The meeting was called to order by President Maurine Olin, who congratulated the First Baptist Church members on having such a stunningly beautiful new place to congregate and worship in and she expressed appreciation for their hospitality.
After the roll call and reading of the minutes of the February meeting by Secretary Dortha Townsend, Treasurer Terry Barger presented the financial report.
Olin recalled the recent loss of Helen Randolph who had been a very active club member for more than 50 years until her passing away at the age of 96. “Helen will be remembered as a very gifted artist, inspiring and full of energy, who has not only made countless contributions to the club but to the entire community,” she said. A donation has been made in her name to the club’s Music Scholarship Fund.
Extending condolences to Sheridan and Margaret Ann Randolph and their families, Olin also expressed sympathy for R.G. and Jan Wolf on the loss of their daughter-in-law. She added well-wishes for Jan’s continued successful recovery.
A note from longtime member Mariann Dietrich was read in which she expressed her regrets over having to resign from the club for various personal reasons.
Olin then invited members to upcoming community events to be held at the NOLA Café, in downtown Cleveland. She referred to “A Night in New Orleans” with good food and smooth jazz on March 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. (Reservations required; call 709-8632.)
Performances by Kim Weitkamp, storyteller and musician, and the Littles will be at NOLA Café on March 27, at 6 p.m.
Olin turned the program over to Archer and Daugherty with thanks to both for co-directing a program of organ music on the new Allen organ which is now replacing the famous Moller Pipe Organ that served First Baptist Church for many years at their old sanctuary.
Archer introduced Tyler Brinson, music director and organist of First Baptist Church, and thanked him for his gracious cooperation and assistance.
She explained that an acclaimed scheduled guest performer from Atlanta, Nicholas Bowden, was forced to cancel at the last minute. “He had agreed to play and a large portion of our program had been reserved for his performance. When he canceled, it left us with a big void and a much shorter program than we had planned,” Archer explained.
Daugherty added that Bowden has been the organist of Peachtree Presbyterian Church, in Atlanta, for 20 years. “He had been looking forward to playing in Cleveland on the organ he had played on in Atlanta before the instrument was moved to its new home at the First Baptist Church. However, due to the sudden death of a high official at his Atlanta church, his services were required there.”
After a brief introduction of his selections, Andy Hunt opened the program with two organ solos: “Trumpet Voluntary” and “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” He was followed by Archer, piano, and Robbie Cody, organ, playing “Were You There” and “Amazing Grace.”
Being one of the organists of First Baptist Church, Cody’s pride in the Allen organ was showing when he talked about the various features of the organ, the functional placement of the speakers, and many technical details that can only be truly appreciated by someone who is capable of playing such a unique instrument. Cody also spoke fondly of the old Moller pipe organ which now has found a permanent and caring home with Lee University. He then continued by playing “Victory in Jesus” on the organ.
Martha Lessig, another organist of First Baptist Church and a longtime Music Club member, closed the program with two selections, “Variation from Noël Basque” and “Passacaglia.”
Tyler Brinson then took the stage and presented Martha Lessig with a large floral bouquet as a “thank you” from the First Baptist congregation for being their organist for the past 50 years. Lessig reminisced about her many years as an organist and the enjoyment it has given her.
Following the meeting, several members stayed for a while to admire the aesthetic appeal and practical layout throughout the building.