French organ music at festival
Aug 29, 2013 | 2062 views | 0 0 comments | 124 124 recommendations | email to a friend | print
GUILFORD- Friends of Music at Guilford’s 48th annual Labor Day Weekend Festival presents French organ music in an intimate rural barn and orchestral works by composers from five countries on the expansive lawn just outside.

The festival opens on Saturday evening, August 31, at 7:30, with “Vive la France!” on the Guilford Tracker organ. Clark Anderson, who has performed recitals of solo and ensemble works by English and German composers on this instrument, has chosen a program of solo works by French composers from Pérotin le Grand (1180-1236) to Jean Langlais (1907-1991), including Couperin, Raison, Daquin, Boëly, Vierne, Gounod, and the ever-intriguing Anonymous.

The following day, Sunday, September 1, at 2 pm, the Guilford Festival Orchestra, comprising players from the tri-state area and farther afield, will be heard outdoors on the lawn. Ken Olsson serves for a second season as conductor for this event, though he, too, is well known to Friends of Music concert audiences. He has performed twice on the Guilford Tracker organ and in February 2011 served as piano accompanist for his wife, soprano Julie Johnson Olsson, in a vocal recital of arias and art song.

This year’s orchestra program, entitled “Grand Tour: Music of Five Nations,” begins with seven Romanian Folk Dances by Bartók. Elgar’s “Romance for Bassoon” then features Tiffany Coolidge in an arrangement including strings, and three Wesendonck Songs by Wagner are performed by Julie Olsson and the full orchestra.

The Labor Day Weekend Festival is held at the Organ Barn, off Packer Corners Road.For the Sunday concert, the grounds open at noon to picnickers; children are welcome, with parental supervision, but dogs are asked to remain at home. A hearty vegetarian lunch, warm chocolate chip cookies, and fresh lemonade are available for sale, as are a variety of Friends of Music retail items from cards and CDs to T-shirts, sweatshirts, and totes.

In case of rain the Sunday event is relocated to the Broad Brook Grange, four miles up the Guilford Center Road from the Country Store located on Route 5.

Both concerts are admission free, with donations welcome to support the considerable cost of this weekend in the countryside. For more information, go to or call (802) 254-3600.
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