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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Free organ concert Nov. 5 at St. John's, Lafayette Square

 Organist Greg Morris

From London's Temple Church comes organist Greg Morris who will play A London Portrait at St. John's, Lafayette Square beginning at 12:10 p.m. Nov. 5, and the public is invited to attend at no charge.

Musical and historical notes are set for the 35-minute program, one of St. John's First Wednesday Concerts, which will feature English favorites by Handel, Purcell, Stanley, Parry, and others, along with a bit of history about Temple Church, consecrated in 1185 and built by monks to protect pilgrims going to and from Jerusalem.

The church played a leading role in the signing of the Magna Carta, the subject of a new exhibition, Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor, opening Nov. 6 at the Library of Congress to honor the document's 800th anniversary. 

"Magna Carta, the great charter of rights and liberties, stands at the heart of English and American law and has influenced the legal systems of many other democratic nations," says the Library of Congress.
St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C./Photo by Patricia Leslie

St. John's, known to many Washington residents as the yellow church at Lafayette Square, is called the “Church of the Presidents.” Beginning with President James Madison, who served from 1809 to 1817, every president has been a member of St. John's or has attended services at the church. A plaque at the rear of St. John's designates the pew where President Abraham Lincoln often sat when he stopped by St. John's during the Civil War.

All concerts will start at 12:10 p.m. (with an exception in April), and last about 35 minutes. Food trucks are located at Farragut Square, two blocks away, for those on lunch break.

Who:  Greg Morris, organist

What: The First Wednesday Concerts

When: 12:10 p.m., November 5, 2014

Where: St. John’s, Lafayette Square, 1525 H Street, NW, at the corner of 16th, Washington, D.C. 20005

How much: No charge

Duration: About 35 minutes

Wheelchair accessible

Metro stations: McPherson Square (White House exit), Farragut North, or Farragut West

For more information: Contact Michael Lodico, St. John's associate organist and choir director, at 202-270-6265

Future dates and artists of the First Wednesday Concerts are:

December 3: Madrigal Singers from St. Albans & National Cathedral schools directed by organist Benjamin Hutto, sing seasonal music

January 7, 2015: Iris Lan plays the Complete Sonatas of Paul Hindemith on the organ

February 4: Lena Seikaly, jazz vocalist, with the Dan Dufford Trio performing works by Duke Ellington and friends

March 4: Jared Denhard, bagpiper, assisted by Michael Lodico, St. John's organist and choirmaster, performing Pipes and More Pipes

April 19 (Sunday), 4 p.m.: Spring Concert by St. John's Choir

May 6: The U.S. Air Force Strings accompanied by Benjamin Hutto performing a Handel organ concerto and other pieces

June 3: Benjamin Straley, organist at the Washington National Cathedral

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