Church continues organ concert series

Dr. Stephen Hamilton of New York will present the fourth  in a series of Friday organ concerts at noon on Friday, May 2 at the Parish Church of St. Helena, 505 Church St. in downtown Beaufort.

Stephen Hamilton, virtuoso concert organist, has long been prominent on the American organ scene. The New York Times wrote of Hamilton’s performance of the Bach Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor: “Hamilton, as organist at the Church of the Holy Trinity (Episcopal) obviously knew the instrument’s sonorous capabilities and brought them powerfully to bear in a rousing account.”

The Charleston Daily Mail reviewed: “This performance had to be one of the supreme moments of music- making in this year’s or any other year’s Orgelfest offerings.”

Highlights of Hamilton’s career include the premiere performance of Kenton Coe’s Concerto for Organ, Strings and Percussion with the Festival of Comminges Orchestra, Jean-Pierre Marty conducting, in France; and a performance of the Enrico Bossi Organ Concerto with the Detroit Symphony, David Zinman conducting. He frequently appears with regional orchestras playing concertos of Handel, Albinoni, Hindemith, Piston, Copland, Rheinberger, and Poulenc; and recently appeared with the Austin (Texas) Symphony orchestra, Peter Bay conducting, performing the Barber Toccata Festival.

Dr. Hamilton will perform on the church’s historic Taylor & Boody organ as the fourth guest organist in this year’s series.

Concerts are free and open to the public. The remaining concert in the 2014 series will be presented May 9 by Kevin Edens of Furman University.  The Featured Young Organist for this year, Edens is a student of Dr. Charles Tompkins, who performed April 4.

The Taylor & Boody organ at St. Helena’s is modern (installed in the church in 1985), yet reminiscent of the organ-building practices used during the “golden age” of organ building and organ music, reached in Europe between 1600 and 1750.  The two-manual organ has 19 stops and more than 1,150 pipes housed in a beautifully crafted oak case.

The annual concert series is funded by private donations from parishioners and music lovers all over the Lowcountry. To become a Friend of Music at St. Helena’s, send your tax-deductible gift to: Music at St. Helena’s The Parish Church of St. Helena, P.O. Box 1043, Beaufort, SC 29901.

For more information, contact Marge Barber at 843-525-1316 or barbers@islc.net or visit www.sthelenas1712.org.

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