Faith & the Arts

St. Matthew’s has always been a place where the arts have thrived. We are blessed with many creative people within our midst: singers, poets, photographers, painters, writers and playwrights, potters, and musicians. We are blessed with an intellectual curiosity which provides the freedom for art to be expressed. We have the beautiful setting of our church building to offer for programs, musical events in particular.

View a photo gallery from past Faith & Arts performances.

The Faith and Arts Series began in 2010 as a result of St. Matthew’s desire to be more intentional in our support of the arts themselves, rather than simply thinking of them as something providing support for other activities. We regard the gracious and hospitable use of our church as outreach to some who may not be so accustomed to being in sacred space. We hope to challenge and deepen our own faith and its expression in our lives through exposure to artistic expressions of faith and doubt.

MULTITUDES of “ANGELS” NEEDED FOR FAITH & ARTS!

“A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.”  Proverbs 18:16 (NIV)

St. Matthew’s inclusion of Faith & Arts as a core value represents our congregation’s understanding that the arts play an integral role in our spiritual growth, our relationships with each other, and with God. The Faith & Arts Committee seeks to cultivate and present a wide diversity of visual, written and performing arts, and to create opportunities for engagement of the human spirit for our congregation and our neighbors in our beautiful sacred space. Since 2010, we have sponsored 96 events through our Faith & Arts Series.

As you may be aware, the Faith and Arts Committee has sought your input to help in guiding our future direction in terms of performances.  We turn to you now for more tangible assistance.  In the past, our programming has been self-sustaining, but our yearly income decreased significantly after “A Christmas Carol” closed shop in 2016. To continue offering the high caliber programs we have come to enjoy, we now are in need of $5000 for the 2019 year to allow for payments to the artists, promotion of our events, receptions as needed, and salary for Mary, who works tirelessly to find and book talent, advertise events, arrange scheduling, lodging, equipment, ticket sales, and to create the spiritual magic link that ties our events to our faith no matter how mysterious or circuitous the connection may be!

So… we are inviting you to participate in our new ANGEL Program to raise $5000 for the 2019 year! We hope that all members of the parish will choose to participate in this worthy mission. This is an opportunity to tangibly nurture the connection between the arts and your spiritual life and become an ANGEL!!  Our yearly (from date of your gift) angelic levels of donation are described below.  Seraphim and Cherubim will be offered preferred seating at events and acknowledgement in event programs. All donations will be accepted with deep gratitude as gifts from generous angels with great hearts and good taste!

$1-$99: Angel           $100-$249: Archangel         $250-$499: Cherubim         $500 & above: Seraphim

TO MAKE YOUR TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION…

Please complete the Faith & the Arts Donation Form via the link below. Checks should be made out to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, with the notation “Faith & Arts Donation” on the memo line.  Send to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 628, Hillsborough, NC 27278, or bring it to the church office. Please bring any cash donations (and completed form) to the church office.  A receipt will be mailed or given to you. We do not offer the option of on-line donations at present.

The donation forms is available for downloading/printing below.

We are tremendously grateful for your support, and we look forward to giving you your wings!

Our 2020 Series

David Arcus Organ Recital: Sunday, January 19, at 3:00 p.m.

On January 19, St. Matthew’s Director of Music and Organist, Dr. David Arcus, will present an organ recital on the church’s 1883 Hook & Hastings two-manual pipe organ. The program is entitled “Bach on the Hook (and Hastings).” Come hear a sample of compositions from J.S. Bach, the Master Composer of organ music and arguably the greatest church musician in history. The recital features everything from “chamber” trio music to a concerto transcription to hymn tune settings to the iconic prelude & fugue genre.

Michael Jones & The Mount Vernon Baptist Church Inspirational Choir: Sunday, February 16, at 3:00 p.m.

On February 16, The Mount Vernon Baptist Church Inspirational Choir under the direction of Michael D. Jones, Sr. will come to St. Matthew’s to give a free concert as part of our Faith & Arts Series. The choir was organized over forty years ago when members of the Young People Choir had outgrown the age of a youth choir. Michael Jones became their music director and pianist in 2008.

Michael is a native of Hampton, VA where he began his study of the piano at the age of nine. He graduated, with honors, from Norfolk State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Public School Music. His major instrument of study was the piano.  He has been a professional musician and music educator for over twenty-five years, building a reputation as a sought after music educator, film composer, arranger, and producer.

This concert is co-sponsored by the Racial Justice and Reconciliation Committee. Come and hear some great Gospel Music. A love offering will be taken at the conclusion of the concert.

Film Screening of New Men

Register for link to screen the film between Noon, Saturday, July 18 and Noon Sunday, July 19

Zoom Q&A with the film producer on Sunday, July 19 at 5:00.

Faith & Arts will be hosting an online screening of Sam Cox’s film New Men, which chronicles one year in the life of a Russian Orthodox monastery in rural West Virginia. The filmmaker, Sam, born and raised in Raleigh, is a graphic designer by trade and a filmmaker by vocation. Over the last three years he has lived and worked with the monastic community at Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, WV. Out of this relationship, New Men was born primarily as a deep exploration into the calling of many to a monastic vocation of stability, obedience, poverty, and self-renunciation in a world that seems to be hurling itself in the opposite direction.

One ticket includes: 1) a private non-shareable link to view the film online from Saturday, July 18th at 12:00pm through Sunday, July 19th at 12:00pm and 2) a link to the live Q&A with director Sam Cox which will take place on Sunday, July 19th from 5:00pm-5:45pm.

¨ Watch the newest trailer here: https://vimeo.com/428603936

¨ Tickets are on sale via the eventbrite link below! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-men-screening-hosted-by-st-matthews-episcopal-church-registration-109151884224. Registration is required and the suggested donation is $7.50

¨ Questions?: Email Kim Powell at kim@stmatthewshillsborough.org.

COVID-19 CANCELLATIONS

RESCHEDULED: Mike Wiley’s Blood Done Sign My Name: Sunday, March 14, 2021, 3:00 p.m.

In Blood Done Sign My Name, Mike Wiley brings to life the recollections of author Tim Tyson surrounding the 1970 murder of Henry “Dickie” Marrow in Oxford, NC and the events that followed. Marrow, who was black, was chased from a local store by three white men after reportedly making a crude remark to one of the men’s wives. They brutally beat Marrow then killed him with a bullet to the head in view of multiple witnesses. Despite the eyewitness reports, an all-white jury acquitted the men. The town’s black community responded to the events with an uprising that destroyed downtown businesses and several tobacco warehouses holding at least a million dollars in harvested crops. Tyson, who was 10 at the time, recounts how the conflagration of events shaped his life and offers all of us an opportunity to examine our own roles in the complex and often confusing racial fabric of America.

Acclaimed gospel scholar and singer, Mrs. Mary D. Williams reinforces the action on stage with powerful and moving renditions of spirituals such as Oh, Freedom, Swing Low Sweet Chariot and Soon I Will Be Done.

CANCELLED: Lynden Harris’ Right Here Right Now: Palm Sunday, April 5, 5:00 p.m.

We will work on getting this rescheduled.

A cycle of 30 monologues sharing stories from death row and designed as a community reading for installation openings, conferences, classes, and events.  

Lynden Harris is the Founder of Hidden Voices, through which she collaborates with underrepresented communities to create award-winning works that combine narrative, performance, and interactive exhibits. During her decades of work as an artist facilitating community connections, Lynden developed the Hidden Voices Process, a participatory workshop model designed to empower change through collective visioning and collaborative action. This process facilitates a dynamic exchange between documentary, art, and community that allows for a multiplicity of voices and a multiplexity of understandings. The former Artistic Director of The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC, Lynden is a member of the MAP Fund Class of 2016 for the project Serving Life: ReVisioning Justice and in 2014 was named a Founding Cultural Agent for the US Dept. of Arts and Culture, a people-powered movement mobilizing creativity to build a world rooted in empathy, equity, and social imagination. http://www.usdac.us She also teaches Stories for Social Change (Theatre, Public Policy, Documentary Studies, Women’s Studies) at Duke University and writes for the News and Observer family of papers about community voices, the arts, and social justice issues. Lynden is a founding team member of the Duke Transformative Prison Project.

CANCELLED: Lee Smith Reading from her new novella, Blue Marlin: Monday, April 20, 7:00 p.m. 

CANCELLED: Poetry Reading with Fred Joiner and Gary Phillips: Sunday, May 24, 3:00 p.m. 

Carrboro Poet Laureates: Current and Past bring their poetry to St. Matthew’s. 

As of press time, we are still hoping to celebrate poetry on May 24 at 3:00 that afternoon by welcoming Fred Joiner (who happens to be a friend of Robert & Jane’s) and Gary Phillips to give us a Reading.

Fred Joiner is a poet and curator living in Chapel Hill. In addition to being Carrboro’s Poet Laureate he is the 2019 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow and co-founder of The Center for Poetic Thought. Their mission is to cultivate, demonstrate and curate the exhibition of creative work that displays the many ways that “poetry” occurs in American life and beyond be it music, dance, micro-theater, visual art, or architecture. He believes that Poetry is a Big Tent.

Gary Phillips, a life-long North Carolinian born in Appalachia and long-time resident of Chatham County, was the 2016-2018 poet laureate of Carrboro. He is a writer, naturalist, and entrepreneur with a special interest in conservation and land-protective strategies. He is also a real estate broker with Weaver Street Realty, which he co-founded over thirty years ago. He and his wife live in a rammed earth house in the Silk Hope woods of Chatham County. Gary is an avid reader of poetry and anthropological science fiction, a student of amphibian activities on full moon nights, and a public servant having once been the chair of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners.

Both poets share in the work of getting poetry out there in the community and supporting poetry that is in the community and we’re happy for them to bring their poetry to us.

Our 2019 Series

David Arcus Organ Recital: Sunday, January 20, at 3:00 p.m. 

On January 20, our own Director of Music and Organist David Arcus will present an organ recital on the church’s 1883 Hook & Hastings two-manual pipe organ. This will be a retrospective of compositions he has written as far back as 1979, maybe even earlier, through the 2000s. Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door. A reception follows the recital.

Mahalo Jazz: Sunday, March 24, at 3:00 p.m.

The wonderfully talented and versatile musicians Alison Weiner on keyboard, Robbie Link on bass, and Carter Minor with vocals and harmonica.  

Dee Stribling & Jerry Eidenier Poetry Reading: Sunday, April 7, at 3:00 p.m.

Dee Stribling (Hillsborough Poet Laureate) and well known poet (and St. Matthew’s member), Jerry Eidenier, will read their poetry, much of which concerns the importance of place in memory.  A reception will follow the reading.

Mallarme Chamber Players: Thursday, May 30, at 7:30 p.m.

British Baroque-ish: St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church is the perfect venue for a program of early music from Great Britain. From the baroque to early classical eras, the evening’s concert, BRITISH BAROQUE-ISH, will include pieces by Handel, Henry Purcell, William Flackton and Andreas Lidel. Featuring the talents of Gail Ann Schroeder, viola da gamba; Suzanne Rousso, viola; Stephanie Vial, cello; and Barbara Weiss, harpsichord. Tickets are available from the Mallarme Chamber website: mallarmemusic.org; $25/ $5 children and students at the door.

Robin & Linda Williams: Thursday, August 15, 7:30 p.m.

For more than thirty years, Robin & Linda Williams have been performing the music they love: a blend of bluegrass, folk, old-time, and gospel. They are seasoned performers and gifted songwriters. Born in the South, Linda from Alabama and Robin (the son of a Presbyterian minister) from Charlotte, they met in Myrtle Beach where they fell in love and began a vibrant musical partnership that has flourished through the years.

Despite their Southern roots, it was in Minnesota that their career got traction. Robin had made many friends and connections there as a solo artist and in 1975 they recorded their first album in Minneapolis. That same year they made their first appearance on a little radio show just getting off the ground called “A Prairie Home Companion” and their rich relationship with that icon of American broadcasting continued for decades.

They were here back in 2013 and we are thrilled they are coming back.

Tickets ($20) are available through the church office during office hours (919-732-9308).

CALL FOR ENTRIES Envisioning St. Matthew’s:  A Faith & the Arts Exhibit this fall 

We invite all artists to consider creating work in any medium reflecting their personal view of St. Matthew’s. Inspiration can come from places, people, events in the life of the parish, or something more private and personal. This will be an artistic celebration of how we are all connected. The exhibit will be hung or displayed at various locations throughout the property. Submission of, up to two works, is open to members and friends of the parish, 18 years old or older. We ask that all works adhere to this theme; all works individually and jointly will be part of this visual expression and exploration.

AJ Mayhew Reading from her new book Tomorrow’s Bread: Sunday, October 13, at 3:00 p.m.

Faith & Arts at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church is pleased to host a reading by Anna Jean Mayhew from her second novel, Tomorrow’s Bread, on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m., October 13th.

Tomorrow’s Bread is set in 1961 Charlotte, NC, when urban renewal threatens to demolish an historic black community. It explores the conflicts of gentrification and is a moving story of loss, love, and resilience.  

On her website, A.J. Mayhew describes her career path as taking many turns, from court reporting to opera management to medical writing. All the time she was involved in these day jobs, she was writing fiction at night and on weekends, pieces that began as short stories and became novels. For twenty-five years she taught fiction writing at Duke University Continuing Education, at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro, and in her home. With the support and critique of her colleagues, A. J. has written two novels: The Dry Grass of August, published in 2011, and Tomorrow’s Bread (already contracted for an audio book and a large print edition).

Tomorrow’s Bread was selected to be a part of an initiative called TRIO 2019. Each TRIO starts with a book, which is given to a musician to write a song or piece of music and to a visual artist to produce a work of art inspired by the story. We are delighted that Melissa Summersell, a songwriter from Mobile, Alabama who composed the song “Brooklyn Was Here” for this collaboration, will be present at this reading and will sing her song.  And, Anna Jensen’s painting inspired by the book will also be displayed. TRIO is a testament to the way words, music and art can come together around the power of a single story.

Joining A. J. will be the combined ensembles of the St. Matthew’s Women’s Singing Circle and the Songbuurds, from the Universalist Unitarian Congregation of Hillsborough, of which A. J. is a member, singing the hymns, spirituals, and popular songs that are mentioned in her book.  Pianist Alison Weiner will accompany them and A. J.’s son, Jackson Faw, will be a featured soloist.  

A reception and book signing will follow the reading.  This event is co-sponsored by Purple Crow Books (919-732-1711; 109 W. King Street, Hillsborough).

Tickets are $10 and available at the church office during business hours and at Purple Crow Books.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas: An original work by Michael Malone with soprano Andrea Edith Moore: Friday, December 20, 8:00 p.m. 

Faith & Arts is very proud to bring you this holiday, soon to be classic, offering. Tickets ($20) include a very fine reception of foods popular in the 1940s. 

2018 Series

David Arcus Organ Recital: Sunday, January 21, at 3:00 p.m. 

On January 21, our own Director of Music and Organist, David Arcus, will present an organ recital on the church’s 1883 Hook & Hastings two-manual pipe organ. The program, entitled “Two Are Plenty,” will feature compositions written expressly for organs with two manual keyboards and one pedal keyboard. It will include Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Dorian” Toccata and Julius Reubke’s Sonata on the 94th Psalm, which latter of which is often thought of as a piece that can only be played on large organs of three or more manual keyboards. There is no charge for this recital but donations will be accepted.

An Evening with Jonathan Byrd: Poetry, Essays, Songs, Conversation

Friday, March 2, at 7:30 p.m.; $15

Jonathan Byrd is a preacher’s son, a Gulf War veteran, and an award-winning songwriter from Carrboro. He is known for literary and outsider songs of love, life, and death in the small towns and byways of America. His career started with a contest. In the year 2000, he took grand prize in the North Carolina Songwriter’s Coop Song contest. Inspired, he began to tour and recorded his first CD, Wildflowers.  Then In 2003, he was among the winners of the New Folk competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival.

Since then he has toured widely in the US and in Canada and Europe.  Folk legend Tom Paxton discovered Byrd’s music online: “What a treat to hear someone so deeply rooted in tradition, yet growing in his own beautiful way.” The Chicago Tribune called Byrd “one of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years.”

Lately, he has been drawn to poetry and essays in addition to his music. He published his first book of poetry (You’ve Changed) and his essays can be found on his blog. His writings underscore a deep sense of the sacred and call to live a life with as much honesty as you can muster.

Jonathan will bring his poetry, writings, and songs to St. Matthew’s on Friday, March 2nd at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and available through the church office. They will probably also be available at the door.

Havel Kimmel, Poetry Reading: Sunday, April 22, at 3:00 p.m.; FREE

April is Poetry Month and to celebrate we have invited the poet and author Haven Kimmel to do a reading at St. Matthew’s. Haven lives in Durham but was born and raised in a small town in Indiana, the focus of her NY Times bestselling memoir, A Girl Named Zippy: Growing up Small in Mooreland, Indiana (2001). She earned her undergraduate degree in English and creative writing from Ball State University and a graduate degree from North Carolina State University, where she studied with novelist Lee Smith. She also attended seminary at the Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana.

This is what she says about her experience at seminary:

“The amount of learning that came from opening up to a discussion of the invisible world and the religious practice across the world humbled me. Every minute of every day was a metaphor of God. I don’t know what it means and am still trying to get to the bottom of that — the philosophical question of the way you’re told life ought to be lived; what it means to be a part of the human community; the ways in which questioning is a metaphor, part of the political task; and what’s eternally critical to the artist, the human condition in all its’ manifest forms. I try to be aware of the fact of consciousness and every day being.”

She has also written a second memoir, She Got Up Off the Couch, and Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indiana, about her mother, and the novel The Solace of Leaving Early. Haven contends she never had the desire to become a writer when she grew up, but by the time she was 21, she had “given her life over to poetry.” We are the beneficiaries of that decision. Come out on April 22nd and have a listen. 

Jason Harrod, Singer-Songwriter Concert: Friday, May 11, at 7:30 p.m.: $15

Jason Harrod is a Brooklyn-based performing songwriter with ties to the triangle, having grown up in Durham. He is known for generous melodies and poetic, image-rich lyrics. He began his musical career as one-half of seminal Boston duo Harrod and Funck before venturing out on his own. He has released three recordings of original material (Living in Skin, Bright As You, and Highliner, as well as a collection of Christmas songs. He often begins performances by stating that he sings of “God, Women, and Geography.” This covers a lot of ground!!

In addition to his fan following, Jason Harrod has earned some accolades in the songwriting world. In 2000, he won first place in the bluegrass category of MerleFest’s Chris Austin Songwriting Competition. The following year, he took first place in the North Carolina Songwriters Co-Op Contest and followed that up with a 2002 appearance on Arthur Smith’s Carolina Calling stage with Alison Krauss & Union Station. Jason was selected as a spotlight performer at the annual Healdsburg Guitar festival in 2009, sponsored by Acoustic Guitar Magazine, and in 2010 he was awarded a fellowship by the International Arts. In 2012, he received a Fulbright grant to teach songwriting to students in Thessaloniki, Greece.

For the last five years he was music director for a small church on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, but he is now turning his attention to doing his music full time.

Mary Williams Concert: Saturday, June 16, at 4:30 p.m. Songs of the Southern Black Experience: From Slavery to Civil Rights / co-hosted with Carolina Public Humnities and The Burwell’s School’s Year of Elizabeth Keckly 

St. Matthew’s and Carolina Public Humanities are partnering to present acclaimed singer, Mary D. Williams in a concert. Her program is entitled “From Slavery to Civil Rights.” This concert is free and open to the public. In it she will highlight the way in which spirituals emerged from a mix of African culture, Christian influences, and the brutal institution of slavery through her powerful voice. The day was chosen because it is just days from the anniversary of the historic “Juneteenth,” the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. It dates back to 1865, when the Union soldiers, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.

Mary D. Williams is a singer, educator, and historian who has devoted herself to the old spirituals that she learned as a child from her family and church. Her reputation as a gospel singer led Timothy Tyson to ask her to join him as he was promoting his book “Blood Done Signed My Name.” The two enjoyed their collaboration so much, they now teach the course “The South in Black and White” together. This course, taught at Duke, NC Central, and UNC-Chapel Hill, covers the history of racism and activism in the South, from slavery to Civil Rights. Songs are a big part of the story. Her music adds cultural context to lessons, as well as highlights how music shaped social change in the United States. 

But the songs are also personal. She has said “Singing was my salvation, in terms of my relationship with Christ, my relationship in church, my marriage. It was a way of me being counseled because the lyrics of songs touched me.” It is the older material that calls to her. Newer gospel music doesn’t appeal as much, not fitting her vocal style. And, she says, she doesn’t feel the same deep emotional connection to them that she feels with the older spirituals- songs like “Oh Freedom” or “We Shall Not Be Moved.”

Rebecca Troxler & David Arcus Recital: Sunday, Setpember 23, at 3:00 p.m.; tickets $10

Flautist Rebecca Troxler and St. Matthew’s Organist David Arcus will offer a concert on Sunday, September 23, at 3:00 p.m. The program, presented by Faith & the Arts, will consist of music by C. P. E. Bach, Gabriel Fauré, J. S. Bach, Ernst Pepping, Debussy, and Hindemith.

Rebecca and David have collaborated since 1984, when they were Fletcher Residents in the Duke University Music Department, and their collaborations since that time have included concerts with the Chapel Choir at Duke Chapel. Rebecca specializes in Baroque flute, as well as modern flute.

Tickets are $10 and will be available through the church office and at the door

The Chatham Rabbits Concert: Sunday, October 14, at 4:00 p.m.; tickets $15

We are pleased to announce a concert by The Chatham Rabbits on Sunday, October 14, at 4:00 p.m.  The Chatham Rabbits are Austin McCombie & Sarah Osborne McCombie. They are a wonderful duo from Bynum – full of old-time soul, both plain and plaintive, with a finely tuned harmonic balance of instrument and voice. Their name references a time when rabbits were the prized cash crop of Chatham County. Now, many decades later, they live in a mill house just off the banks of the Haw River. Their house was once the home of a family that worked at the mill and who were also musicians; the husband was a member of the mill-sponsored string band, the Chatham Rabbits. They hope to carry on that fine tradition.

I had seen Sarah as part of The South Carolina Broadcasters back in 2013; I think at the same show that her now-husband Austin first saw her perform. Then, this summer, they were playing at the Ocrafolk Festival, which we attended. At the Gospel Sing on Sunday morning, they offered the sweetest version of “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” I have ever heard. When I returned to work there was a voice mail from Sarah asking about our Faith & the Arts Series. Several people at the festival recommended that they get in touch!

This past year they bought a van and are on the road, devoting themselves to music full time. They say: “Music is the reason we met. It’s our pastime and our gift we give to others. Together we’ve played smoky bars, summer festivals, busked on the streets of Nashville ‘til our voices wore out, put a tune to the love at our best friends’ wedding, and led churches in old-time hymns way past it was time for Sunday lunch.” 

Tickets are $15 and are available at the church office now or at the door the afternoon of the concert. 

https://www.chathamrabbits.com/

here’s a nice little song: The Good Things (Outweigh the Bad)

The Black Socks Poets, featuring Florence Nash, Stan Absher, Jan Harrington, and Paul Jones: Sunday, November 11, at 3:00 p.m.

Two Southern Ladies Dramatic Reading, a poetry reading reflecting the lives and relationship between Elizabeth Keckly and Mary Todd Linclon featuring Jaki Shelton Green (NC Poet Laureate) and Darnell Arnoult; introduced by Lee Smith: Saturday, December 8, at 4:00 p.m. Co-hosting with The Burwell School.

Jim Watson’s Annual Holiday Concert: Thursday, December 20, at 7:30 p.m.; tickets $10

2017 Series

Sunday, January 22, at 3:00 p.m.: Dr. Tom Colley Lecture

Parable & Art: A Kaleidoscopic Relationship

Please join us for an additional opportunity look at parables. As a companion to our four-week study at The Adult Forum on Sunday mornings, Dr. Colley will  present a Faith & the Arts lecture in the church on Sunday afternoon, January 22, at 3:00 entitled, “Parable & Art: A Kaleidoscopic Relationship,” subtitled, “Story & The Sacred.”

Parables insist that we, as hearers, understand them primarily as art rather than anything close to an interpretive science.  Dr. Colley will argue that as soon as you interpret the parables, you lose their punch, and that familiarity is a parable’s worst enemy.

Dr. Thomas Colley is a retired Lutheran Pastor, having served parishes in New England and North Carolina for 37 years. His Master of Divinity was earned at Concordia Seminary in Exile, St. Louis, in 1974. In 1992, Tom received his Doctorate of Ministry from The Theological School, Drew University, Madison, NJ. He taught religion and philosophy at Nathaniel Hawthorne College, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Catawba Valley Community College, and Osher Life-Long Living Institute at Duke. He and his wife, Gail, are members of St. Matthew’s.

Sunday, February 12 at 3:00 p.m.: UNC’s Consort of Viols Recital & Reception ($10)

UNC’s Consort of Viols, under the direction of Professor Brent Wissick, will offer a recital of music from the English Renaissance played on period instruments. Brent has taught cello, viola da gamba, and chamber music at UNC since 1982 and is a member of Ensemble Chanterelle and principal cellist of the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra. He also teaches classes in historical performance practices and string methods as well as a first-year seminar in the physics of music with Laurie McNeil, chair of the Physics Department.

This should be a beautiful afternoon of music in the setting of our beautiful church.

Tickets are $10. 

Friday, March 3 at 7:30 p.m.: Scott Ainsley Concert ($15)

Scott Ainslie came of age during the Civil Rights era and cultivated a powerful affinity for cross-cultural exchange. He has studied with elder musicians on both sides of the color line – in the Old-Time Southern Appalachian fiddle and banjo traditions, as well as Black Gospel and Blues. He plays this music with affection, authority, and power.

Armed with a variety of instruments – vintage guitars, a fretless gourd banjo, a one-string, homemade diddley bow (aka cigar box guitar) and carefully chosen historical personal anecdotes of his encounters with senior musicians across the South – Scott brings the history, roots music, and sounds of America alive. He will present a program of music from the American South with a focus on gospel music.

Scott has spent more than 30 years looking for the right story, the right set of facts, the right piece of history, to introduce a song. He offers a personality, a moment in history, a vignette to entice you into a song and to give that song a chance to wake and breathe among us like a living thing.

We are excited that he will be here at St. Matthew’s on March 3rd. For more information on Scott please visit his website: //cattailmusic.com.

Friday, March 5 at 5:00 p.m.: Dr. Ray Barfield, Reading and Lenten Evening Prayer 

Ray Barfield joined the faculties of Duke’s Medical School and Divinity School in 2008. He is married to Karen Barfield, who is an Episcopal priest (currently serving as Vicar of St. Joseph’s, Durham).         

Dr. Barfield came from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where his research and practice focused on improving immune therapies for childhood cancer and understanding the moral aspects of decision-making in medical research involving children. At Duke he has turned much of his effort towards bridging activities in theology and medicine. On the medical side of campus he continues to practice as a pediatric oncologist; in the Divinity School he develops courses that address topics at the intersection of theology, medicine and culture. He also teaches courses in Christian philosophy. He is the director of a new initiative called Theology, Medicine, and Culture.

While he continues to publish research papers in oncology and palliative care, much of his current writing focuses on the impact of literature on philosophical thought, and the ways that literature and narrative open up philosophically engaging dimensions of human experience, not least the experiences of illness and suffering. He has over eighty publications in medicine, philosophy and poetry. His book The Ancient Quarrel Between Poetry and Philosophy was recently published by Cambridge University Press, and he has a forthcoming book-length collection of poetry called Life in the Blind Spot.

On Sunday, March 5 at 5:00, we will offer a service of Evening Prayer during which Dr. Barfield will give a reading.  

Sunday, March 19 at 3:00 p.m.: St. Matthew’s Women’s Singing Circle Concert at St. Mary’s Chapel

The St. Matthew’s Women’s Singing Circle is going to have an almost-spring, almost-anniversary concert out at St. Mary’s Chapel on Sunday afternoon March 19th. We have been gathering every month since April 2009 to sing because we enjoy each other’s company and singing in the context of prayer. Mostly, we sing with no music in front of us- only words- creating our own harmonies based on the voices present.  We often end a concert or a gathering with “How Can I Keep from Singing” because it clearly expresses why we are drawn to sacred song, why singing and praying with others strengthens our own faith, and why a song full of harmony and heart stirs the hearts of others.

Through all the tumult and the strife, I hear the music ringing, it sounds an echo in my soul; how can I keep from singing?

Come celebrate with us.

All are welcome to come; donations will be accepted at the door.

St. Mary’s Chapel is on the NE corner of the intersectopm of St. Mary’s Road & Schley/Pleasant Green Road

Sunday, April 2 at 5:00 p.m.: Linda Beatrice Brown Poetry Reading & Lenten Evening Prayer

St. Matthew’s Faith & the Arts Series will be hosting a service of Evening Prayer & Poetry Reading by poet and writer Linda Beatrice Brown on Sunday, April 2nd, at 5:00 p.m. A reception and book signing will follow the reading.    

Brown will read from her Mary poems, written in the voice of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  She has published a collection of these under the title “A Mother Knows Her Child.” The St. Matthew’s Women’s Singing will offer a couple of songs as counterpoint to the poems and Dr. David Arcus, St. Matthew’s Organist & Choir Director will do a musical improvisation as well. This is expected to be a wonderful contemplative Lenten offering: richly diverse and full of meaning.  

Brown’s first poetry was published at the age of 19. For many years she has been a professor of African American Literature. Her experience as a teacher inspired her to write about the Civil War period in a novel for young people. She currently holds the Willa B. Player chair in the Humanities at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC.

April 2nd is fifth Sunday in Lent, the liturgical season of contemplation, reflection, and penitence. This reading is fitting to the season.  The reading is free and all are invited.

Wednesday, June 7, at 7:30 p.m.: Angelus: a young women’s a cappella group

Our Faith & the Arts Series is hosting a concert by the singing ensemble Angelus on Wednesday, June 7, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free but donations will be accepted.

Comprised of seven young women from the Mt. Vernon Senior High School Fine Arts Academy (Mt. Vernon, IN), the members of Angelus have dedicated themselves to the performance of the sacred music of varied religious traditions and historical periods. Featuring music ranging from medieval chant and polyphony to contemporary Irish choral music and the American Sacred Harp tradition, the ensemble’s influences include the Irish choral ensemble, Anuna, the American quartet, Anonymous 4 and the Canadian trio, The Wailin’ Jennys. 

During June they are touring in North Carolina and Tennessee. Their high school, The Fine Arts Academy at Mt. Vernon, is dedicated to music, theatre and the visual arts and has a commitment to academic excellence and a belief that through the arts, students find lifelong fulfillment is at the core of their teaching philosophy. Students are provided opportunities in instrumental and vocal music, musical theatre, acting, technical theatre and traditional and digital visual arts. The Fine Arts Academy provides over forty events each year to further student’s skills and artistic talents. 

The ensemble has performed over eighty concerts in sixteen states and made their Lincoln Center debut in April of 2016 as a featured ensemble for Christopher Tin’s Grammy Award winning work “Calling All Dawns.” For more information about them and to hear samples of their singing go to the school’s website: //mvhsfinearts.com/angelus-sacred-music-for-womens-voices-3.

Let’s give a fine St. Matthew’s welcome for Angelus as they make their way across the state!!

Sunday, July 16, 3:00 p.m.: Steve Smith, composer and pianist Concert

Our Faith & the Arts Series is hosting a concert by pianist/composer Stephen Smith on Sunday, July 16, at 3:00 p.m. He will be playing his original music.

Stephen composes in several genres of music including impressionist, jazz, blues, and folk. He studied jazz piano and composition at Berklee College of Music, and classical piano and composition at City College of San Francisco. He has recorded three albums of original music. Three of his songs were on the “2009 Caldwell County Traditional Music Showcase CD” and his original instrumental “Winter Star” was selected to be its title song. He has also been a featured artist on WUNC’s Back Porch Music show twice.     

Stephen is a long-time resident of Hillsborough and has played in many local bands including Keith Henderson’s Elvis Tribute Band. Earlier this year he and guitarist Mike Bisdee performed in a Parlor Concert, a Hillsborough Arts Council sponsored series. He is married to fiber artist Marie Smith.

Tickets ($10) and reservations are available from the church office.

Friday, September 22, 7:30 p.m.: A Faith & the Arts Extravaganza

Uplifting Music & Brooks Too

The Kick-off Event of the Celebrating 27 Years with Brooks & Chris Weekend. Performers include David Arcus, Bill Kodros, Mary Rocap, Lise Uyanik, a String Quartet, and Brooks himself. From Bach to Bye Bye Love, the music will embrace blues, progressive rock, gospel, folk, and American standards. 

The program: //s3.amazonaws.com/dfc_attachments/public/documents/3242330/Pro_2017_09_22_Uplifting_Music_and_Brooks_Too.pdf

Friday, October 13, at 7:30 p.m.: Two-Actor Theatre Production of “Native” a play about the collaboration of Paul Green & Richard Wright in adapting Wright’s novel Native Son for the stage.

Native is a play by Ian Finley based on the collaboration between Pulitzer Prize winner, Paul Green, and the author of Native Son, Richard Wright. Produced by EbzB Productions, a production company that strives to develop original, touring theatrical productions to promote integrity and authenticity, self-discovery and positive transformation of individuals, artists, audiences, and communities. And, there is a St. Matthew’s connection, Charles Thomas’ daughter Devra works with them and brought this play to our attention.

Native details the relationship between Paul Green and Richard Wright, originally brought together to adapt Wright’s novel, Native Son for the stage. Green, a white southern professor, and Wright, a self-educated African-American with communist sympathies, forge a deep respect for each other as they discuss systemic discrimination of African-Americans. 

Then in 1941, with World War II on the horizon, the two authors meet again in New York for rewrites. Orson Welles’ Broadway production is already in rehearsal. Differences over a single page of the script create an impasse between Green and Wright. A life-changing dialogue about who has the right to tell the story of race, politics and social class ensues. In spite of their common goal to affect social change, the scintillating revelations dissolve the friendship of the two influential social justice authors.

Native is written by Ian Finley, a playwright and educator who was the NC Piedmont Laureate in 2012.

Now more than ever, Native is indeed a production that speaks to our time. Although it is rooted in the history of 1941 America, it is also a play that directly confronts the pressing questions that we face today, including Whose story and struggle is this? Yours? Mine? ….. Ours?

We invite everyone to attend. Tickets are $15 and can be obtained through the office. 

Sunday, November 12, at 3:00 p.m.: Poetry Reading by Phillip Shabazz, Ebeth Scott-Sinclair, Cindy Stevens, and Stephanie Smith

Our Faith & the Arts Series is proud to present four outstanding poets on Sunday, November 12: Phillip Shabazz, Ebeth Scott-Sinclair, Stephanie Smith, and Cindy Stevens. This is a free event, but donations will be accepted. Phillip read for us in 2014 and we are happy to have him back.  With him, this time, are three poets who have been working with him on preparing their work for publication.

Phillip Shabazz: As a poet, author, and teaching artist, Phillip Shabazz’s writing explores issues of community and culture in America and expresses diverse points of view, from poems about family and friends challenged by the complexities of life to narratives that celebrate human possibilities. His latest collection of poetry is Flames in the Fire: Poems.

Ebeth Scott-Sinclair is a visual artist, poet, and singer/songwriter.  She draws from a well of Southern culture, archetypes, and ancestry to tell stories in a metaphorical language in a variety of creative mediums.  Alternating between words, images, and music, she plays with the meeting and tangling of fiction and reality, past and present, and memory and experience. Her artwork is featured in 100 Southern Artists and Artists’ Homes and Studios (Schiffer Publishing), various journal publications, galleries throughout the Southeast and on covers of books and cds (including all three of the Women’s Singing Circle cds).  She is the lead singer in and one of the songwriters for the band Up Cane Creek.  After years of writing she owns her “poet-self.” Her poetry was first published in Kakalak 2015.  She is currently writing and illustrating a book of poetry for publication in 2018.

Stephanie Smith is a native New Orleanian who has lived in Raleigh for over 20 years. When not busy as a state employee managing a court mediation program, she is reading or writing poetry and stories. She says, “Our stories change the world.” 

Cindy Stevens was raised on the east coast in a military family and has spent her married life living in Kentucky and North Carolina. She earned a degree in Psychology, helped raise her family, and had a professional career as a family law paralegal, but now she has more time to write. Her writing touches on love, death, family, and life experiences. She is a member of the St. Matthew’s Women’s Singing Circle and appears as a regular on the Murphey School Radio Show. Her first collection of poetry, Naked, is being published by Main Street Rag. She and her husband, Richard, claim Hillsborough as home.

Thursday, December 21, 7:30 p.m.: Jim Watson’s Hillsborough Holiday Concert

Jim Watson has been doing a Holiday Show annually for 30-some years. This year the Hillsborough concert will again be held at St. Matthew’s on Thursday, December 21st at 7:30. Call the office to reserve your ticket ($10). Jim is a former acolyte at St. Philip’s, Durham, an original member of the Red Clay Ramblers, and a member of Robin & Linda Williams’ “Fine Group.” He will lend his high lonesome tenor to a full set of holiday favorites and end with a celebratory sing-along.

2016 Series

Sunday, February 14 at 4:30 p.m.: A Screening of Sacred Sound, completed docutmentary by Robin Arcus 

St. Matthew’s Faith & the Arts Series will be hosting a free screening of the film, Sacred Sound by Robin Arcus on Sunday, February 14, at 4:30 p.m.

Sacred Sound is a 65-minute documentary film of one summer week in when 50 ordinary American girls learn to sing extraordinary music in the manner of the great cathedral choirs.  The film, shot primarily at Saint Mary’s School (Raleigh), St. Michael’s Episcopal Church (Raleigh) and Duke University Chapel (Durham), showcases the teamwork required to make great choral music as the choir prepares for two Sunday worship services. The girls sing under the direction of acclaimed David Hill, director of the BBC Singers and London Bach Choir. These young people take to heart the words of the liturgy as the means to relate to heaven and in their singing they bring back a little heaven to earth. Produced by first-time film maker Robin Arcus, this is a professionally-produced movie for all ages.

Robin Arcus will be on hand for Q&A following the screening.

The St. Matthew’s Faith and the Arts Series began in 2010 as a result of the church’s desire to be more intentional in their support of the arts and artists; to challenge and deepen faith through exposure to the arts; and to use sacred space as a setting for artistic expression.

Sunday, March 6 at 5:00 p.m.: Evening Service & Book Signing, Dr. George Wolfe “Science & Spirituality: Mystery as Common Ground”  

We will hold a contemplative evening service on Sunday, March 6 at 5:00 p.m. during which Dr. George Wolfe, brother of our own Walt Wolfe and author of Meditations on Mystery: Science, Paradox and Contemplative Spirituality will make a presentation including readings and music selections (in collaboration with David Arcus).  Dr. Wolfe will focus on the concepts of paradox and mystery which lie at the heart of both modern scientific thought and contemplative spirituality. He brings together believers and nonbelievers around the concept of mystery.  It is also his attempt to emphasize the rich symbolism and wisdom that is found in the ancient religious texts that continue to impact our world. As he states: “The deeper we dig into the physical universe, the more astonishing and incomprehensible it becomes, and the more we are confronted with mystery.”

George Wolfe is Professor Emeritus and former director of the Ball State University Center for Peace and Conflict Studies where he served as Director of Peace Studies from 2002 to 2006. He is also a classical saxophonist who held the rank of Professor of Music Performance there as well.

This is an unexpected opportunity for St. Matthew’s and we hope all will enjoy the combination of readings, meditations and music. He will also be a guest instrumentalist during the 10:30 service earlier that day.

Sunday, April 17 at 3:00 p.m.: A Reading by Poet Michael McFee

Michael McFee is a poet and essayist originally from Asheville. He earned both his B.A. and M.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill. Following graduate school he worked a variety of jobs—editorial assistant, librarian, and freelance journalist among them—while he completed his first book. After it was published, he taught part-time at N.C. State University and UNC-Greensboro. He began teaching at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1990, where he is now Professor of English in the Creative Writing Program.

He has published ten books of poetry including the collaboration “To See,” poems pared with photographs by our own Elizabeth Matheson. McFee’s poems and other works have also appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Our State, and Slate.

This April marks the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month, which was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Over the years, National Poetry Month has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.  We are particularly honored that Michael can join us on the 17th.

Sunday, August 21 at 3:00 p.m.: Thelonius Concert

Our Faith & the Arts Series is hosting a sizzling summer concert by Thelonious on Sunday, August 21, at 3:00 p.m.

Thelonious brings unique a cappella stylings to an eclectic mix of jazz, blues, latin, doowop, pop, and standards.  They are named after the famous jazz musician Thelonious Monk, born in Rocky Mount NC. They are currently singing as a quartet and their members include Lola Youngman, Mike Edwards, Tim Smith, and Jen Goforth Radabaugh. Mike has a connection with St. Matthew’s as he is the son of Carl & Janet Edwards. Their repertoire includes songs of James Taylor, Sting, U2, Ricki Lee Jones, Beatles, as well as originals by members Tim Smith and Mike Edwards.
Mike Edwards describes himself as left brain meets right brain. He is an IT consultant who likes to pen tunes. He is an alumnus of the Brown University Jabberwocks, and the 90’s era triangle based “Voices Only,” an a cappella group. Mike is proudly resident in bustling Hillsborough.
Tim Smith is well known in the triangle as a sax, keyboard, and flute player, but he is also a singer. He has a BA in Jazz Sax Performance from Oberlin Conservatory. He was in the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Hobex, Jazz Squad, Soulsearchers, Sol and Funk Root, Countdown Quartet, Mr Coffee and the Creamers, The Beast, and the Raleigh Jazz Orchestra. Tim has toured nationally and internationally. He has made TV appearances on Conan O’Brian, Regis and Kathy Lee, Sesame Street, and on NC Public TV.
Lola Youngman graduated from Central Michigan University with a major in Music Education. She has been singing professionally with her multi-instrumentalist jazz musician husband Dave Youngman for ten years. Prior to that she taught music at an elementary school in Wake County for 12 years.

Jen Goforth Radabaugh graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. She is currently an Elementary Music and Drama teacher in the North Raleigh area. Prior to moving to North Carolina she was a Director/Music Director/Choreographer with the children’s Theatre of Mason, and sang professionally with “I O Productions.” She has been a teacher for 10 years, a Musical Theatre performer for over 18 years, a Director of numerous high school and children’s theatre productions, and a soloist for weddings, concerts, and private venues.

Tickets ($10) and reservations are available from the church office during regular office hours, and also at the door.  (919-732-9308; welcome@stmatthewshillsborough.org)     

Sunday, September 11 at 3:00 p.m.: Organ Recital by David Arcus

Director of Music and Organist David Arcus will present an organ recital entitled “Music of Homage and Remembrance” on Sunday, September 11, 2016, at 3 p.m.  The program consists of organ pieces by Guilmant, Sweelinck, Locklair, and Franck. It will also feature a performance with narration of “The Battle of Trenton” (arranged from piano) and two movements from David Arcus’s Symphony No. 2, which was completed the evening of September 10, 2001. Composed for the 25th anniversary celebration of the Flentrop organ at Duke University Chapel, the work has taken on an inadvertently prophetic and memorial subtext given the events which unfolded the following day fifteen years ago. These movements have not been played in public since their premiere December 9, 2001. The public is cordially invited to attend and a reception will follow.

Sunday, October 16 at 4:00 p.m.: A Concert by Mary Rocap

The making of music took many forms including R & B bands and “Elvis” back-up vocals as well as acoustic duos, trios, and quartet groups, but the love of traditional music has always been the heart of her repertoire. She never aspired to be a songwriter, but upon reaching her forties came to the realization that there were songs within that were longing for expression.

Mary was awarded a NC Arts Council’s Artist Fellowship for Songwriting grant year 2001/2002 and has released four CDs: “Sweet Mimosa” (2002), “Indian Summer” (2005), “Hallelujah! Amen.” (2007), and “Deep December Dreams” (2011).

Her songs find inspiration from two main sources. The first is the natural world and our place within it; the sea and stars are prominent features of her landscape. The other is her attempt to walk in faith, acknowledging that doubt is never far behind. In addition to pursuing music, she is a quilter, baker, bookkeeper, and chronicler of her backyard flock of chickens.

Everyone is cordially invited to attend the recital and the reception which follows it. Tickets are $10 and are available from the church office (919-732-9308; welcome@stmatthewshillsborough.org) and also at the door.

Thursday, October 20 at 6:00 p.m.: Faith & the Arts Nasher Museum / Sonja Clark Lecture Road Trip

Last spring, I stumbled into a lecture on art and community being given at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC.  One of the speakers was Sonya Clark, a fiber artist and professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.  I was deeply moved by what she shared about using art as a medium for conversation around themes of community, race, heritage and culture.  

She currently has an exhibit at the Nasher Museum in Durham called “Unraveling.”  “Unraveling” aptly describes the exhibit: a large Confederate Flag which has been partially taken apart by carefully unraveling the threads that make it up.  The interesting thing is that wherever the exhibit has shown, Ms. Clark has engaged people there to work with her side by side to unravel the threads to create piles of red, white and blue thread.   Sonya Clark spoke compellingly about this process when I heard her in DC and I have no doubt she will do the same when she speaks at the Nasher in October.

If this peaks your interest, Hugh Tilson will be attending her lecture at the Nasher from 6:00-7:00 on October 20.  He would welcome meeting up with others there.  If you’re interested but need a ride, please let me or Hugh know and perhaps a carpool could be arranged.  I can speak from experience that she is a compelling artist and speaker whose conversations about race, community and heritage are deeply relevant to the issues of the day.  I hope many of you are able to go. –Lisa Frost-Phillips

Tuesday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Jim Watson’s 12th Annual Hillsborough Holiday Concert

Here at St. Matthew’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jim Watson has been doing a Holiday Show in Chapel Hill annually for 30-some years.  Eleven years ago he began doing one in Hillsborough as well. This year the Hillsborough concert will be held at St. Matthew’s on Tuesday, December 20th at 7:30. Call the office to reserve your ticket ($10). Jim is a former acolyte at St. Philip’s, Durham, an original member of the Red Clay Ramblers, and a member of Robin & Linda Williams’ “Fine Group.” He will lend his high lonesome tenor to a full set of holiday favorites and end with a celebratory sing-along.

 2015 Series

Earthcaster: a Minnow Media Film with the sculptor Thomas Sayre: Sunday, January 18, 3:00 p.m.

Sacred Sound Documentary: Sunday, February 8, 3:00 p.m.

Poems in Translation with Carl Ernst and Kathleen Macfie: Sunday, April 12, 7:00 p.m.

Lois Deloatch in Concert: Sunday, July 19, 3:00 p.m.

David Arcus Organ Recital: Sunday, September 13, 3:00 p.m.

Visual Arts Exhibit on the theme of Creation: October 4-November 8; Opening Reception October 11 at 3:00 p.m.

Jeffery Beam Poetry Reading: Sunday, October 18, 3:00 p.m.

Faith & the Arts presents Jeffery Beam Poetry Reading: “Beyond the Green Door” at 3:00 p.m. – This reading offers a range of poetry, songs, and reflections from Beam’s career – from the age of 17 to the present – as well as poems and songs from others, to illuminate his life-long conversation with the Divine in Nature. He is the author of over 20 works of poetry and sung poems in books and CDs, and is a photographer, editor, and critic.  Among his award-winning works are Visions of Dame Kind, The Broken Flower, Gospel Earth, The Life of the Bee, An Elizabethan Bestiary: Retold, The New Beautiful Tendons, and What We Have Lost.  A reception follows the reading.  FREE but donations are appreciated.

FolkPsalm: Thursday, November 5, 7:30 p.m. 

Faith & the Arts Series will be hosting a concert by Charles Pettee & FolkPsalm on Thursday, November 5th, at 7:30 p.m. A reception will follow the concert.    

FolkPsalm is a musical exploration of the Book of Psalms led by lifelong bluegrass musician Charles Pettee (founding member of Flying Fish recording artist The Shady Grove Band). FolkPsalm performs at churches and festivals throughout the Southeast, has performed repeatedly at NC’s prestigious MerleFest, and holds the distinction of being the only bluegrass-based ensemble ever to perform at Duke Chapel.

Pettee became fascinated with the Psalter back in 2001 when it occurred to him that these ancient Hebrew prayers were, originally, and essentially, folk songs, (i.e., works of the oral tradition of an agrarian people), as well as radically inclusive and transformational sacred texts. As a composer, Pettee set out to render these poems in a bluegrass-based style, (“as the ancient Hebrews intended,” he winks).

The goal in these musical settings is to allow us today to experience these prayer songs in as unaffected manner as the original participants. Their third CD “The Way of Manna – Agrarian Songs from the Bible for the Care of Creation” was released in 2010, and features a booklet of thought-provoking essays by Professor Ellen Davis of Duke Divinity School, a longtime consultant for Pettee’s translations into song lyrics. “A Dove on Distant Oaks: Psalms for the Journey” is the latest from the group, released in December, 2014.

Tickets are $15 and are available through the church office.

This concert is part of a month-long focus of honoring God in creation. Other components are an art exhibit “In & Of the World” showing through November 8; a poetry reading by Jeffery Beam, special programming at The Adult Forum, and music during our services.

The St. Matthew’s Women’s Singing Circle CD Release Concert (Homecoming): Sunday, November 15, 4:00 p.m.

On Sunday, November 15, at 4:00 p.m., St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church will host a concert in celebration of the Women’s Singing Circle’s 3rd CD “Homecoming.”

We went into the studio this summer and had a great time singing some of our favorite songs including: Kate Campbell’s “Jesus is the Way Home,” Sacred Harp’s “Holy Manna,” Keb Mo’s “Hand it Over,” Joe Newberry’s “Resurrection Day,” and two of my songs as well.  Accompanying the singing were long-time music buddies of mine: Charlie Ebel on guitar, Lew Wardell on bass, and Bob Mutter on percussion. David Arcus added a couple of tracks: “Precious Lord” (which Andrea Headley sings) and a moving medley of four of the songs.

Homecoming is dedicated, with appreciation, to the legacy of St. Mary’s Chapel’s Homecoming services and, in memory of those murdered in the Charleston Mother Emanuel Massacre, especially Susie Jackson.  We understand that “Precious Lord” was her favorite song.  The words “take my hand, lead me on” remind us that we are all on a journey home.

The painting that graces the cover of the CD is one by Ebeth Scott-Sinclair titled “Sunflower Harvest.”

Please come and help celebrate our work.  Tickets are $10 and are available at the church office (919-732-9308) or at the door.

Linda Beatrice Brown Poetry Reading: Sunday, November 29, 3:00 p.m.

The third Faith & the Arts event in November is a reading by poet and writer Linda Beatrice Brown on Sunday, November 29th, at 3:00 p.m.

She will be reading what she refers to as her “Mary Poems.” In these poems, she offers a dimension of the mother of Jesus that has not been fully explored- her very human self, her strength, sacrifice and wisdom. She says “As women come into their own in our time, they are being met by violence and resistance at every turn. [Here is] a way to see the power of the Divine Feminine and perhaps more significantly, to take heart, and to recognize and affirm the power that is within ourselves.” And, “I offer these poems and meditations to all of us, in humility and gratitude that we may see in the Mother’s face a way to heal ourselves.  We are in a time of massive change on our planet, a critical turning point for the earth and all her children. It is only through the heart that we can become who we are meant to be, that we can see ourselves as She sees us.”

Linda Beatrice Brown is the author of three novels. She also writes poems, plays, short stories, and essays. She started writing at the age of 14 and her first poetry was published at the age of 19. For many years she has been a professor of African American Literature.  Her experience as a teacher inspired her to write about the Civil War period in a novel for young people. She currently holds the Willa B. Player chair in the Humanities at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC.

November 29 is first Sunday of Advent ushersing in the liturgical season- it is fitting that Linda Beatrice Brown come and invite us to enter with her this season of preparation, expectation, and hope. 

Michael Malone & Allan Gurganus – A Christmas Carol:  Thursday, December 17 and Friday, December 18 at 7:30 p.m.

2014 Series

Opening Reception for the Exhibit Heaven & EarthFebruary 9 at 4:00

The opening reception for St. Matthew’s first Faith & the Arts exhibit of visual art will take place on Sunday afternoon, February 9, at 4:00. The show of works by St. Matthew’s parishioners and friends will be up from February 2 through March 2. We look forward to seeing the way heaven and earth are depicted. Will you see your own view reflected in theirs? Come celebrate visual arts and be inspired.

Andrea Moore Concert: Saturday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m.: “Shakespeare: Music’s Muse”

St. Matthew’s will present a concert, Saturday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m. featuring Andrea Edith Moore, soprano, and David Heid, pianist. Moore and Heid will be joined by poet Jeffery Beam and writer Jane Holding.

Considered by many to be the greatest writer of all time, William Shakespeare exerted a powerful influence, not only on literature and drama, but on the other arts as well. Composers of every age, from the Renaissance to present day, have created music expressly for the performance of his plays and sonnets as well as music inspired by and based upon his works.

The concert will include songs that extract Shakespeare’s language verbatim, songs that use fragments of his writings, translations and in some cases, works that are based on Shakespearean characters.

Songs interspersed with monologues will include selections from Twelfth Night, Othello, Hamlet, and As You Like It with music by composers Henry Purcell, Robert Schumann, Gerald Finzi, Amy Beach, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Johannes Brahms, Gioachino Rossini, Joseph Baber, Roger Quilter, Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Ernest Chausson.

Tickets are $10 and available from the church office.

Josh Lozoff: Magic & Wonder: Thursday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m.

St. Matthew’s Faith & the Arts will present a magic show featuring one of the best magicians around, Joshua Lozoff, on Thursday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m. Joshua’s unique approach to the art of magic escapes the confines of tradition and blurs the line between reality and illusion. His performance will leave you wide-eyed in amazement.

Joshua has taken his magic all around the world performing everywhere from the Olympics in Japan to the prisons of North Carolina; sharing magic with Fortune 500 CEOs, folks on the street, and everyone in between. He says, “the most beautiful thing about magic is how it appeals to everyone.” It reminds us that life can be mysterious, surprising, and delightful. Disbelief and belief come together for one transcendent instant.

Before turning his attention to magic, Joshua was a professional actor in Los Angeles, including a notable recurring role on the TV show Cheers, as Gino Tortelli, and as Logan in the movie Clueless.

Tickets and reservations are $15 and available from the church office.

Joe Newberry Concert: Thursday, August 14, 7:30 p.m.

Our Faith & the Arts Series is proud to present Joe Newberry in concert on Thursday, August 14, at 7:30 p.m.

Joe grew up in Boone County, Missouri. His dad’s family loved to sing — old Ozark songs, sacred songs, and popular songs of the day. His mother’s family loved dancing, singing, and fiddling. He took up the guitar as a boy and learned fiddle tunes from great Missouri fiddlers. Banjo came a few years later. He came to North Carolina in 1982 and quickly became an anchor of the incredible old-time music scene in the state. Still going strong more than 30 years later, he does solo and studio work, plays and teaches at international festivals and workshops, and is a frequent guest on A Prairie Home Companion.

I have known Joe for many years and he is kind and courteous- a gentleman of the highest order- even though he does not generally take off his hat inside a building. And, of course, he is an outstanding singer and picker.

A reception will follow the concert.

Tickets ($15) are available through the church office during office hours (919-732-9308).

The Honey Dewdrops, Thursday, September 18, 7:30 p.m.

The Honey Dewdrops are Kagey Parrish and his wife Laura Wortman. They are a wonderful young duo from Charlottesville- full of mountain soul, both plain and plaintive, with a finely tuned harmonic balance of instrument and voice. In short, they are well worth seeing. Tom & I first saw them at the Ocrafolk Festival in 2011. We’ve seen them three times now; each time containing moments of pure serenity. Here is a link to one of my favorite songs of theirs: “Fair Share Blues”- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ocPMtv0Gns; their website is: //www.thehoneydewdrops.com/.

Check them out; I’m sure you will be impressed. Tickets (or reservations) are $15 and available from the office. I hope you can come. –Mary Rocap

Carver Blanchard, Lute Concert: Sunday, October 19, 2:00 p.m.

Former lutenist to the Smithsonian Institution, Carver Blanchard returns to St. Matthew’s on October 19 for a Faith & the Arts recital Sunday afternoon as well as providing music at the 10:30 service that morning. Carver brings to modern audiences the sparkling tradition of composition and arrangement for the lute that began in Renaissance Europe. He has adapted spirituals, work-songs and other traditional music of the American South for performance with this classic and intimate instrument. By including new works of his own, he illuminates four centuries of musical and cultural history.

David Arcus Organ Demonstration & Concert: Sunday, September 28, 3:00 p.m.

Parish Musician Dr. David Arcus will give a demonstration and organ recital on Sunday afternoon, September 28. David will offer a recital-demonstration of our Hook & Hastings (1883) organ. The program is free and open to all. He will talk about and demonstrate how the organ’s different sets of pipes are used and combined, and will perform works by J. S. Bach, Robert Schumann, and Franz Liszt.

3 Poets: Marielle Prince, Phillip Shabazz, and Jaki Sheldon Green: Sunday, November 9, 3:00 p.m.

Advent One Concert with the St. Matthew’s Women’s Singing Circle and Soul Cake: Sunday, November 30, 3:00 p.m.

A Christmas Carol: Thursday, December 18 and Friday December 19, 7:30 p.m.

Annual production of the Dickens short story performed by Allan Gurganus and Michael Malone

2013 Series

Sunday, January 13 at 4:00 p.m.: Piano Recital by David Jackson

On Sunday afternoon January 13th, David Jackson will be playing a jazz piano recital as part of the Faith and Arts Series at St. Matthew’s. He will be performing works of Jerome Kern, Horace Silver, and many other artists. David studies under Professor Ed Paolantonio, who teaches jazz music at NC Central, UNC, and Duke. Outside of music, David is a senior at Durham Academy High School. He looks forward to sharing his love of jazz music with others.

Thursday, January 31 at 7:30 p.m.: Robin & Linda Williams and Their Fine Group

For more than thirty years, Robin & Linda Williams have been performing the music they love, a blend of bluegrass, folk, old-time, and gospel. They are seasoned performers and gifted songwriters. Despite their Southern roots, their career got its initial momentum in the Minneapolis folk scene. In 1975, the same year the made their first record, they made their first appearance on a little radio show just getting off the ground called “A Prairie Home Companion” and their rich relationship with that icon of American broadcasting has continued for three decades.

For the past 15 years they have toured with a band, cleverly called “Their Fine Group,” including Durham native Jim Watson (who attended St. Phillip’s growing up) on bass, vocals and mandolin. Jim was a founding member of The Red Clay Ramblers and played with them for 14 years.

Home for Robin and Linda is an old frame house built around a log cabin in Middlebrook, VA, right in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley.

We are delighted to present this nationally known group at St. Matthew’s. There will be a reception afterwards. Tickets ($20) are available through the church office during office hours ( 919-732-9308) and from Purple Crow Books (109 W. King Street; 919-732-1711).

Thursday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m.: The Gospel Jubilators; The St. Matthew’s Women’s Singing Circle

We will host The Gospel Jubilators. This all-male vocal group from Durham performs a cappella music with rare purity and soul, highlighting vocal traditions of the golden age of ’30s and ’40s gospel. Jubilee singing dates back to gospel’s own origins in the late 1800s featuring elder statesmen reaching out to the audience with harmonies and hand-clapping.

The Women’s Singing Circle will open for them.

Friday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m.: Peter Ostroushko and Danny Gotham

We are delighted to host Peter Ostroushko, otherwise known as Peter the Great. He is regarded as one of the finest mandolin and fiddle players in acoustic music.

Growing up in the Ukrainian community of northeast Minneapolis, Peter Ostroushko heard mandolin, balalaika and bandura tunes played by his father and family friends at get-togethers in their home and in church. It’s the music that still echoes in Peter’s memory and provides the basis for many of his compositions.

He has spent more than 25 years as a frequent performer on A Prairie Home Companion, and for a few seasons, he did a stint as Music Director for the popular radio show. You may have caught him on TV, too. He’s appeared on Austin City Limits, Late Night with David Letterman, even Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

He will be playing with long-time friend and music buddy, Danny Gotham. Danny is a first rate guitar player living and teaching in Chapel Hill.

Tickets ($15) and reservations are available through the church office (919-732-9308; welcome@stmatthewshillsborough.org).

http://www.peterostroushko.com; http://www.dannygotham.com

Here’s a link of Peter playing “heart of the heartland” on Prairie Home Companion: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgJn2F6lMcM

Lecture, Luncheon, and Tour at the NC Museum of Art on Saturday, April 27

David Steel, Curator of European Art at the North Carolina Museum of Art, will be giving a lecture on the medieval English alabasters from the Victoria and Albert Museum now on special exhibit at NCMA, on Saturday, April 27, starting at 11:00 a.m. Following lunch provided by the Iris Restaurant, the group from St. Matthew’s will be given a tour of the exhibit. This is a special opportunity to see and learn about the artistic expression of the alabasters and their devotional uses in medieval England, which ended with the violent iconoclasm of the Reformation that scattered them throughout Europe and into hiding. Reservations must be made by March 27th with payment for the day: $23 for NCMA members, or $33 for non- member, (includes lecture, luncheon at the museum, and exhibition tour). Make checks payable to the NCMA and give to Mary Rocap or send to St. Matthew’s, Attn. NCMA Program. Car pooling will be from St. Matthew’s.

–The Visual Arts Committee: Elizabeth Matheson, Ann Gleason, Sandy McBride

St. Matthew’s Favorite Poem Project II: Sunday, April 28, 4:00 p.m.

As part of Faith & the Arts Series at St. Matthew’s a second “Favorite Poem” Recitation will be held on Sunday, April 28. starting at 4:00 p.m. We are searching for at least ten persons who have a favorite poem they would like to share. The guidelines are that the poem must be from a well-known poet; not one written by yourself or a fried. Each person will have about five minutes to read the poem and share how it is important to them. If you are interested in participating please contact Jerry Eidenier and let him know the poet and poem you have chosen. –Jerry Eidenier

Tongues of Fire as produced and performed by the Touring Theatre of North Carolina: a theatrical adaptation of Lee Smith’s short story, Wednesday, May 29, 7:30 p.m.

St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church’s Faith & the Arts Series presents Tongues of Fire as produced and performed by the Touring Theatre of North Carolina on Wednesday, May 29. At 7:30 p.m. This is an adaptation of Lee Smith’s acclaimed short story Tongues of Fire and she will introduce the play.

The story begins with the line: “The year I was thirteen—1957—my father had a nervous breakdown, my brother had a wreck and I started speaking in tongues.” It goes on to tell of the character Karen’s teen-age dislocation and bewilderment when her middle-class family’s circumstances spin out of control. With her mother focused on “rising above” the nervous breakdown, and “keeping up appearances at all costs,” teen-age Karen longs for attention. She eventually finds it in a working class, primitive church where she is baptized in a plastic swimming pool and speaks in tongues.

“Tongues of Fire,” like other stories by Lee Smith, is rich in detail, comic yet dark, and filled with references to music. The production is accompanied by a women’s a cappella trio.

Producing artistic director and founder of the Touring Theatre of NC, Brenda Schleunes chose this Lee Smith story for the company partly because she believes it is one of Smith’s finest. It also lends itself nicely to TTNC’s format. Six characters tell the story that Smith has called “truly one of the most autobiographical stories I have ever written.” Lee is enthusiastic about their adaptation saying “and I promise, these folks are really terrific.”

The TTNC is dedicated to providing unique and effective learning experiences through professional theatre. Their innovative spirit generates a rich and diverse repertoire of productions based on literature and historical documents, with each telling stories of ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Their repertoire also calls attention to issues involving traditions, class, ethnicity, culture and gender. All productions, created with the highest professional standards, are designed to promote conversations about community.

Ms. Schleunes has adapted, compiled and directed more than 30 productions for TTNC. Her stage adaptations range from educational programs for school children, to sophisticated and insightful productions for adults. When choosing material for adaptation, Ms. Schleunes often uses poetry and short stories. However, Touring Theatre’s strong repertoire also includes productions based on diaries, interviews, letters, and culturally significant music. Her productions have been presented throughout the Eastern United States.

In conjunction with the Tongues of Fire production we will have an art exhibit. “A Choir of Angels” and other examples of Southern visionary folk art from the collections ofSusan Frankenberg and Elizabeth Woodman will be on display.

Tickets are $15 and on sale through the church office (919-732-9308; welcome@stmatthewshillsborough.org) or at Purple Crow Books in Hillsborough (109 W. King Street; 919-732-1711).

Sally Ann Webb McPherson Reading & Book Signing Sunday, June 23 at 4:00

Warm Firesides Wide Porches

We welcome home to St. Matthew’s Sally Ann Webb McPherson, who has recently published a delightful memoir of her childhood growing up in Hillsborough and at St. Matthew’s. All members of St. Matthew’s will be charmed by her descriptions of what our church and our community were like in the 1940s. Sally Ann will read at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, June 23, and there will be copies of her book available for signing at a reception following the reading.

a Jazzy Sunday afternoon with the Charles Bradshaw Quartet on Sunday, July 14, 4:00 p.m.

The Bradshaw Quartet will be here on July 14, at 4:00 p.m. for an afternoon concert. They were founded in 2003 to further extend the musical fellowship they enjoy as the United Voices of Praise Gospel Choir rhythm section. Charles Bradshaw (Keyboards), Matthew Busch (tenor and soprano saxophone), Brad Kintner (upright and fretless bass), and Odessa Shaw (drums) each bring more than 20 years of musical experience and training from a broad range of musical styles. The Quartet brings this diverse knowledge, from swing dance to R&B top 40, from classical to funk to gospel, to form a jazz ensemble capable of looking beyond the standards for inspiration. The quartet showcases selected jazz standards, new interpretations of R&B and pop classics, and original compositions.

While there will be no charge for this concert, donations will gladly be accepted. Come enjoy this fine music and have an ice cream cone afterwards.

Allan Gurganus Reading from his newly published Local Souls on Friday, September 27, 7:00 p.m.

St. Matthew’s is pleased to host a reading by legendary Hillsborough author and resident Allan Gurganus on Friday, September 27, at 7:00 p.m. Paris’s La Monde has called him “a Mark Twain for our age, hilariously clear-eyed, blessed with perfect pitch.”

His 1st book in a decade, Local Souls, returns to Falls, NC, mythic site of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. With three linked novellas, he charts adultery, obsession, and incest in our New South and finds new pathos in old tensions between marriage and eros, with gigantic hopes battling small-town conventions. Local Souls is a universal work about a village. Its black comedy creates affection for characters and an aching aftermath of human consequences. Early publicity includes this comment from Edmund White: “Allan Gurganus is our verbal magician. He turns factual rabbits into poetic doves. Every sentence contains a surprise, but the brilliant surface doesn’t dazzle us from peering into the tender human depths.”

Allan is no stranger to St. Matthew’s having for eleven years delighted audiences along with fellow author Michael Malone in their hilarious production of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Allan says “I look forward to launching my new book at Saint Matthews for Purple Crow Books. Saint Matthews is a spiritual center even for secular wags like me. It seems a good place to say, ‘In the beginning.'”

There will be copies of Local Souls available for purchase and signing at a reception following the reading.

Call & Response: A Song & Poetry Cycle by Jerry Eidenier & Megan Whitted on Thursday, October 17, 7:30 p.m.

The performance of “Call and Response: A Song Cycle” with poetry by Jerry Eidenier and music by Megan Whitted will take place at St. Matthew’s on Thursday, October 17, at 7:30 p.m. The performance will include commentary on the collaboration of poet and musician and musical support from Mary Rocap, Lise Uyanik, Cindy Stevens, and the St. Matthew’s Women’s Singing Circle. Jerry is the author of Draw Flame, Catch Fire and Sonnets to Eurydice, and is in the process of publishing a new collection of poetry. Jerry and Megan began collaborating in 2010, when he shared six poems that he thought would lend themselves to a musical setting. The completed cycle of ten songs and poems is called “Call and Response” as it reflects the conversation between two creative voices.

Lee Smith Reading: Guests on Earth on Friday, October 25, 8:00 p.m.

St. Matthew’s will host a reading by Lee Smith from her new novel Guests on Earth. The book was inspired by a real event: a 1948 fire that swept through Highland Hospital in Asheville, NC killing nine women, among them Zelda Fitzgerald. This reading is part of a “Celebrate Lee Smith Week” so designated by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance and Algonquin Books. It is the 45th anniversary of the publication of her first novel: The Last Day the Dogbushes Bloomed.

Lee is a parishioner at St. Matthew’s and we are honored to be part of her 20-city book tour. A reception and book signing will follow the reading.

American Folk Art Churches: Rendering Imagination and Revelation on Sunday, October 27, at 4:00 p.m.

The large folk art building collection of Steven Burke and Randy Campbell contains churches in larger number than found in most communities — revealing a purposeful and no doubt passionate imperative to well honor and capture small places of faith. Compelling and lovely, they also yield questions about origin and intention, about time and making. Why did makers, like all of us, so much like these things? At St. Matthew’s at 4:00 p.m., Steven will describe both the collection and the churches within it. The group will then move a few blocks to their house (214 W. Tryon Street), to view the folk art buildings. The presentation and viewing will be informally captured by the film makers working on a documentary about the collection and its place within American material culture.

Favorite Poem Project III on Sunday, November 10, at 4:00 p.m.

Our favorite poetic arts event returns to St. Matthew’s on Sunday afternoon November 10 at 4:00 p.m. Please sign up the share a favorite poem and come read it and hear the favorite poems of others from our parish.

St. Matthew’s Women’s Singing Circle Christmas CD Concert: Venite Adoremus on Sunday, December 1, 4:00 p.m.

Songs of the Season: Bob Bedell, Curtis Stagner, & Dave Wilson (Soul Cake) on Sunday, December 8, 3:00 p.m.

Visit to the Nasher Museum: Doris Duke’s Shangri La Exhibit: the evening of December 12 – 5:30 dinner; 7:00 guided tour with Bruce Lawrence and Miriam cooke

2012 Series

Thursday, January 5, 7:30 p.m.: Old Christmas with Lee Smith & the St. Matthew’s Women’s Singing Circle

The Scotch-Irish pioneers who settled in the hills and hollows of the Appalachian Mountains carried on many Old World traditions that go back hundreds of years. Mountain people knew the Day of Epiphany as “Old Christmas.” They regarded the Eve of Epiphany (January 5) as a night when the Holy Spirit would be manifest upon the earth in many subtle ways.

Join us in the church as Lee Smith reads her account of Old Christmas from her novel, Fair and Tender Ladies. The Women’s Singing Circle will sing carols, both old and new, and will be joined by a wonderful harpist from Chapel Hill, Ericka Patillo.

Sunday, March 11 at 4:00: Lauren Winner Reading from Still: Notes from a Mid-Faith Crisis

St. Matthew’s will host a reading by Lauren Winner from her new book, Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, on Sunday afternoon, March 11th, at 4:00 p.m. Lauren was ordained an Episcopal priest this past year and served as an intern here in the spring of 2010.

In her critically-acclaimed memoir Girl Meets God, Lauren explored her religious identity as she made the transition from Judaism to Christianity. In Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, Lauren offers readers an exploration of love, loss, and what it means to land at the “middle stage” of the spiritual life.

Our own supporter of literature, Sharon Wheeler of Purple Crow Books, will bring a selection of Lauren’s books for a book signing which will follow the reading. Refreshments will also be offered.

Saturday, April 21: The Messiah, St. Matthew’s Senior Choir with soloists and instrumentalists

The St. Matthew’s Senior Choir has prepared a condensed version of Handel’s oratorio. We will sing the major choruses and members of the choir will offer recitations of the lesser known texts. We will be joined by a string quartet that has played at services for St. Matthew’s, as well as an oboe player and our favorite Easter trumpet player. Solos within the work will be sung by St. Matthew’s choir members and colleagues Andrea Moore, soprano, and Lewis Moore, bass, who also works as our organ tuner. Jane Lynch, Megan’s first organ teacher, will be our accompanist. All of us are connected by our mutual love for the music and the joy of making music in our beautiful church. In order to defray the cost of hiring these wonderful professional musicians to support our performance, donations will be gratefully accepted.

Please join us for this memorable community event!

Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2: a re-imagined Carousel with Michael Malone, Maureen Quilligan and the St. Matthew’s Players

Carousel is well-known for its score, including the songs “If I Loved You” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” The story revolves around carousel barker Billy Bigelow (Pelham Jacobs, Jr.) whose romance with millworker Julie Jordan (Andrea Moore) comes at the price of both their jobs. He attempts a robbery to provide for Julie and their unborn child but tragedy strikes and he loses his life. However, The Starkeeper (Michael Malone) offers him a second chance, a chance to make things right, for himself and for those he left behind. Carousel becomes a parable of redemptive love, reconciliation, grace, and the power of faith to transform a life and a community.

Sunday, July 22: a Summer Evening of Schubert with Kim Kingsley and Allan Parrent

Parishioners Allan Parrent, tenor, and Kim Kingsley, soprano, will present a duo-concert at St. Matthew’s on Sunday afternoon, July 22, at 4:00 p.m. The program will include solos and duets from both the classical and semi-classical repertoire, from Schubert and Schumann to Rodgers & Hammerstein. They will be accompanied by Kate Lewis. This concert is presented by St. Matthew’s Faith & the Arts Series. Admission is free and all are invited.

Sunday, September 9, 4:00 p.m.: Favorite Poem Project

St. Matthew’s will host a “Favorite Poem” event on Sunday, September 9, at 4:00 p.m. Come and hear folks from St. Matthew’s as they read one of their favorite poems and share what makes that poem meaningful to them. Readers include: Bartow Culp, Jehanne Gheith, Ellie Jackson, Katherine Johnson, Pat Merriman, Emily Pearce, James Pearce, Max Preston, Mildred Pruessing, Mary Rocap, Carol Staton, and Betty Wolfe. A reception will follow.

Thursday, October 11, 7:30 p.m.: Will McFarlane in Concert

The St. Matthew’s Faith & the Arts Series will present the extraordinary Will McFarlane in concert on Thursday, October 11, at 7:30 p.m. Will is a singer/songwriter and musician whose considerable gifts are complemented by his years of experience and command of his craft.

Will’s career began in the early seventies when he joined Bonnie Raitt’s band as a guitarist and background vocalist. For six years he toured and recorded with the band on such projects as Bonnie’s “Home Plate” and “Sweet Forgiveness” albums. “Sweet Forgiveness” included a cover of the 60’s Del Shannon tune “Runaway,” which features a now-familiar and famous guitar solo line.

He left the band in 1980 and moved to Muscle Shoals, AL. where he became part of the famous Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. He was given the honor of being inducted into the Musician’s Hall of Fame in Nashville for this work in 2008.

While in Alabama he had a spiritual awakening and recovery. His younger brother had been murdered while he was still with Bonnie Raitt, and he says he reeled for three years afterwards. He became a Christian, his floundering marriage was restored, and his music took on a new dimension.

Our local music community was enriched with his presence for about 10 years when he and his wife, Janet, moved to Durham while he served as a minister at Grace Church in Chapel Hill. I met Will when former parishioners, Joe & Vicky Smith, hosted him at their home for a house concert. Shortly afterwards I ended up working with him on a couple of recording projects and prison shows with Bo Lozoff. He became a friend and played on five tracks on my “Hallelujah! Amen.” CD. I was so sorry when they moved back to Muscle Shoals but he continues to come up for shows and session work so we have kept in touch.

St. Matthew’s has a connection with him as well. He has, in fact, played here before. Allan Julich used Will’s version of “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah! when I lay my burden down” in the soundtrack of his documentary “Against the Tide.” When we had a screening of the film as part of the Faith & the Arts 2010 Series Will was invited to be part of the program and performed it. It was clear to me then that Will needed to come back and do a whole program.

His wife, Janet, who has a fine voice in her own right, will join him in the concert. There will be a reception afterwards.

On behalf of the Music & Arts Committee I invite everyone to come to this concert. Will is very engaging. He’s a superb guitar player and singer combining his love of music with his desire to spread God’s message of love and redemption through song.

Tickets are available through the church office. Glory, Glory, Hallelujah,

Sunday, November 11, at 4:00 p.m.: Grey Brown and Nancy Carter Poetry Reading

Grey Brown and Nancy Carter will read their poems at the St. Matthew’s Poetry Series on November 11 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. The reading will take place in the Cooke-Lawrence Room located in the Ruffin House. Refreshments and conversation will follow the readings. Please join us for an afternoon of thoughts finding their way into words.

Nancy Carter is a freelance writer and is often called upon to lead arts and spirit workshops. She is retired from teaching humanities in a small liberal arts college. Her publications include: “Martha, Mary and Jesus: Weaving Action and Contemplation in Daily Life”, “The Li Patchword Quilt” and “Near the End of the Rainy Season: Poems from Japan.” She has two books of poems: “Dragon Poems” and “The Sourdough Dream Kit.” Nancy has taught poetry in the schools and her poems and essays have appeared in several journals. Nancy’s recent manuscripts, “Sunday Dinner at the Farm” and “Making Up for Lost Time: A WWII Daughter Writes to Her GI Dad,” are being considered for publication. She lives in Chapel Hill. Nancy and Howard (her husband) lived next door to us as their house was being built in Orange County. She is actively involved with environmental issues as well as her writing. Much of her poetry takes up explicit religious themes which brings them to us refreshed.

Grey Brown is the author of the “Staying In” which was the winner of the NC Writer’s Network Chapbook Contest. The collection of poems in “when they tell me” is her personal story of her daughter with autism. This collection has been described by Betty Adcock as, “…searingly beautiful…the poet takes us with her through the grief and fierce love, the wrenching knowledge and stone acceptance – and her joyous moments…” She is a visiting lecturer teaching creative writing at Duke University, and lives in Carrboro. I have known Grey for a number of years. She worked for Cultural Services at Duke Hospital which the Gothic Bookshop supported. Perhaps more importantly I have admired her poetry for a long while. She in active in programs which encourage writers and gives support with insightful responses.

Books will be available for purchase before and after the readings. –Jerry Eidenier

Saturday, November 17, 7:00 p.m. a collaboration between Jerry Eidenier & Megan Whitted: Poetry & Song

On Saturday, November 17 at 7:00 p.m. Megan Whitted will share new songs based on the poetry of Jerry Eidenier. For the past two years, Megan and Jerry have been collaborating on a song cycle which includes a variety of poems and song styles. They will share their experience of the creative process. They will be joined by a number singers, songwriters, and musicians celebrating the spirit of creativity in our community. These include Charlie Ebel, guitarist, Jay Miller, saxophonist/songwriter, Andrea Moore, singer/teacher, Mary Rocap, singer/songwriter, Ebeth Scott-Sinclair, singer/songwriter, Cindy Stevens, singer/poet, and Lise Uyanik, singer/songwriter.

Thursday, December 13 and Friday, December 14, 7:30 p.m.
Michael Malone & Allan Gurganus perform 11th Season of “A Christmas Carol”

Join the Burwell School Historic Site and St. Matthew’s for the 11th year of Allan Gurganus’ & Michael Malone’s performance of Charles Dickens’ timeless Victorian tale, A Christmas Carol! Two performances of this exciting Hillsborough holiday tradition will be held on Thursday, December 13 and Friday, December 14, at 7:30 p.m. Both performances will be at St. Matthew’s.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the Burwell School, the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough, the Hillsborough Wine Company, the Purple Crow Bookstore, AND St. Matthew’s. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are non-refundable; In order to reserve tickets, payment in full must be received. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Burwell School, the Orange County Cultural Center, and St. Matthew’s. For more information, please call the Burwell Scholl at 919-732-7451.

2011 Series

Our 2011 Series started with To Buy the Sun, a play exploring the life and legacy of Pauli Murray. In March, we welcomed Sheila Kay Adams, a 7th generation story-teller from the mountains of NC. Stories were paired with songs sung by the St. Matthew’s Womens Singing Circle. In June, a choral re-imaging of The Music Man, scripted by Michael Malone and narrated by Maureen Quilligan with music direction by Megan Whitted was performed to rave reviews. In October we had Kate Campbell in Concert, a fine singer / songwriter from Nashville by way of New Orleans.

2010 Series

Our 2010 Series included events with Lee Smith, Ana Hernandez, Cantari, a showing of the documentary Against the Tide with a guest appearance by Will McFarlane, Michael Malone & Maureen Quilligan’s production of Guys & Dolls, and Pierce Pettis.We invite you to be present in the intersections of faith and art.

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