Concert to benefit church organ

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MANCHESTER — A benefit concert will be held at 4 p.m., Sunday, June 16 at the the First Congregational Church to raise funds and awareness for the church's historic pipe organ.

The Solaris Vocal Ensemble, a Burlington-based, auditioned chamber choir, will perform Serenade to Summer, featuring music about the joys of life and singing, is being sponsored by FCC's Chancel Choir.

Artistic Director Dawn Willis and the Solaris Ensemble will introduce themselves to the Manchester area audience with the purpose of energizing donations to the church's Organ Restoration Fund.Linda Hueckel said that in celebration of the 175th anniversary of the church in 1959 a three-manual organ, in the Baroque style, was gifted to the church as a memorial to Irene Heinz Given and John L. Given by their daughter, Sarah Given Larson.

This year marks the instrument's 60th birthday.

With 1588 pipes it is one of the largest pipe organs left in the state of Vermont.

Some years ago the church embarked on a $150,000 organ restoration project.

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While work on the pipes is complete, the second half of the project — replacement and upgrading of the internal systems of the organ console — has yet to be done.

Solaris will be joined by the Chancel Choir for portions of the concert and will also perform on their own.

Selections by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Giuseppe Verdi, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, and Morten Lauridsen are among the works to be presented by Solaris Ensemble.

Manchester saxophonist Glen Hueckel will accompany Solaris for the Anders Paulsson arrangement of the American spiritual Deep River.

Admission to the concert is free, with audience members encouraged to make a donation to the Organ Restoration Fund.

More details about the

concert are available at: www.SolarisEnsemble.org.


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