The church is planning another Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 22, 2013 and more information about the program will be forthcoming soon.
The 2012 Christmas Concert
Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 2:00
First Church of Christ, Scientist
Corner of South Main Street and School Street
The Organ was contributed by the members of 1st Church of Christ, Scientist, New York. The organ was orignally built by Hutchings-Votey of Boston, in 1904. It was originally set up as a tubular-pneumatic action, and later converted to electro-pneumatic action.The organ builder, Goerge Bozeman, Jr. whose company originated in Pembroke NH, and has instruments all over America, including our organ’s matching “sister” at the XXXX church here in town.
gave the rebuilding of the organ the title “OPUS 70” when the company rebuilt the organ some years later.
The newly added center console was provided by Copeman-Hart as recently as the year 2000. Various tonal alterations were made by Robert Leslie, and repairs and re-leathering were completed by Bozeman in 2001.
The original, preserved pristine today, is a Hutchings-Votey piece, three manual, with 44 sets of pipes, 3000 in total, with 50 stops. The pipes are belgian zinc, polished and lacquered. The Chimes were added with the conversion from Tubular- to Electro-pneumatic action, in 1937. A complete overhaul wss completed in 1952.
In her letter of gratitude to the members of the New York branch church, Mary Baker Eddy penned the often cited summary of her experience as a Christian Healer and the founder of a world-wide movement:
Thus may each member of this church rise above the oft-repeated inquiry, What am I? to the scientific response: I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing.
A Note About Our Musicians
We are blessed with three musicians in the recital. Dr. Susan Armstrong is the Church’s organist, full time. She hails from Henniker NH, and has dedicated most of her life to the presentation of the full-bodied and luminous music that this organ so wonderfully provides for all who come to enjoy it. Susan is accompanied by Vincent J. Monaco, trumpeter, and Michael Sklader, organist.
All three have worked together here and in other recitals all over New England. We are so grateful to have them present this program for your enjoyment today.
Organist: Dr. Susan Armstrong, AAGO
Dr. Susan Armstrong, AAGO, is past Dean of the Merrimack Valley chapter of the American Guild of Organists, served on the national AGO committee “On The New Organist”. She was director of two Pipe Organ Encounters for teen-aged students, and graduated from Boston University. She currently teaches at New England College and is the director of the College Chorus. Susan is in her sixth year as organist for the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Concord,New Hampshire. She studied with Anton Heiller in Austria, and Michel Chapuis in France. She has performed widely in Europe,Canada and the United States. Armstrong has a tremendous repertory of organ and orchestra works that include world premieres as well as the standard compositions. Her recitals and recordings are broadcast by both local and National Public Radio stations.
Active as a writer, her articles on American music have appeared in the major music journals. Armstrong’s slide-show lectures on Everett Titcomb, “Silvery Majesty: the Johnson Organs”, and “Father Johnson and the Westfield Builders” are in great demand by church and AGO groups.
On the AFKA label, Armstrong has made Compact Discs: “Heard On High” for harp & organ at Methuen Memorial Music Hall; “Musique de la Basilique” at Mission Church in Boston; “Methuen Mosaic” at the Methuen Memorial Music Hall; “Romantic Masterpieces” at All Saints’ Cathedral in Albany, NY; and “Centennial Celebration” on the Johnson organ at Waterbury, Connecticut. She also recorded a two-volume “Johnson Documentary” and “An Evening of Elegance” atFirstChurch,Monson,Massachusetts. She is also a member of the AMC 100 Highest Club of New England, and the Essex County Bee Club.
Organist: Michael Sklader
Michael Sklader has been playing the organ since he was 13 years old. His first position was at St Stephen’s Church in Paterson, NJ. Presently, he is organist at the Portland Street Baptist Church in Haverhill, Mass, where he plays an 1885 Hook & Hastings. As a graduate of Montclair State College, he later studied organ at the University of Krakow in Krakow, Poland. He has performed in concerts in New England and New York. Michael and Susan have played duets together in concert in New York and New England.
Trumpet Player: Vincent J Monaco
Vincent Monaco is a member of the Music Faculty at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. He has taught there for twenty-seven years. In 2001 he was honored to receive a Teacher Recognition Award from the Presidential Scholars Program.
As a trumpet player, his teachers have included Walter Chesnut, Carmine Caruso, Roger Voisin, Gerard Schwartz and Charly Schleuter. Recent performances have been with the Handel & Haydn Society, Orchestra at Emmanuel Church, Cantata Singers Orchestra,AcademyofAncient Music, Arcadia Players, L’Orchestra Symphonica di Firenza (Florence,Italy), New York Historical Society, Junko Fujiwara’s Green Umbrella Series and the Smoke and Mirrors Showband.
He is a member of the Haverhill Ridge Runners.
Recital Master’s notes on the music
Trumpet Tune on “Wake, Awake The Night is Flying”
The Concert opens with a treatment of the traditional advent tune “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme”. The words may have been inspired by a 1523 poem by Nuremberg’s Meistersinger Lutheran poet Hans Sachs (1494-1576)
Wake, awake, for night is flying;
The watchmen on the heights are crying:
Awake, Jerusalem, at last!
Long heralded as the beginning of the Christmas season, it has for a long time been a source of musical inspiration.
I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In
Based on a Traditional English Carol of 15th Century, this dance like arrangement includes a portion of the melody “O come all ye Faithful”.
Fantasy on God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
London medieval melody often sung in the open air by strolling bands and minstrels, This organ fantasy begins with a thundering statement of the theme in the pedals, answered in turn by the keyboards. The tune intertwines, showcasing the many voices of the organ as it climbs and turns, ending with a powerful statement of the last phrase of the carol.
Cantique de Noel
This sweet carol, was penned by the same composer who, in his opera Giselle, created what is said to be the most difficult role for a male ballet dancer. Translated to English as ” O Holy Night”, is an international favorite, and is said to have been the first music broadcast on radio.
This set of variations on a traditional Polish Christmas carol, provides varieties of moods .
In 1871 Alexandre Guilmant was appointed to play the organ regularly at la Trinité church in Paris, and this position he held for 30 years. From then on Guilmant followed a career as a virtuoso; he gave concerts in the United States (the first major French organist to tour that country), and in Canada, as well as in Europe, making especially frequent visits to England. His American achievements included a 1904 series of no fewer than 40 recitals on the largest organ in the world, the St. Louis Exposition Organ, now preserved as the nucleus of Philadelphia’s Wanamaker Organ.
O Come, All Ye Faithful
A fine example of repeat tunes popular in late 18th century America and England, this organ and trumpet piece provides a joyous journey.
After an organ fanfare, the trumpet sounds the tune of this well known carol, after a playful interlude variation on the organ, the trumpet reenters and brings it all to a festive conclusion.
A Christmas Pastorale
Played by two organist seated at the console, this pastoral scene starts out like a piper quietly calling the Shepherd with a pan flute to the background of the strings. Based on “The Sussex Carol”, On Christmas Night All Christians Sing, the chimes beckon, as flute, horn, string and oboe take their turn playing.
Christmas Fantasy – Organ and Trumpet
It reflects the many moods of Christmas with its improvisatory style and form. It includes “O come, O Come, Emmanuel” , “O Come All Ye Faithful”, “Good Christian Men Rejoice”, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”. There is an interplay of melody and rhythms as these tunes are creatively woven together. The organ serves to enhance the powers of this musical fantasy.
Evening Bells and Cradle Song
This piece was written in 1912, the year thatPortlandCity Hallacquired its famous organ. Will C. Macfarlane
was hired as organist and wrote this piece for this large marvel of an orchestral instrument. It evokes a magical feeling so fitting to the season. Macfarlane gave a copy of his 1912 score to Gilbert Macfarlane, who in turn, presented it to Susan Armstrong for her concert repertoire.
Perfectly suited for this organ, it gives us some orchestral sounds not often heard.
Christmas Fantasy – Organ Duet.
Also including familiar Christmas Carols, this Duet begins with the sound of the Chimes summoning us to gather for the Carol Sing that follows the Concert.. With Four hands and Four feet, it showcases the many rich and varied voices of this magnificent instrument. It goes from the absolute quietest stops to ”hold on to your pews, it’s going to be a bumpy night”, ending with full organ. Merry Christmas!
Hymn Sing for everyone Wake, Awake the Night is Flying by Martha Sobaje
Organ and Trumpet
I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In by Sharon Elery Rogers
Fantasy on God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by W. T. Best
Cantique de Noel by Adolphe Adam
Organ and Trumpet
Noel Polanaise by Alexandre Guilmant
Variations on the Polish Carol “Infant Holy”
O Come, All Ye Faithful, Arranged by Sue Mitchell-Wallace
Organ and Trumpet
A Christmas Pastorale by Charles Callahan
Duet for Organ
Christmas Fantasy by Joel Raney
Organ Duet and Trumpet
The Hymn Sing
Luke 2: 1, 4(to;), 5,7 John Cameron
Luke 2: 8- 14 Diane Johnston
Luke 2: 15, 16, 18, 20 Mal Cameron
Matthew 2: 1, 2, 9 (and lo) 10, 11 Pat Cameron
Luke 2:40 Norm Williams
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
by Mary Baker Eddy
S & H 332: 23
S & H 29: 20-28, 32-4 Lauren Joyner
S & H 333:16-23 Mary Pieper
S&H VII: 1-12
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Season’s Greetings to all,
and to all a peace-filled New Year!