Karen Lilli Pax, soprano, and three friends will celebrate the power of music to open hearts and souls at a concert in Broad Bay Congregational United Church of Christ on May 25 at 7 p.m.
“The Wideness of Mercy” concert will include diverse selections, ranging from “Johnny One Note” to Bach to Brahms — music that comforts and inspires. The program features operatic arias, spirituals, selections from Rodgers and Hammerstein, Kurt Weill and more. Flutist Jackie Adams and pianists Matt Kuhrt and Wendy Love will join in the concert.
Pax is known locally as the pastor of the United Methodist Church and Broad Cove Community Church. She has given several concerts at Broad Bay Church and much admires the acoustics of the 1838 sanctuary. She and the other musicians are giving their time and energy to raise awareness about the church's renovation needs and community-wide capital campaign.
A graduate of Temple University's College of Music, Pax thinks of music as “painting with sound.” She attended the Georgia State University Summer Opera Workshop (Atlanta, Ga.); has twice been a participant in the Bel Canto Institute (New Palz, N.Y.), and was selected for the Opera Studio at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. She was guest artist at the University of Melbourne, Australia, where she performed a concert of American songs and taught a master class for voice students. Pax has also performed in concert in Maine, New York and Europe.
The Broad Bay Church building needs structural work to continue to stand, as well as renovations to meet the needs of the congregation and the wider community. Broad Bay is about to embark on a capital campaign to raise $750,000 to stabilize the structure and steeple, install a lift, add a second floor restroom, make a secondary exit from the upper part of the building, create a more welcoming main entrance, and make other repairs.
The church recently received national recognition when chosen as one of 14 congregations from across the country to be eligible for a grant by the National Fund for Sacred Places (fundforsacredplaces.org), a program managed by Partners for Sacred Places in collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Broad Bay was selected because of the historical value of the church building and its demonstrated commitment to strengthening community partnerships. In addition to receiving a planning grant, capital campaign training, and specialized consulting services, Broad Bay will receive a matching grant on pledges received by Dec. 1, 2018, up to a maximum grant of $250,000.
“The church is welcoming space for our worshiping congregation as well as for members of the community who come for meetings, lectures, concerts, funerals and weddings, or potluck suppers,” said Rev. Nancy Duncan, pastor of Broad Bay. “In the sanctuary, people of all faiths and no faith come together in a quiet and sacred place. The fellowship hall welcomes a variety of community groups including AA, Garden Club, Restorative Justice, Waldoborough Historical Society, Women, Infants and Children, and other organizations.
“We’re grateful that a talented member of our community is leading this concert to celebrate music and to share the church’s excitement about the power of our building project to strengthen our community.”
There is no charge for the concert but donations to the Broad Bay Church Capital Campaign (which will be matched 2:1 by the National Fund) will be gratefully accepted. A short tour, that will highlight changes planned for the building, will be offered after the concert.