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Music at the Red Door Launches New Series of Online Concerts

St. John's Episcopal Church, West Hartford. (we-ha.com file photo)

The weekly live-streamed “Pop-Up!” recitals Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m. feature local musicians and benefit local charities supporting the homeless and hungry during the COVID-19 pandemic.


In order to provide musical enrichment to the community and encourage donations to help the homeless and hungry, Music at the Red Door, the music series at St. John’s Episcopal Church in West Hartford, has launched a new online-only live-streamed recital series. The half-hour performances, featuring local musicians, are offered each Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. via St. John’s YouTube channel and on the St. John’s Facebook page.

“These online recitals are offered as a benefit for people in Greater Hartford who are deeply affected by COVID-19: the homeless and the hungry,” said Scott Lamlein, Artistic Director of Music at the Red Door and Director of Music and Organist for St. John’s. “We encourage our online listeners to thank our performers by donating generously to organizations that help these vulnerable people, but are stretched to the limit in this time of special need.”

Listeners are invited to donate to Loaves & Fishes, Journey Home, and/or Foodshare. 

The “Pop-Up!” recital series is an offshoot of the “Pipes Alive!” series of free organ recitals that has been offered at St. John’s since 2015. 

“Since we are not able to welcome music-lovers to the beautiful St. John’s building for live concerts during this time of social isolation, we invite everyone to join us online for some much-needed musical refreshment,” explained Lamlein.

The “Pop-Up!” recitals will be streamed at St. John’s YouTube channel and St. John’s Facebook page

Unlike the “Pipes Alive!” series in which local organists come to St. John’s to perform on the renowned Austin pipe organ there, the “Pop Up!” series will take listeners to the home studios of the performing artists, where viewers may watch up-close performances on the variety of keyboard instruments that reside in performers’ home studios.

“Though these informal recitals can’t offer the grand acoustic experience of a live recital in a resonant space such as we have at St. John’s, the technology allows for close-up views of each performer playing harpsichords, clavichord, virtual organ, lautenwork, and other keyboard instruments,” added Lamlein. “Each performer will share insights on the music and instruments. Music-lovers of all ages will enjoy these programs, and we hope that when we are able to resume live performances at St. John’s, we will welcome many new listeners.”

Two “Pop-Up!” concerts were given on March 25 and April 1, and four more events have been scheduled.

On April 8, Scott Lamlein will play music of Barber and Bach on the “virtual organ” in his home studio, an electronic instrument that contains digital sound samples from the 2000 Eisenbarth organ in Friesach, Vienna, enabling the organist to duplicate the sound of that large organ in its church sanctuary home. More information on this instrument may be found at www.scottlamlein.com/home-organ.

On April 15, Edward Clark, well-known in the region not only for his skilled musicianship but for his collection of keyboard instruments, will perform music of several Baroque composers on harpsichord, organ, and lautenwerk, Mr. Clark, who is the organist of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, has a collection of unique keyboard instruments, including a two manual Franco-Flemish style harpsichord by Carl Fudge, a single manual south German style harpsichord by Carl Dudash, a lautenwerk converted from a Zuckerman Flemish harpsichord, a Hubert style clavichord built by Mr. Clark from a Carl Fudge kit, a Klop continuo organ, a three manual Hauptwerk virtual organ, and a Baldwin grand piano.

On April 22, Scott Lamlein will play music of Mendelsson and Johnson on the “virtual organ” in his home studio, as described above.

On April 29, concert and recording artist Christa Rakich, Organ Artist in Residence at St. John’s, will play Bach’s French Suite No. 5 on an instrument well-known to music lovers in the area, a French double-manual harpsichord made by Willard Martin whose lid bears an impressive original painting by Andre Boulanger. More information about this instrument, including a photo, may be found at https://christarakich.com/instruments/#

More “Pop-Up!” events will be announced as they are added to the series.

Event Details

What: Pop-Up! online-only live-streamed recitals, featuring local musicians, with listeners invited to make donations to local services providing assistance to people in need who are affected by COVID-19.

When: Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m. Four half-hour events have been scheduled, with more to be added.

Where: Free online live video-stream via St. John’s YouTube channel and St. John’s Facebook page. All performances are archived and are available free for later viewing.

Admission: No charge. Listeners are encouraged to donate to Hartford-area organizations that are assisting hungry and homeless people affected by COVID-19: Loaves & Fishes, Journey Home, and/or Food Share. 

More Info: https://www.reddoormusic.org/events/ or [email protected]. Those interested in learning about upcoming events may subscribe to the Music at the Red Door email newsletter.

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