January 11 solo organ recital

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Jason Roberts, organist extraordinaire, will welcome the New Year at South Congregational Church, 242 Salmon Brook Street, Granby, with a solo recital at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 11.

In this, the seventh season of the Bruce Porter Memorial Music, Jason Roberts, the organist who has accompanied the annual Family Night at the Movies for the past six years takes on a new role for a special occasion. Given that the series was founded to honor Bruce Porter, who had been the organist and choir director at South Congregational Church for many years, it was decided to dedicate the January 2019 concert to the magnificent repertoire that Porter loved to play. It seemed only fitting that Roberts, who has demonstrated his storytelling gifts with spellbinding accompaniments to the Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin films screened over the years, would be the one invited for this event. Happily, he agreed to play.

In addition to showcasing his improvisational prowess by improvising to themes suggested by the audience, Roberts will showcase the versatility of the Hartford-built Austin organ at South Church with organ masterworks by Camille Saint-Saens, Charles-Marie Widor and Johann Sebastian Bach.

Roberts is associate music director at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City. He began his musical career as a chorister at St. George’s Cathedral in Perth, Western Australia; and is a graduate of Rice University, the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and the Manhattan School of Music. He is a winner of the American Guild of Organists National Competition in Organ Improvisation and the national Albert Schweitzer Organ Competition held in Hartford in 2007. Roberts has been a finalist at competitions in St. Albans, England and Haarlem, The Netherlands.

Roberts spent several years as organist/choirmaster at St. James’s Episcopal Church in West Hartford before moving to New York in 2014. He serves on the faculty at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J., and maintains an active recital schedule.

The concerts in the Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series are sponsored by the music ministry of South Congregational Church and supported by a grant from the Granby Education Foundation. The concerts are free to the public, with a suggested donation of $10 to support the series. The sanctuary is wheelchair accessible from the southwest corner of the building. For more information call 860-653-7289 or visit southchurchgranby.org