Photo by Julianne Baker
For the first time in decades, First United Methodist Church is once again hosting a Lenten Lunch Concert Series. The series involves 20 minute concerts every Monday at noon through the season of Lent. The concerts cover a variety of music styles, from organ and piano to flute, guitar and voice.
Music director at First United Methodist Church Tish Davenport said she started the concert series in response to requests from community members. The lunchtime concerts had been run by a previous music director, Don Mooney, and Davenport finally felt it was a good time to start them again.
“These lenten lunchtime concerts could provide a wonderful opportunity to bring music lovers in our community together, because music can inspire and comfort us through so many different styles and sounds,” Davenport said. “I think it provides a needed respite from an often hectic day.”
Davenport said the purpose of the concerts was to encourage people to look inward, to be still and to be in the presence of God.
“For me, I find music is the best way to do that,” Davenport said. “It provides a way to focus on just being in the present moment as you listen to a musical composition unfold, and you watch a performer take you through [that] process of the notes from the beginning to the end.”
One of the performances will be by students of associate professor of music Scott Carrell. Carrell said he and his fellow professors connected with Davenport through her music experience, as well as her participation in the Searcy Community School of Music. Carrell said that most people have to take a lunch break, so he expects there could be an appreciative audience.
“Business people downtown can come over and get a little concert and then go eat a quick lunch,” Carrell said. “I think it’s a nice thing to have in the community.”
One of the vocal performers, senior vocal music education major Camille Overman, said that the series gives people an opportunity to see the beauty of God in music.
“I personally will be singing an aria about giving glory to God and magnifying his name,” Overman said. “Not only can God’s beauty be seen through song, this series in particular will help the listener to focus their mind upon God, his Son and the cross.”
The First United Methodist Church has more plans for the future. Davenport said that because of this concert, she and guitarist Anthony Lytle have begun planning a community acoustic jam during the lunchtime hour of Monday, May 2.
“It gives people the chance to just bring their own instruments and come and play together as a community,” Davenport said.
The Lenten Lunch Concert Series performances are all live streamed and can be found on youtube or facebook with Searcy First United Methodist Church.