“Music Through the Ages” Held at Canton Church of Christ
CANTON – The Canton Church of Christ (Disciples of Christ) held their first concert in the series entitled “Music Through the Ages” on Sunday, Jan. 29.
This concert included the very talented, Robert Oldroyd, Randy Frye, Ted Bown, Janet Bown, Cindy Yellenic, Brad Chamberlain, Robyn Cummings, Cale Holmes and Brandon Wesneski.
Wesneski was not only the Master of Ceremonies, but he also played the piano and, of course, the magnificant pipe organ, along with using his vocal talent. He was very thankful the organ turned on so he could play it for the event, because it does not always turn on. There are some notes and some ranks which don’t work. After he thanked everyone for coming, he gave some detailed history about the current pipe organ.
The current building of the Canton Church of Christ (Disciples of Christ), is actually the second one built. The first one was located two blocks up on the corner of Troy Street and Union Street. In 1909, the current pipe organ was installed.
Around 1924, the current church, located at 170 N. Minnequa Ave., was built and the pipe organ was moved into this church, where it is yet today. Originally, it was a tracker organ, which is all mechanical. In 1949, it was updated.
Now in 2023, it reached a point where everything is starting to fail and they needed to make a decision to either stop using the organ completely or replace it. They contacted Tim Smith of Smith & Gilbert who came out to access it and he thoroughly checked it out. It was determined that instead of spending $300,000 to $500,000 for an organ similar to the current one to be built, they look into other options. Thus, they are looking to purchase a refurbished one from a different church at a cost around $50,000, which is equal to, but much better size, with a wider range of stops and ranks, to be utilized for the church. Thus, they started the Pipe Organ Replacement Project and decided to hold concerts and collect donations at the door. If anyone would like more information on the pipe organ or history, please get in contact with Wesneski.
Unfortunately, student performer, Taran Bellows was ill, so he was not able to make it to this concert.
The first performer was Wesneski playing the organ prelude, “Fuga sopra il Magnificat, BWV 733” by German Composer, J.S. Bach, on the radiating pipe organ. The next performer, Robert Oldroyd played “Du bist die Ruh” (You are Rest and Peace) composed by Franz Schubert, ts. K. Machala, on his unique horn, styled after the German horn. Wesneski accompanied him on piano.
A well-known vocal group from the Church, The Quartet, consisting of Janet Bown, Yellenic, Wesneski and Ted Bown, performed “Stand and Shout” composed by Harland & Cottrell, arr. R. Christian. Following them was Frye, playing “There is a Fountain” arr. by Brad Nix, on the piano. He proudly informed everyone that Brad Nix was the only living composer he ever met.
Then exceptional performers, The Sock Hoppers, performed, consisting of Janet Bown, Yellenic, Ted Bown, Chamberlain, Holmes and Wesneski. They performed “Mame” (from the Broadway musical) by artist, Jerry Herman and then “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes. Cummings joined in with the group to sing this song.
The very talented Oldroyd played the horn again but this time he arranged and composed this by himself. “Celtic Hymn Fantasy” was played beautifully by both Oldroyd on the horn and Wesneski on the piano.
The Quartet returned to the stage and sang, “The Lord is My Light” by Martin, Martin and Nix. Their enthusiasm to sing could be felt by all those present. Then, Frye returned to play a most moving piece on the piano, entitled “Lost in the Waves” by artist Kooman & Dimond, which he also sang and emitted a voice not many have had the pleasure of hearing before. This was only the second time he has sang at this Church.
The Sock Hoppers performed again, as the final group for the concert. They sang and played their musical instruments to “Rock Around the Clock” by the well-known group, Bill Haley & His Comets. They then followed with another song, “Georgia on my Mind” which was originally written in 1930 by Hoagy Carmichael performing the music and his roommate, Stuart Gorrell, doing the lyrics. This was way before Ray Charles made a Number One pop hit with it in 1960.
During all of the Sock Hoppers performances, Ted Bown played his trumpet and then also his flugelhorn, while Cale played the Bass Guitar, Chamberlain was on drums, Janet Bown played the tambourine, Wesneski played the piano and Yellenic played her two saxophones a tenor sax and an alto sax.
Before closing the concert, Wesneski said, “I want to thank everyone for being here.” He then returned to the pipe organ and played the Hymn, “Let There be Peace on Earth,” while everyone sang along.
Pastor Nancy Beahm opened and closed the concert with prayer.
Oldroyd advised on Sat., Feb. 25 at 7 p.m., there will also be a concert at the Troy First Presbyterian Church. 500 pipes have been added to the console of their pipe organ, along with a digital section.
Their next concert in the series, “Music Through the Ages” will be held on Sunday, March 26 at 4:00 p.m.
Writing: Sherry Lambert
Produced by Vogt Media
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