CHURCH LADY: Marco’s March music makers; Island churches hosts concerts

It’s March and there are many opportunities for music and inspiration at Island houses of worship. Marco’s balmy winter weather makes it an attractive place for musical groups to visit.

The Hyssongs, a traveling gospel group known for their humor, talent and unique sound, hail from Maine. From the Adirondack Mountains of New York, they have singer, harpist, composer, songwriter, arranger and recording artist Martha Gallagher. The young and energetic Soul’d Out Quartet will join us from Ohio. The Purduettes, a 50-member women’s choir, whose repertoire ranges from classical to pop will come here from Indiana. The venerable Blackwood Brothers Quartet will join us from Tennessee. And from Texas we have Three Redneck Tenors, who combine music and comedy.

March will also celebrate the homegrown talent. Bill Dean and Dawn Birch from Estero will give a gospel concert; St. Mark’s choir, soloists and an instrumental ensemble will present John Rutter’s “Requiem”; Kevin Mauldin, principal bass for the Naples Philharmonic and Marcoite Lucille Gaita will be part of a “Jazz Shabbat”; and contemporary Christian music singer Evie Tornquist-Karlsson who now lives in Naples will also give a concert.

This is the fifth year in that the legendary Blackwood Brothers Quartet has returned to Marco Presbyterian Church. “We are excited to be returning to Marco Presbyterian Church again this year,” said Jimmy Blackwood in an email. “The wonderful response of the audience makes this one of our favorite places to sing. It’s just like ‘coming home’ to see so many of our dear friends.”

Jimmy is the son of James Blackwood who died in 2002. James founded the quartet with his two brothers and a nephew in 1934. Jimmy, lead singer, and his youngest brother Billy, baritone, carry on the tradition. Tenor Wayne Little, bass Randy Byrd and pianist Mike Hammontree complete the group. Their concerts are a mixture of old-time favorites such as “I’ll Fly Away” and “In the Garden,” newer songs such as “How Great Thou Art,” humor and a clear gospel message.

The public is invited to the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island’s Jazz Shabbat. Shabbat means Sabbath in Hebrew. Jazz will be the central vehicle for the worship service as Rabbi Edward Maline shares spiritual and liturgical insights.

“The congregation will be bathed in the soulful combination of jazz, Hebrew and English liturgy,” said Cantorial Soloist Hari Jacobsen.

Jewish music reflects the music of each host country and jazz is indigenous to the U.S.; it is a natural combination. This is the second year for the Jazz Shabbat.

Jacobsen will be joined once again by jazz musicians Kevin Mauldin, principal bass for the Naples Philharmonic and composer, musician and conductor Lucille Gaita on keyboard.

“I never would have thought that jazz could heighten a worship service,” she said. “The wonder of the Jazz Shabbat is that it takes the familiar words and intensifies the experience.”

New to our area will be Soul’d Out Quartet at Capri Christian. The group was first formed as a trio in 2001 and they became a quartet in 2004.

“We are going to have fun,” said group leader Matt Rankin in a telephone interview. “It will be upbeat with some progressive music that the youngsters will enjoy as well as songs that grandma will remember.”

They write songs that aren’t just entertaining but have a message for hurting people. Their message is simply “God is bigger than our problems.”

Marco Lutheran Church’s Artist Series will feature the “Three Redneck Tenors in Concert.” Their original performance pairs operatic voices and comedy.

This is the third year that the Hyssongs, pronounced His songs, have returned to Wesley United Methodist Church. This award-winning trio consists of the Rev. Dell, his wife Susan and their son Richard. They consistently have top 40 songs on the Christian radio charts. Kelly, Richard’s wife, infant son D. Richard Hyssong IV and 3-year-old daughter Makayla will accompany them.

“We get to share our faith and music as a family,” said Dell over the phone in his melodic baritone voice. “We want to encourage people, especially families.”

Next week’s column will highlight the opportunities to be immersed in music at Marco’s houses of worship later in March.

Kathleen Tuttle, a Marco Island resident since 1987, has written articles for various non-profits for more than 25 years. She is a community volunteer, former science teacher and microbiologist. Kathleen can be contacted at worship@rstuttle.com.

If you go:

Blackwood Brothers. Gospel 7 p.m. March 2, Marco Presbyterian Church. Donation

Jazz Shabbat. Worship Service. 8 p.m. March 2, JCMI.

Soul’d Out Quartet. Gospel. 6 p.m. March 3, Capri Christian Church. Donation.

Three Redneck Tenors. Musical comedy. 7:30 p.m., March 5, Marco Lutheran Church. Advance tickets, $20, required call 394-5579.

Hyssong. Gospel. 6:30 p.m. March 10, Wesley United Methodist Church. Donation.

Martha Gallagher. Harp. 7 p.m. March 12, San Marco Catholic Church. $20 (Students free).

Purduettes. Choir, pop to classical. 7:30 p.m. March 15, Marco Lutheran. Advance tickets required call 394-5579.

Billy Dean and Dawn. Gospel. 6 p.m. March 18, Marco Presbyterian Church. Donation.

Evie. Contemporary Christian. 6 p.m. March 18, New Life Community Church. Donation.

John Rutter’s “Requiem.” Sunday Choral Eucharist. 10:30 a.m. March 25, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church

San Marco

Catholic Church

Stations of the Cross will be held every Friday after the 8:30 a.m. Mass, at approximately 9:15 a.m., in the church; and 4:15 p.m. in the memorial gardens.

The San Marco Knights of Columbus Friday Fish Fry/Bake is from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Parish Hall. A fish dinner, including baked or French fried potatoes, coleslaw, rolls, coffee or tea and ice cream is $10, $5 for children 11 and younger. Take-outs available. Proceeds go to local charities.

St. Finbarr Parish

Stations of the Cross will be held every Friday after the 9 a.m. Mass.

A weekly Lenten study group meets 9 to 11 a.m. every Thursday through March 29. The group will study and discuss the writings of Pope Benedict XVI’s “Jesus of Nazareth-Holy Week: From the Entrance to Jerusalem to the Resurrection.” For information call Bill at 239 331-3983 or Cindy 239 389-1912.

Fr. Derrick Snyed, from Immaculate Conception Parish, Auburn, Ind., will lead a Lenten Mission entitled “Mission for Your Life,” at 6:30 p.m. March 5-7. Each evening will begin with prayer and end with the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The topics are as follows: Monday, “Baptism: A Commitment to Follow”; Tuesday, “Reconciliation, Making Friends”; and Wednesday, “Eucharist: The Gift of Nourishment.” Snyed will also give the homily at all Masses on this weekend.

Marco Presbyterian Church

Women’s weekly Bible Study, Friday, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Beth Moore’s “The Patriarchs: Encountering the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” will conclude on March 16. Preschool children are welcome. Call the office to register

your child.

GriefShare with Seasonal Pastor, the Rev. Rod Whited, continues 10 a.m.

every Monday.

“Praying Life” with the Rev. Rod Whited meets 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays.

The ladies book club will discuss “The Screwtape Letters” at 9:30 a.m., March 22.

St. Mark’s

Episcopal Church

Fr. John Ineson’s 10 a.m., Friday Lenten book study continues in the Willis Ministry Center. The study is based on the book “Falling Upwards.”

Stations of the Cross Meditations will be held in the church at 5:30 p.m. each Friday. All are welcome to visit the handmade Stations made by the church’s Artists in Residence group.

Morning Prayer will be offered each Tuesday during Lent at 9 a.m. in

the Chapel.

New Life

Community Church

New contemporary worship service, “Saturday Night Life!” 6 p.m., Saturday.

Women’s weekly Bible Study meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays. It is Session 2 of Beth Moore’s “Daniel, Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophecy.” Christians today face many of the same trials and temptations as the prophet Daniel — pressures to compromise one’s faith in a hostile culture. The study shows how individuals can live with integrity in today’s self-absorbed society. Cost: $20, scholarships are available. Call the church office

for information.

Jewish Congregation of Marco Island

The 9:30 a.m. Torah study and 10 a.m. service continues every Saturday.

The final class for the adult education series “Contributions of the Jewish People to the World” will be 10 a.m., Sunday with “Judaism as the Foundation of Christianity and Islam.” Nonmembers and guests for the education series are $5, RSVP to the synagogue office.

The Jewish Film Festival concludes with “Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness,” 2 p.m., Sunday. The biographical documentary portrays the life of Sholem Aleichem, whose stories were the basis for “Fiddler on the Roof” and is who considered to be the Yiddish Mark Twain. A reception will follow the film. Tickets are $25.

The Saul Stern Cultural Series concludes with “The Terrorist Cop” at 7:30 p.m., March 11. Mordecai Dziansky, a NYPD Jewish policeman who traveled the world to stop terrorists, will share his story and discuss lessons learned from fighting evil. Reception follows. Advance tickets are $25.

Marco Lutheran Church

The Lenten Health Challenge under the direction of Parish Nurse Gail Cacciola meets form 12 to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays. Each person will create a personal health goal, have a body composition analysis taken, and receive a personalized journal. The challenge will conclude on Good Friday will a full body analysis. The registration fee is $10; all proceeds after expenses will be donated to a local charity.

A 7 p.m. Lenten worship series entitled “Life Together” based on the teachings of Concordia Seminary President Dale Meyer continues. The contemporary worship service Current will meet 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

GriefShare, a Christ-centered support group for those who have lost a loved one through death continues 10 a.m. each Thursday. Sessions are proceeded by a time of fellowship and coffee at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at noon. For information call Joyce Waidelich at (239) 793-4601 or Dory Catalano at (239) 389-2363.

Interfaith Community Adult Education Series

The Rev. Timothy Neptune will discuss the Baptist faith, message and different styles of worship 7 p.m., March 7 at the Family Church — Marco Island.

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