June 06, 2020

Concert to benefit Habitat for Humanity

BANGOR — Christine Clewell Santos, doctoral student in music at the University of Michigan, doesn’t get to spend a lot of time with her husband these days. The Rev. Wayne Santos is the interim pastor at the Wilson Center in Orono — a fair hike from Ann Arbor.

But the newlyweds have devoted a good portion of their occasional time together in recent months to a common cause — preparing for a benefit concert for Habitat for Humanity, to be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 6, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 225 French St., Bangor.

In addition to Clewell Santos, an organist, the concert will feature trumpeter Curt Brossmer, flutist Patricia Boyle, oboeist Susan White, violinist Ellie Mae Shufro, cellist Martin Griffiths, soprano Carolyn Whipp Leick and percussionist Alan Wilcox.

Sponsors are the Bangor Area Clergy Fellowship, Orono Campus Ministries, the University of Maine Music Department, the Bangor Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and the choir and churchwomen of St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Habitat for Humanity, the ecumenical organization which builds low-income housing for people who could not otherwise afford their own home, has been special to the Santoses for a number of years. Wayne Santos even worked on a bathtub-sitting marathon with a youth group back when he worked for a church in Massachusetts. “He’s come a long way,” Clewell Santos said jokingly.

The organist is glad to contribute her musical talents to the current effort. She learned how to play the piano at age 6, and has always enjoyed music. Teaching sacred music is what she hopes to do after finishing school.

She credits the influence of one of her teachers, Jehan Alain, and said that “sacred music has a very foundational place in music history. Music is healthy for the soul.”

The couple both believe that sacred music is integrated into the life and growth of the church, and people’s relationship with God.

Clewell Santos has played concerts in churches of a variety of denominations, both in Maine and other states. They include Pleasant Street United Methodist Church in Waterville, Colby College, and Second Congregational Church in Norway. She learns from other musical perspectives, and appreciated the gifts of the Jewish cantor who sang at her husband’s ordination.

The concert will include pieces by Bach, Handel, Corrette, Mendelssohn, Albright, Franckcq, Heiller and Alain.

Beyond the intrinsic value of the music, the Santoses hope the upcoming concert will bring in contributions and attention to Habitat for Humanity. Now active in a number of locations around the country, Habitat found its first Bangor project in renovating some rooms at the Greater Bangor Area Shelter.

Habitat went on to build single-family homes on old Broadway and Parker Street, and hopes to build a third home soon and also assist on another project. Each family that receives a Habitat home helps build it, and then pays a low-cost mortgage — which is then reinvested in housing for later families. The national Habitat theme for this year is “Build More in ’94.”

Tickets are $7.50, and are available through the sponsors or at Libby’s Card and Gift on Broadway. Patron tickets are $25.

For information, contact the Rev. Russ Hartley at 945-3844.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Bangor will hold its annual meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, at All Souls Congregational Church, 10 Broadway, Bangor. The speaker will be Emily Bancroft, a high school senior from Cumberland who recently returned from a Habitat building project in Guatemala.

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