SUMMIT, NJ - The Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea, a 42-piece ensemble now in its 30th year, will perform a Christmas concert December 11 at St. Teresa of Avila Church beginning at 7:30 p.m. The program will benefit the Dominican Nuns of Summit Centennial Campaign. 

Under the direction of The Reverend Alphonse Stephenson, the orchestra will perform traditional music, popular favorites, and holiday classics featuring Soprano Victoria Cannizzo, Tenor Benjamin Sloman, and Baritone Christopher Pinella as soloists.

“The Orchestra is entirely comprised of professional, card-carrying union musicians,” says Father Alphonse, a Catholic priest who is the Orchestra’s founder, music director, and conductor. “Every concert we’ve ever done since the very beginning in 1986 has been performed with the excitement of great musicians coming together to make music, and the joy of knowing our efforts help churches, schools, hospitals and social service organizations in their wonderful missions.”

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An experienced conductor and professionally-trained musician, Father Alphonse is the former music director and conductor of the smash hit ?A Chorus Line," having conducted more than 3,000 performances of the record-breaking musical at the Shubert Theater in New York City.

In addition to leading the Orchestra, Father Alphonse is the Director of the Cecelia Foundation, Inc, a not-for-profit organization that awards scholarships and professional instruments to young promising music students.

He has been guest conductor for the Fresno Philharmonic, Delaware Valley Philharmonic, Metro Lyric Opera, the Greater Palm Beach Symphony Orchestra and the Key West Pops Orchestra, and recently retired as an Air Force Chaplain. As a Brigadier General, Father Alphonse was the Air National Guard Assistant to the Chief of Air Force Chaplains at the Pentagon.

The Dominican Nuns of Summit are mid-way to their $4 million Centennial Campaign goal, an effort that will enable them to build a 5,500 square foot new wing, and make desperately-needed capital improvements.

Tickets for the concert are $50 for General Admission; $75 for Premier Seating (limited), and are available at, via e-mail at, or by calling 201-452-4996.