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May 26: Solo Organ, Chamber Singers & Holiday Cookout at The Organ Barn

Guilford, Vt. — Friends of Music at Guilford (FOMAG), now in its 53rd season, is hosting its 11th Spring Concert & Holiday Cookout in the Organ Barn on Sunday, May 26. The concert includes an opening set by the Guilford Chamber Singers and a solo recital by Christopher Lewis on the c. 1897 Tracker Organ.

The Chamber Singers, under the direction of Tom Baehr, perform “Life, Death, Love & Loss,” ten part-songs set to the poetry of Shakespeare, Marlowe, Blake, Moore, Foster, Teasdale, and others. Singers for this concert include sopranos Christina Gibbons and Sarah Lott, altos Beth McKinney and Joy Wallens-Penford, tenors Steven John and Bill Johnson, and basses Calvin Farwell and Tom Green.

The organ recital, entitled “Peace Offering,” includes works by three German Baroque composers: J. S. Bach, Vincent Lubeck, and Johann Gottfried Walther; as well as three French Romantic composers: Léon Boëllmann, Gabriel Dupont, and Louis Vierne. One special selection is Boëllmann’s “Prayer for Notre-Dame” from his Suite Gothique (1895), a salute to the iconic cathedral so recently the site of a tragic fire.

Guest organist Christopher Lewis, who also plays the piano, has performed throughout the United States, Italy, and British Columbia. A prizewinner at the American National Chopin Competition and the New York Leschetizky Society, he has made recordings for the Newport Classics label. An instructor at Bennington College since 2010, he has held faculty positions at New York University and several private schools in New York City. He earned his B.A. at SUNY-Purchase and now resides in So. Londonderry, Vt. Lewis was organist for FOMAG’s 2006 Community Messiah Sing and this February accompanied flutist Alison Hale in their “Stolen Jewels” program of transcribed works by Brahms, Fauré, Schubert, and Schumann.

The concert in the intimate Organ Barn is followed by a holiday cookout on the deck and back lawn of the attached main house. This festive gathering offers grilling options for carnivores and vegetarians alike and assorted salads, sides, sips, and make-your-own sundaes; attendees are welcome to bring their preferred picnic beverage. In case of wet weather, the barn offers an indoor setting for the meal and camaraderie.

The Organ Barn is at Tree Frog Farm, on Kopkind Rd., off Packer Corners Rd. in idyllic rural Guilford. Follow signs for 9 mi. from the Guilford Country Store at Rt. 5, just over a mile from Exit 1 off I-91, or for 5 mi. from Keets Brook Rd. at Rt. 5 in Bernardston, Mass.

Admission to the concert is $15; the optional meal is an additional $10 per person. Reservations are useful for food planning but not required. Contact the office at 802-254-3600 or; visit online at