Posts Tagged ‘First Presbyterian Church’

Takeyce Walter

piece by Takeyce Walter


My sister Leslie noted on Facebook recently that the movie West Side Story opened this month, specifically October 18, back in 1961. We saw it together with our mother and our baby sister Marcia.

It assuredly wasn’t in 1961, but it was in a movie theater, and we were still kids under 11. I remember that the ticket seller thought the film was too intense for the children, especially the youngest.

West Side Story remains my favorite musical, one I know quite well, and I saw a splendid rendering in western Massachusetts in the summer of 2018. Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story Will Go Back to Basics. “Screenwriter Tony Kushner explains that the new movie will take its cues from the original Broadway show, not the Oscar-winning 1961 film—and that ‘no one will leave the movie without hearing all the classic songs.'”

On November 2, First Friday at First Presbyterian Church will feature 100 years of Leonard Bernstein. The choir, including guest singers, and instrumentalists, will be performing the Chichester Psalms (1965), which is “tuneful, tonal and contemporary, featuring modal melodies and unusual meters.” The text is from Psalms 108, 100, 23, 2, 131, and 133.

There will also be selections from other Leonard Bernstein works, including Mass, Candide, On the Town and the aforementioned West Side Story.

In the gallery, the Oakwood Artists will be doing a pop-up show.

The gallery opens at 5:30 p.m. The concert starts at 6:00 p.m.

This is a free and family-friendly event.

First Presbyterian Church of Albany
362 State St at the corner of Willett St
across from Washington Park
Albany, New York 12210
***
Some Bernstein conducting

Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Gary Graffman, piano, recorded with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic in 1964.

Academic Festival Overture by Brahms, with a great Lenny anecdote


Friday, April 6 at 5:30 PM – 8 PM. Music starts at 6 pm (despite what the poster says)

First Presbyterian Church of Albany
362 State St at the corner of Willett St, across from Washington Park
Albany, New York 12210

In concert:

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
CHRIST LAG IN TODESBANDEN
MUSICIANS OF FIRST PRESBYTERIAN

MUSIC FOR FLUTE AND HARP
KARLINDA CALDICOTT, HARP
JAN VINCI, FLUTE
SELECTIONS FROM HESS, PERSICHETTI, AND MOLNAR

In the gallery:

ARTISAN SPRING MARKETPLACE
HOSTED BY TIM DUMAS

ROSLYN JEFFERSON – JIVA JEWELRY
JONATHAN HAMMER – LEATHER GOODS
LYLE HOUSTON – THE FIFTH TIER BAKING STUDIO
TIM DUMAS / INFUSED INTERIORS – ART LIGHTING
FRANK HAMMER – HAND TURNED WOODEN BOWLS
GAIL HINCHEN – MIXED MEDIA COLLAGES

and

CEMETERY FIGURES – PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAVID HINCHEN

Gallery opens at 5:30 pm, concert starts at 6:00 pm

This is a free and family-friendly event.

Includes the Randall Thompson pieces Feast of Praise, The Lord Is My Shepherd, Alleluia and The Last Words of David

First Presbyterian is at 362 State St, corner of Willett St, near Washington Park in Albany

The primaries in New York State are over. I must admit a fascination with all the yard signs in people’s lawns‘ we have three in ours, a new record. How do they do their designs so they don’t look like everyone else’s? A lot of them use red, white, and/or blue.

Generally speaking, I give points to anyone’s signs that didn’t fall in that category. Although: a candidate for city auditor named Susan Rizzo had an orange sign; from a distance, it looked red to me, and one doesn’t want red in a sign for someone in charge of the money. Her opponent, Glen Casey, had a picture of himself with a pale orange background, which, also from a distance, made him look as though he had clown hair.

I came across this state manual Municipal Control of Signs. Interesting geek reading. “Sign controls applicable to residential areas must therefore be carefully drawn to respect free speech while protecting the community’s appearance.”

The Capital District and north got a new area code in the 518 this summer, which is 838. It’s an overlay, which means that the new area code would cover the same geography as the old one when new numbers are assigned. Some folks are whining complaining that now they have to dial 10 digits rather than seven, but it is no big deal to me.

This is MUCH better outcome than if they had split the area code, with everyone in Albany and Troy, e.g., having to get new phone numbers, which would mean new business cards, new signs, and the need to spend advertising to promote that.

My church got a new sign, welcoming immigrants and refugees, around Labor Day. It fits in with the position of our Session, which is the local governing board, adopted at its meeting on Tuesday, September 19:

“As Christians, we are committed to stand with all who are oppressed, marginalized, or persecuted and to do all in our power to protect and defend. We boldly assert that God’s creation is universal and is a reflection of God’s own self, those of every race, color, ethnicity, of every gender, sexual orientation or sexual identity, speaking every language and born in every place, following every religious tradition. Every one of these is created in God’s own image and rejection of any is a rejection of God. We especially invite those in positions of leadership and power to restrain any injustice and to avoid at all costs any pandering or use of prejudice for political gain. We seek a world as God envisions, a world of justice, mercy, and love.”

One of the MANY things I’ve worried about as a parent is, while trying to instill values, trying not to turn the Daughter into some sort of philosophical mini-me. I’m not sure how that’s supposed to work.

Five or six years ago, when the LGBTQ Pride Parade was on Sunday, as it is this year, I took her along. I’m sure the marching and seeing all the people along the parade route was FUN. But was it really her choice?

The great thing about her getting older is that now I know she gets to make decisions for herself. Not only did she help decorate the church’s van, she helped led the Presbyterian Connection contingent.

When she was younger, she knew a friend with two mommies and thought that was fine. Now, though, she’s more aware of the bullying and discrimination that still takes place against LGBTQ people.

And she knows the world is not always a safe place. Back when we left the Tulip Festival in Albany’s Washington Park in May, she noted the concrete barriers at certain locations. These were deployed, no doubt, to try to prevent to ward off people using motor vehicles as weapons, as has happened in Nice, France; London, and elsewhere.

She expressed surprise that such measures weren’t used in the Pride Parade, given the increased backlash against equality. Indeed, during the parade, I’ve been long been wary of the intersection of Madison Avenue and Lark Street, where the religious resistance against the parade appears strongest. I waved at the guy with the giant 10 Commandments sign, but he scowled back.

Conversely, most of the people on the parade route absolutely LOVE the fact that the faith community is so active in the parade. And not just the Presbyterians, but the UUs and quite a few others.

It’s local election season, and a ton of political candidates actually led the parade.

I mentioned to one of our church members, who is gay, and suggested that I think the Pride Parade is more important than ever. He agreed, though five years ago, he thought the time might be right to abandon the event.

Next year, should the Daughter participate, I’ll know it is entirely her decision, based on her proudly wearing an Ally rainbow button.

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