French and Italian songs speak love in quite different ways, says soprano Alex Farkas. With Hyosang Park she presents a concert of works by Donaudy, Puccini, Fauré, Schwartz, and Hayes. “Songs of Love and Joy” will be Sunday, June 5, 3:30 p.m. at PUMC, 7 Vandeventer Avenue. The concert is free, and an offering will be taken for the Appalachia Service Project.
French songs express different colors of harmony without any rubato, in contrast to the Italian, which uses beautiful legato lines with rubato — a musical term that refers to expressive and rhythmic freedom by changing the tempo momentarily. Farkas will also sing sets of of lullabies and inspirational songs such as ‘A Bridge over Troubled Water,’ ‘You Raise Me Up,’ ‘Over the Rainbow’ and more.
Farkas, a Belle Mead resident, has a Bachelor of Music and an MA in teaching from Westminster Choir College of Rider University, where she sang with the world-renowned Symphonic Choir that performed in Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center under the batons of such distinguished conductors as Pierre Boulez and Kurt Masur. As a soprano soloist, Farkas has performed in such works as the Duruflé Requiem, Bach Cantata No.19, Haydn’s Theresienmesse, and the world premiere of Ken Morrison’s “God Won’t Pass You By.” Currently she studies with Mark Moliterno. A K-12 certified music teacher in New Jersey, Farkas teaches in the Music Together program in schools in the Trenton area. She also offers music education to many families in Mercer County and works as an In-School Services Mentor at Music Together’s international headquarters in Hopewell. She is a member of the PUMC Chancel Choir and Bell Choir.
As PUMC’s music director, Park leads the Chancel Choir and Handbell Choir and concertizes as a solo handbell artist. She has double master’s degrees in sacred music and piano performance from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. A Cranbury resident, Park has private piano students and also teaches at St. Jerome Catholic School in West Long Branch.
For four decades youth from PUMC have been participating in the national ASP program, which aims to help make homes in Appalachia warmer, safer, and drier. Preparation for this year’s trip to Sullivan County, Tennessee includes fundraising, learning Appalachian culture (and the poverty many face), basic construction skills, and the meaning of service to others. “The PUMC youth program welcomes all teens of all backgrounds, church members and non-church members alike, to participate in the life-changing experience of the ASP,” says Rev. Jana Purkis-Brash, senior pastor. The ASP team will lead worship and report on their trip on Sunday, July 10 at 10 a.m.