Wonderful music, Lenten reflection, and interfaith fellowship are all hallmarks of the Phyllis A. Lange-Connelly Memorial Lenten Recital series. Eleven area churches sponsor these recitals. Everyone is invited to listen, reflect, and enjoy music presented by outstanding musicians. This is the 19th year for the series which has been attended by over 1500 people annually. All the concerts are followed by a time of fellowship and a chance to meet the musicians. Admission is free -- donations are accepted to help defray costs.
On Thursday, Feb. 28, organist Michael Surratt presents a Lenten organ concert as part of the the 19th annual Phyllis A. Lange-Connelly Memorial series at 12:10 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 11628 Main St. in Huntley. For directions, call (847) 669-3691. The concert is free and is being offered during lunch hour.
Michael Surratt began his career as a church organist in his native state of North Carolina at the age of twelve. He served as Director of Music and Organist at the Union Church of Hinsdale, IL for 32 years is now Organist at First United Church in Oak Park. He has toured Europe and played organ recitals throughout the Midwest and Southeast, and has been featured in recitals on several Chicago-area radio stations. While at Union Church, he also directed the handbell programs, including the Allegro Handbell Ensemble, a group whose history spans four decades and includes dozens of concert tours throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe.
A native of North Carolina, Surratt attended the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio, and a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University in Illinois. Surratt has served as an Adjunct Instructor of Organ at Elmhurst College in Illinois and continues to be active in many professional musical organizations. He has contributed to Overtones, a handbell-industry journal, and has served on the Communications Committee of the Handbell Musicians of America. He also has done work toward a doctorate in organ at Northwestern and a Master of Divinity degree at Chicago Theological Seminary.