Sunday Service Music Team

Bonnie Chase, Music Director

Bonnie majored in piano at Indiana University at South Bend and was involved in the music program at Unity Church of Peace in South Bend, Indiana for 12 years. A member of USC since 1989, she has served as music director for the past 17 years. Her lifelong love of choir stretches back to her high school choir and representation of Lucas County in the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir, with which she had the opportunity to tour Europe after graduation. She sang in the Indiana University choir and the Lorain County Community College Civic Chorale; now her passion is the USC choir. She feels greatly honored to be a part of music creation at USC. To share the stage with so many talented musicians, she says, has been her privilege and her joy.

 

Jerry Cergol, Keyboardist

Jerry earned a bachelor’s degree in pipe organ from Baldwin Wallace College and worked as a professional musician for 11 years in the late 1960s and early ’70s in clubs and restaurants in Cleveland and throughout Northeast Ohio. During that time, he also did freelance recording and provided all the music for the Showboat Theatre in Cleveland. As of June 2021, Jerry has been providing music for services, events, weddings, and special programs at USC for a remarkable 60 years! Throughout his long tenure, he has also served as treasurer on the Board of Trustees and was involved during the initial planning of the current location in Westlake. Jerry loves making music with the other talented performers at USC. His main joy, he says, is simply to offer musical support wherever he is needed.

 

Mell Csicsila, Percussionist

Mell has been a dynamic presence on the Cleveland musical scene for more than 20 years. A native of Northeast Ohio, he frequently can be heard performing as a first-call percussionist at Cleveland's Playhouse Square and with professional orchestras and ensembles across the region. Mell has backed several contemporary artists, including Johnny Mathis, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, the Moody Blues, Yes, and has supported the national tours of more than 30 Broadway musicals, including Wicked, The Producers, Newsies, and Mary Poppins, in Cleveland and theaters across the United States. He has been performing at USC since 1996. He enjoys being part of the devoted and talented team, he says, that works for such a supportive and energetic congregation

 

Jon Csicsila, Percussionist

Jon is a freelance musician from Cleveland, Ohio. He has been featured on several released recordings and has performed live with a variety of performers and groups. Currently, he is a member of the Chicago group The Chamber Strings, which is preparing to record its long-awaited third album.

 

 

 

 

Soloists

Welcome to Kate Michalski, our newest soloist.

Erin Donovan

Music has always been a passion for Erin, who has been involved with singing and musical theater since she was six years old. She has performed in professional and community theater locally, nationally, and internationally. Although she loves singing, it was not her educational focus; she earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics at Denison University and a master's degree in secondary mathematics education at Johns Hopkins University. When she isn’t singing in church, she is a yoga teacher and private math and ACT tutor.

 

 

Eric Francher

Eric is a singer, actor, director, producer, and graphic and video designer who lives on the West Side of Cleveland with his girlfriend Sarah, his two cats, Gizmo and Rory, and his three-legged puppy, Charlie. Over the last 10 years, Eric has participated in more than 85 productions presented at more than 20 different theaters in the Northeast Ohio region. He founded the Cleveland Stage Alliance and dedicates much of his time to serving as its webmaster. When not performing, Eric makes a living selling clothing at Men's Wearhouse in Strongsville. He is an Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) Membership Candidate.

 

Trey Gilpin

Trey fell in love with music - as many do - singing in church. After touring with the award-winning Central Kentucky Youth Chorus and petitioning his high school not to force him to choose between being the drum major in the band as well as a member of the choir, he received the Jefferson Cup for outstanding overall artistic achievement. In college, he found his true calling in musical theatre and moved to Cleveland after working with the Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City. Over the last ten years, Trey has participated in more than 60 productions at over 20 different theaters in the Northeast Ohio region, including The Cleveland Play House, Cain Park, Cleveland Public Theatre, Ohio Shakespeare Festival, Beck Center for the Arts, Lakeland Civic Theatre, and Blank Canvas Theatre.

 

Roberta McLaughlin

Roberta has been singing onstage since her ballet teacher realized that she was a far better singer than she was a dancer. She appeared in her first play, "The Ransom of Red Chief," in sixth grade. Her first role in a musical was that of Ado Annie, in a high school production of Oklahoma. In college, she sang (and played) at the 9:30 Sunday night guitar mass. She served as a cantor at St. Angeles in Fairview Park. Roberta has appeared at Huntington Playhouse, Beck Center, Clague Playhouse, and Near West Theatre. She has been performing for more than 50 years. Roberta began singing at Unity in 1995 and became a regular singer for Unity Church of the Crossroads, where she sang twice a month for almost 20 years. She began performing at USC in 1999 and appreciates being accompanied by the talented musicians of the music team at USC. Her greatest pleasure, she says, comes from singing to inspire.

 

Elsie Panehal

"Unity has been a great fit for me!" says Elise. "I have been a soloist here for 14 years and love this community. The music program is tailored to the message and thought out well in advance, based on the minister's theme. There is a creative approach to dovetailing all the service elements so that the church community has a prismatic experience. I grow and learn each time I sing, expanding my repertoire. The variety of music presented is unique, with original works, contemporary Christian, and pop. I feel a deep connection with the Creator whenever I sing at Unity Westlake. The music speaks to the universal acceptance of members and visitors from all lifestyles. It is so refreshing for me."

 

Ellie St. Cyr

A professionally trained vocalist, Ellie has nearly 20 years of experience on the stage. At the age of eight, she joined an internationally renowned children's choir. Since then, she has performed alongside Celine Dion; has seen Italy, Turkey, and Greece; and has moved into dance performance as well as singing. She is also a big fan of musicals and has performed in such hits as The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Music Man, and The Secret Garden.