Talk about an embarrassment of riches. Some phenomenal music was within walking distance of the Morristown Green over the weekend. In chronological order, here is a sampling of what we heard.
Fridays on the Green at the Presbyterian Church featured four members of Flutatious (Cathy Garrison, Bill Hoff, Bill Hutzel and Jenny Kline). This Celtic medley should put you in the mood for the March 10 St. Patrick’s Parade in Morristown:
Flutatious[audio:https://morristowngreen.com/files/2012/03/1-Flutatious-Celtic-medley-030212.mp3|titles=Flutatious Celtic medley 030212]
Harmonium’s majestic choral sound filled the Morristown United Methodist Church for two concerts, titled Sure and Certain Hope. At one point, chorus Artistic Director Anne Matlack noted that Harmonium has a deep bench. Does it ever! When pianist Joan Tracy fell ill on the eve of the concerts, pinch-hitter Beth Wilson learned a difficult piece literally overnight. Fourteen-year-old Will Roper–one of five Ropers who sings in Harmonium– debuted on a soprano sax that he acquired days earlier. Sharlys Dugan played harp and step-danced Friday night as the opening act at the Minstrel, then gigged with Harmonium on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. But Anne gets the Iron Woman award. She led a rehearsal on Friday, conducted Harmonium twice over the weekend and oversaw music at two services at Grace Episcopal Church in Madison.
Harmonium returns to the Morristown United Methodist Church at 3 pm on March 11 for a free concert showcasing the Morristown Neighborhood House Children’s Chorus & Guitar Program and the New Jersey Youth Chorus Intermediate Choir.
This soaring selection is from Saturday’s performance of J.S. Bach’s Nach dir , Herr, verlanget mich (For Thee, O Lord, I long):
Harmonium[audio:https://morristowngreen.com/files/2012/03/Harmonium-sings-Bach-030312.mp3|titles=Harmonium sings Bach 030312]
It’s hard to pass up a chance to hear the 4,000-pipe Austin organ at the Presbyterian Church in Morristown. Brian Harlow, organist at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Gladstone and former music director at St. Peter’s in Morristown, put the great instrument through its paces on Sunday afternoon. This selection is Pièce Héroïque by César Franck. Crank the volume for the finalé–and try to catch your fine china as it skitters off the shelves.
Brian Harlow[audio:https://morristowngreen.com/files/2012/03/brian-harlow-Piece-Heroique-at-presby-church-030412.mp3|titles=brian harlow Piece Heroique at presby church 030412]
The Bethel AME Church welcomed its new music director, Brian Cunningham, on Sunday. This 23-year-old from Maryland plays a mean saxophone. Accompanied by Michael Brookins on keyboard, bassist Darryl Clark and drummer Darwin Oden, Brian practically blows the roof off the church with this version of Total Praise by Richard Smallwood.
Brian Cunningham[audio:https://morristowngreen.com/files/2012/03/Brian-Cunningham-Total-Praise-at-Bethel-AME-030412.mp3|titles=Brian Cunningham Total Praise at Bethel AME 030412]