VOL. 117 | NO. 175 | Tuesday, September 30, 2003
Mid-week concert favorites return to Calvary
Midweek Concerts Return to Calvary
Free Downtown series runs through Dec. 10
The Daily News
For the past 12 years, Sherwood Pate has enjoyed the Calvary
and the Arts concert series at Calvary Episcopal Church from a seat in one of
Now he is on the other side of the aisle, so to speak, as
the Downtown churchs concert manager.
As a church member, Im proud of these concerts and that
its a way to give back to the community, he said.
In its 19th year, the musical event featuring free Wednesday
afternoon concerts begins tomorrow and continues each week except
Thanksgiving week through Dec. 10, when members of the Memphis Symphony
Orchestra offer a Christmas Pops performance.
The performances start at 12:05 p.m. in the 171-year-old
churchs sanctuary at 102 N. Second St. The shows are immediately followed by a
$6 plate lunch in the churchs basement cafeteria, which features a menu that
changes weekly and includes seafood Newburg, Salisbury steak and
Rendezvous-catered barbecue, among other meals.
Old and new. In accordance with tradition, the
series coordinators have recruited a variety of first-time local artists and
ensured that a number of popular performers will return.
Performing again this year will be jazz favorites Joyce Cobb
(Nov. 5) and Kirk Whalum (Oct. 29), and the Navy Band Mid-South (Nov. 19).
New artists include opera singer Kallen Esperian (Nov. 12),
The Doctors Band (Oct. 15), the Memphis Vocal Arts Ensemble (Oct. 1) and
Richard Graham & Friends (Oct. 22).
Pate said the church likes the idea of getting concertgoers
acclimated to alternative music and highlighting the importance of music as a
form of expression.
Were not here to convert anyone, but we do want to
introduce them to the spirituality of music we share in worship, Pate said.
Learning the notes. Last year, the band Global
Warming played an array of songs with an emphasis on international music
styles. This year, one of that bands members, Graham a musicologist will
enlighten the audience again, first by playing unique instruments, then by
answering audience members questions.
It will be both educational and extraordinarily
entertaining, Pate said.
Also noteworthy will be Stax artists The Temprees, whose
members are described as the backbone of Stax Records. The Temprees are
scheduled for an Oct. 8 performance of sweet sounding songs that helped
define Memphis contribution to soul music.
The band rarely plays in Memphis and stays on the road with
away dates, Pate said.
We feel like, in a way, were getting them introduced to
Memphis, he said.
A larger audience. No matter the types of concerts
Calvary staff lines up, Pate is confident people will crowd the churchs
sanctuary with enthusiasm.
We wish that all of the city would be able to come Downtown
to enjoy the concerts, but the reality is that they are designed to attract
those working or living Downtown, he said.
However, though the concerts initially were attended
primarily by Downtown attorneys and their staffs, the event has grown steadily
and now attracts visitors from all parts of the city including the suburbs
thanks to promotional efforts, Pate said.
As Downtown has grown, we have so many more new residents,
he said. So due to that, were seeing our audience grow.
The concerts are planned in a streamlined fashion to allow
visitors to attend the shows, enjoy lunch and return to work within a
reasonable time frame.
Gradual growth. Calvarys organist and choirmaster,
Thomas Pavlechko, said the concert series began informally and on a small
scale, and was boosted to a professional level with help from former Memphian
Paul Tudor Jones II son of John Paul Jones, former owner and publisher of The
Daily News after Jones traveled to New York City and attended a similar
concert series at Trinity Church on Wall Street.
The Daily News is a major sponsor of the concert series each
The concerts are a form of evangelism and outreach in that
we offer these free concerts for Downtown folks, Pavlechko said. We bring
(attendees) in and invite them to find out about other church activities.
Pavlechko said his staff has informed him that this years
concerts will be the biggest ever.
Id say, You dont want to miss them, he said.
More than good will. Thanks to sponsors, the concert
series does not just offer a platform for local artists to gain valuable
exposure; the artists also are paid for their work, Pate said.
As a musician myself, its neat to see that the church
allows musicians to make money, he said. We want our local musicians to
receive compensation the concerts are more than just good will shows.