The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Three FREE Farmers Market organ concerts plus a bonus August mid-week concert, featuring the organ, singers and brass, start this Saturday morning in Overture Hall.

June 13, 2012

By Jacob Stockinger

The Dane County Farmer’s Market has developed a national reputation as one of the biggest and oldest and finest such markets in the entire country. Over more than 25 years, it has become a focal point for the city’s and area’s community life in summer.

But you can get a lot more than food there.

Of course, you can see politicians and judges running for election and all sorts of other groups and community organizations on the Capitol Square recruiting members during the market on summer Saturday mornings.

But classical music fans have also started in recent years to bring their own “wares” to the Farmer’s Market.

Grace Episcopal Presents offered a free noontime concert last week.

Classical Revolution and New Muse (New Music Everywhere) also do events centered on the Farmer’s Market, sometimes with individual recitals or chamber concerts, sometimes even with a mass “flash mob” including a moving performance of Samuel Barber‘s “Adagio for Strings” (below).

And this summer, once again the Madison Symphony Orchestra is again presenting its FREE organ concert series in Overture Hall, in the nearby Overture Center, at 11 p.m. on the third Saturdays on June, July and August during the summer.

This summer will also feature a midweek FREE bonus concert in early August, a girls choir from Freiburg, Madison’s sister city in Germany, and a brass group.

One of the purposes, of course, is to showcase the colossal and impressive custom-built Klais concert organ (below) in Overture Hall:

Here is a schedule – so far no individual programs have been provided — for this summer’s Farmer’s Market organ concerts by the MSO. They are at 11 a.m.-noon in Overture Hall, if it is not stated otherwise:

THIS SATURDAY, JUNE 16: Mark Brampton Smith (below) is the organist at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, in Middleton.

SATURDAY, JULY 21: JARED STELLMACHER (below top) and the GARGOYLE BRASS QUINTET (below bottom). The Director of Music and Organist at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Hinsdale, Illinois, returns to Madison with a finalist group at the Chicago Brass Festival.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 18: KATHRINE HANFORD. Hear the organist and Director of Music at Central Presbyterian Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, and a faculty member at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin.

You can also hear a FREE bonus concert by the FREIBURG CATHEDRAL GIRLS CHOIR on WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 7:30 P.M. Madison’s sister city of Freiburg, Germany, sends its Cathedral Girls Choir to perform accompanied by the Colossal Klais Organ.

The Free Farmers Market Concerts are generously sponsored by Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation. Additional support for all Overture Concert Organ performances is provided by the Diane Endres Ballweg Fund.

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