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275th Anniversary Celebration at Smithfield

Music Preview
by Kevin T. McEneaney
Tue Oct 24th, 2017

Smithfield Church

Newly renovated Smithfield Presbyterian Church in Amenia will celebrate its 275th year this Sunday morning at 10 am. A special musical program, featuring Dr. Hampson Sisler on organ, Matt Finley on trumpet, and Norman Baker on clarinet, will provide an unusual musical trio.

Hampson Sisler is one of the most prolific American classical composers living today who was recently named "one of the significant composers of contemporary America" by The Organ Magazine, London

Hampson has written more than one hundred works for solo instruments, organ, voice, choir, and orchestra. His works have been performed and recorded world-wide with leading orchestras in his native United States as well as Argentina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Israel, Philippines, Portugal, Russia and the Ukraine, etc. The majority of his orchestral works have been recorded on the MSR Classics label. Hampson is represented by BV Artists International. My favorite work of Hampson is his orchestral suite Phoenix Forever.

Matt Finley is a noted trumpet player as well as influential jazz composer. He remains most renowned for Brazilian and Cuban style jazz compositions. His own band is Rio Jazz. Finley has at least eleven cd recordings. For more information see his website.

Clarinetist Norman Baker played alto clarinet with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for two decades and often worked under Robert Shaw.

The musical program will for this trio: Prelude: Alla Hornpipe - Allegro Maestoso from Water Music (George Frideric Handel; Postlude: Rondeau - Suite de Symphonies (Jean-Joseph Mouret). Hampson will also play a special organ solo (as yet not announced).

The Smithfield Choir will sing J. S. Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” Linda Kinney will solo “How Great Though Art”; Sharon Webb of the New York Oratorio Society will solo “I Heard The Voice of Jesus.”

In addition to the music, the Church is offering a free Hot Ham & Extras luncheon for all attendees. The Poet Laureate of Smithfield Valley has composed a new brief narrative poem, Modest Confessions of a Maple Tree. A free booklet copy of the poem will be available. Free commemorative medallions for the event had been struck, yet at this point they are unfortunately languishing in U.S Customs.

Rev. Douglas Grandgeorge will preside over the service. The Church is located at 656 Smithfield Valley (at the junction of Route 83 and Separate Road in Amenia). More information may be found at its website.