Calvary Series Ends With Christmas Pops Concert

By Andy Meek

The Calvary & the Arts concert-and-lunch series wraps up this week with a show about the Christmas holiday celebrated in song as “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Attendees of Calvary’s Christmas Pops Concert Wednesday, Dec. 7, at Calvary Episcopal Church at 102 N. Second St. can expect to enjoy classic treats like “Sleigh Ride,” “Christmas Fantasy” and other well-loved symphonic works.

They’ll be performed by members of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra for a concert that was started in 2002 by former Calvary organist-choirmaster Thomas Pavlechko, who was the organist-choirmaster at Calvary from 2000 to 2006.

Pavlechko is the cantor and composer-in-residence at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas. In addition to his composing and church work, his career has hit several highs recently, including serving as the hand double for Brad Pitt in the recent movie “The Tree of Life.”

Calvary’s free holiday concert starts at 12:05 p.m., and the performance will last around 45 to 50 minutes. It will be followed by a light lunch for $5.

The annual Calvary & the Arts series is a mix of sacred as well as popular, classical and jazz music.

This week’s performance closes the curtain on the season’s varied lineup, which showcased the kind of entertainment the concert always supplies for Downtowners or anyone who happens to be in the area.

This year, the series brought to the 179-year-old church everything from the coffeehouse sound of the Memphis Dawls to the old-school swing of the Memphis Jazz Orchestra and the angelic sound of the Memphis Boychoir.

The annual free concert series is presented in memory of Dottie Jones. Calvary & the Arts was created decades ago by Jones and her husband, John Paul “Jack” Jones, who experienced a similar concept in New York during a visit and decided to bring it to Downtown Memphis.

Dottie Jones is the late mother of The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc. President Peter Schutt. Visit for more information.

The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc. is a supporter of the Calvary & the Arts Concert Series.