FOMAG hosts annual Memorial Day weekend concert, cookout
Christopher Lewis

FOMAG hosts annual Memorial Day weekend concert, cookout

GUILFORD — Friends of Music at Guilford, now in its 53rd season, is hosting its 11th Spring Concert & Holiday Cookout in the Organ Barn on Sunday, May 26 at 3 p.m.

The concert includes an opening set by the Guilford Chamber Singers and a solo recital by Christopher Lewis of South Londonderry on the circa-1897 tracker organ.

The Chamber Singers, under the direction of Tom Baehr, will perform “Life, Death, Love, and Loss,” 10-part songs set to the poetry of Shakespeare, Marlowe, Blake, Moore, Foster, Teasdale, and others.

Members of the chamber singers for this concert include sopranos Christina Gibbons and Sarah Lott, altos Beth McKinney and Joy Wallens-Penford, tenors Steven John and Bill Johnson, and basses Calvin Farwell and Tom Green.

The organ recital, “Peace Offering,” includes works by three German Baroque composers: J. S. Bach, Vincent Lübeck, and Johann Gottfried Walther; as well as three French Romantic composers: Léon Boëllmann, Gabriel Dupont, and Louis Vierne.

One special selection is Boëllmann's “Prayer to Notre-Dame” from his Suite Gothique (1895), a salute to the iconic cathedral so recently the site of a tragic fire.

Lewis, the prizewinning guest organist, also plays the piano. He has performed throughout the United States, Italy, and British Columbia and has made recordings for the Newport Classics label.

An instructor at Bennington College since 2010, he has held faculty positions at New York University and several private schools in New York City. He earned his B.A. at SUNY-Purchase.

The concert is followed by a holiday cookout on the back deck and lawn. This gathering offers grilling options for carnivores and vegetarians alike and assorted salads, sides, sips, and make-your-own sundaes; attendees are welcome to bring their preferred picnic beverage. In case of wet weather, the barn offers an indoor setting.

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