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St. Paul's offers Fitzner Concert Nov. 12


From left, Len Bobo, Michael Brown and Susan Hurley

From left, Len Bobo, Michael Brown and Susan Hurley



George Hazard/Special to The Dispatch



Three area musicians on Sunday, Nov. 12 will present the second annual Martha Claire Kennedy Fitzner Concert at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Columbus at 4:30 p.m. 


The church is at 318 College St. The program is free to all. 


This year's program features works by St. Paul's organist-choirmaster Dr. Len Bobo. Joining him in performing them will be Dr. Susan Hurley of the voice faculty at Mississippi University for Women; and Dr. Michael Brown, the recently retired head of the Department of Music at Mississippi State University. 


Bobo composed the pieces between 1977 (a setting of the "Magnificat" hymn) and 2011 (two pieces inspired by poems of Robert Frost). The St. Paul's concert will open with "Appalachian Prelude" from 2005 and end with the 1981 "Toccata." 


"Trumpet Voluntary" will feature Brown, while Hurley, a soprano, will sing the Frost poems, William Blake's "Little Lamb" and the "Magnificat." 


"Some of the works will really feature our beautiful Aeolian Skinner organ and highlight its various sounds, from the softest tones to the magnificent trompette en chamade up above the center aisle," Bobo said. "The audience will hear a wide range of styles and forms." 


Martha Claire Fitzner died in 2015. A beloved teacher at Heritage Academy for 17 years, she served St. Paul's on its governing board, school board and alter guild. She was president of the Episcopal Church Women in 2004.  


The 17-rank pipe organ was installed in 1953 to replace the Pilcher organ of 1885. 


Additions in 2007 and 2014 give the instrument 17 ranks of speaking pipes -- over 2,000 pipes -- and 19 ranks of digital stops, making it the equivalent of a 36-rank organ 


"We welcome all friends of music and friends of Martha Claire to the concert," said the Very Rev. Anne Harris, rector of St. Paul's. "We are happy to make this gift to the city in memory of one so loved by so many in Columbus."



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