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The Arts

Stone Church Arts presents ‘The Fire and the Ecstasy: The Music of Hildegard of Bingen’

Tickets in advance are $20 general admission, $15 for seniors. At the door, prices increase by $5 to $25 general admission and $20 for seniors. To learn more or purchase tickets, visit, call 802-460-0110, or visit Village Square Booksellers in Bellows Falls.

BELLOWS FALLS—Immanuel Episcopal Church will present the music of Saint Hildegard of Bingen on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the stone church on the hill at 20 Church St.

The Fire and the Ecstasy: The Music of Hildegard of Bingen will feature Ruth Cunningham and Melinda Gardiner, both performing on harp and vocals. This public concert is a part of the weekend workshop/retreat, Hildegard of Bingen: Magistra, Mystic, Musician, taking place this same weekend, Oct. 11-13, at Stone Church Center.

According to a news release, Saint Hildegard of Bingen, the first identifiable composer in the Western world, lived in the 12th century. Also known as the Sibyl of the Rhine, she “bent the rules and traditions of the medieval church into new forms of musical expression.”

Cunningham is a classically trained musician, a sound-healing practitioner, and a founding member of the women's vocal quartet Anonymous 4. She combines these skills to improvise music that connects people to the healing and spiritual power of music.

She specializes in improvisational sacred music from varied spiritual traditions in both liturgical and concert settings. Her most recent CD releases are Light and Shadow: Chants, Prayers and Improvisations and Harpmodes: Journey for Voice and Harp.

Gardiner is a registered nurse and certified music practitioner with nearly 50 years of study, teaching, and work in integrative healing and medicine. As a clinician, singer and harper, she has been offering therapeutic music to patients in many settings since 1990. She is a therapeutic musician for Community Hospice of Columbia-Greene Counties, Catskill, N.Y., and at Columbia-Memorial Hospital in Hudson, N.Y.

Gardiner is a liturgical musician and cantor at Our Lady of Hope Church, Copake Falls, N.Y., since 1984.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #531 (Wednesday, October 9, 2019). This story appeared on page B4.

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