The meeting was held at First Presbyterian Church, which, with its superb acoustics, was the perfect setting for a musical program.
After welcoming remarks, President Jean Henderson thanked the church’s congregation for generously sharing its facility. Her thanks also included Lay and Goodwill for directing the music program and hospitality committee chairman Mary Ann Borst for refreshments she, Jane Sain and Jeannie Sawyer had prepared.
Secretary Dortha Townsend conducted the roll call and read the March meeting minutes. A financial report was postponed due to the absence of treasurer Terry Barger.
Nancy Paul relayed a message from Betsy Berry, who wishes to give away her collection of piano music and would like interested persons to call her.
In lieu of its regular May meeting, the Cleveland Music Club will present a “Two-Piano Concert,” featuring artists Margaret Ann Randolph and Helen Louise Stout, at the Johnson Center Auditorium of Cleveland State Community College, on May 1, at 7 p.m. The concert will be open to the public and admission is free. Stout, who provided the update, promised “a program with exciting music by an array of composers.”
One of the members announced Stout had been recently honored by the Music Teachers National Association. At a Gala Banquet during the annual convention in Chicago, she had been named a Fellow of the MTNA. Club members greeted the news with congratulations and applause.
George Lessig conducted the initiation of the officers, who were elected at the March meeting, to serve two-year terms starting in September. They are Ricky Donegan, president; Karen Archer, first vice president; Carolyn Lay, second vice president; Dortha Townsend, secretary; Terry Barger, treasurer; Jeannie Sawyer, historian; Sheridan Randolph, parliamentarian; and Jean Henderson, past president.
Henderson thanked retiring officers for their service and newly elected and returning officers for their commitment to serve the club.
Starting the music program, Lay and Goodwill took turns not only introducing each performer, buy they also gave an in-depth description of the types, origins and composers of the various “sacred music” selections each had chosen for the program.
Pam Edgemon began with a Scripture reading of “Psalms 33:1-3, 92:1-4 and 150.” Her presentation was followed by Pat Meagher explaining that unaccompanied “Gregorian chanting” is an integral part of the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. She demonstrated it by using the “Kyrie eléison” chant and invited her audience to participate. She then sang “The Lord’s Prayer.”
Ricky Donegan, trumpet, and Karen Archer, organ, played “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” one of the best-known hymns by Martin Luther.
Pianist Stout played “Fairest Lord Jesus,” an arrangement by Richard S. Willis. The hymn is based on a Sicilian folk tune. She also presented her own arrangement of “Moonlight Sonata, Op. 27 no. 2,” by Ludwig van Beethoven.
Three talented guest performers: Stefanie Black, Tyler Brinson and Annie Kinworthy, harmonized perfectly as an a cappella trio. They sang “The Precious Love of Christ,” by Lacy Schwien, an arrangement by Lari Goss.
The Cleveland Wind Ensemble with Sandy Donegan, oboe, April Itson, flute, and George Olin, clarinet, played “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – BWV 147,” by Johann Sebastian Bach. Lyrics to the hymn were written by poet Robert Bridges.
The hymn “And Can It Be,” with lyrics by Charles Wesley and music by Thomas Campbell was played by Archer on the organ and Andy Hunt on the piano. They continued with “Christ The Lord Is Risen Today,” by an unknown composer. It is an adaptation from the Lyra Davidica collection with words by Charles Wesley.
Soprano Meagher, accompanied by pianist Paul, sang “Panis Angelicus” (Bread of Angels) from the hymn “Secris solemniis” by Saint Thomas Aquinas, set to music by Cesar Franck.
A rare treat was provided by Christa Wenger who played, on her 6-foot-tall concert-grand harp, “Be Still My Soul,” with lyrics by Katharina von Schlegel and music by Jean Sibelius. She then played “It Is Well With My Soul.” The lyrics were written by Horatio Spafford with music composed by Philip Bliss.
Vocalist Hunt, accompanied by pianist Archer, sang “How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings,” by Samuel Liddle. Pianist Paul continued with a Fanny J. Crosby “Hymn Medley.”
Paul continued with piano accompaniment for the vocalist duo of Goodwill and Lay, who presented “I’d Rather Have Jesus,” a composition by George Beverly Shea with lyrics by Rhea F. Miller.
Organist Martha Lessig played “Passacaglia” by the American organist and composer Gordon Young.
Josh Wenger and his wife, Christa, presented an original composition by Josh Wenger that had been inspired by his mission trips. The duo sang “You are My Lord, My Rock, My King” with Josh playing the guitar and Christa the violin as accompaniment.
Milteen Cartwright closed the program by inviting her audience to join her in singing “How Great Thou Art,” a Christian hymn based on the melody of a Swedish folk song that was translated into English by the British missionary Stuart K. Hine, who added several of his own verses to the text that he had translated.
Despite the late hour, the result of a long but very interesting program, most members lingered to enjoy refreshments and discuss the upcoming “Two-Piano Concert” on May 1.