Twenty years ago, Phyllis Connelly, a talented and dedicated local organist, conceived of a time when Christians of all denominations would join together in Lenten reflection through the sharing of music, song, prayer and fellowship. Sadly, Phyllis passed away in 2012, but her dream lives on.
This year there will be three organ recitals at local participating churches.
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First Congregational Church of West Dundee hosted the first recital on March 9. The second organ recital will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 23, at St. James Episcopal Church of West Dundee, and the third organ recital will be hosted by First Presbyterian Church of Elgin at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 30.
The culminating event of the series is always an Interfaith Palm Sunday Festival Concert which features a mass choir from many local churches, two handbell choirs, local instrumental soloists, and clergy from area churches. It will be held on Sunday, April 13 at St. Catherine of Siena Church in West Dundee. The 20th annual Palm Sunday Festival will start at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 13. A prelude of instrumental music will begin at 2:45 p.m.
In celebrating the twentieth year, the planning committee has commissioned a piece in honor of Phyllis Connelly and the many musicians involved in this tradition. This endeavor has resulted in a piece written by nationally acclaimed composer, Bradley Ellingboe. It is entitled "The King of Glory" and references Matthew 21:9 and Psalm 24:7-10. It is written for choir, trumpet, handbells, and piano.
This Palm Sunday Concert will truly be a celebration of 20 years of music, faith, and fellowship. Singers are always welcome -- rehearsals are on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. at the First Congregational Church in West Dundee.