A community recital series in Aspen's historic West End.
Music in the West End is thrilled to return from the pandemic with its 2022 season, featuring both new collaborations and local, beloved favorites. Please join the musicians for a reception in Rowland-Davis Hall following each concert.
Music in the West End is a concert series presented by Christ Episcopal Church for Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. Professional musicians of varying genres present free, one hour concerts to the public. No tickets are sold for the concerts, but those who attend are invited to make a donation. Concert goers are invited to attend a reception following each event.
Music in the West End is managed by Christ Episcopal Church Music Director Molly Noel. Molly is a much sought-after collaborative pianist in the Roaring Fork Valley. After earning her Masters of Music from Boston University she has gone on to perform with various institutes and ensembles including the New England Philharmonic and Concord Orchestras and on the stage of Boston's Symphony Hall with the Boston University Orchestra. As a staff accompanist with Boston Conservatory she coached vocalists, played for private voice studios and accompanied ensembles and numerous private recitals. Molly's performances have taken her around the United States and Europe. She has studied in Salzburg, Austria and was the winner of the 2002 Leopoldskron Concert Competition. She has been a staff accompanist for the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and the Heifetz International Music Institute. Prior to her music director post, she worked in the Aspen Music Festival and School's Student Services for five years.
Nikki Boxer, mezzo-soprano, has been praised for compelling interpretations of music across a variety of genres. Her vocal repertoire ranges from opera and art song to Broadway and jazz. Nikki’s work as a soloist has included J.S. Bach's Cantata BWV 170 for Alto & Orchestra, a cabaret of musical memories entitled Colored Lights, Durufle's Requiem with the Aspen Chapel, Another Side of Sondheim with Music in the West End, and numerous classical recitals in the Roaring Fork Valley. In 2021, Nikki premiered The Lighthouse Fantasie, a new work for mezzo-soprano by composer de Sabinas, at the Wheeler Opera House as part of the Aspen Fringe Festival’s JuneFest. A passionate actor, Nikki recently received a Best Actress award for her portrayal of Rose in the short film Wisteria at the Dreammachine International Film Festival. Stage productions include the first U.S. reading of David Ireland's Ulster American (Ruth) with Aspen Fringe Festival, Henry Award-nominated Constellations (Marianne) with Thunder River Theatre Company, Theatre Aspen's Cabaret (Fraülein Kost) and Les Misérables (Mme. Thénardier), Venus in Fur (Vanda) with Aspen Fringe Festival, and Harold Pinter's Betrayal (Emma) with Hudson Reed Ensemble. Raised in New England, Nikki holds a degree in vocal performance from Tulane University in New Orleans. She apprenticed with The Santa Fe Opera and continued vocal studies at Longy School, IIVA Italy, LidalNorth in Oslo, and Sherrill Milnes’ VOICE Foundation. She has studied Meisner technique with John Ruskin at the Ruskin School of Acting in Santa Monica, CA, and ran an Aspen-based nonprofit play reading group, Nimble Rabbit, from 2013-2015. More at www.nikkiboxer.com
Molly Noel is a much sought-after collaborative pianist in the Roaring Fork Valley. Known for her lyrical touch and supportive accompaniment, she collaborates with many of the valley’s top musicians as well as students from the Aspen Music Festival and School. After earning her Masters of Music from Boston University she has gone on to perform with various institutes and ensembles including the New England Philharmonic and Concord Orchestras and on the stage of Boston’s Symphony Hall with the Boston University Orchestra. As a staff accompanist with Boston Conservatory she coached vocalists, played for private voice studios and accompanied ensembles and numerous private recitals. Molly’s performances have taken her around the United States and Europe. She has studied in Salzburg, Austria and was the winner of the 2002 Leopoldskron Concert Competition. She has been a staff accompanist for the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the Heifetz International Music Institute and the Maroon Bel Canto Choir. Prior to her current position as Music Director at Christ Episcopal Church, Aspen, she worked at the Aspen Music Festival and School for five years.
Amanda Gessler is known for her deeply insightful and emotionally charged performances across the United States and Europe. As a First Prize Winner of the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano competition, she made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2014. She embraces a broad repertoire and enjoys a special connection with the music of Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms. She was first noticed as a prizewinner in the Chicago Symphony Concerto Competition at age sixteen, and received a full scholarship to study at the Interlochen Summer Arts Academy. She has since traveled widely and given performances at the Aspen Music Festival, the Duxbury Festival in Massachusetts, the Institute for European Studies in Vienna and the Wilhelm Kempff Foundation Beethoven Course in Positano, Italy. She is a laureate of the MTNA Steinway Young Artist Competition and her performances have been broadcast on Colorado Public radio and on Irish National Television in the documentary film "Beethoven Bootcamp". Gessler earned a Bachelor of Music magna cum laude at the Lawrence Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin and a Master of Music at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music under Distinguished Professor, Menahem Pressler. She went on to study further under world renowned pianists John O'Conor and Richard Goode, and is currently a candidate for a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Francisco Vila began playing the cello at age 8 and had his solo debut with orchestra at 14. Concert activities have taken him throughout Europe, North and South America. Performing collaborations have included those with artists such as Nobuko Imai, Cho-Liang Lin, Gary Hoffman, Wolfram Christ, Toby Hoffman, Sunwook Kim, Martin Chalifour, and members of the Juilliard String Quartet. Vila has appeared as a soloist with the Houston Symphony, South Dakota Symphony, Aalborg Symfoniorkester, Liege Royal Philharmonic, Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia, Santander Festival Orchestra, Indiana University Philharmonic, and all principal orchestras of his native Ecuador. He has been a participant at the Ravinia Steans Institute and guest artist at the Beaumaris, Santander, and Stavelot music festivals among others. As a member of the iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates he performed in such venues as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, Los Angeles’ Disney Hall, Mozarteum Salzburg, and on international tours. Mr. Vila views teaching as an important aspect in music-making. In March of 2015, he founded and directs the International Music Festival of Esmeraldas (Ecuador) in his hometown. This is a social project that awards full-tuition scholarships to numerous gifted young talents from Central and South America for two weeks of masterclasses with some of the world’s great artists. For his work with this platform, Mr. Vila has received coveted grants from the US State Department, Tarisio Trust, and the Sphinx MPower Grant. Vila was granted a Presidential Scholarship to the Boston Conservatory for his Bachelor studies, after which he received a Performance Diploma from Indiana University where he was a student of Janos Starker, Sharon Robinson and Menahem Pressler. In 2012, he was selected to the inaugural cello class at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium, where he earned an Artist Diploma under the famed cellist Gary Hoffman. In the same year he became the second-prize laureate of the Sphinx Competition in Detroit Michigan.
Kevin Kaukl has studied and performed widely throughout the United States and abroad. He holds a Master of Music and Artist Diploma degrees from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, Ireland, and Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia. While pursuing graduate studies, he also taught at both institutions. His principal teacher was John O'Conor, and he has also worked with Irina Akhrin (Seattle), Gerald Stofsky (Vienna), and Robin McCabe, with whom Kevin studied for his undergraduate degree at the University of Washington. While a student he won awards in numerous competitions, most notably as a national finalist in the MTNA Steinway Young Artist competition.
Roberto Arundale is an avid soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player having performed across the United States and Europe on Public Radio and television collaborating with the Indigo Girls, members of the Ying and Cavani Quartets and Edgar Meyer. Roberto taught undergraduate students at CU Boulder as a teaching assistant, and currently teaches for the Aspen Music Festival and School. Roberto Arundale has undergraduate and graduate degrees in music performance and Suzuki Pedagogy from the University of Michigan and the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is currently completing his Doctorate of Music Arts from the University Colorado Boulder. Aside from music, Roberto enjoys sushi, ping-pong, poker strategy, Scrabble, and studying chess.
David Dyer is no stranger to local audiences, who have seen him perform throughout the valley, including with Theatre Aspen, Aspen Community Theatre, Thunder River Theatre, and for nearly 25 years at the renowned Crystal Palace in Aspen. He holds a degree in music from The University of Northern Colorado. His arranging credits are diverse, including arrangements for solo singers, choral groups and various instrumental ensembles. His talents have taken him to many places in the world, including a 30-year summer engagement in Mykonos, Greece, the Wexford Festival in Ireland, and concert cabaret tours of Germany and Switzerland. In 2012-2013 he completed an international tour as Associate Conductor of PETER PAN starring Cathy Rigby. His solo piano stylings include many well-known standards from the thirties and forties, light jazz and popular music, as well as music from stage musicals and film.