by Matt Mazzoni on October 15, 2021
November 19, 2021
How lovey is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.
With these words from Psalm 84, I would like to welcome you back to live music at Central with our 2021-2022 Concert Series. After a year of being online, we are excited to bring our 33rd season to you in-person from Central Presbyterian Church. Those verses from Psalm 84 express our heartfelt prayer for this season of concerts, with the hope that everyone can find a measure of sanctuary as we cry out with a joyful spirit with the gift of experiencing music live and in community. Our season of events this year includes five concerts, and each one will share inspiration, a unique perspective, and an experience of comfort and hope as we reflect on the past and look towards the future.
We begin on Nov. 5 with a resounding celebration that will fill the sanctuary with the music from our magnificent Casavant pipe organ with a performance by Dr. Nathan Davy. From quiet whispers to thundering notes that shake the floor, “Organ playing is the manifestation of will filled with a vision of eternity” (C. M. Widor), and this concert will assuredly reflect the majesty of the divine through music.
Central’s own choirs and instrumentalists will present Christmas at Central on Dec. 17 in a program titled Portraits of the Nativity. Visual art will combine with music of the season to portray and give perspective on the message and meaning of Christmas. Of course, this concert would not be complete without joining our voices together to sing carols, through which we will express the wonder and joy of the story of Christmas together.
We’re very excited to welcome author, singer, and songwriter Andrew Peterson in concert on March 26 through a special collaboration with The Carver Project. Known for authoring The Wingfeather Saga, his annual Christmas Behold the Lamb concert tour, and recently as composer of the song Is He Worthy?, Andrew Peterson seeks to “quietly change lives in four minute increments” with music that deeply touches our heart, mind and soul. Tickets will be sold later this year for this unique opportunity to hear this reknown artist in an intimate performance.
Pianist Sandra Shen will return to St. Louis and Central for a concert on April 25 titled Inspiration from Above II, exploring the intersection between the music and faith of classical composers from the past. A Steinway artist, Ms. Shen is an award-winning virtuoso known for her passion, musicality, and inspiration, who has performed concerts in 14 countries as well as across the US. She is also an acclaimed teacher having held positions at several universities, and she appears with us in collaboration with the St. Louis Piano Teachers Association.
Our season concludes on May 15 with the same words with which we began: How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of Hosts. This text forms the center-point of Brahms’ Requiem, which we will present in partnership with our Chancel Choir and the Chancel Choir from Second Presbyterian Church of Memphis, TN. Comprised of texts entirely drawn from the bible, this masterwork powerfully explores expressions grief and sorrow, and also shines a light of consolation, hope, and triumph. It is contains a vital message for us all as we navigate the events of the recent past, present, and future. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Mt. 5:4).
We’re very excited to bring you these concert events this year, and we’re very grateful for the support of our patrons who provide the support needed to make these possible. The Concert Series is funded entirely by donations – it is not part of the regular church budget. Hence, we can only continue year after year through the generosity of people who give to support the arts at Central. If you would like to make a gift to the Concert Series, simply make a donation to Central Presbyterian Church (online donations accepted) and indicate “Concert Series” in the memo. If you want to consider a larger gift to underwrite an event for this season or a future season, please contact me (Matthew Mazzoni) and I would love to discuss it further with you.
I should add that some of these events will be livestreamed as circumstances permit. But whether in-person or online, I hope you’re all able to experience these performances, and that as you do, your heart and flesh will cry out with joy. Please be sure to watch for more information coming soon to our website!
Grace and Peace,
Director of Music Ministry
Central Presbyterian Church