Play Every Town

251 252 Community Concerts for a Cooler Climate

South Hero

Concert Twenty-Seven: 5/22/23 at the Congregational Church of South Hero

...donations benefited the South Hero Land Trust

click any image to enlarge

Mark Kennedy, active in the Congregational Church as well as in conservation efforts, reached out to us in the early days of the project out to schedule our South Hero concert for Earth Day 2023. He then coordinated with Guy Maguire of the South Hero Land Trust to make this a daylong event, beginning with two tree-planting sessions that set over 400 seedlings along the community trail and around the Folsom School (South Hero's K-8 School) community gardens. This was followed by the concert, and then a lavish potluck in the church’s community room.

Congregational Church (1978)

Painting by Elizabeth Winch Bayley

Spotted in the church bathroom:
cleanliness is next to godliness

Two tree-planting sessions earlier in the day...

were part of coordinated Earth Day activities

Mark suggested I contact Karlie Kauffeld, music teacher at Folsom, to recommend students. I knew Karlie from her days as a Music Ed student at UVM and was glad of the chance to reconnect. Karlie recommended a young South Hero family, the Jacksons, with six kids, several of them musically active.

I had to choose just a couple from the Jackson 6 as collaborators for this concert. Daniel played Vermont’s unofficial state song “Moonlight in Vermont” on alto sax. Though the lyricist, John Blackburn, attended Bennington College in the 1930s, his knowledge of Vermont’s natural history appears shaky—he refers to sycamore trees and meadowlarks, both of which exist here but are not common. But I’d been planning to program the song since the start of the project and I was very glad of the opportunity.

Joseph Jackson joined me for the original 4-hand version of Brahms’ beloved Hungarian Dance no. 5. Brahms’ knowledge of Hungarian music was also considered superficial, now that I think of it, but that hasn’t kept these dances from moving generations of listeners.

The program

Scarlatti Sonata in B minor, K.27, preceded by 27 bars of ii-V-I

Daniel Jackson plays “Moonlight in Vermont”

Joseph Jackson and I play Brahms’ Hungarian Dance no. 5

“Another Time” by Eve Beglarian, as Stella runs in her sleep

My wife Annelies took some B-roll footage of our dog Stella, parked behind a pew, running in her sleep to Eve Beglarian’s haunting “Another Time”, which I put into the video clip above (Stella appears staring at 1'15"). As I write this, in August 2023, it is 17 months to the day since the vet gave Stella six months before her liver would fail. Stella did not get the memo—she’s still with us, still trotting a few minutes a day if not running, and still occasionally coming to concerts.

Audience members—pretty sure some of these are young Jacksons too

Being in churches makes me preach

Mark Kennedy fills in South Hero

Another audience member, soothed to sleep by my playing

...about the piano

Yamaha P202 console upright, serial no. 118061, was made in 1959. It had an excellent range of sound for a console and has been kept in great shape. I hope to learn about its provenance shortly and will update here when I do. The church burned completely in 1973, so all instruments must have appeared since then.
At the reception downstairs, I encountered this handsome and venerable Ivers & Pond upright, serial no. 17562. Ivers & Pond was a highly regarded maker in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts. The partnership began in 1880, just a few years before the piano in the church was built in 1885.

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last updated August 04, 2023