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The Richner-Strong Church Music Institute at Colby College has announced organ concerts, a piano concert and a festival service in August. All performances are open to the public free of charge, though a donation is requested at the August 14 performance in Portland.
On Monday, August 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Given Auditorium of Colby’s Bixler Art and Music Center in Waterville, pianist Paul Bisaccia will perform a concert of works from a variety of periods and styles. The concert will include pieces by Bach, Gershwin and Sousa, along with more modern selections from Billy Joel, Vince Guaraldi and Stephen Sondheim. Bisaccia’s interpretations of music by Gershwin, Liszt, Ravel and many others have brought him national recognition. Bisaccia is best known for a PBS special, “Gershwin by Bisaccia,” which was broadcast on more than 100 television stations across the country, and he has appeared on National Public Radio. He is the first pianist to release a recording of the complete Gershwin piano works. Bisaccia is a faculty member of the Richner-Strong Institute.
On Tuesday, August 14, at 7:30 p.m. at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, organist Huw Lewis will perform a concert of works on the newly refurbished Kotzschmar organ. Lewis is a faculty member and co-director of the Richner-Strong Institute. A native of Wales, Lewis studied at the Royal College of Music in London, at Cambridge University and at the University of Michigan. He is a faculty member at Hope College in Michigan, where he has served as chair of the music department, college organist and coordinator of the music theory program. He is an active member of the American Guild of Organists and dean of the Holland, Mich., area chapter.
On Thursday, August 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Bates College Chapel in Lewiston, concert organist John Walker will perform works from Pachelbel, Bach, Shackelford, de Grigny and others. Walker has previously performed in cathedrals and churches throughout Europe, North America and the Far East. He is the director of music and organist at the Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh and is on the organ faculty at Duquesne University, following 13 years at the Riverside Church and Manhattan School of Music in New York City. A fellow of the American Guild of Organists, Walker also has several recordings on the Gothic, Pro Organo and Xpressions labels.
On Friday, August 17, at 7 p.m. in Colby’s Lorimer Chapel in Waterville, Richner-Strong Institute participants will hold a church music festival service. The Richner-Strong Church Music Institute at Colby College, in session from August 12-18, is designed to help church musicians improve the musical standards and programs of their institutions. Participants study piano, organ, handbells and vocal music, take part in group lessons and discussions, and perform in a festival service.