Five organ concerts set during Lent
Posted: February 16, 2013
The Winchester Star
Winchester — The area chapter of the American Guild of Organists will offer some musical respite during the Lenten season.
Organizers of the Madeline Riley Lenten Pipe Organ Concert Series hope its five consecutive performances will offer a rewarding spiritual time when people “will see God in the music and the playing,” said Judy Connelly, a member of the chapter.
The series will begin Tuesday with a noon concert and will continue weekly through March 19 at Braddock Street United Methodist Church at 115 Wolfe St.
“It is a creative way of experiencing worship during a penitential time in the church,” said Connelly, a city resident.
Admission to each concert and the light lunch that follows in the fellowship hall are by freewill donation.
Proceeds will help to pay for the Region 3 American Guild of Organists 2013 Convention, which the local chapter will host July 7-10 in Winchester, said Connelly, co-coordinator of the event.
The organists participating in the series, now in its second year, were given biblical scriptures and asked to choose music that fit the themes within them, she said. The performances will last about 50 minutes.
The concerts begin Tuesday with Susan Foster, organist at Home Moravian Church in Winston-Salem, N.C., said Larry Correll, dean of the local chapter. She is a former organist at First Baptist Church in Winchester and a faculty member at Shenandoah University.
Given her talents and her history with the community, he is pleased that Foster is launching the series.
“She is a well-revered member of the community,” said Correll, a city resident. “She was the dean of the AGO when she was here and did lots of things for the AGO and the organ community as well.”
Connelly will perform Feb. 26. She was given scriptures in the book of Mark about Jesus’ healing ministry. Some of the selections she chose to match the scriptures are “Litanies” by Jehan Alain and a series of variations on the song, “O, Jerusalem,” which she chose because the healing ministry of Jesus started there.
Dudley Oakes, organist at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., will perform March 5. He is a “fine player” and the vice president of Letourneau Pipe Organs, which installed the organ at Braddock Street UMC, Connelly said.
Daniel Hannemann, who performs March 12, has “wonderful technique” and plays the piano and the organ “very expressively,” she said. He is the organist at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Winchester.
The series ends March 19 with Ted Dix, the organist at Grace Lutheran Evangelical Church in Westminster, Md.
He was in Winchester last summer to work with the Pipe Organ Encounter, a summer camp for high school students, and the organizers were so impressed they invited him back to perform, Connelly said.
All of the performers are “outstanding” and will offer people a wonderful afternoon of performance, Correll said.
Organizers hope to raise at least $3,000 in donations from the series, which will help to balance the convention’s approximately $70,000 budget, said Correll, who is Connelly’s co-coordinator for the convention.
The event in the summer is expected to draw 250 to 300 organists from throughout the AGO’s Region 3, which includes Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey, Connelly said.
They will attend workshops on topics relating to playing the organ and experiencing worship, she said. “It is a time to energize organists and energize church music.”
Talented national and international clinicians will also offer workshops and performances, Correll said.
“It will be an exciting time. There will be concerts every night and several during the day,” he said.
Tickets for the performances will go on sale to the public as the times near for the events.
The nationwide organization has 10 regions, she said. It alternates each year between having a national or a regional convention.
Summer’s convention will be held in participating churches throughout Winchester, she said.
In addition to the Lenten series, the Clarke County Community Band will offer a separate fundraising concert for the convention at 7:30 p.m. March 8 in First Baptist Church at 141 N. Washington St. in Winchester, said Correll, the band’s director.
The concert will feature the band and guest performer Aaron Shows, organist for West Market United Methodist Church in Greensboro, N.C. Tickets are $10.
For more information about the band concert, call Correll at 703-395-4267.
The Madeline Riley Lenten Pipe Organ Concert Series will feature weekly noon performances of organ music from Tuesday through March 19 in Braddock Street United Methodist Church at 115 Wolfe St. in Winchester.
A light lunch will follow each concert.
A freewill offering will benefit the American Guild of Organists Convention Region 3, which will be held July 7-10 in Winchester.
For additional information, contact Judy Connelly at 540-667-3366 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Contact Laura McFarland at email@example.com