July 24, 2019

Organist to play at Winterport meeting house

Perhaps it should be known as “the little organ that could,” since the 1859 Mason & Hamlin reed pump organ at the Winterport Union Meeting House was able to attract a very special guest performer.

An open concert by James Welch of Palo Alto, Calif., will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 23, at the Meeting House in Winterport. Welch has served as university organist and lecturer in music at Santa Clara University since 1993.

According to information provided by May Pardy, a member of the meeting house, “Dr. Welch has expressed special interest in performing a program” on the organ, which was restored in 1991.

“We are quite pleased,” she wrote, “that James Welch wants to give a concert on our little organ. … We are proud of it, but did not know it was that special.”

Welch holds a doctor of musical arts degree from Stanford and has studied in France and Austria.

He has performed at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City.

During his time in Maine, Welch will also perform in Portland, Farmington and at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Bangor.

Proceeds from ticket sales for the concert benefit the Winterport Union Meeting House, which has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973.

The facility is considered one of the best examples of ecclesiastical architecture on the Penobscot River. The bell in its belfry was cast by the firm founded by Paul Revere and bears the engraving “Revere Boston.” It is one of 112 that remain of the 400 Revere bells cast between 1792 and 1839.

Tickets for the Welch concert at the Meeting House are $5 for adults, $3 for students up to age 18, $15 for a family. Advance tickets are available at Molly’s on Main Street in Winterport, and at Schacht’s Hardware in Hampden. Tickets will also be available at the door.

For those who choose to participate in this unique opportunity, a word to the wise. We pass along the strong urging of Pardy: “Bring a cushion!”

For the record, we tried all four telephone numbers listed for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Bangor, to obtain information on the time and date of Welch’s appearance there. Unfortunately, we did not get to talk with anyone, but we did leave a message asking that we be contacted about this concert. If any member of that church has information on the Welch concert, we would appreciate hearing from you so we can pass it along to our readers.

Helen Giles is treasurer of the Goodwill Riders Snowmobile Club, which is seeking 28 teams to compete in its fourth annual Golf Tournament beginning with shotgun starts at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, June 26, at Hampden Country Club.

“Our club is hoping to raise $1,000 or more at this tournament for our Dollars for Scholars” program at Hampden Academy, she wrote.

Currently, the club donates $300 at each graduation, but it would like to be able to give three donations at each graduation in the future, we were told.

The cost of this tournament is very reasonable — $20 per golfer — and you can call the club at 862-9999 to reserve your foursome.

Don Wade of Orrington, president of the Eastern Maine Soap Box Derby, has written to express the organization’s thanks to all who participated in that recent event, making it “once again, a huge success.”

The race would not succeed were it not “for the fantastic volunteers and organizations who help” run it, he wrote. “A special thanks goes out to you all.”

He is also grateful to the corporate sponsors since, “without them, this event would not be possible.”

Wade singled out “a special group of people who worked throughout the night, on Friday, to modify a car so that a racer with a disability would be able to race.”

Wade considers this effort an example of “true Maine spirit.”

The Eastern Maine Soap Box Derby president congratulates Alayna Farley, the stock division winner, and Sam Chase, the super stock division winner, who will each represent our area in the national soapbox derby championship on Saturday, July 31, in Akron, Ohio.

Our readers are responding beautifully to a request by Penobscot Theatre Company for material to help make costumes for its Maine Shakespeare Festival, so said Mim Hart of Hampden, who extends her thanks on behalf of PCT.

We are still receiving calls, however, asking for the phone number of PTC costumer Ginger Phelps.

You can reach her, and offer donations or make inquiries, by calling 942-7834.

On behalf of the Up With People cast advance team and Gerry Turner of Shop ‘n Save, thanks is extended to members of the community who helped create Bangor’s biggest banana split recently at Bass Park.

Approximately 1,700 people attended the event, co-hosted by Shop ‘n Save and Up With People, to help make it a huge, and tasty, success.

With 83 gallons of ice cream and 528 individual banana splits laid end-to-end, the result was a 176-yard-long banana split, surpassing the organizers’ goal by 76 yards.

Assisting in the planning, with Turner and the advance team, were Shop ‘n Save staff members Paula Peirce, Rosanne Brooks, Pam Gray and Janet Dahl.

The Bangor Daily News appreciates being included among the businesses being thanked for supporting the effort, along with Gifford’s Ice Cream and the Bangor Mall Dairy Queen, which supplied the toppings.

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; 990-8288.

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