FOMAG plans musical weekend in celebration of Labor Day

GUILFORD — Friends of Music at Guilford's 54th Labor Day Weekend Festival begins, as usual, with a 7:30 concert on Saturday night, Aug. 31, in the Organ Barn at Tree Frog Farm.

Guest organist Robert Barney, who is related to several Guilford families, has served as director of music for Trinity Episcopal Church in Concord, Mass., since 1994.

His program “Bach: Friends & Family” includes solo works by Baroque masters Dietrich Buxtehude, J.S. Bach, and C.P.E. Bach, as well as by Felix Mendelssohn, who “rediscovered” J.S. Bach in the 19th century, and Vermonter Samuel B. Whitney (1842-1914), regarded as the greatest interpreter of J. S. Bach in the U.S.

Two German arias by Handel feature Boston soprano Janna Maria Fröhlich and Vermont flutist Amara Cunningham.

The festival continues at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 1, with a performance by the Guilford Festival Orchestra under the baton of Kenneth Olsson. Their “European Tour” repertoire includes Chaconne ou Passacaille from Les Nations by Couperin, arranged for strings; Les nuits d'été by Berlioz, with Julie Olsson, soprano soloist; Pastorella and Sehnsucht nach Italien by Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, arranged for winds; and Symphony #1 in C minor by Felix Mendelssohn.

Sunday's traditional finale is a sing-in of Randall Thompson's Alleluia, popular with orchestra and audience members; bring the score if you have it, or borrow a Friends copy.

The Organ Barn is at Tree Frog Farm, 158 Kopkind Rd., off Packer Corners Road in rural Guilford; follow signs from Route 5 by the Guilford Country Store, near Exit 1 off Interstate 91, or, coming from Massachusetts on Route 5, follow signs from Keets Brook Rd. in Bernardston.

Grounds open on Sunday at noon for picnicking and lunch sales. In case of serious threat of rain on Sunday, the lunch and orchestra concert will move to the Broad Brook Community Center at 3940 Guilford Center Rd., four miles from the Guilford Country Store; check website and Facebook after 9 a.m.

Both Festival events are free, with donations welcome.

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