Maria Newman, Director of Music
Maria has been recognized and commended by the United States Congress for her work in the field of classical music composition and performance, and is an award-winning conductor, violinist, violist, pianist, composer, and pedagogue. An Annenberg Foundation Composition Fellow, Mary Pickford Library Composition Fellow, Variety Music Legend, and internationally featured composer and concert soloist, Newman’s music has been heard in such diverse venues as the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C., WR Hearst Castle’s Private Theater, the Washington State Capitol Dome & Rotunda, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Music Scoring Stages of 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, MGM, Paramount, Universal Pictures, and in numerous international settings on radio, television and in live performance from Europe to Asia. Newman is Composer-in-Residence with the Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra and Soloists, the Malibu Coast Madrigals, and holds the Louis & Annette Kaufman Composition Chair at the Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture in Malibu. A visible symbol in modern classical music, Maria Newman’s extensive original library of scintillating, highly discussed works represents a range of genres, from large-scale orchestra and choral, to chamber music, works for ballet, vocal solo works, song cycle/vocal chamber works, to original collaborative musical scores for historic silent films. NPR’s Jim Svejda, the popular on-air icon of musical opinion, (“The Record Shelf Guide to the Classical Repertoire”), has hailed Maria Newman as, “Hugely musical, bewitching, profound and playful, with an instantly recognizable and unusually appealing musical personality, Maria Newman is one of the most charming and distinctive composers of her generation.”
Anne Cioffi, Coordinator of Membership Ministries
Anne has served WPC in several roles over the last 20 years involving membership and lay ministry. Her institutional knowledge is put into practice by helping maintain the church membership database and coordinate the overall WPC membership process. Her primary passion is encouraging our congregation to take full advantage of opportunities for service and spiritual growth. Serving on the Membership and Lay Ministries Committee, Anne assists in planning the New Member Seminars, helps organize the new member mentor program, and leads the Spiritual Gifts Course. Anne is also a part of the planning team for the annual women’s retreat. She and her husband live near the ocean. When not at WPC, you may find Anne aboard a sailboat on Santa Monica Bay…or somewhere on the seven seas.
Michael Ball, Director of Student Ministries Beginning January 1, 2018, Michael will serve as the Director of Student Ministries at Westwood Presbyterian Church. Michael is a new member of WPC, having recently moved to LA from Pittsburgh. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School and brings with him a broad range of experiences in secondary and collegiate education. Mike is passionate about ministry and youth education and is thrilled God has called him to this position.
Gretchen Greenwood, Director of Operations Please welcome Gretchen Greenwood who joins the WPC staff as our new Director of Operations on Tuesday, January 16. Gretchen most recently served as Senior Operations Manager at the J. Paul Getty Museum Center and Villa where she liaised to the Trust organization in the areas of capital projects, risk management, office services, facilities, security/visitor services and IT, and supervised support staff. We are excited to have Gretchen join us in managing our property and office functions and in looking toward our future build with Belmont Village.
Sarah Ilger, Office Assistant
Sarah Ilger joined the Westwood Presbyterian Church staff in November, 2017. She comes to us from Knox Presbyterian Church in Pasadena. Sarah was worked as an administrator and Director of Worship Arts for churches for the past 7 years and has served at many different churches as a singer, musician, worship leader, and administrator. Sarah attended Hillsong International Leadership College in Sydney, Australia and graduated with a major in vocal studies.