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Rob Mathes Joined by STING, Vanessa Williams & David Sanborn at Holiday Concerts

Friday, December 14, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - Sunday, December 16, 2018 @ 4:00 pm MST

Emmy winner and Grammy, Tony, and Drama Desk-nominated arranger and composer, music producer/director, and singer/songwriter Rob Mathes returns to the Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, on Friday, December 14, and Saturday, December 15, at 8:00 p.m., and the Schimmel Center, Sunday, December 16, at 4:00 p.m., for the annual Rob Mathes Holiday Concert. Rob is celebrating 25 years of performing his annual holiday concert and is honored to be joined this year by special guests Sting, Vanessa Williams and saxophonist David Sanborn, who will each perform a couple holiday-themed songs with Rob and the band.

Tickets are available at:

Performing Arts Center – December 14 & 15, 2018, 8:00 p.m.
Friday, December 14, and Saturday, December 15, 8:00 p.m., at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College (PAC), 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, New York. Tickets are available online at or through the PAC Box Office at 914-251-6200.

Schimmel Center – December 16, 2017, 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 16, 4:00 p.m., at the Schimmel Center, 3 Spruce Street, New York, New York. Tickets are available online at or by calling 212-346-1715.

“Twenty five years ago, at a church on a hill in Connecticut, we performed the first Rob Mathes Holiday Concert,” noted Rob Mathes. “I gathered together a bunch of brilliant musical friends to play the holiday music I had written over the years, and since then, the concert has become a tradition. It has became the center of my musical year at my favorite time of year. Now we have a loyal fan base and we are celebrating. This 25th year of ringing in the holidays will be extra noteworthy with some special guests joining me on stage for a song or two. Sting, Vanessa Williams and David Sanborn will grace us with a few of their favorite holiday songs. I have been honored to work with Sting on a variety of projects, including co-producing his album Symphonicities and orchestrating his Broadway show The Last Ship. I am beyond excited that he is able to help us celebrate 25 years of performing this concert. Vanessa has been instrumental in helping launch my career and I’ve had the honor of working with her on her own holiday music. David joined us a few years ago when we taped the concert for PBS and I’m thrilled to have him back with us this year. Happy holidays. Please come celebrate with us!!”

Rob is also joined by his all-star band and choir of “saints and friends.” Rob’s all-star musicians include instrumentalists from the Late Show with David Letterman, Saturday Night Live and groups like the Rolling Stones, and features Will Lee (bass), Billy Masters (guitar), Joe Bonadio and Shawn Pelton (percussion), Rick Knutsen (keyboards), Jeff Kievit (first trumpet), Don Harris (second trumpet), Andy Snitzer (tenor sax), Aaron Heick (alto sax), Mike Davis (trombone), and Jeff Nelson (bass trombone). He is also joined by vocalists James “D Train” Williams and Cindy Mizelle. The concerts are a combination of rock, jazz, and blues – original tunes and holiday classics that will put the audience in the spirit of the season.

Mathes has worked with virtually every big name in the music industry, arranging, producing, directing, recording, and performing with the likes of Bono, Bennett, Sting, and Springsteen. This year is no different with Rob spending a lot of time in Los Angeles and London orchestrating and arranging the new Panic! At The Disco record Pray For The Wicked, which went number one; the continuing work on The Greatest Showman music which has taken the world by storm. He orchestrated Pasek and Paul’s beautiful songs and just did a new orchestration for the Pop companion record coming out featuring Pink and others. Rob is currently working on a project with the band Train and also musically directed and supervised a reading of a new musical by Elvis Costello. He produced a record of Sondheim material Sondheim Sublime for the wonderful singer Melissa Errico which the New York Times have recommended as a “Holiday Pick.” He also orchestrated and supervised the UK version of Sting’s The Last Ship, which garnered rave reviews and will be in Toronto in the new year. Rob also produced a record by a very gifted singer songwriter named Pete Muller.

Despite his busy schedule, Rob who is a Greenwich, Connecticut, native, returns “home” for the holidays. This year’s concert also benefits a non-profit close to Rob’s heart, the award-winning photo project, Through the Eyes of Children.

For additional information on Rob Mathes, visit,, or

About the Artists

Rob Mathes
Emmy-winning and Grammy, Tony, and Drama Desk Award-nominated Rob Mathes has spent the past year working with a variety of artists, including Tony and Oscar-winning composers Pasek and Paul (Dear Evan Hansen and La La Land) and star Hugh Jackman, orchestrating and conducting the song score for the worldwide smash The Greatest Showman. Rob wrote all the horn and string arrangements for Panic At The Disco’s number one album Pray For The Wicked, released last spring. He orchestrated and supervised the UK Premiere and Tour of Sting’s The Last Ship, which received rave reviews across England. For the July 4th PBS Special at the National Mall, he arranged music for Renée Fleming, and he contributed two arrangements to her upcoming Broadway record for Decca. He continued to arrange music for the Boston Pops this year, both for their Spring Concert and their upcoming Holiday Pops series. Rob musically directed the Songwriters Hall of Fame which featured Sara Bareilles, Neil Diamond, John Mellencamp, Jermaine Dupri, Kool and The Gang, and Ariana Grande. Mathes arranged music for the world famous virtuosos violinist Joshua Bell and trumpeter Chris Botti, and began work for a new Elvis Costello project. He just finished arranging music for records by pop artists Rob Thomas and Andrew McMahon, and produced a Sondheim project for New York Times darling Melissa Errico, to be released in the fall.

Rob has worked with virtually every big name in the music industry—arranging, producing, directing, recording, and performing with the likes of Panic! At The Disco, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Yo-Yo Ma, Beyoncé, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Fall Out Boy, Train, Lou Reed, Bono, and Tony Bennett. In 2009, Mathes musically directed the Presidential Inaugural Concert for Obama at the Lincoln Memorial. He has performed for Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. Mathes musically directed the Pope Francis Concert for Hope at Madison Square Garden. Having produced three of Sting’s albums, Rob was the music director and supervisor for the artist’s Broadway show, The Last Ship. Mathes and Sting both received Tony nominations for their work on it. The two have performed together on multiple stages and television shows.

Rob has musically directed at Carnegie Hall several times, including last year’s Jimmy Webb Tribute and a David Lynch Foundation event featuring Katy Perry, Jim James, Angelique Kidjo, Sharon Isbin, Jerry Seinfeld, and Sting. He arranged and directed Bono’s 10th Anniversary RED Charity Concert there in 2015, with performances by Bono, The Edge, Miley Cyrus, Hozier, Jessie J, and others.

Rob served as a chief music expert on the much-publicized Led Zeppelin “Stairway to Heaven” plagiarism trial in LA. He worked closely with both Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, and was instrumental in the court’s ruling in favor of Led Zeppelin.

One of Mathes’ many charts for The Boston Pops was a large version of Prince’s “Purple Rain,” which premiered last year at Symphony Hall in Boston. Gospel singer James “D-Train” Williams performed with the BSO, and the piece received an instant standing ovation. Rob also wrote two string arrangements for the band Twenty One Pilots for their appearance on Saturday Night Live. Other work includes producing and musically directing a concert and CD dedicated to the Music of David Lynch with Duran Duran, The Flaming Lips, Moby, Lykke Li, Donovan, Chrysta Bell, Sky Ferreira, Zola Jesus, Jim James, and Angelo Badalamenti, David’s longtime composer, at the ACE Theatre in Los Angeles. In between concerts and traveling to Abbey Road in London, Rob wrote ten big band charts for Panic! At The Disco’s #1 album Death of A Bachelor. He also produced and arranged a project with members of The London Symphony and other London orchestras based around the songs of legendary songwriter Albert Hammond (The Air That I Breathe, When I Need You, One Moment in Time, To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before, Don’t Turn Around, It Never Rains in Southern California), his first recording with a full orchestra. Rob was instrumental in the early development of the Sting/Peter Gabriel tour, taking part in initial rehearsals to prepare them for the trip.

Rob’s own music has received critical acclaim. Two of his annual holiday concerts were filmed and became PBS specials that aired for several years. Evening Train, a rhythm and blues album, has been beloved by everyone from Carly Simon to Sting, from Warren Zevon to Bonnie Raitt. Other records equally treasured are Orchestral Songs, Flesh and Spirit, his newly released Wheelbarrow, William the Angel, and Christmas is Coming.

Composer, singer-songwriter, actor, author, and activist Sting was born in Newcastle, England before moving to London in 1977 to form The Police with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers. The band released five studio albums, earned six Grammy Awards and two Brits, and was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.

As one of the world’s most distinctive solo artists, Sting has received an additional 10 Grammy Awards, two Brits, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, four Oscar nominations (including 2017’s nomination for “The Empty Chair” from JIM: THE JAMES FOLEY STORY), a TONY nomination, Billboard Magazine’s Century Award, and MusiCares 2004 Person of the Year. Also a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, he has received the Kennedy Center Honors, The American Music Award of Merit and The Polar Music Prize. Sting has been awarded Honorary Doctorates of Music by the University of Northumbria (1992), Berklee College of Music (1994), University of Newcastle upon Tyne (2006) and most recently, from Brown University at its 250th Commencement ceremony (2018).

Following his critically-acclaimed album, 57th & 9th, his first rock/pop collection in over a decade, Sting and reggae star, Shaggy released a collaborative, island-influenced album, entitled 44/876, that draws from the many surprising connections at the heart of their music. This summer, the iconic duo embarked on a tour in Europe where the two Grammy Award-winning artists performed their most celebrated hits as well as songs off their new album, together, combining members of their respective bands. The 44/876 World Tour also travelled through North America, South America and Eastern Europe.

Throughout his illustrious career, Sting has sold close to 100 million albums from his combined work with The Police and as a solo artist.

He has appeared in more than 15 films, executive produced the critically acclaimed A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, and in 1989 starred in The Threepenny Opera on Broadway. His most recent theatre project was the TONY-nominated musical The Last Ship, inspired by his memories of the shipbuilding community of Wallsend in the North East of England where he was born and raised. The show, with music and lyrics by Sting, ran on Broadway in 2014/2015 and completed a critically-acclaimed UK regional theatre tour earlier this year. Next year, Sting will star as shipyard foreman Jackie White in the Toronto-based production of The Last Ship at the Princess of Wales Theatre from February 9 through March 24, 2019.

Sting’s support for human rights organizations such as the Rainforest Fund, Amnesty International, and Live Aid mirrors his art in its universal outreach. Along with wife Trudie Styler, Sting founded the Rainforest Fund in 1989 to protect both the world’s rainforests and the indigenous people living there. Together they have held 18 benefit concerts to raise funds and awareness for our planet’s endangered resources. Since its inception, the Rainforest Fund has expanded to a network of interconnected organizations working in more than 20 countries over three continents.

Vanessa Williams
Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in the entertainment industry today. Having sold millions of records worldwide, Vanessa has also scored numerous #1 and Top 10 hits on various Billboard Album and Singles charts: Pop, Dance, R&B, Adult Contemporary, Holiday, Latin, Gospel and Jazz. Her critically acclaimed work in film, television, recordings and the Broadway stage has been recognized by every major industry award affiliate including 4 Emmy nominations, 11 Grammy nominations, a Tony nomination, 3 SAG award nominations, 7 NAACP Image Awards and 3 Satellite Awards. Her platinum single “Colors of the Wind,” from the Disney film Pocahontas, won the Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe for Best Original Song.

A strong advocate for equal rights, especially concerning the gay community and minorities, Vanessa was honored with the Human Rights Campaign “Ally for Equality” Award for her humanitarian contributions. She also achieved a career pinnacle with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007. Vanessa’s autobiography, “You Have No Idea,” co-written with her mother Helen Williams, was a New York Times Best Seller in 2012. Her recent Broadway credits include co-starring with Cicely Tyson in The Trip to Bountiful, (which was the #1 play of the 2013 season), After Midnight (2014), and a special limited engagement in Hey, Look Me Over at New York City Center in 2018. Vanessa is the mother of four – Melanie, Jillian, Devin and Sasha. Her charitable endeavors are many and varied, embracing and supporting such organizations as Concerts for America, Special Olympics and several others.

David Sanborn
David Sanborn is a six-time Grammy-winning saxophonist, composer and arranger. He has had eight Gold albums and one Platinum album. A pioneer of contemporary jazz, he is also a prolific session man in pop, R&B, blues, funk and jazz. His solos have graced records by popular artists as diverse as Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Todd Rundgren, Bobby Charles, Roger Waters, Esther Phillips, James Brown, Ween, and a hundred more.

He released his first solo album Taking Off in 1975, but has been playing the saxophone since before he was in high school when he was inspired by the great Chicago blues artists near his hometown of St. Louis. Having contracted polio at the age of three, Dave was introduced to the saxophone as part of his treatment therapy. By the age of 14, he was able to play with legends such as Albert King and Little Milton. Dave went on to study music at Northwestern University before transferring to the University of Iowa where he played and studied with the great saxophonist JR Monterose.

Later traveling to California on the advice of a friend, he joined the Butterfield Blues Band and played Woodstock with Paul Butterfield. Following that, Dave toured with Stevie Wonder and recorded for Wonder’s Talking Book album, played with The Rolling Stones, and toured with David Bowie with whom he recorded the famous solo heard on “Young Americans.” At the same time, Dave was touring and recording with the great Gil Evans, dividing his time between the two. After moving to New York City and studying with George Coleman, Dave started his solo career where he later collaborated with such artists as Paul Simon and James Taylor.

Dave’s solo release of Taking Off is still considered a classic. His 1979 release of Hideaway became a popular hit and further propelled Dave’s ascent with the single, “Seduction” being featured in the movie, American Gigolo. Veteran bassist and composer Marcus Miller joined Dave on the 1981 album, Voyeur. The single, “All I Need Is You” won Dave his first Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance. In 1983, Dave released the hit album Backstreet that included Luther Vandross as a featured guest vocalist. Later albums have included guest artists such as Jack DeJohnette, Bill Frisell, Charlie Hayden, Wallace Roney, Kenny Barron, Christian McBride, and Eric Clapton.

Moving onto television, Dave hosted the show, Night Music, from 1988 to 1990. Produced by Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, the show featured films of jazz legends like Thelonious Monk, Dave Brubeck and Billie Holiday, as well as banter and memorable music jams by a remarkable list of musicians including Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Joe Sample, Pharoah Sanders, and many others. Additionally, Dave had regularly hosted the After New Year’s Eve TV special on ABC. During the 1980s and 1990s, Dave hosted a syndicated radio program, The Jazz Show with David Sanborn. Dave has also recorded many shows’ theme songs as well as several other songs for The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder.

In his four-and-a-half decade career, Dave has released 25 albums, won six Grammy Awards, and has had eight Gold albums and one Platinum album. He continues to be one of the most highly active musicians of his genre, performing more than 100 shows per year. Considered as a whole, Dave is an artist who pushes the limits and continues to make music that challenges the mind and goes Straight to The Heart.

About Performing Arts Center
THE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, PURCHASE COLLEGE (The PAC), is a four-theatre complex and is the major professional, non-profit arts presenter in the Southeastern New York–Southwestern Connecticut region. The Center presents a broad range of performances that engage, challenge, and educate as well as entertain, offering music, dance, theatre, film, comedy and family programming to audiences from Westchester and the surrounding communities. Purchase College at 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, New York, is located 28 miles northeast of New York City at the Connecticut border. The College is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) and is an institution of public higher education encompassing the liberal arts and sciences, professional training in the performing and visual arts, continuing education, the Neuberger Museum of Art and The Performing Arts Center. To learn more, visit or on Facebook or Twitter at @PurchasePAC or call the Box Office at 914-251-6200.

About Schimmel Center
Schimmel Center, located in the heart of downtown Manhattan at Pace University, presents a unique and diverse array of world-class artists who seek to educate, inspire, provoke, and entertain. Award-winning comedy, dance, cabaret, folk and rock, documentaries, world music, and family programming is presented in an intimate setting with affordable ticket prices. For more information, visit

Location Information
Schimmel Center is accessible via the A, C, 2, 3, 4, 5, J, or Z to Fulton Street (William Street Exit), 4, 5, 6 to Brooklyn Bridge (Brooklyn Bridge Exit), and R to City Hall (Broadway Exit); via the Path Train to the World Trade Center stop; and via bus by the M1, M9, M15, M22, M102, B51 to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall Stop or the M6 to City Hall/Broadway.


Friday, December 14, 2018 @ 4:00 pm MST
Sunday, December 16, 2018 @ 4:00 pm MST
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Performing Arts Center at Purchase College (PAC)
735 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY United States
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