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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Beatles Toccata in free noon concert Jan. 4, St. John's, Lafayette Square

Janet Yieh by Harrison Linsey
Concert organist Janet Yieh will play the Beatles Toccata for "All You Need is Love" by Paul Ayres at a free noontime concert Wednesday at St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square.

Ms. Yieh's performance is part of the church's
First Wednesday Concerts held on the first Wednesday of the month at 12:10 p.m. and lasting about 30 minutes.

What is a "toccata"?  The Free Dictionary supplies several definitions:  "A virtuoso composition, usually for the organ or another keyboard instrument, in free style with brilliant passagework" and "a composition in the style of an improvisation, for the piano, organ, or other keyboard instrument, intended to exhibit the player's technique."

Also on Wednesday's program are: 

Overture to the Oratorio “St. Paul” arr. W. T. Best
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847)

Adagio in E Major
Frank Bridge (1879-1941)

Dieu Parmi Nous
Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)

Ms. Yieh, a native of Alexandria, is pursuing her master’s degree at Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music and School of Music. She serves as organ scholar at Trinity Church on the Green in New Haven. She received her undergraduate degree in organ from the Juilliard School and was assistant organist at Trinity Church on Broadway at Wall Street for four years.

The winner of many competitions, Ms. Yieh plays concerts throughout the U.S. and Asia, including Alice Tully Hall, the Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Washington National Cathedral, and Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral. She began piano lessons at age 4, violin at age 7, and the organ, at 11. 
St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, Washington, DC/Photo by Patricia Leslie

St. John's was founded in 1815 and is known to Washington residents as the yellow church at Lafayette Square. It's often called the “Church of the Presidents” since beginning with James Madison who was president from 1809 to 1817, every president has attended services here. A plaque at the rear of St. John's designates the pew where President Abraham Lincoln often sat when he stopped by the church during the Civil War.  

Following tradition, President-Elect Donald J. Trump will begin his inauguration on January 20 with private services at St. John's.

For those on lunch break Wednesday, food trucks are located at Farragut Square, two blocks away.


A concert not to miss! 

Who: Concert Organist Janet Yieh

First Wednesday Concerts

When: 12:10 p.m., January 4, 2017

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: 202-347-8766

Other dates and artists of the First Wednesday Concert Series are:

February 1: Jazz vocalist Sara Jones will sing a Winter Escape, accompanied by the Dan Dufford Ensemble.
(The first Wednesday in March is Ash Wednesday.)

April 5: Soloists from St. John's Choir will sing.

May 3: Thomas Smith, the director of music at Christ Church, Georgetown, will play A Journey to Merrie Olde England - A Recital of English Organ Music.

June 7: Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 will be played by the U.S. Air Force Strings with trumpeter Mary Bowden.

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