at 7pm, the SHCS presented: MOZART & MEDTNER – a mini-recital

The Holiday Brass Bash, performed on 19 December 2021 at 7pm, featured such works as:
• Joy to the World–arr. Anthony Dil Lorenzo
• Let it snow–arr. Zoe Cutler
• Sleigh Ride, Hava Nala, Dreidel Dreidel–arr. Cutler
• Twas the Night before Christmas–Arr. Di Lorenzo
• Polar Express–Arr. Rush Garcia
• Mo Town Jingle Bells–Arr. Sam Pilafian

The Sacred Heart Concert Series at Oberlin was excited to have the Orb Quartet, Daniel Knapp, and Jake Berran join together for a program exclusively by living composers. Three of these composers are Oberlin students—Cashel Day-Lewis, Aaron Lieberman, and Johnum Palado—as their works explore the unique timbres of strings and the organ.

On Sunday, 21 November 2021, the SHCS welcomed a performance by Walter Thomas-Patterson, piano – featuring works by Franz Schubert, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and Enrique Granados.

The Sacred Heart Concert Series presents: SHOSTAKOVICH String Quartet No. 8 with the premier of new composition by Benjamin Martin.

Johnum Palado & Sam Hao, Violin
Nicholette Cheaure, viola
Nathaniel Abreu, cello
Walter Thomas-Patterson & Adam Chlebek, piano

Christopher Gokelman, a 2020 graduate of the Oberlin College Conservatory (and who is currently doing his Master’s work at the Cleveland Institute of Music) will perform a concert at Sacred Heart on Friday, 7 May 2021 at 7PM.  All are invited to attend, or to watch the live-stream.

The final in-person concert of the Spring 2021 semester featuring students from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music was Friday, 29 April 2021 at 7:30pm.

On Sunday, 18 April 2021 at 5pm, the SHCS welcomed Frank’s RedHot Brass Ensemble!  The ensemble is composed of students who attend Oberlin College & Conservatory of Music.

On 11 April 2021 at 5pm, the SHCS presented the “ChamberFeast” concert to benefit the Oberlin Weekday Community Meal program.  To date, $575 has been raised to benefit this worthy cause.

On 21 March 2021 at 5pm, the SHCS presented “A Recital for Cello, Piano, & Classical Guitar!”  Featured performers included: Immanuel Mykyta-Chomsky , Suvan Agarwal, and Simon Housner.

A two-part concert series, performing the complete Cello Suites of J. S. Bach, was held on Friday, 5 February 2021 (Suites 1-3) and on Sunday, 7 February 2021 (Suites 4-6).  Each Suite is highlighted in its own video:

Suite 1

Suite 2

Suite 3

Suite 4

Suite 5

Suite 6


The final concert in the Fall 2020 Sacred Heart Concert Series was Sunday afternoon, 16 November 2020.  Each piece performed is highlighted in its own video.

Part 1 of 7

Part 2 of 7

Part 3 of 7

Part 4 of 7

Part 5 of 7

Part 6 of 7

Part 7 of 7


The October 4th Chamber Concert, originally billed as an outdoor event, was moved indoors because of weather conditions.  Each of the 5 pieces performed is highlighted in its own video.

Part 1 of 5

Part 2 of 5

Part 3 of 5

Part 4 of 5

Part 5 of 5


The fall 2020 Sacred Heart Concert Series began on 13 September 2020 with a performance by Simon Housner who was The Standing Cellist!

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

In celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, our Oberlin College student parishioners performed “Baethoven 131 and more!”

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

On Friday, 13 December 2019, we were overwhelmed by the stellar performances of 9 Oberlin College students who celebrated “Christmas in Florence” with us.

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

Simon Hausner performed a Sophomore Recital at Sacred Heart on 4 October 2019:

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

Christopher Gokelman offered a benefit concert at Sacred Heart on 17 May 2019. The Oberlin Community Meal program was the recipient of the $905 raised at this concert.