Growing up singing helped Rebecca Esmi find many new friends when she moved to West Windsor six years ago. “Through the arts is a way to connect with the people in the community,” she says. She is a member of Voices, a choral group presenting concerts throughout the area on Friday to Sunday, December 19 through 21.
“My mother was a concert pianist and we lived in Springfield, Massachusetts — at the time Springfield was a center of arts and culture,” she says. “We grew up with music, and my mother would always bring us to Wesleyan (University) for their concerts.”
Esmi received her bachelor’s degree in political science and her master’s in liberal studies from Wesleyan. An IT manager for Fleet’s credit card division, she works in Pennsylvania.
Her husband, Ahmad — an Iranian native who came to the United States in 1980 to attend college and is now a consultant — is also very musical and plays the hammer dulcimer and the santur. Esmi’s stepson is autistic, and they moved to West Windsor in order for him to attend Eden Institute. “We looked for schools in Connecticut and soon discovered that all of their teachers are sent to Eden for training.” Cyrus, 12, has been at Eden several years. (His birth mother also lives in the area.)
Esmi also has a daughter, Rachel Huff, 23, a Rutgers graduate who works with Aetna Health Care Division in Middletown, Connecticut, and a stepdaughter, Sarah, 14, who is a freshman at High School South.
At the Voices holiday concerts Rochelle Ellis of West Windsor is a featured soloist. Other West Windsor residents in Voices include Al Chan, Sandy Duffy, Bruce Duffy, Maria V. Arnold, and Marilyn Stebbins.
The chorale’s family program of holiday music includes excerpts from Christus, Opus 97, by Felix Mendelssohn; Motet, Opus 29, No. 2 Psalm 51, by Joannes Brahms; and Hacia Belen Va Un Borrico, by area composer Michael Mendoza, as well as traditional family favorite carols.
Tickets are $18 for adults and $8 for children. Family passes are $42. Call 609-637-9383 for reservations.
Friday, December 19, Princeton United Methodist Church, 7 Vandeventer Street, Princeton. 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 20, St. Andrew Catholic Church, 81 Swamp Road, Newtown, Pennsylvania. 8 p.m. Sunday, December 21, Pennington Presbyterian Church, 13 South Main Street, Pennington. 8 p.m.