Thursday, September 15, 2011
First Congregational Church’s Friends of Music and Organ Committee will visit historic Saint Alban’s Episcopal Church in Bay City, Michigan, on Saturday, October 29, 11:00 a.m. Built by lumber barons, Saint Alban’s Episcopal Church contains rare glass windows and ornate woodwork salvaged from ancient European ruins. Its pipe organ, built by Ernest M. Skinner, was originally built for Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church (Flint, Michigan) in 1916. That congregation sold the instrument to St. Alban’s in 1939 for $500.00. This purchase did not include the Echo division, pedal bass trombone stop, or the casework, which is in use even today in Flint. The Aeolian-Skinner Company moved the organ and constructed new casework. Though some pipe ranks have been modified over the years, the organ is used every week for worship services. Members of the congregation and Friends of Music are invited to attend. Reservations are required. If you would like to reserve a place in the tour or have any questions about the Bay City visit, please contact Nicholas Schmelter at the church office center, (989) 754-6565, or Jon Best, (989) 799-9425.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Dr. Steven Egler, Professor of Organ at CMU and Artist in Residence at First Congregational Church, Saginaw, will present his faculty recital on Sunday, September 18, at 4 p.m., in the Staples Recital Hall in the School of Music Building on the CMU campus. Featured will be the choral and organ music of Moonyeen Albrecht, Professor Emerita of Theory and Composition in the CMU School of Music, in celebration of her 75th birthday anniversary year. The choral music will be performed by the ensemble Exultate Deo, which is conducted by Robert Sabourin. Chelsea Hart, soprano and a member of the First Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir (Mount Pleasant), will a featured soloist. A faculty/student brass ensemble will also assist on several of the choral compositions. Additional music for organ solo and flute and organ will be performed. Admission is $5 for adults, and $3 for students and senior.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Three area church choirs will join for a Three Choirs Festival on Saturday, September 24, 2011. The choirs are from St. John’s Episcopal Church in Midland, First Congregational Church in Saginaw, and Trinity Episcopal Church in Bay City, and will present a Hymn Festival featuring the music of David Hurd. The festival will begin at 5:00 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, Bay City. David Hurd, born in 1950, is Professor of Sacred Music and Director of Chapel Music at General Theological Seminary in New York City, and Music Director of the Church of the Holy Apostles in New York. Hurd has over 150 choral and organ works in print. His compositions have appeared in numerous hymnals and recordings in both the United States and England. Dr. Hurd attended Manhattan’s High School of Music and Art, the Julliard School, and Oberlin College. He is also widely recognized as one of the foremost church musicians and concert organists in the country with a long list of awards, prizes, honors, and achievements to his credit. Hurd embraces his African-American heritage in his compositions and career as a classical organist. The three choirs will prepare all of the hymns by Dr. Hurd that appear in The Hymnal 1982, the primary hymnal of The Episcopal Church. Members of the audience will be invited to sing with the choirs. The program will also include several psalm settings for cantor and congregation as well as hymn harmonizations and organ solo repertoire by Dr. Hurd. Choir directors Dennis Van Koevering from Midland, Nicholas Schmelter from Saginaw, and Robert Sabourin from Bay City, are looking forward to combining their individual ensembles for this event. Schmelter will be the organist for the festival and Sabourin will conduct the choirs. The program is open to the public free of charge. Trinity is located at 815 N. Grant Street in downtown Bay City. Barrier free access is available off of the parking lot on the west side of the building. The church is also air conditioned.