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Friends of Music Plan Birthday Celebration

October 7, 2012       Leave a Comment
By: MyBayCity Staff

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The Friends of Music of Bay City's Trinity Episcopal Church, the Saginaw Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and the Friends of Music of Saginaw's First Congregational Church, Saginaw, will combine to celebrate the 80th birthday of composer Robert J. Powell in two different music concerts. Now living in South Carolina, Powell is a renowned American composer, organist, and church musician.

Chamber works will be featured on Saturday, October 13, 2012, in a 5:00 p.m. program at First Congregational Church, 403 S. Jefferson Ave., Saginaw. Soprano, Rayechel Neiman from Bay City will perform excerpts from the cycle Songs from the Psalms. Toronto flautist Katie Welnetz will be joined by Nicholas Schmelter in other compositions by Powell.

Choral and organ music will be showcased at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 14, 2012, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 815 N. Grant St., in downtown Bay City. The chamber choir Exultate Deo and organists Nicholas Schmelter and Steven Egler will perform. Egler will play Powell's four-movement "Sonata" for organ. Exultate Deo will perform three Psalm settings, "It is Good to Give Thanks," "Cast Me Not Away," and "Sing to the Lord with Thanksgiving." The women of Exultate Deo will be featured in two settings commissioned by the Battle Creek Boys Choir, "Peace between Neighbors" and Bless to Me, O God." Other repertoire will include the composer's cantata "Of the Father's Love Begotten" for choir, organ and two flutes. Robert Hart of Midland and Lauren Rongo of Essexville will be the flute players.

The composer will be present for both performances and take part in a recorded interview, facilitated by Steven Egler and Kenneth Wuepper, that will be distributed nationally. Both historic churches offer barrier free access on the west side of each building. The program is open to the public free of charge. A reception will be held following the concert. For more information please contact Trinity Church, 989-892-5813, or First Congregational Church, 989-754-6565.

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