Lenten concert features organ and piano


Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 2.01.38 PMLA GRANDE — Organist Mary Helen Garoutte hopes her upcoming Lenten concert will prepare the community for the Easter season.

“What I hope to do is do a program that puts everybody in the Holy Week mood — meditative, thought-provoking, that type of thing,” Garoutte said.

Too many people go through their daily lives, then “boom, there’s Easter,” Garoutte said.

For the organist at First Presbyterian Church, this time of year should bring a somber reflection of the crucifixion.

“These pieces will be mostly in the minor key, because to me that exemplifies this time of year: somber,” she said.

She said the reflection helps people better appreciate the celebration of Easter.

“That leads Easter to be a joyful (time),” Garoutte said. “‘Wow, yes, He’s risen. Yay!’”

Garoutte said the pieces won’t all be somber. She has added “some relief.”

The program will include sacred pieces, as well as works by Brahms and Bach. Garoutte said she thinks the mixture will appeal to a broad audience.

“Certainly anybody from any of the other churches would be appreciative of the music, but (so will) those (who) appreciate musical performance in any form, whether it be a sacred, classical or contemporary,” she said.

Garoutte said diverse shows like this are only possible because the church’s co-pastors are
supportive of her ideas and decisions.

“(Keith and Laura Hudson) are always welcoming for me when I ask, ‘Do you think this will be OK to do this kind of concert?’ They were very excited and glad I was going to do (it).”

Garoutte had the freedom to select all the music herself and decide what she wanted to say to the audience.

“I’ll have some notes in the program that tell a little background of the music I’m going to play,” she said.

Garoutte will play both organ and piano, as well as sing. She plans to move the instruments out so she can be more visible.

“It’ll be (out front) so people can see my feet,” she said.

Even among the congregation that comes every Sunday, Garoutte said there are probably people who don’t realize how much she plays with her feet.

The Lenten concert will start at 2:30 p.m. April 9 to give people time to go home for a bit after church.

The concert is free, but donations will be accepted to benefit the Liberty Theatre Organ/Piano Fund.

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