DEDICATION CONCERT SERIES ANNOUNCED
Pipe organ completely rebuilt, Waterlogged from
firefighting directly above chambers
CD RELEASED - 2005
Pipe organ photos by Will Sherwood
Will Sherwood, organ
Bruce Hopkins, trumpet
Bob Gordon, timpani
First Unitarian Festival Choir
works of Bach, Sperger, Handel,
Vierne, Charles Callahan
40-year anniversary of the original instrument
Sherwood's 20 years of service at First U
Sherwood's 40 years in church music
LISTEN (to excerpts from rehearsals)
Bach Handel Sperger Mouret Charpentier Pote
Emanuele Cardi, Italy
works of Widor & Duruflé
Dr. Cardi, two movements he will be performing Oct 8.
Duruflé: Prelude & Fugue on
the name of Alain
Brian Jones, Boston
Festival Choir singing Brahms' Requiem in 2003, photo by David Nase
Listen to an excerpt (for
choir, organ, timpani) from the concert (purchase this
Fire's Intense Heat Twists Steel Steeple Structure, Causing $4M Damage
back from a week's vacation on the cape, organist Will Sherwood
listened to day-old
messages from his cell phone to find almost
twenty panicked and tearful messages:
"The church is on
arrival the day after the fire, his heart sank as he walked into the
sanctuary, still dripping with water like a tropical rainforest
from the tens of thousands of gallons of water injected into
the steeple and
roof structure to keep the flames and heat at bay. From ceiling insulation
& plaster to pew cushions, wood flooring, and plaster, down to the
12" flooded basement (offices, Sunday School rooms, storage, and Music
Library), the church facilities were in shambles, but still standing.
It had been
a Saturday afternoon and the roof replacement contractors had left
the day, after having soldered their last seam for the weekend
near the steeple. Perhaps a soldering job performed a little too exhuberently
had left its heat to ignite the 60-year-old wood and steel structure,
last rebuilt in 1938 after the Worcester Hurricane had toppled the steeple.
But the 200-year-old spirit of the congregation pulled together along
with loving support from the community to rebuild "stronger and better."
bent pipes under the protective firemen's tarp
organ was dismantled, removed, and completely rebuilt over the course
of several years. Services were held, using a Steinway grand piano,
in the church's fellowship hall, reorganized to be the congregation's
sanctuary for some 1 1/2 years. Upon returning to a glistening remodeled
sanctuary in early 2002, the organ was not yet ready, and the choir
sang from the front main floor, using the Steinway as accompaniment.
In September 2002, Russell & Company of Vermont began the long
and arduous task of installation and completion of the pipe organ,
with its console (and the choir loft) relocated to the center of the
back balcony. Beginning with 7 ranks, just barely enough for congregational
hymns, over the subsequent year and a half, the remainder of the 70
ranks were installed and regulated for the room's acoustics (which
had been greatly improved for both voice and music). In January, 2004,
the new instrument was formally dedicated in a morning service, and
the dedication recital series will be held in October, 2004.
of the instrument offered several opportunities for improvement in
a number of ways: the organ chamber layout was vastly improved due
to its original cramped and awkward choreography; the latest computer
controlled mechanisms were installed to assist the organist in changing
stops and even "recording" the keystrokes for later playback; and several
improvements and updates for tonal quality were made. The rebuilding
costs totalled over $750,000 for a total worth of about $ 1.5 million.
stats of instrument: 69 Stops, 67 ranks; 3994 pipes; 4 Manuals &
Pedal Console; 5 divisions
See more about the fire and restoration
is an honor we might not have chosen. But to rebuild this church
and instruments for future generations is an honor and a privilege
that has come to each member and friend of First Unitarian. Our
church building forms the vessel of "bricks and mortar" that
will hold the spirit of the free faith in years to come so that
those who seek a path to God and truth, without the constraints
of creed and dogma, will always have a spiritual home in Worcester.
Barbara Merritt, Senior Minister
month our congregation will be celebrating the dedication of
our wonderfully rebuilt pipe organ—an old friend returns.
Almost destroyed in the June 2000 fire, our instrument has
truly risen like a "Phoenix." I along with
Gordon Gurney and others, have shepherded its rebirth, its
new location, the greatly improved acoustics, and its new digital
once a century does a church get the privilege to commission
a new pipe organ for its congregation & community. Typically
a new instrument is planned for years, built in the factory
over a period of several more years and then installed over
the course of 2-4 months. Our situation was quite different
due to the unexpected nature of the fire. We were fortunate
to be able to have a small portion (10%) of our instrument
refurbished and returned to us a few months after our sanctuary
reopened in 2002. The remainder of the rebuilding has ensued
over the last two years, culminating in the final installation
touches this year. We come to celebrate the principals,
flutes, strings, and reeds—all 4,000 pipes ready to provide
a new century of beautiful music for our church.
early and get string-side seats for these masterful concerts.
Sherwood, ChM, AAGO, Director of Music
native of Johnson City, Tennessee, Will Sherwood has a multi-paletted
career: engineer, musician, artist/photographer. He graduated from Carnegie-Mellon
University with BSEE and MSEE degrees in computer engineering, and has
Choirmaster and Associate degrees from the American Guild of Organists.
He has appeared as guest soloist with the Boston Pops and has given many
concerts in both the U.S. and Europe.
the week, he is a Sr. Engineering Manager at Intel (formerly Digital,
then Compaq) where he is manager of the Microprocessor Verification
Group for a next-generation Intel 64-bit microprocessor design. In
addition, he is Organist-Choirmaster at First Unitarian Church, Worcester,
Mass, and a freelance jazz and classical pianist. Other interests include
volunteering for local homeless agencies, graphic arts, neon sculpture,
running, organic gardening, and preparing gourmet vegetarian cuisine.
Church Music bio - 40 years of services
Hopkins (Trumpet and Corno di Caccia)
is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music (M.Music) and
Conservatory of Music (B.Music). Mr. Hopkins has studied trumpet with
Vacchiano, Roger Voisin, John Coffey, Carmine Caruso and Julio Tancredi.
Hopkins is presently Principal Trumpet with the Thayer Symphony Orchestra
and the Symphonic Brass and Trumpet Soloist with the
TSO Chamber Players. He
often appeared as trumpet soloist with the Thayer Symphony Orchestra, the Central
Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra, the Holy Cross Chamber Orchestra and the
Ocean State Chamber Orchestra as well as appearing as soloist in Germany, England,
Scotland and the United States. Mr. Hopkins performs regularly with John Roderick
MacDonald (Principal Trumpet - Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra) and Donald Dame
(Organist and Choirmaster at Blessed Sacrament Church, Providence, RI) in trio
performances both in the US and abroad.
to being the Personnel Manager of the Thayer Symphony Orchestra
and Manager of the Bion Orchestra, Mr. Hopkins is presently Trumpet
Instructor at the College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA) and has
been the Director
of the Assumption
College Band (Worcester, MA) since 1987. He formerly held the positions of
Concerts and Community Activities, Program Coordinator and Associate Director
Music at the Performing Arts School of Worcester. He is also the Executive
MUSIC PERFORMANCE SERVICE, coordinating over 400 performances annually.
has served on the faculties of Assumption College, Clark University,
College Of The Holy Cross and the Performing Arts School of Worcester
(MA), Barrington College (RI), Worcester State College and St. Mark's
(click on link below each image)
300 dpi tif
300 dpi tif
Sherwood & Hopkins in the pipe chambers of the pipe organ at First Unitarian
to be featured in the October 1 concert
Cardi (download stuffited tiff RGB BW) is
organist and choirmaster at the Ghilardi organ of St. Maria della Speranza’s
church in Battipaglia, one of the best known instruments in the international
Cardi received his diploma with full marks and honors in Organ Performance
and Organ Composition with Wijnand van de Pol at the “F. Morlacchi” Conservatory
in Perugia, where, as best graduate, he was awarded a scholarship and
a concert offered by the Conservatory in collaboration with the “Elena
Marino” Music Association; he then studied Baroque and Renaissance
organ repertoire as a post graduate student.
in the restoration of ancient organs, he has been specifically studying
16th- and 17th-century Neapolitan organ-building and organ music
for many years. He has written several articles for music & industry
journals, participated in conferences and served as a consultant in
the restoration of historical organs.
an organist, he has concertized in Holland, Belgium, Spain, England,
Ireland, Germany, France, Sweden and Poland, playing some of the most
famous Europeans organs, including Oude Kerk, Amsterdam-Olanda; Ulster
Hall, Belfast; St. Omers; France; Galway Cathedral Ireland; Cattedrale
di Terragona, Spain. He participated in some of the most prestigious
festivals, among wich the International Organ Week in Brussels (invited
by the Italian Embassy); XXXV Organ Festival Kamien Pomorski – Polond;
Celebrity Organ Recitals St. Giles' Cathedral, Edimburgo; St. Omers and
Avignon Cathedral (France). He also performed several inaugural concerts,
among which the one for the restoration of the great Hillis Organ at
the Redemptorists’ Church in Belfast.
has recorded a CD, entitled Il Corale,
a series of CDs dedicated to musical forms. His next CD will feature
the historical organs in the Campania region of Italy.
to Dr. Cardi, two movements he will be performing Oct 8.
Duruflé: Prelude &
Fugue on the name of Alain
the media is saying:
touch of southern [Italy] flavour - The nature of his playing was
eager and colorfull... The faster movements of the Vivaldi-à la-Bach
were attractively done, with a brightness of the playing that counteracted
the temper of a grey July...
The Irish Times - 5 Aug., 1998
hits right key - ...there were many fine qualities in his playing and
he was completely
at ease on the big Hill organ, exploring its resources
with confidence...Great musical personality admired in his performance
of Bach’s fifth Sonata...a performance which was enthusiastically
acclaimed by the great audience.
Belfast Telegraph - Wed. 14 Oct., 1998
e passaggi eseguiti con nonchalance e un finale in crescendo - ...la
tessitura clavicembalistica eseguita con equilibrata
espressione nella sempre controllata ma irreprensibile agilità dell’esecutore...nel
mirabolante virtuosismo del preludio e fuga BWV 532 che Cardi ha trovato
la sua dimensione più autentica, concludendo in un vorticoso crescendo
la sua performance.
Il Piccolo - 28 Ott., 1998
do wspòlczesnosci- ...Interesujaco roznicowana kolorystyka
charakteryzowala poszczegolne wariacje choralu “Nun lasst uns Gott”...w
ktorym doszla w pelni do glosu muzykalnosc solisty.
Glos Szczec. - 16 lug., 1999
Jones is Emeritus Director of Music and Organist at Trinity Church, Boston,
where he ran a widely acclaimed program for 20 years. He has performed
as an organ concert artist in many parts of the United States and England,
and his programs have often been praised for their variety and interest,
as well as for the artistic and communicative integrity he brings to the
music of the King of Instruments. He has been heard in such venues as the
National Cathedral, Washington, DC, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, St.
Paul's Cathedral, London, St Thomas Church, New York City, Trinity Episcopal
Cathedral, Portland, OR, Rutgers University, Harvard, Yale, Smith College,
Westminster College in PA, and Wheaton College (MA). He has often played
programs for conventions of the American Guild of Organists, Organ Historical
Society, and the Association of Anglican Musicians. With flutist Susan
Clarke he has performed many programs which have explored a wide range
of the literature for flute and organ. He has released many recordings
of organ solo music, music for brass and organ, for piano and organ, and
with the Trinity Choir.
Mr. Jones gave a highly acclaimed performance at the Romantic Organ Symposium
in Milwaukee, which a reviewer said "had life, passion, excitement--all
elements too seldom heard in any organ recital, indeed too seldom heard in any recital." He
has been a tireless advocate for the organ and its music, and had done many demonstrations
for listeners of all ages, incorporating music of all periods and styles into
his programs. He has often been heard on National Public Radio, and also on the
BBC. He has taught at many workshops and conferences of the American Guild of
Organists and American Choral Director's Association, and also at the Evergreen
Music Conference, Sewanee COnference, and St. Dunstan's Workshop. This summer
(2004) he will lecture at the Eton Choral Course in England. He has played many
dedication recitals of new and rebuilt organs, and has been praised for his ability
to communicate the breadth, depth and brilliance of a new instrument to members
of congregations which have invested significant resources in such a new venture.
time at Trinity Church in Boston, one of America's great churches,
he built the Trinity Choir into a group of national and international
prominence, and founded the Parish Choir which has also been highly
successful. Candlelight Carols, on the London-Polygram label,
has enjoyed immense popularity for more than a decade, and in a review
of With Heart And Voice, critic David Vernier called the Trinity Choir “one
of America’s outstanding choirs,” praising the group as “musically
accomplished, exemplary in technique, experienced in a formidable range
of repertoire, and possessing a concordant, evenly-balanced ensemble
sound that can only be described as sublime.” Radiant Light—Songs
for the Millennium, on the Dorian label, has had similar response,
and listener reviews of this recording on amazon.com average five stars. A
Choral Christmas, released several years ago, elicited the following
first review: “this is a first rate recording that will satisfy
all listeners looking for an ideal all-around Christmas choral collection.” Gramophone
Magazine said: “We hear sweetness, purity, and serenity
throughout this recording, certainly an example of American choral
performance at its height. Recorded in Trinity Church’s reverberant
yet transparent acoustics, the recording brings reflective and exuberant
holiday sentiments into glowing focus.” During the month of December,
2001, A Choral Christmas was consistently in the top 25 CD’s
on amazon.com. His latest CD with the Trinity Choir, The Sounds
of Light, will be released this spring. The Trinity Choir has
often been heard on National Public Radio, as well as in Great Britain
on the BBC, where the group was recently featured in a February broadcast
especially recorded in Boston by British engineers. In June, 1997,
the Trinity Choir toured England, with services and performances in
such significant venues as Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral,
London; Salisbury Cathedral; and New College, Oxford. The Trinity Choir
toured Central Europe in June, 2004.
the Fall of 2004, Mr. Jones is the Director of Cathedral Music at St
John's Cathedral, Albuquerque, NM.
He is a graduate of Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and
Boston University and studied organ with Haskell Thomson, Jack
Fisher, choral directing with
Robert Fountain, and orchestral conducting with Hermann Genhart, and eurythmics
with Inda Howland.
Mr. Jones assumed his first regular position as an organist at age 14, and
carries on somewhat of a family tradition: his grandfather was an organist
and his great uncle, a farmer in Maine, played at the Federated Church in Turner,
ME for 66 years.
What the press is saying:
was musicianship of the first rank."
Chute in the Milwaukee Journal
Mr. Jones' recital there was respect for the music whether early,
romantic, or modern; yet it was always interesting and exciting."
(The American Organist, in a review of a Methuen Memorial Music Hall
Jones is far more than technically competent-- it was his phrasing,
rhythm and understanding as much as digital virtuosity that made Bach's
brilliant Toccata in F Major a lucidly warm listening experience."
(Quincy Patriot-Ledger, Mass.)
Jones amazed me with his command of the instrument, as well as with his
ability to sustain a piece whose inclination is to wander." (Franck
- Fantaisie in A major)
Michael Steinberg in The Boston Globe
"Brian Jones is a superlative musician."
"In Mr Jones' hands, the sound was clean and articulate in a way that seemed
to suit the music perfectly."
The Vineyard Gazette