First Friday Summer Concert Series returns to St. Luke’s Episcopal

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 30, 2024

SALISBURY — First Friday Organ Summer Concerts are returning to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Downtown Salisbury. The first concert is Friday, June 7 and will feature the combination of organ and brass which organist Stephen Williams describes as a combination that “goes together like peanut butter and jelly.”

The Ardmore Brass Quintet is made up of premier players of the Salisbury Symphony, Western Piedmont Orchestra, Carolina Philharmonic and Piedmont Wind Symphony. Stephen Williams is director of music ministries at St. Luke’s. They will perform a varied program with music by Gabrieli, Campra, Strauss, Elgar and more recent pieces by Craig Phillips and Carlyle Sharpe.

Williams has been director of music ministries at St. Luke’s since July 2022. He was most recently canon for music ministries at Cathedral Church of the Nativity in Pennsylvania and artist in residence at Moravian University. He studied organ performance and choral conducting at Brevard College, Westminster Choir College, The Juilliard School and West Chester University.

On July 5, Williams will present “Rhythmic Energy,” a program of music for the organ that features exciting rhythms.

“We tend to think of organ music as sort of slow, somber, and drawn-out, but this music by Bach, Handel, Anton Heiller, Ad Wammes, Petr Eben and Guy Bovet will demonstrate that the organ has inspired a number of significant composers to write music that can be easily described as rhythmic energy- fun to hear, and at times, fun to play,” Williams said.

The third concert, “Bells, Bells, Bells,” will be Friday, Aug. 2 highlighting organ pieces that have been inspired by bells found in the towers of many churches or town centers in Europe and America. Louis Vierne’s “Carillon de Westminster,” Henri Mulet’s “Carillon Sortie,” and Marcel Dupre’s “Carillon” are great examples and will be featured on this program.

All concerts are at 7 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 131 W. Council Street in Salisbury. Admission is free, with an opportunity provided for free-will donations to help support these concerts. More info at, 704-633-3221, or