GUILFORD—Guilford’s historic Christ Church, at the corner of Route 5 and Melendy Hill Rd., is celebrating its 200th birthday this year with a benefit concert and silent auction.
Festivities begin on Sunday, Aug. 19, at 3 p.m. Proceeds will provide critical funding for the Christ Church Guilford Society to maintain and improve the building, which hasn’t had a resident congregation since the 1890s.
Internationally renowned instrumentalists Jaime Laredo and Lucy Chapman, violin; Kim Kashkashian, viola; Merry Peckham and Sharon Robinson, cello; and James Winn, flute, will share the stage with Ellen McCulloch-Lovell, who has written a commemorative poem for the occasion.
The musical program includes Luigi Boccherini’s Sonata in C Major for Two Celli; selections from György Kurtág’s Signs, Games, and Messages for solo viola; Mozart’s Quartet in C Major for flute, violin, viola, and cello; Andy Stein’s Suite for Two for Violin and Cello; and Boccherini’s String Quintet in E Major, op. 13, no. 5.
Poet and writer Ellen McCulloch-Lovell was president of Marlboro College from 2004 through 2015. She served as chief-of-staff to Vermont senator Patrick Leahy for 10 years, and is Rock Point Legacy Minister of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont.
Her husband, Christopher Lovell, has deep roots in Guilford, going back to the late 18th century, when Joseph Allen Lovell lived there and married Lucy Carpenter.
Performing for over six decades before audiences across the globe, Jaime Laredo has excelled in multiple roles as soloist, conductor, recitalist, pedagogue, and chamber musician. He is musical director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and the New York String Orchestra Seminar at Carnegie Hall. He and his wife, cellist Sharon Robinson, recently premiered Pas de Deux, a new double concerto composed for them by Chris Brubeck.
Residents of Guilford since 1985, Robinson and Laredo are artistic advisors to the Brattleboro Music Center. Robinson teaches cello at the Cleveland Institute of Music and is director of its Advanced Piano Trio Program.
Kim Kashkashian is recognized internationally for her unique voice as a violist. She has received a Grammy Award, the Edison Prize, and a Cannes Classical Award. A teacher of viola and chamber music at the New England Conservatory, she is a founding member of Music for Food, an initiative by musicians to fight hunger.
Cellist Merry Peckham maintains an active career as a performer and teacher. As a founding member of the Cavani String Quartet, she has performed thousands of concerts in the U.S. and abroad, and was honored with the Naumburg Chamber Music Award. She is currently chair of Chamber Music at the New England Conservatory and associate director of the Perlman Music Program.
For many of the past 20 years, while teaching at the New England Conservatory, Lucy Chapman also served as chair of its Chamber Music and/or Strings program. Frequent summers since 1973 were spent at the Marlboro Music Festival, and in 2017 she moved to Vermont full-time. She continues to perform and teach while maintaining a busy schedule as grandmother-in-residence for her daughter’s organic farm in Guilford, the Hermit Thrush Homestead.
James A. Winn has performed as a soloist with the Louisville Orchestra, the Princeton University Orchestra, the Yale Symphony, and the Aberdeen Symphony, and has made recordings for the Musical Heritage Society and CRI. Recitals with keyboard artists have included both live radio broadcasts and frequent appearances in the New York and Boston areas, as well as performances around the U.S. and U.K.
Following the gala concert on Aug. 19, a reception and silent auction will follow on the lawn of Christ Church. In the event of inclement weather, these post-concert festivities will move to Guilford Community Church nearby.