Long running annual Christmas concert of organ music finds new home at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church – Salisbury Post
The long-running annual Christmas organ concert finds a new home at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
Published Saturday 17 December 2022 00:00
SALISBURY – Organist Stephen Williams has been giving the same Christmas present for over 30 years. A nationally recognized church musician, he began offering organ noëls at First Presbyterian Church in Washington, New Jersey in 1985 while a student at Westminster Choir College.
Called the “Christmas Day Organ Recital” for its first three years, Organ Noëls began as an opportunity to demonstrate a new organ at First Presbyterian, along with a desire to perform organ music that would otherwise likely never see the light of day, and, most importantly, making a musical gift to a community that might need a moment to relax and reflect on the season. With instant popularity, it naturally and easily became an annual event. In addition to First Presbyterian, it also found a home at St. John’s Lutheran Church in downtown Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1990, at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 2014, and now at St. Luke’s Episcopal in Salisbury.
It is believed to be the longest running annual Christmas Day organ recital. Williams said he was “still thrilled to have the opportunity to share such wonderful music on this very special season 30 years later.”
The program includes arrangements of well-known seasonal tunes such as “Pat a Pan”, “Greensleeves”, “Fum, Fum, Fum” and “Joy to the World” as well as lesser-known Noëls by French composers of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Century.
Williams will also lead choral and instrumental music performances for the church’s Christmas celebration at 4:00 p.m., Holy Eucharist on Christmas Eve at 10:30 p.m. and Holy Eucharist on Christmas Day at 10:30 a.m. Williams became director of music services at St Luke’s in July.
Organ Noëls will be presented at 3:00 p.m. on Christmas Day, December 25 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 131 W. Council St. The concert is free and open to the community. A hot chocolate reception follows. For more information, visit www.SLS.church, email [email protected] or call 704-633-3221.