Concerts in a Country Church will present “Playing with the Big Boys” this Sunday, April 15 at St. Colman Catholic Church in Washington C.H.
Craig Jaynes — who is in his 55th year as a practicing church musician and his 13th year at St. Colman — will present the first program in which he will be the sole feature.
The St. Colman series, “Music in a Country church,” is completing its fifth season and has featured the organ in combination with choirs, brass quintets, woodwind quintet, percussion, strings, and a variety of soloists, but never as a totally solo instrument with Jaynes at the console. The concert is a program of major organ works by Jaynes and interspersed with lighter diversions from both past and present.
The organ, in a church which is blessed with superb acoustics, was installed in 2013. It has three manuals (keyboards) and pedal with 35 independent speaking stops. Although it speaks from high in the choir loft, a camera, projector and screen will be used to make the performer visible to the audience. Music of Bach, Franck and Widor will be performed as well as selections by Weaver, Sullivan, Shelley, Utterback, Strayhorn, MacGimsey, and Kern/Nalle.
“I’ve tried to program a wide variety of music and instrumental combinations so that folks could experience the breath of musical expression available to us,” Jaynes said. “While the organ is ‘my’ instrument, I did not want to limit our offerings to that vehicle alone. This concert will be the exception rather than the rule. Since a solo organ program is rare for us, I also wanted to make sure that a variety was maintained and have chosen, not only from the great composers of the instrument which is where the title comes from, but also from other sources which there is some history of association with the instrument.”
Tickets may be purchased for $10 at the door. Reserved seats are available only to season ticket holders. Doors will open at 2:30 p.m.
Jaynes, music director at the church, has been in his position, playing and directing the choir at St. Colman since 2005 and a performing church musician for 55 years. He is a graduate of Kent State University and Clark State Community College and attended Wichita State University and Ohio State University.
He studied organ with Paul Lundquist, Dorothy Addy, Diane Bish and Virgil Fox. He also directs the church’s concert series, “Concerts in a Country Church,” for which this program is the final concert of the 2017-18 season. Additionally, he is also a registered nurse with Community Care/Ohio’s Hospice and is the founder and head gardener at English Garden Farm east of Jamestown.
“There was time, a hundred years or so ago, when the organ provided the vast majority of live, serious music heard publicly, not only in church but in municipal auditoriums and venues all over the country,” Jaynes said. “Of course there is also the association with silent movies as well, but that was only an outgrowth of the other usage. So I have also relied on those relationships as a source for musical material as well as the traditional historical relationship of the organ to music in church. I am hopeful that folks will find a lot of interest as well as great musical beauty in these selections. The process of choosing has been delightful fun for me and particularly enjoyable when I’ve been able to pick things that also have a strong personal connection for me. When you’ve been doing this as long as I have, there are usually a lot of those.”
For more information call (937) 675-7055.
The information in this article was provided by Craig Jaynes and Steve Fenters.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy