In the summer of 2020, St. John’s received a bequest from Donald Hugh Smith for a series of memorial concerts in memory of Anna V. and Milton J. Smith to be held at St. John’s.
While the pandemic has stretched on, we decided that sharing beautiful music and supporting our local musicians was especially important at this time. We are beginning this series with concerts that we can record at St. John’s and share with all of you. While we look forward to listening to beautiful music again together, we are also grateful for the technology that allows us to come together in different ways that are appropriate for our time.
James Vasconi, Classical Piano, June 20, 2021
- Prelude and Fugue in E Major, BWV 878 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750)
- Three Intermezzi, op. 117 by Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897)
- 1. Andante moderato
- 2. Andante non troppo e con molto espressione
- 3. Andante con moto
- Little Piano Pieces (1914) by Nadia Boulanger (1887 – 1979)
- [III] Sans lenteur
- Prelude and Fugue in E minor, op. 35 no. 1 by Felix Mendelssohn (1809 – 1847)
James Vasconi is a graduate of Sharon High School and holds music degrees from Baldwin Wallace University and Youngstown State University. Active as a local pianist and organist, he serves as music director at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Hermitage, and has taught at Youngstown State University and Thiel College.
Max Schang’s Trio of Blues, April 25, 2021
This program contains the following selections:
- Don’t Lose Your Cool – Albert Collins 1.
- Back Up Again – Max Schang
- Sueno – Max Schang
- Bad Attitude – Max Schang
- Goin’ to New Orleans – Max Schang
- From the Beginning – Greg Lake 2.
- Push and Shove – John Mooney 3.
- Cryin’ Out Loud – John Mooney 4.
- My Babe – Willie Dixon for Little Walter 5.
- Blow Wind Blow – Muddy Waters 6.
- The Night Rider – Jimmy Bryant with Speedy West 7.
Bluesman Max Schang began his musical journey at the age of 8, eventually exploring classical guitar, jazz, funk, gypsy-jazz as well as various styles of American blues. He was invited twice by the late, great Chicago legend Eddie Shaw (Howlin Wolf’s former bandleader) to tour Europe with Wolf Gang, and played the Chicago Blues Festival several times. Here, he brings his own band, the fabulous Trio of Blues to “The Anna V. and Milton J. Smith Concert Series” at St John’s Episcopal Church in Sharon, PA. Together with Terry McDonald on bass, and the energetic and versatile Steve McMurray on drums, Max shares his unique originals and covers that span Delta Blues, Chicago Blues, Progressive, and Rockabilly styles. Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.reverbnation.com/MaxSchang 724.877.7204.
- 1.“Don’t Lose Your Cool” First release by Albert Collins (March 1966), Published by Hall Clement Publications Universal Songs Of Polygram International Inc.
- 2.”From the Beginning” by Emerson, Lake & Palmer, written by Greg Lake, released on the album “Trilogy” (August 1972), (p) Atlantic
- 3.& 4.“Push and Shove” and “Cryin’ Out Loud” by John Mooney, released on the album “Testimony” (Cassette – June 3, 1992), (Viceroy)
- 5.”My Babe” is a Chicago blues song and a blues standard written by Willie Dixon for Little Walter. Released in 1955 on Checker Records, a subsidiary of Chess Records (February 1955)
- 6.”Blow Wind Blow” by Muddy Waters, originally released on the album “Fathers and Sons”, originally released as a double LP by Chess Records (August 1969)
- 7. “The Night Rider” by Jimmy Bryant with Speedy West, originally released on the “B” side of the vinyl 45rpm “Rolling Sky / The Night Rider”, Capitol Records (1957)
Harper Kirk Kupensky, February 28, 2021
Our inaugural concert features the harp music of Kirk Kupensky. Kirk is no stranger to St. John’s, having played for a number of liturgies and events, including being a regular contributor to our music program during gatherings where singing was suspended. This program is a Welsh harp program, being shared in preparation for the feast of St. David, Wales’s patron saint.
The program contains the following selections
- Bugeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn (Watching the Wheat) John Thomas (1826-1913)
- Two Welsh Hymn Tune Settings 1) Rhosymedre (arr. Rhett Barnwell) 2) Aberystwyth (arr. Daniel Burton)
- Variations on Nos Galan (Deck the Halls), J.B. Chatterton (1804-1871)
- St. Melangell, Carol Wood
- A Welsh Landscape, David Watkins (1938- )
- Relics of Wales, J.B. Chatterton (1804-1871) 1) All Through the Night 2) The Ash Grove 3) March of the Men of Harlech
Harper Kirk’s career as a harpist has been a diverse one, including forays into the realm of popular and new age music in addition to classical. He studied harp with former first chair harpists to the Cleveland, Berlin, and London Philharmonic Orchestras, and has made numerous appearances as recitalist and concerto soloist in the U.S. and in Europe.
We are grateful to Bill Dodd of MudHut Studios for his recording work.