Clair de lune by Claude Debussy from Concert for Ukraine

 

 

Brian Stevenson, Director of Music Ministries at Pender UMC in Fairfax, VA, performed Clair de lune from Debussy’s Suite bergamasque during Pender’s new Concert Series which began on April 23, 2022.

‘Clair de lune’, meaning moonlight, was written by the Impressionist French composer Claude Debussy.  It is the third movement of a four-movement work, Suite bergamasque.  Originally composed for piano in D♭ major, It is written in 9/8 meter and marked andante très expressif.

‘Clair de lune’ takes its title from an atmospheric poem by the French poet Paul Verlaine which depicts the soul as somewhere full of music ‘in a minor key’ where birds are inspired to sing by the ‘sad and beautiful’ light of the moon.

The Pender Concert Supporting Ukraine on April 23 featured Liz Sellers on piano, Brian on harp, and local professional musicians, including woodwind quintet, drums, organ, guitar, flute, penny whistle, singing and violin.

Concert repertoire included: Harp arrangements by Debussy, Piano trio of Jazz/Baroque, Flute Concertino by Chaminade, Woodwind Quintet with music of Duke Ellington, The Widor Toccata Organ Symphony Movement V and an Irish session!

There was no charge for this concert but there was a free will offering taken to support Ukraine through Advance #982450, UMCOR International Disaster Response and Recovery. This fund provides direct assistance to those in Ukraine as well as assistance to Ukrainians fleeing to neighboring countries.

One hundred percent of all Advance contributions go to the designated cause. (The independent charity watchdog, “Charity Watch,” gives UMCOR an “A+” ranking, and includes the UM organization on a highly selective list of charities it recommends when considering how to support the Ukrainian people. Read more)

The United Methodist community in Ukraine, though quite small, is actively engaged in assisting neighbors in need. Global Ministries is in touch with the church’s leadership as well as with church leaders in countries welcoming those who are fleeing from violence in Ukraine.

Click this link and choose UMCOR to send direct aid. In the memo line, put Advance #982450, UMCOR International Disaster Response and Recovery.

Thank you for your support!

Harp: En bateau (Sailing) from Concert for Ukraine

 

 

Brian Stevenson, Director of Music Ministries at Pender UMC in Fairfax, VA,  performed En bateau (Sailing) from The Petite Suite, L 65, by Claude Debussy on the harp during Pender’s new Concert Series which began on April 23, 2022.

Debussy’s music captures perfectly a mood of water-borne serenity and languor, opening with a kind of musical sigh that made the Petite Suite immediately popular with a wide audience.

 

The Pender Concert Supporting Ukraine on April 23 featured Liz Sellers on piano, Brian on harp, and local professional musicians, including woodwind quintet, drums, organ, guitar, flute, penny whistle, singing and violin.

Concert repertoire included: Harp arrangements by Debussy, Piano trio of Jazz/Baroque, Flute Concertino by Chaminade, Woodwind Quintet with music of Duke Ellington, The Widor Toccata Organ Symphony Movement V and an Irish session!

There was no charge for this concert but there was a free will offering taken to support Ukraine through Advance #982450, UMCOR International Disaster Response and Recovery. This fund provides direct assistance to those in Ukraine as well as assistance to Ukrainians fleeing to neighboring countries.

One hundred percent of all Advance contributions go to the designated cause. (The independent charity watchdog, “Charity Watch,” gives UMCOR an “A+” ranking, and includes the UM organization on a highly selective list of charities it recommends when considering how to support the Ukrainian people. Read more)

The United Methodist community in Ukraine, though quite small, is actively engaged in assisting neighbors in need. Global Ministries is in touch with the church’s leadership as well as with church leaders in countries welcoming those who are fleeing from violence in Ukraine.

Click this link and choose UMCOR to send direct aid. In the memo line, put Advance #982450, UMCOR International Disaster Response and Recovery.

Thank you for your support!

The Widor Toccata Organ Symphony Movement V from Concert for Ukraine

 

Sylvia Mulherin, organist at St. George’s UMC in Fairfax, VA,  performed Toccata Organ Symphony Movement V by Charles-Marie Widor at Pender’s new Concert Series which began on April 23, 2022.

 

The Pender Concert Supporting Ukraine on April 23 featured Liz Sellers on piano, Brian on harp, and local professional musicians, including woodwind quintet, drums, organ, guitar, flute, penny whistle, singing and violin.

Concert repertoire included: Harp arrangements by Debussy, Piano trio of Jazz/Baroque, Flute Concertino by Chaminade, Woodwind Quintet with music of Duke Ellington, The Widor Toccata Organ Symphony Movement V and an Irish session!

There was no charge for this concert but there was a free will offering taken to support Ukraine through Advance #982450, UMCOR International Disaster Response and Recovery. This fund provides direct assistance to those in Ukraine as well as assistance to Ukrainians fleeing to neighboring countries.

One hundred percent of all Advance contributions go to the designated cause. (The independent charity watchdog, “Charity Watch,” gives UMCOR an “A+” ranking, and includes the UM organization on a highly selective list of charities it recommends when considering how to support the Ukrainian people. Read more)

The United Methodist community in Ukraine, though quite small, is actively engaged in assisting neighbors in need. Global Ministries is in touch with the church’s leadership as well as with church leaders in countries welcoming those who are fleeing from violence in Ukraine.

Click this link and choose UMCOR to send direct aid. In the memo line, put Advance #982450, UMCOR International Disaster Response and Recovery.

Thank you for your support!

Ukrainian National Anthem from Concert for Ukraine

 

What a fantastic concert this was. There will be move videos coming in the following days but this is a great start! This is the grand finale – the Ukrainian National Anthem arranged by Brian Stevenson, director of Music Ministries at Pender UMC.

 

The Pender Concert Supporting Ukraine on April 23 featured Liz Sellers on piano, Brian on harp, and local professional musicians, including woodwind quintet, drums, organ, guitar, flute, penny whistle, singing and violin.

Concert repertoire included: Harp arrangements by Debussy, Piano trio of Jazz/Baroque, Flute Concertino by Chaminade, Woodwind Quintet with music of Duke Ellington, The Widor Toccata Organ Symphony Movement V and an Irish session!

There was no charge for this concert but there was a free will offering taken to support Ukraine through Advance #982450, UMCOR International Disaster Response and Recovery. This fund provides direct assistance to those in Ukraine as well as assistance to Ukrainians fleeing to neighboring countries.

One hundred percent of all Advance contributions go to the designated cause. (The independent charity watchdog, “Charity Watch,” gives UMCOR an “A+” ranking, and includes the UM organization on a highly selective list of charities it recommends when considering how to support the Ukrainian people. Read more)

The United Methodist community in Ukraine, though quite small, is actively engaged in assisting neighbors in need. Global Ministries is in touch with the church’s leadership as well as with church leaders in countries welcoming those who are fleeing from violence in Ukraine.

Click this link and choose UMCOR to send direct aid. In the memo line, put Advance #982450, UMCOR International Disaster Response and Recovery.

Thank you for your support!

Benefit Concert for Ukraine


Concert repertoire will include:
Harp arrangements by Debussy
Piano trio of Jazz/Baroque
Flute Concertino by Chaminade
Woodwind Quintet with music of Duke Ellington
The Widor Toccata Organ Symphony Movement V
and an Irish session!

Lenten Hymn and Devotion, Holy Week

Brian Stevenson, Pender UMC Director of Music, presents a series of hymn-based devotions on Wednesdays during Lent.

The Holy Week selection is Lamb of God by Twila Paris from The Faith We Sing, #2113

The Faith We Sing Number 2113

Text: Twila Paris

Music: Twila Paris

Tune: SWEET LAMB OF GOD, Meter: Irr. with Refrain

Lenten Hymn and Devotion, Week 5

Lenten Hymn and Devotion 5, Beneath the Cross of Jesus

 Brian Stevenson, Pender UMC Director of Music, presents a series of hymn-based devotions on Wednesdays during Lent.

The Fifth is Go Dark Gethsemane

 

“Go to Dark Gethsemane” is a Lenten hymn that spotlights scenes from the last 12 hours of Jesus Christ’s life.

It takes us on a journey from the Garden of Gethsemane where we are charged to stand and watch, to the judgment hall and our denial of him, to the cross where we witness his death and his grace, and finally to his glorious resurrection and our redemption. We become part of the drama of Christ’s passion and resurrection.

The poet repeats the phrase “learn of” at the end of each stanza, charging us to apply each scene to our lives. James Montgomery uses repetition to draw attention to what he considers important about each scene and each stanza.

“Learn of Jesus Christ to pray” encourages us to remember the scene of the garden and to go to God in fervent prayer. “Learn of Christ to bear the cross” is a charge to lay down our lives, take up the cross and follow Christ. “Learn of Jesus Christ to die” is a reminder of what Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”

Montgomery, considered one of the most important hymn writers of the English language, wrote this beautiful hymn in 1820. He was born on Nov. 4, 1771, in Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland, the son of Moravian missionary John Montgomery, and died April 30, 1854, in Sheffield, England.

When Montgomery was 5 years old, his parents moved him to a Moravian settlement at Bracehill, Ireland, near Ballymena in Antrim County. Soon after, his parents accepted a call to the mission field and left him behind in Bracehill. He never saw his parents again. They both died while in the Barbados Islands.

At age 7, Montgomery was enrolled at Fulneck Seminary in Yorkshire, where he would remain for the next nine years. Struggling to meet the expectations of his instructors, he left the school at age 16 and became an apprentice at a chandler’s shop in Mirfield.

After five years, he tired of the work and took an apprenticeship with Joseph Gales, the owner and publisher of the Sheffield Register. For two years he learned about the publishing business, and in 1794, when Gales was forced to flee the country to avoid imprisonment, Montgomery took over the Register and changed its name to the Sheffield Iris.

Montgomery published and managed the Sheffield Iris for 32 years. He used the Iris as a tool to distribute the 360 hymns written throughout his life. His most well-known hymns are “Angels, From the Realms of Glory,” “Go to Dark Gethsemane,” “Hail to the Lord’s Anointed,” “Songs of Praise the Angels Sang” and “Stand Up and Bless the Lord.”

Montgomery’s “Go to Dark Gethsemane” is still one of his most widely used hymns, most often sung during Lent or during Holy Week. The first three stanzas are most commonly available in hymnals. The fourth stanza, though often omitted today, has been preserved in The United Methodist Hymnal.

Even though the text is now over 185 years old, it has rarely been altered. Many hymns from this era use language that is no longer common in today’s hymns or speech. Hymnal editors typically remove antiquated language and replace it with modern equivalents, but this hymn has remained essentially intact.

This beautiful somber hymn has stood the test of time. We benefit from the art and poetry of Montgomery still today.

Above essay from https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-go-to-dark-gethsemane-1

Lenten Hymn and Devotion, Week 4

Lenten Hymn and Devotion 4, Beneath the Cross of Jesus

Brian Stevenson, Pender UMC Director of Music, presents a series of hymn-based devotions on Wednesdays during Lent.

The Fourth is Beneath the Cross of Jesus

1. Beneath the cross of Jesus
I fain would take my stand,
the shadow of a mighty rock
within a weary land;
a home within the wilderness,
a rest upon the way,
from the burning of the noontide heat,
and the burden of the day.

2. Upon that cross of Jesus
mine eye at times can see
the very dying form of One
who suffered there for me;
and from my stricken heart with tears
two wonders I confess:
the wonders of redeeming love
and my unworthiness.

3. I take, O cross, thy shadow
for my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than
the sunshine of his face;
content to let the world go by,
to know no gain nor loss,
my sinful self my only shame,
my glory all the cross.

The United Methodist Hymnal Number 297

Lenten Hymn and Devotion, Week 3

Brian Stevenson, Pender UMC Director of Music, presents a series of hymn-based devotions at noon on Wednesdays during Lent.

The Third is When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

1. When I survey the wondrous cross

on which the Prince of Glory died;

my richest gain I count but loss,

and pour contempt on all my pride.

2. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,

save in the death of Christ, my God;

all the vain things that charm me most,

I sacrifice them to his blood.

3. See, from his head, his hands, his feet,

sorrow and love flow mingled down.

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,

or thorns compose so rich a crown.

4. Were the whole realm of nature mine,

that were an offering far too small;

love so amazing, so divine,

demands my soul, my life, my all.

The United Methodist Hymnal Number 298

Text: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748

Music: Lowell Mason, 1792-1872

Tune: HAMBURG, Meter: LM

and

The United Methodist Hymnal Number 299

Text: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748

Music: Anonymous; arr. by Edward Miller

Tune: ROCKINGHAM, Meter: LM

Lenten Hymn and Devotion, Week 2

Brian Stevenson, Pender UMC Director of Music, presents a series of hymn-based devotions at noon on Wednesdays during Lent.

The Second Hymn-based Devotion is Ah, Holy Jesus

Ah, holy Jesus, how hast Thou offended,

That man to judge Thee hath in hate pretended?

By foes derided, by Thine own rejected,

O most afflicted.

Who was the guilty- Who brought this upon Thee?

Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone Thee.

Twas I, Lord, Jesus, I it was denied Thee!

I crucified Thee.

For me, kind Jesus, was Thine incarnation,

Thy mortal sorrow, and Thy life’s oblation;

Thy death of anguish and Thy bitter passion,

For my salvation.

Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;

The slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered;

For our atonement, while he nothing heedeth,

God intercedeth.

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay Thee,

I do adore Thee, and will ever pray Thee,

Think on Thy pity and Thy love unswerving,

Not my deserving.

The United Methodist Hymnal Number 289

Text: Johann Heermann

Music: Johann Crüger (1640)

Tune: HERZLIEBSTER JESU

Brian conducts the choir and handbells as well as plays a variety of instruments every Sunday at 9:00 am online and in person at Pender UMC, 12401 Alder Woods Drive, Fairfax, VA US 22033