The Washington, D.C. premiere of Peter Mathews' Fantaisie for Harp and Organ will be presented in a noontime concert Wednesday at St. John's Episcopal Church by the Lafayette Square Duo with organist Michael Lodico and harpist Rebecca Smith.
The performance is part of the church's First Wednesday Concerts series and shall include this Wednesday a set of Irish jigs (for an early start on St. Paddy's Day) and "colorful" hymns.
The musicians are dedicating Fantaisie to Ms. Smith's mentor, Jeanne Chalifoux Goddin, and Mr. Lodico's daughter, Florence Asha Lodico.
Mr. Lodico is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and a 2004 recipient of a Fulbright grant for graduate study in the Netherlands on historic instruments.
Ms. Smith is a former principal harpist for the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and teaches at St. Mary's College and Anne Arundel Community College. She graduated from Dickinson College and received a M.M. from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Ms. Smith studied at the Salzedo Summer Harp Colony and at Tanglewood Institute. In 2008 she recorded Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols with the Washington National Cathedral Girls Choir.
St. John's is known to many Washington residents as the yellow church at Lafayette Square and is often called the “Church of the Presidents” since beginning with James Madison who was president 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 the church designates the pew where President Abraham Lincoln often sat when he stopped by St. John's during the Civil War.
This year the church celebrates its bicentennial, and its history and stained-glass windows are described in books and booklets available at St. John's.
First Wednesday concerts begin at 12:10 p.m. and last about 35 minutes. Food trucks are located two blocks away at Farragut Square.
Who: Rebecca Smith and Michael Lodico in concert
What: First Wednesday Concerts
When: 12:10 p.m., March 2, 2016
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
Metro stations: McPherson Square (White House exit), Farragut North, or Farragut West
For more information: Contact Michael Lodico at 202-270-6265.
Future dates and artists of the First Wednesday Concerts are:
April 6: Soloists from St. John's Choir will sing.
May 4: The U.S. Air Force Strings Chamber Orchestra with harpsichordist Brandon Straub will play Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 5.
June 1: Concert organist Roderick Demmings, Jr., will play works by Bach, Wammes, and Widor.