Sundays at 4 Summer Concert

Sundays at 4 Summer Concert

by Judith Warren

The second “Sundays at 4” summer concert will be held at Christ Episcopal Church in Eureka on Sunday, July 29, at 4 p.m. A brief survey of American organ music will be presented by Merry Phillips, organist (pictured right). The program will conclude with duets for flute and organ, and piano and organ, with Nancy Streufert, flute and Charlotte Griffin, piano.

American organ music makes up in variety what it lacks for in historical longevity. The earliest organs in America were imported, primarily from England. However, in the early 18th century, church and chamber organs were being built by American firms, and the early 19th century saw a dramatic increase in American organ building. However, despite the increasing number of organs built for churches and the broader acceptance of their use in church services, there was little written music published for organ, as most American church organists routinely improvised all parts of the service. Early published music was primarily for instruction and study.

In time, larger concert instruments were imported or built, and towards the end of the 19th century the organ recital rapidly gained popular favor. During the same period church music became more elaborate. As a result, American organ music began to be published in larger quantities.

While early American organ music was largely independent from other contemporary musical media, over time it has come to reflect many musical genres and traditions. This brief survey will feature a variety of music from the mid-18th century to the 20th century, including hymn tune arrangements by early American music educator Lowell Mason, early American popular music (Stephen Foster), Appalachian folk music (John Jacob Niles), music by Irving Berlin arranged by Thomas “Fats” Waller, and music by contemporary American composers P.D.Q. Bach, Charles Callahan and Emma Lou Diemer.

A program of the Christ Church Concert Series, “Sundays at 4” is in its fourth year. The summer concerts feature local musicians in an informal and relaxed setting and are intended to invite audience interaction. Performers talk about their instruments and discuss the music they are performing. The free public concerts are an hour or less in length.

Where: Christ Church (15th and H Street, Eureka - Map)
When: Sunday, July 29, at 4 p.m
Cost: Free

For further information, contact Christ Episcopal Church, (707) 442-1797, or visit our webpage

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