History Of The Concert Series
Under the auspices of the Worship, Music and Arts Committee the Concert Series Committee was formed in October 1999. This committee was to develop a new, exciting, community outreach concert series. The Concert Series’ initial programs, presented January-May 2000, included the College of Wooster Scot Symphonic Band, J.S. Bach Anniversary Organ Recital, Chancel Choir Spring Concert and the Twin Cities Bronze Handbell Ensemble. A series of meditative programs at noon each Friday throughout Lent were also presented. Judy Roberts, Chair, and Marcos Krieger presented a statement of purpose that was approved by vote of the Session in May 2000.
The official first season of the newly formed Con Spirito Concert Series began in Fall 2000 and ended in May 2001. Programs included: St. Louis Brass Quintet, Treble Tapestry Women’s Vocal Ensemble, Kirkwood Symphony Orchestra and Chancel Choir, Sounds of the Season Instrumental Ensembles, Paul Mesner Puppets, Boston Brass, Kirkwood Childrens’ Chorale with Chancel Choir, and Chancel Choir Spring Concert. Seven programs in the Lenten Recital Series were also offered.
To make the concert series available to any person of our community the concerts have been free of charge. A free will offering is collected at most concerts and individuals have the opportunity to sponsor or share in the sponsoring of specific concerts as well as making yearly donations to Con Spirito.
Con Spirito has continued to expand its programming since 2000 presenting varied offerings to the congregation of First Presbyterian Church and its surrounding community through a series of yearly concerts, Lenten programs and, most recently, Sunday morning recitals in the month of July. The opening of the Tree of Life Chapel in 2008 provided a new space for Lenten programs and that series has accordingly been renamed the Tree of Life Lenten Series. Expansion has also seen the use of the new Fellowship Hall as a venue for programs such as Erin Bode, the Mississippi Sawyers and our yearly Christmas presentation by the Imaginary Theatre. Beginning in July 2010, Notes@9 programs were added to the schedule. These programs are presented from 9:00-9:30 on those Summer Sundays when the congregation meets in a single service.
Additional highlights programs from the concert series have included: St. Louis Ragtimers, Amsterdam Loecki Stardust Recorder Quartet, Christmas Concerts by the Chancel Choir and Orchestra, Debussy String Quartet, Millikin University Choir, Illinois Wesleyan University Collegiate Choir, Air National Guard Band of the Central States, Boneheads, Genesis Connection, organ recitals by Marcos Krieger, Bill Stein and Massimo Nosetti, a vocal recital by Nora Teipan, and a flute recital by Mark Sparks accompanied by Peter Henderson.
Lenten Recital/ Tree of Life Lenten Series program highlights have included the Piano Ensemble, Rosewood String Ensemble, Mark Holland, Steve Schenkel, Lura Koch, Frank Perkins (organ), Windfire Duo, ensembles and choirs from Kirkwood and Ladue High Schools, Clayton Trio, Jonathan Reycraft, Equinox Chamber Players and Crusell Quartet.
The Notes@9 series begins the month of July with a patriotic salute by the Clarion Brass. Additional programs have been presented by the Carolbeth True Trio, Equinox Chamber Players, Rosewood String Quartet, Steve Schenkel and Deborah Sharm, Bill Stein and Lori Wehrmann, Felicia Foland, Thomas and Tricia Jöstlein and the Arise! Praise Team.