Celebrate the tastes and sounds of fall on Sunday, October 8 at 3 pm with “Apples and Music” at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton St., Marlboro. The afternoon will feature a concert by Stanley Hanson on the Woodberry & Harris organ, with apple snacks, apple desserts and apple cider available both before and after the musical performance.
Both the church’s Woodberry & Harris organ and autumn apples are known for their versatility and variety. The music of Bach, Rohlig, Lasky, Arne, Walcha, Luebeck, Hegarty and Claussmann will be offered, showcasing styles ranging from classical to theatre organ to parlor music. Hanson will open with an organ transcription by Harold DeCou of Frances Allitsen’s stirring Victorian era vocal solo, The Lord is My Light.
What will concert-goers hear next? They will decide! The interactive program will allow members of the audience to draw names of compositions to determine the order of the musical pieces. Among the selections are Edvard Grieg’s Romanza, arranged by Robert Hubble from Grieg’s Violin Sonata #3; Home, Sweet Home with variations, 19thCentury parlor music, composed by John Zundel; the bold Trumpet Tune in F composed by Harold Rohlig; Toccata, by David H. Hegarty, a spirited work that incorporates both classical and theatre organ styles; and Impromptu, a piece by a local artist, David Lasky, a Massachusetts native, church musician and composer. This piece is meant to entertain with some elements of the theatre organ style.
There is no admission fee for the October 8 “Apples and Music” program, but a free will offering will be taken to support future musical performances. The organ concert is part of the Music at St. Stephen series. Past programs have included a folk singing duo and a jazz quartet.
About the Organ and the Organist
Hanson, a long-time Hudson resident who recently moved to Maynard, has been the music director at St. Stephen for 16 years, but got his first job as a church organist at age 16, more than 50 years ago, when he played only the piano. Attracted by the “color and sound of the organ, I knew it was something I wanted to do.” He went on to study organ in college and has served churches in Maine, Ohio, and Massachusetts.
He holds a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from the University of Akron and has taken additional graduate study in organ, music education and musicology, and church music, and studied improvisation at Westminster Choir College. He is a Colleague of the American Guild of Organists. In addition to playing the organ and piano at worship services at St. Stephen, Hanson directs the choral and handbell choirs. He has been active in community music, as piano accompanist for both the Worcester and Rivers Edge Youth Chorus and music director for several shows at Hudson High School. While music has been a loved and active avocation for Stan, his career was in administration and transportation logistics.
One of about 30 organs the Boston-based Woodberry & Harris made, the pipe organ now at St. Stephen Lutheran Church was constructed in about 1892. It served its first congregation in Abington for 60 years. It was then considered worn out and stored for decades. It was rebuilt for Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in Shrewsbury in 1982. The organ was gifted to St. Stephen in 2019 after Mt. Olivet closed. It was disassembled, fine-tuned and reassembled and has been in service since the fall of 2019.
For more information about the church, visit www.saintstephenlutheran.com or the church’s Facebook page. Saint Stephen is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (www.elca.org). The church is a Reconciling in Christ congregation, inviting people of every gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, marital status, or class. Parishioners come from Marlborough, Hudson, Berlin, Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury, Stow, Bolton and Worcester.