Chepachet Free Will Baptist Church - Chepachet, RI

Chepachet Free Will Baptist Church - Chepachet, RI

Music at the Meeting House

Music at the Meeting House

Spring 2015 Season


Whew! The end is in sight. What a winter we've had... and now most of us are looking for a much-needed spring break—New England style. We wish to invite you to this spring's 25th season of the MUSIC AT THE MEETING HOUSE concert series which will take place in the historic Chepachet Meeting House, home to the Chepachet Baptist Church, 1213 Putnam Pike, (Route 44), Chepachet, RI, just west of the village's only stop light. We've got a great lineup this season, and we hope you will be as excited about coming as we are about having you.

The Chepachet Free Will Baptist Church presents Music at the Meeting House programs as part of their outreach to the community and beyond, realizing it is a wonderful place for families and friends to meet for a pleasant and enjoyable Sunday afternoon.

All the programs begin at 2:30 PM unless otherwise stated. Most programs last one hour, but occasionally they last a half hour longer when needed. No tickets have ever been sold, but a freewill offering, is taken as a token of appreciation to those who perform.

The church provides a time of fellowship and refreshments following each program.

The Chepachet Baptist Church is looking forward to greeting both old and new attendees this spring. Please park close together as to accommodate more cars. Our historic building has a ramp on the west side entrance for easier access and additional parking is available in the field west of the church, weather permitting.

Sunday, April 12, 2015, at 2:30 PM
A 25th Anniversary Organ Concert
Randall Steere, Organist



Photo provided by Randall Steere

This is the 25th season of the Music at the Meeting House series, started by Kathryn Steere in 1990. The series opened that year with an organ concert by Randall Steere, son of the founder. Randy has given several concerts in the series over the years and also performed at the celebrations of the 175th anniversary of the Meeting House itself. Today he brings an exciting new organ technology to Chepachet by playing this afternoon's program on his personal instrument using the Hauptwerk Virtual Organ software which replicates the sound of famous organs throughout the world.

Mr. Steere holds a Master of Music degree in Pipe Organ Performance from the Yale School of Music and Yale School of Sacred Music, as well as a Master of Divinity degree from the Yale Divinity School. He also has a MA in computer Science from RPI.

Through the miracles of "virtual" technology, we will hear Mr. Steere today play works from:

  • Bach and Lubeck on the 1675 Arp Schnitger pipe organ located in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Cosmae et Damiani in Stade, Lower Saxony. Arp Schnitger was the foremost organ builder of the Baroque period, and Lubeck (a famous composer of organ music) was the music director at this church when the organ was installed. He was greatly inspired by the instrument for his compositions.
  • A four-movement Mendelssohn sonata on the 1892 Henry Willis pipe organ in the Cathedral at Hereford, England. Willis was the foremost builder of organs in Britain during the romantic era.
  • Works of Dupre, Messaien, and Franck on the 1903 Cavaille-Coll pipe organ, located in Notre Dame de Metz in Lorraine, France. Cavaille-Coll was the foremost builder of organs during the romantic era in France.
  • A special piece on the American-made 1902 E. W. Lane pipe organ here in the church.

Music ministry depends on the music pointing us to the spiritual, and anything that hinders the hearing of the music hinders that ministry. For many people, their experience of pipe organ music is confined to that of a single instrument in a space that is not always optimal for listening. This new technology is a major first step in addressing that limitation and expanding their range of musical experience.

The Hauptwerk virtual organ is unique both in its technology and impressive results. Using off-the-shelf hardware, this organ is powered primarily through a high-performance 12-process computer with 64GB of memory and 1 terabyte of storage capacity. The key to its success is the Hauptwerk software which contains "sample sets" of individual organs throughout the world. The Hauptwerk organ takes on all the characteristics of each sample set when loaded. The sets sample every single pipe of the existing pipe organ in at least three different ways along with the acoustics and ambience of the church itself. In every respect, the result is astounding and realistic right down to the noise of the keys and the layout of the console. Both the performer and listener will feel like they are in the actual church!

Sunday, May 3, 2015, at 2:30 PM
Shady Rill
With Patti Casey and Tom MacKenzie. Details to be posted.

Sunday, May 31, 2015, at 2:30 PM
Amazing Grace



John Newton

The final concert of our 25th Anniversary year series will feature a reprise of one of the most-acclaimed concerts in our history: Amazing Grace — How Sweet the Sound. This concert will feature a narration of the history of this famous hymn (and John Newton, its composer) by Pastor Emeritus Jeff Brooke-Stewart, inter spaced by many different versions of the song by instrumentalists and vocalists.

Still in the planning stage, we hope to include renditions by bagpipe, English horn and organ, guitar, violin, brass, native American flute, piano, and voice. The audience will be invited to join in the singing of this inspiring song.



Sunday - December 7, 2014 @ 2:30 PM
A Latin Christmas
Various artists


Three years ago we presented an Old English Christmas; two years ago we celebrated an American Christmas; last year we played hymns and carols from Northern Europe. This year our program will be entitled, A Latin Christmas, featuring hymns, carols and Christmas music that were written in Latin or come from countries in Southern Europe (including France, Italy, and Spain). Although some of these will be sung in their original language, most will be sung in English. It is remarkable how many of our familiar Christmas songs have a Latin origin. We all recognize this about O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles), and Ave Maria, but it is also true of such old favorites as O Come O Come Emmanuel, Bring a Torch Jeannette Isabella, O Holy Night, Ding Dong Merrily On High, and Angels We Have Heard On High. All these have become part of our own Christmas tradition, and we plan to sing them or play them at this concert.

Presenting these wonderful pieces (and many others) will be some very talented musicians who will be familiar to regular attendees at our music at the Meeting House programs, including vocalists Arielle Rogers, Grace Norton, and Jason Sheeley (who sang last spring at our Glenn Miller performance). And with our emphasis on the music of Southern Europe, what can be more appropriate than a French Horn Quartet? Elizabeth Gates, from the RI Philharmonic, will be directing one. And if purists insist that the French Horn is not French, we'll happily ignore them! We hope to have Peter Nightingale present with his lute, although at this writing he is not sure if he can make it. Our very talented organist, Marilyn Knight, will play for us as we sing Christmas Carols, and the very talented pianist, Marie Kane, will be accompanying our singers.

As is our long-standing tradition, the second half of the program will be devoted to the reading of the Christmas Story from Matthew and Luke, accompanied by the singing of appropriate Christmas songs and hymns, many of which originated in Southern Europe, and some of which come from other traditions. Our vocalist and instrumentalists will contribute, and everyone will be invited to sing some familiar Christmas songs.




Sunday - November 16, 2014 @ 2:30 PM
The Romance of Strings
Aurea String Quartet
Artistic Director: Consuelo Sherba
What is a good way to spend a bleak November Sunday afternoon? By coming to the Chepachet Meeting House and listening to some of the world's best music performed by some of the best musicians around—where, in this case, you will be warmed, inspired, enchanted, uplifted, and relaxed by the music of Felix Mendelssohn and Franz Schubert, two of the greatest composers of the romantic era in the early nineteenth century.

The Aurea String Quartet was formed eleven years ago. The group has performed to much acclaim in many venues throughout the country and the region. These include Firstworks, Providence; Chicago Humanities Festival; NYU Humanities Festival; Shakespeare and Company, Lenox, MA; Maverick Chamber Music Festival; Brown University; and Slater Mill. The concert will feature Amy Sims (violin), Katherine Winterstein (violin), Consuelo Sherba (viola), and Emmanuel Feldman (cello).

These are all experienced professionals that have played with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and other famous orchestras throughout the country—and especially in New England.

The Aurea Quartet will present two of the most famous and most beautiful string quartet pieces ever written: Mendelssohn's String Quartet Number 2 in A Minor and Schubert's String Quartet Number 14 in D Minor. Both are inspired (in different ways) by Beethoven. Each piece has four movements and each lasts about a half hour.

The Chepachet Meeting House is an especially fitting location for this concert because both pieces were composed in the same decade that the Meeting House itself was built—the 1820's. It is also an especially fitting location because the acoustics are superb, and well-fitted to the requirements of a string quartet. Don't miss this opportunity for a very enjoyable afternoon!

The Performers:
Katherine Winterstein, Violin 1.
Praised by critics for "livewire intensity," and for both "delightfully effective and memorably demonic" playing, violinist Katherine Winterstein enjoys a wide range of musical endeavors, as a chamber musician, orchestral musician, soloist, and teacher. She is concertmaster of the Vermont Symphony, a member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and she performs regularly with the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, the Hartt String Quartet, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. She has served on the performance faculty of Middlebury College in Vermont since 2002, and joined the faculty of the Hartt School of Music in September of 2011.

Amy Sims, Violin 2.
Los Angeles native Amy Sims recently launched a free-lance career in Boston as a classical and Baroque violinist, performing regularly with Boston Philharmonic, Boston Baroque, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. She is a member of symphonies in Springfield, MA and Portland, ME. She also plays each August as Assistant Concertmaster of the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra in Door County, Wisconsin. Before coming to New England, she was Concertmaster of the Omaha Symphony and Opera Omaha. She has also held the position of Principal Second Violin with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.

Consuelo Sherba, Viola
Consuelo Sherba is a founding member and artistic director of the Aurea Ensemble. A member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, she has been on the applied music faculty at Brown University since 1986, and also teaches at the RI Philharmonic Music School. She has served as principal violinist of the Simon Sinfonietta and Boston Virtuosi, and has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, the Boston Pops, the Vermont Symphony, the Carvalho Festival in Brazil, Monadnock Music, the Aspen Music Festival, the Colorado Music Festival. She was principal violinist of the Atlanta Chamber Orchestra, the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra, and the West Virginia Symphony, and violinist of the Charleston String Quartet. She is a graduate of the LaGuardia School for the Arts and City College of New York.

Emmanuel Feldman, Cello
Hailed by world-famous composer John Williams as "an outstanding cellist and truly dedicated artist," Emmanuel Feldman has emerged as one of the most creative cellists of his generation. Strings Magazine wrote of a recent CD release, "Feldman's commanding technical prowess, sense of poetry, and identification with the spirit of the music combines ... to create a brilliantly enjoyable performance." He enjoys an active career as soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, champion of new music, and educator. He has performed as soloist with the Boston Pops, Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Greensboro Festival Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, New England String ensemble, and many others. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music with training at the Paris Conservatory, he is currently on the cello faculty of Tufts and Brown University, and New England Conservatory's Preparatory and School for Continuing Education.


Brass Roots Trio

Sunday - October 26, 2014 @ 2:30 PM
Con Brio!
Brass Roots Trio
Our second Music of the Meeting House event of the fall series will feature Brass Roots Trio, a nationally recognized trio performing on the piano, French horn, and trumpet, together with vocal selections. The concert will feature classical and sacred music with a sprinkling of jazz and other Americana.

This widely-acclaimed group has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, at the White House, all across America, and in a dozen other countries. This will be their Chepachet debut. We're all in for a huge treat!

Sunday - September 28, 2014 @ 2:30 PM
A Celebration of Hymns
Marilyn Knight, organ; Klancy Martin, trumpet; Greenville Vocal Ensemble and YOU !

Throughout the last quarter century, Music at the Meeting House has sponsored many programs featuring sacred music, and especially hymns and their composers, such as Fanny Crosby, Charles Wesley, Isaac Watts, Philip Bliss, and John Newton (author of Amazing Grace), and many others.

In recognition of these programs, our opening concert this fall will be entitled A Celebration of Hymns , featuring hymns from the composers we have honored in the past (such as those listed above), together with other old favorites. Our selections will include some of the world's most famous music, containing some of the world's most powerful and inspiring messages, such as Almighty Fortress, Fairest Lord Jesus, Give Me That Old Time Religion, Faith of our Fathers, Rock of Ages, On a Hill Far Away Stands an Old Rugged Cross, Amazing Grace, and many more.

Marilyn Knight, our church organist, will play the century-old E.W. Lane tracker pipe organ, Klancy Martin will accompany on the trumpet, and we will be joined by singers from the Greenville Vocal Ensemble. The audience will be invited to sing along on many occasions, and, in the tradition of the old-time "hymn-sing," we will set aside some time for requests from the floor.

The Greenville Vocal Ensemble participated in the Music at the Meeting House series almost from its inception. Veterans of the series will remember their marvelous rendition of selections from the Messiah and their memorable version of Amazing Grace sung at the concert devoted exclusively to John Newton and this hymn. They also took part in our celebration of the Chepachet Free Will Baptist Church's 175th anniversary in 1997.

We are sad to share with you that the Ensemble's founder and long-time director, Charles Greathouse, passed away this last summer, and that the group itself officially passed into history not long before. Members of the Ensemble, however, will come together on September 28, to lead our concert, which will be dedicated to Charlie Greathouse's memory. It should be a truly memorable occasion and we urge you to attend.

Sunday - June 8, 2014 @ 2:30 PM
Under the Shed
The Jubilate Ringers
An outdoor bell ringing concert? Why not? Weather cooperating, we plan to have an unusual hand-bell ringing concert featuring The Jubilate Ringers from South County, Rhode Island, performing outside in our newly-renovated historic carriage shed — at times in conjunction with the steeple bell. Although a bit smaller (!) and considerably less elaborate than the Shed at Tanglewood, the Chepachet Meeting House Carriage Shed (built in 1827) is a delightful place for an outdoor early summer concert. If the weather does not cooperate, the concert will be inside the church. Although we often associate bell ringing with Christmas time, it is also wonderful to have a bell concert at other times of the year . The Jubilate Ringers, a group of more than a dozen bell ringers under the direction of Priscilla Rigg, will be ringing such tunes as Beside Still Waters, Waltz Fantasy, Londonderry Air, Osse Shalom, How Great Thou Art, Do Lord, The Sky Boat Song, A Solemn Procession, and other popular and sacred pieces. They plan do a change-ringing sequence to accompany the pealing of the historic (1822) Holbrook steeple bell (which rings at F#) — which will add to the uniqueness of the concert.

Sunday - May 4, 2014 @ 2:30 PM
An Afternoon with Glenn Miller
Various Artists




An Afternoon with Glenn Miller will celebrate the life and songs of this famous Big Band Era conductor who was killed over the English Channel seventy years ago while flying to entertain the American troops in Europe at the time of the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

The concert will feature Miller's own creations, together with other music from the 1920's and 1930's Big Band era which he played and recorded. The Northeast Chamber ensemble, a woodwind and brass quintet, composed of veterans of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra will perform such Miller classics as In the Mood, Moonlight Serenade, Tuxedo Junction, Putting on the Ritz, American Patrol, That Old Black Magic, and other nostalgic as well as sprightly tunes from that era. Quintet members are: Mary Ellen Kregler, flute; Margo McGowan, clarinet; Jane Murray, oboe; Susan Wood, bassoon, and Elizabeth Gates, French Horn.

In addition, four accomplished vocalists, veterans of the Rhode Island College Opera program, will sing compositions written or recorded by Miller, including Chattanooga Choo-Choo, When You Wish Upon a Star, I've got a Gal in Kalamazoo, Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree with Anyone Else but Me, Sentimental Journey, Pennsylvania 6-5000, That Old Black Magic, As Time Goes By, I Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man, Over the Rainbow, and Old Man River. The vocalists will be: sopranos Grace Norton and Aimee-Rose Willett, mezzo -soprano Arielle Rogers, and baritone Jason Shealy, accompanied by Marie Kane on the piano.

This will be a wonderful opportunity to hear some very familiar tunes and some less-familiar, but authentic period pieces from the swing era of the 1920's and 1930's that celebrate and memorialize Glenn Miller (who was born in 1904).

Sunday - April 13, 2014 @ 2:30 PM
Around the World With Saxophones
The Asylum Quartet



Photo used by permission of the Asylum Quartet


The Asylum Quartet, Hartford, Connecticut's award-winning classical saxophone group will be making its Rhode Island debut at the Chepachet Meeting House in advance of its appearance this summer at the Newport Music Festival. We usually think of the saxophone as a jazz instrument—and it is. But it can also be a classical instrument, and the Asylum Quartet can play it either way. Our concert will be in the classical tradition with beautifully melodic, yet exciting, pieces with a cosmopolitan theme specially written for the classical saxophone. It will be a concert where you will be able to relax and quietly engage with soft emotions, and yet at times thrill to the intensity of extraordinary musical virtuosity.

The quartet, consisting of Joseph Abad, soprano saxophone; Tony Speranza, alto saxophone; Max Schwimmer, tenor saxophone; and Andrew Barnhart, baritone saxophone; met as graduate students at West Hartford's Hartt School of Music in 2011. Together for only three years, they were just awarded the Grand Prize in the International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition in Boston, becoming the first saxophone quartet to receive this honor. Music critic Anne-Marie Cannata lauds their "poetic melodies with exquisite timing and tenderness, harmoniously drawing us into a world of classical music like I have never heard before," while composer Ryan Jesperson comments that, "one can't help but smile and be pulled into their sonic world."

Sunday - December 8, 2013 @ 2:30 PM
Christmas from the North
The final event of the fall season will be our Christmas program, tentatively entitled, "Christmas from the North," featuring carols and Christmas music from Northern Europe, patterned after our American and Old English concerts last year and the year before. It will feature German, Austrian, Dutch, Irish, and Scandinavian Christmas carols and songs, many of which, like Silent Night and O Tannenbaum, have become part of our own Christmas tradition.

Sunday - November 17, 2013 @ 2:30 PM
Kyrie Road Band
From the First Baptist Church in Wickford, Rhode Island, who will be making their Chepachet debut. The concert will consist of traditional and modern songs in a contemporary medium designed to inspire and convey messages of hope.
(More info to follow)

Sunday - October 27, 2013 @ 2:30 PM
Beautiful Dreams and Wandering Minstrels:
the Music of Stephen Foster
Various Artists
Featuring eleven magnificent area musicians playing and singing a wide selection of Stephen Foster's songs — many familiar, some less so, but all beautiful, inspiring, or exciting. It will be a wonderful trip, both down Memory Lane and down less familiar paths.  Foster, often called the "Father of American Music ," wrote over 200 songs (alas, we do not have the time to present more than a fraction of them). We will feature some very famous ones like Oh Susanna!; Camptown Races; Beautiful Dreamer; My Old Kentucky Home; Old Black Joe; and Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair; and some less well known, but still very beautiful pieces, such as Angelina Baker; Gentle Annie; Slumber My Darling; Sweetly She Sleeps, My Alice Fair; While We Work for the Lord; Old Dog Tray; and many others.

We will be welcoming back Kevin and Dianna Fallon who entertained us last spring with their old timey fiddle music, Elizabeth and Joel Gates, who are veterans of the brass section of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Klancy Martin, a marvelous trumpeter who has performed for us many times in the past, and Arielle Rogers, Aimee-Rose Willett, and Grace Norton, singers from the Rhode Island Opera workshop. Our own church organist, Marilyn Knight, will also play while we all sing a few of Foster's most beloved creations. So please come, listen, tap your feet, and sing along!

Stephen Foster, who was born on the Fourth of July in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, became one of the most popular American composers  of the 19th century — and his music remains widely popular today. Its appeal lies in its ability to capture the ordinary events of life — the happy moments, the sad moments, the triumphs, and the failures — and weave them into a truly American tapestry that well portrays our very rich cultural heritage. We promise you a memorable afternoon!

Sunday - June 9, 2013 @ 2:30 PM
Barbershop Quartet
Harmony Heritage Singers

The Harmony Heritage singers is an all-women barbershop quartet group, some of whom we enjoyed hearing at our Music at the Meeting House performance last Christmas. This lively choral group, performing under the direction of Fred Kingsbury, is based in Pawtucket and performs all over southern New England. This will be their Chepachet debut as a full chorus with more than a couple dozen singers. In addition to performing in close harmony (in the barbershop quartet tradition), they will also give us fifteen minutes or so of "community singing" with audience participation.

Sunday - May 5, 2013 @ 2:30 PM
Old-time Fiddling
The Fallons

A program of traditional old-time fiddling by the Fallons, a husband-and-wife team who specialize in American folk music, and especially folk music from Appalachia. (More details to come)

Sunday - April 21, 2013 @ 2:30 PM
An Afternoon at the Opera
The Opera Workshop at Rhode Island College
Edward Markward, Susan Rodgers Co-Directors
Brandon Donahue, Philip Martorella, pianists



Photo courtesy of The Opera Workshop at RI College

Students in the Opera Workshop from Rhode Island College will once more visit us for a new "Afternoon at the Opera" performance. The Music at the Meeting House series tries to encourage young performers, and our opera series has been part of that objective for several years.

These students will sing arias and will perform fully staged scenes from among the following famous operas: Candide by Leonard Bernstein; the Marriage of Figaro, by Mozart; the Elixir of Love, by Gaetano Donizetti; The Dragon Slayer, by Jay MacCubbin; Der Rosenkavalier, by Richard Strauss; The Ballad of Baby Doe, by Douglas Moore; and others.

Please come and give these young people your full support! The well-trained performers in this program are always outstanding, and the program always inspiring.

Saturday - August 11, 2012 @ 6:00 PM
Sunday - August 12, 2012 @ 10:00 AM
September Rain

September RainLori Jo Gardner, Scott Ryder, Lee Baker, Kemp Schanlaber, Glenn Gardner

Music at the Meeting House will be doing something different this summer—we will be holding our first summer concert, we will be holding it outdoors (weather permitting), we will serve food before and during the concert, and we will be holding it on a Saturday early evening instead of our customary Sunday afternoon.

On Saturday, August 11, 2012, at 6:00 PM, MUSIC AT THE MEETING HOUSE will present September Rain, a Christian contemporary pop and country band, with accomplished vocalists, in concert, at the Chepachet Meeting House, home to the Chepachet Free Will Baptist Church, 1213 Putnam Pike, (Route 44), Chepachet, RI, just west of the village's only stop light. They will give an inspirational concert of contemporary Christian music with some old favorites mixed in—an occasion for the whole family to come, enjoy supper, clap your hands, tap your feet, relax, and enjoy a summer evening.

Starting at 5:30 that evening, we will be selling hot dogs (at $1.00 apiece), together with drinks at 50 cents, and free watermelon for dessert. Children under 10 will be entitled to a free supper —all available while supplies last. Tables will be set out under the trees, and concert-goers are invited to bring either a picnic supper themselves—or take advantage of the food we will serve (or both). If it is still unbearably hot at that time of day, concert-goers will be invited to eat in the newly air conditioned Baptist Church vestry.

It will be a lively and inspiring performance by this devoted group from Littleton, New Hampshire, who have performed all over New England. The group consists of: Lori Jo Gardner, the lead vocalist, who also plays acoustic guitar and mandolin; Scott Ryder, vocalist, who also plays bass; Lee Baker, vocalist, who plays the lead guitar; Kemp Schanlaber, on drums; and Glenn Gardner managing the sound system.

This will be September Rain's second appearance in a Music at the Meeting House series, the first having been indoors during the spring of 2010.

ALSO, PLEASE NOTE THAT SEPTEMBER RAIN WILL BE JOINING US THE FOLLOWING MORNING AT 10:00 AM FOR A SPECIAL SUNDAY CHURCH SERVICE (August 12) at the Baptist Church that will take place at our regular worship time. So, if you enjoy the afternoon concert—or if you cannot make it, you are cordially invited to come Sunday morning at 10:00 to hear more of their music of inspiration and praise.

The Saturday concert (as well as the church service) will take place, rain or shine . If there is inclement weather, it will be indoors or in the newly-renovated carriage shed.

The concert is open to the public without charge, but a free will offering will be taken for those who wish to make a contribution to help defray the costs of the program.

Please join us for a wonderful and inspiring afternoon featuring inspiring contemporary music played by marvelous musicians.

May 20, 2012 @ 2:30 PM
The Generations
Barbershop Quartet

The GenerationsThe Generations is the most-sought-after barbershop quartet in New England, but this will be its first appearance in Chepachet.

The hour-and-a-half concert will feature a lot of favorites from the era of "Down by the Old Mill Stream" and "Harvest Moon," together with some familiar tunes from the modern era. The program will also include patriotic songs and familiar hymns. It should enable folks who attend to put aside their worries, stroll down memory lane, and enjoy a very relaxing and fun afternoon.

April 29, 2012 @ 2:30 PM
Silver and Brass
Marilyn Knight, organ
Klancy Martin, trumpet



Those who came to our September 11 Memorial Service will remember the marvelous and inspiring sound of the 1902 E. W. Lane Tracker Pipe Organ played by Marilyn Knight, accompanied by Klancy Martin on the trumpet. By popular demand, they will return to give a full concert of sacred and temporal music from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries—Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Stanley, Purcel, Pachelbel, and others from Baroque and Classical periods. If you like the theme song from Masterpiece Theater, come and hear it played during this concert! There will be others in the same style from the same period as well.

The organ in the Chepachet Meeting House, with its silver-colored pipes has a rich, yet sweet, melodic sound which blends beautifully with the equally rich sounds of the brass trumpet. The organ provides the context; the trumpet articulates the theme. It is especially fitting that such a concert be played on a tracker pipe organ—the kind of organ played by Bach himself and by the other composers featured in this concert. A tracker organ is based on technology that goes right back to the renaissance. The only "modern" feature in this organ is the air pump that produces the air pressure for the wind chamber. When the keys and pedals are depressed, they directly open the valves to the pipes, which are the only source of the sound. Even the pipes in front are working pipes and not ornamental.

Marilyn Knight, our church organist, has been a pianist, organist, and music director for many years, serving, among other places, at the First Baptist Church of East Providence, the Meshanticut Baptist Church, St. Mary's Church in Providence, and Temple Sinai in Cranston. She has been with us in Chepachet for about a decade, during which time our congregation has enjoyed her marvelous preludes and postludes, as well as her wonderful hymn renditions, which all look forward to every Sunday.

Klancy Martin, who holds degrees in music from Carnegie-Mellon and Indiana University, has performed under the baton of Seiji Ozawa and Leonard Bernstein. He has played with the Hartford Symphony, Springfield Symphony, Worcester Symphony, and Rhode Island Philharmonic. He is a member of the music faculty at Providence College and music instructor at Putnam Middle School in Putnam, Connecticut, where he is a colleague of our Pastor, Steve Crosby. He and his family live in Harmony, RI.

Please join us for a wonderful and inspiring afternoon featuring some of the world's best music played by two marvelous musicians.

March 25, 2012 @ 2:30 PM
An Afternoon at the Opera

The Opera Workshop at Rhode Island College
Edward Markward, Susan Rodgers Co-Directors
Philip Martorella, Brandon Donahue, pianists

Photo courtesy of
The Opera Workshop at Rhode Island College

Every year we try to present at least one program that gives young performers an opportunity to demonstrate their talents and skills. This year's young performers' event will be on Sunday March 25, at 2:30 PM at the Chepachet Meeting House, home to the Chepachet Free Will Baptist Church, 1213 Putnam Pike, Chepachet, when the Opera Workshop at Rhode Island College will present An Afternoon at the Opera. These college students are marvelous singers and actors. They will be giving a concert that includes five selections from Mozart, two from Donizetti, and one apiece from Strauss, Purcell, and Bernstein. Most will be sung in English.

Selections include:

Wolfgang A. Mozart:
     The Act II trio from The Magic Flute.
     The duet between Don Giovanni and Zerlina from Don Giovanni.
     The duet between the Countess and Susanna from The Marriage of Figaro.
     The aria Vedrai Carino from Don Giovanni.
     The aria Deh Veni, Non Tardar from Le Nozze di Figaro.

Henry Purcell:
     The opening scene from Dido and Aenaes.

Gaetano Donizetti:
     Act II trio from The Daughter of the Regiment
     The aria Bella Siccome un Angelo from Don Pasquale.

Johann Strauss:
     The aria Adele's Laughing Song, from Die Fledermaus.

Gian Carlo Menotti:
     The aria Lullaby, from The Consul.

Leonard Bernstein:
     The ensemble finale from Candide.

December 11, 2011 @ 2:30 PM
An Old English Christmas
The Greenville Vocal Ensemble, Charles Greathouse, Dir., and other musicians

The program will highlight a collection of traditional English carols and hymns sung and played as they were at least a century ago (or earlier), featuring both old instruments and younger voices!

The familiar Christmas Story will be read from the King James version of the Bible. Marilyn Knight will play the century-old tracker pipe organ. Peter Nightingale will play the lute, renaissance-style. Tom Kane will play the sackbut (a medieval trombone) and the English baritone. Colin Kane will play the recorder (an instrument more familiar to audiences centuries ago than today ). Martha Goodman and Gayle Keinard from the Peacedale, RI, Congregational Church will play English hand bells, accompanied by Marie Kane.

A major feature of the program will be an enjoyable series of Old English carols sung by the Greenville Vocal Ensemble, Charles Greathouse, Director, accompanied by Marilyn Knight. Not least, the congregation will be asked to contribute their voices to this celebration with the singing of some familiar Christmas hymns. This will be a marvelous and inspiring hour-and-a-half program of classical English Christmas favorites, from songs such as "Deck the Halls" and "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" to "What Child is This?" and the "Hallelujah Chorus" -- and many other beautiful, but less well known English Christmas pieces.

Old-English-style refreshments will be served after the concert.

November 13, 2011 @ 2:30 PM
From Bach to Ragtime
The Northeast Chamber Ensemble

The Northeast Chamber Ensemble, composed of five virtuoso performers from the Rhode Island Philharmonic and other great New England orchestras, will present From Bach to Ragtime at the Chepachet Meeting House. This woodwind and brass ensemble will play an exciting program of lively and melodic classical, popular, and contemporary instrumental music at the second fall concert in the church's twenty-second season of the Music at the Meeting House series. The acoustics in the sanctuary of the old Chepachet Meeting House, built in 1821, make the location an especially fitting one for a chamber music concert.

This lively quintet will feature two players who performed at the church's recent "Amazing Grace" concert: Jane Murray (who played the English horn at that concert) will be playing the oboe, and Elizabeth Gates (part of the Gates Family Brass Ensemble) will be playing her French horn. They will be joined by Claude Cobert on the flute, Margo McGowan on the clarinet, and Susan Wood on the bassoon.

The program will emphasize beautiful melodies from a rich variety of traditions, starting as far back as Bach's Italian Concerto, and featuring songs from several centuries and two continents, including the memorable twentieth century music of Scott Joplin. There will be beautiful dance music, quieter reflective pieces, and a range of lively compositions, all played by these spirited musicians, who will also discuss and explain the pieces they are playing for the benefit of the audience.

Selections will include: Pastoral by Persichetti; Andante Grazioso by Klughardt; Italian Concerto — first movement by Bach; Three Miniatures by William Grant Still; Six Short Pieces by Berge; Two Old Lettish Dances by Jansons; and Ragtime Dance by Joplin.

October 2, 2011 @ 2:30 PM
Amazing Grace—How Sweet the Sound
Various artists



John Newton 1725-1807

In this extraordinary event, the story of the hymn's composer, John Newton, slave trader redeemed by the Grace of God, will be narrated by Pastor Emeritus Jeff Brooke-Stewart, accompanied by seven distinct renditions of the song played on different instruments and sung by the human voice. With organ, bagpipe, guitar, French horn, trombone, English horn, chorus, and congregation, the hymn will be presented in quite diverse voices and moods, and the whole set taken together, will give a very rich interpretation to its marvelously lasting universal message.

The different instrumental renditions will include:

A bagpipe version, played by Paul St. George in full traditional costume;

An organ version played by Marilyn Knight, church organist, on the recently-restored century-old E.W. Lane tracker pipe organ;

A brass quartet version, with three French horns and a trombone, played by Elizabeth Gates from the Rhode Island Philharmonic, her husband Joel Gates, recently retired from the Philharmonic, and their daughters Sara and Anna Gates, High School and Middle School musicians, respectively, who play in the Rhode Island Youth Philharmonic and other orchestras;

A special modern arrangement for English Horn and organ by Calvin Hampton, featuring Jane Murray from the woodwind section of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and Geoff Greene, organist and Minister of Music at the Newman Congregational Church in Rumford, Rhode Island;

A guitar version played by Pastor Steve Crosby;

The choral version will feature a special arrangement sung by the Greenville Vocal Ensemble under the direction of Charles Greathouse a noted choral group familiar to most Music at the Meeting House regulars. The full traditional version will be sung at the end by the audience, accompanied by the organ and other instruments, before the musicians are piped out of the sanctuary by the bagpiper.

This will be a unique musical experience unlike anything attempted in Rhode Island before.

June 5, 2011 @ 2:30 PM
ENCORE—For your pleasure
Rud Porter, Director/Accompanist

Back by popular demand! Details to be announced.

May 1, 2011 @ 2:30 PM
Classical Guitar - Scott Sanchez
We are excited to bring you a very special treat for our May program.

Scott Sanchez, one of New England's most accomplished guitarists, will give a classical guitar concert featuring both traditional and contemporary songs beautifully played on the classical guitar, with explanation and commentary by Mr. Sanchez. Selections will include compositions by Manuel Ponce, Astor Piazzola, Agustin Barrios, Joaquin Turina, and Dave Brubeck, among others.

An American-born guitarist, Scott is often praised by audience members and reviewers for his artistry and solid musicianship. He graduated with a Master's of Music degree from Yale University, and has performed across the country and in Great Britain. The British magazine, Classical Guitar, in a review of his British debut said, "Sanchez drew the audience into his playing with his excellent performance... a performance which was at times introspective and at others extrovert."

Some of the highlights of Mr. Sanchez's recent concert seasons have included recitals for the New York City Classical Guitar Society, London's St. Bride's Church; England's Bournemouth University; the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center; and California's Ventura Classical Guitar Society. We are proud to bring him to Chepachet.

Scott currently resides in Massachusetts, and is on the faculty of the Music Department of Franklin Pierce College in Rindge, New Hampshire. For more information about him, as well as samples of his music, you may visit his website at

March 13, 2011 @ 2:30 PM
Fish Eyes (Play)
Members of the Christ Church, Lincoln, RI
Dennis LaFreniere, Doug Allen principal cast members

We will depart a bit from custom (on this one occasion) and present a play—a very special play appropriate to the Season of Lent.

Fish Eyes is a comedy/drama telling the story of Jesus' ministry through the eyes of two disciples, Peter and Andrew, from the time they are asked to be "Fishers of Men" through the Resurrection. These are ordinary people (like all of us) who at times did not know what was going on or what to make of Jesus, his doings, and his words. They react as you and I might today when he changes wine into water or feeds a multitude with a few loaves and fishes, or walks on water. As you watch the play, you will notice that it is fully Biblical, but also very fresh in its approach.

The production will be put on by members of Christ Church, Episcopal, located in Lincoln, Rhode Island. Dennis LaFremiere and Doug Allen will be the principal cast members.

Come and enjoy this unique and widely-acclaimed play which is hilariously funny at times—and which at other moments may make you shed a tear or two. At all times, you will reflect on the meaning of Jesus' message as we begin to celebrate the season of Lent—the forerunner of Spring.

December 5, 2010 @ 2:30 PM
A Chepachet Christmas Choral Concert
The Greenville Vocal Ensemble
Charles Greathouse, Director, Marilyn Knight, Accompanist.
This will be a marvelous and inspiring program of Christmas favorites, including a dozen familiar songs like O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Hodie Christus Natus Est, Break Forth O Beauteous Heavenly Light, Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming, and Deck the Halls..., followed by six famous choruses and a duet from Handel's Messiah, (including And the Glory of the Lord, Glory to God, Then Shall the Eyes of the Blind Be Opened, and the Hallelujah Chorus). Time permitting, we will ask the audience to join in a few Christmas carols at the end of the program. Refreshments will be served in the Vestry following the concert.

This concert will be the third given in memory of Kathryn Steere, founder of the Music at the Meeting House series. It is open to the public without charge, but a free will offering will be taken for those who wish to make a contribution to the church in memory of Kathryn Steere.

November 14, 2010 @ 2:30 PM
Classical Organ
Donald Dame, organist
A Classical Organ Concert on the Lane tracker pipe organ, with Donald Dame as guest organist. Come and hear some of the great classics performed on this marvelous ancient instrument built in 1902 and fully restored about a decade ago.

October 3, 2010 @ 2:30 PM
An Afternoon with Fanny Crosby
Narrated by Jeff Brooke-Stewart
Members of the Carillon Women's Chorus
Marilyn Knight, organist

An Afternoon with Fanny Crosby (author of "Blessed Assurance"), narrated by Jeff Brooke Stewart, and featuring members of the Carillon Women's Chorus with Marilyn Knight on the 100-year old Lane Tracker Pipe Organ. The audience will hear about Fanny Crosby, hear some of her hymns sung by the Chorus, and will itself be invited to sing other hymns. Jeff will tell us the story of each hymn sung.

Fanny Crosby, who was blind from early infancy, wrote and published over 9000 hymns. She worked with all of the prominent composers of her time, including Phoebe Knapp, William Bradbury, William Herbert Doan, and Ira Sanky. In addition to her writing, Fanny was also a great champion for the provision of education to blind children and for the welfare of destitute men living in New York's Bowery district. Her fame from her writings brought Fanny into contact with five of America's presidents and we will see that Fanny was not shy in using those relationships to further her causes. This concert will be dedicated to the memory of Kathryn Steere, series founder, who passed away earlier this year.

The net proceeds of a freewill offering will be given to the Kathryn and George Steere Chaplaincy Fund at Steere House in Providence

May 16, 2010 @ 2:30 PM
September Rain

Contemporary Gospel
It's September in May on May 16 , as we host September Rain, a contemporary Christian group performing Gospel music throughout the New England area. The group features Lori Jo Gardner as lead vocalist on rhythm guitar and keyboard, accompanied by Lee Baker (lead and acoustic guitar, vocals) of Whitefield, NH, Scott Ryder (bass guitar and vocals) and Kemp Schanlaber (drums) of Lancaster, NH.

May 2, 2010 @ 2:30 PM
Cabin Fever
Matt Snyder and his Bluegrass Band
On Sunday, May 2 , at 2:30pm, we'll welcome Matt Snyder and his bluegrass band, Cabin Fever. The members of this Stonington, CT area band, trying to find relief from the harsh New England winters, have come together singing uplifting bluegrass songs. Mac Cooper (guitar), Matt Snyder (banjo), Craig Rowley (guitar/bass) and Victor Fields (fiddle) are looking forward to brightening your spring at the Meeting House in Chepachet.

April 11, 2010 @ 2:30 PM
An Afternoon at the Opera
Opera Workshop at Rhode Island College
"An Afternoon at the Opera"
featuring students in the Opera Workshop at Rhode Island College. Enjoy wonderfully staged scenes from Le nozze di Figaro and Die Zauberflöte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti, Hänsel und Gretel by Englebert Humperdinck, Christopher Columbus by Jacques Offenbach, Die Fledermaus by Johnann Strauss, Too Many Sopranos by Edwin Penhorwood, A Hand of Bridge by Samuel Barber, and The Medium by Gian-Carlo Menotti. This talented group has performed for us before and is a not-to-be -missed experience.

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1213 Putnam Pike - PO Box 148 • Chepachet, RI 02814 • (401) 568-3771
All photographs, unless otherwise noted, courtesy of Marilyn J. Brownell. All rights reserved.