About the Westchester Chorale
The Westchester Chorale, founded in 1965, has long been recognized as one of the region’s leading musical ensembles. An auditioned avocational chorus, now 45 singers strong, the Chorale’s members are devoted musicians drawn from all walks of life. Douglas Kostner is the Chorale’s Music Director and enjoys creating engaging programs which blend the familiar with unusual and exciting pieces from the choral repertoire. During its 49-year-history, the Westchester Chorale has distinguished itself for its dedication to high standards of musicianship, and for its collaboration with vocal soloists and instrumentalists of the finest caliber.
The Chorale presents several music events each season, ranging from its two principal concerts in December and May to its annual August Sings. Recent performances have included Bach’s Cantata 140 Wachet Auf; Brahms’ incomparable Liebeslieder; Rachmaninoff’s Vespers in a traditional Russian Orthodox setting; J.S. Bach’s magnificent Mass in B minor; and, just this past fall, we presented our 100th concert with Mendelssohn’s Magnificat and Bach’s Cantata 77, Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren lieben. The Chorale also does informal performances as part of its community outreach program, including appearances at area nursing homes such as the Sarah Neuman Center for Healthcare and Rehabilitation.
This season marks the beginning of our sixth year as the official chorus-in-residence at the Larchmont Avenue Church. We wish to express our deepest appreciation to the Reverend Bill Crawford and the church leadership for helping to bring the Chorale to this beautiful setting and welcoming us with their warmth and generosity. The Chorale rehearses weekly on Tuesday evenings during the season in Russell Hall, the church’s rehearsal space.
If you love music and are interested in joining the Chorale, please call our Membership Director, Marge Manber, for more information at 914-725-7507. Rehearsals for our fall 2014 concert on December 7th will begin Tuesday, September 9th in Russell Hall. We invite you to sing with us at our open rehearsals and then arrange for a brief, “singer-friendly” audition with our Music Director.
About the Music Director
Douglas Kostner has been a performing musician for over twenty five years. He has worked with adult (both amateur and professional) and children’s choirs, handbell choirs, small and large instrumental ensembles, and theater companies. He has conducted well over a hundred musical theater productions at such venues as the Westchester Broadway Theater, New York University’s Summer Musical Theater, and the New Federal Theater at the Henry Street Settlement. As a choral conductor, he has presented dozens of concerts of sacred and secular music with orchestral accompaniment.
As an organist, his many recitals in the New York area have included Trinity Church (Wall Street), Church of the Ascension (Fifth Ave.), Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Grace Church (White Plains, NY), Our Lady of Grace (Bronx, NY), Hitchcock Presbyterian Church (Scarsdale, NY), and Saint Stephen’s Church (Ridgefield, CT).
Mr. Kostner is an active composer and arranger. His church music is published by GIA (Chicago, IL). His compositions and arrangements have been performed at various institutions in the New York City area including St. Joseph’s Seminary, the City University of New York, and the national meeting of the Boards of the Methodist Church.
He is currently Director of Music Ministry at the Larchmont Avenue Church (Larchmont, NY), where he directs the Chancel Choir, Children’s Choir, Bell Choir, and various instrumental ensembles. In 2009 he was named Music Director of the Westchester Chorale. He has a particular interest in exploring lesser-known repertoire and bringing to light neglected compositions that are worthy to be heard.
Mr. Kostner holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Fordham University and Manhattan School of Music. He is a Fellow of Trinity College of Music, London, and an Associate of the American Guild of Organists. He is fluent in Italian and has a good working knowledge of Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Latin, and to a lesser degree, German, Russian, and Hebrew.
Theora Cultice, pianist, performs extensively as an accompanist and recitalist. A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the University of Michigan, Ms. Cultice taught piano and organ at the University of Wisconsin. She was organist and director of music at Memorial United Methodist Church in White Plains for 14 years during which time she made a number of recordings of organ music for NBC which were aired on their TV specials.
Her experiences an accompanist include opera and oratorio in numerous colleges and churches as well as chamber music recitals throughout the Metropolitan area. She is currently on the faculties of the Hoff-Barthelson Music School, Music Conservatory of Westchester, and Rye Country Day School. She is the accompanist for the Westchester Chorale and the Hoff-Barthelson Festival Chorus.
Members of the Board:
Tony Coretto , President
Joyce Duffy , Vice President
Larry Beer, Co-Treasurer
Linda Gibbs, Co-Treasurer