A cool breeze modified the prelude of a warm Summer day as music lovers gathered upon the grounds of The Presbyterian Church of the Mountain in Delaware Water Gap, PA on Sunday June 1st to partake of the fist of their gazebo concerts for the 2014 season. Those who have attended the series throughout the years eagerly dusted off their folding chairs and blankets of the chilled environs in which they were stored during the wintry months and seated themselves in order to embrace the warmth of the day and the conversations they shared with their fellow concert goers. Hot dogs were being prepared and snacks were set out by loving hands as the evening’s host, Bonnie Childs, took the stage to welcome moderately sized audience to the event.
Her words enhanced the warmth of the event as she included some celebratory words reflecting the Church’s acquisition of a new pastor, The Reverent Sherry Blackman, who will be their spiritual leader for many years to come. It was after these sentiments were the evening’s performers introduced to the waiting crowd. Jazz duo Spencer and Nancy Reed took their guitars in hand and began to play while accompanied by Paul Hubbell on Saxophone. Together, their musical renderings made a gentle afternoon an even more gentler one as the vocalizations presented my Spencer combined with the lyrical phrasings eluding from his wife, Nancy, flowed at varying speeds while Mr. Hubbell added an ambiance to the compositions through the deft tonal interpretations of his instrument.
It was during the mesmeric performance did the duo welcome Najwa Parkins of the After Hours Trio www.facebook.com/NajwaParkinsAndTheAfterHoursTrio to the stage. Ms. Parkins’ soft piercing voice immediately injected its healing properties into the essence of the song titled, “Summertime” which is from the George Gershwin 1935 opera titled, “Porgy and Bess.” She later joined her vocal gifts with those of Ms. Reeds’ to form a heavenly duet which led the audience upon a wonderful journey filled with melodious vistas to rest their listening ears upon.
A break ensued so those who experienced the musical wonders of the day had a chance to share the words reflecting their enhanced moods with one another and to partake of the culinary offerings of the day. The break ended as Nancy stood upon the stage with her guitar to share her rendition of the Jazz classic titled, “Take Five” that was composed by Paul Desmond and first performed by The Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1959. She was later re joined by Paul and Spencer and together they continued their renditions of beloved jazz melodies until the concert came to a conclusion.
Nancy and Spencer Reed are well known for their unique brand of vocal and instrumental styling. Their vocal blend, phrasings, and harmonies has been enjoyed by audiences throughout their 30 year career of performing in a variety of venues both indoor and out. Their performance at the June 1st concert at The Presbyterian Church of the Mountain’s Gazebo proved to be an excellent beginning of the series as the music they rendered to the audience inspired a relaxed countenance enabling many to reflect upon the promises of the season both climatically and musically. You can learn more about Nancy and Spencer Reed by exploring their Website at www.reedjazz.com.
According to their website, The Presbyterian Church of the Mountain is “… a community of disciples illuminated by God’s love who care for others spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially as we explore new avenues of grace and grow in faith through worship and service.” In an endeavor to manifest the goals of this statement, they hold weekly services every Sunday beginning at 10am, provide a hostel for those hikers who travel along the Appalachian Trail as well as holding a Hikers’ Dinner every Thursday evening throughout the Summer Months to replenish their energies. They also support the Kenyan village of Amilo by providing a school feeding program for 15 orphans, a well, housing, and simple medical care and information to the villagers and the church shares a partnership with the Reformed Church located in Cardenaz, Cuba. In addition to all this, they support the local Fire Company and Women’s Resources Center as well as provide community aid funds for residents who are suffering economic burdens. The size of the congregation is approximately 200 people.
The Summer Gazebo Concert Series began in 1990 and is presented every Sunday evening throughout the Summer months until the end of August in order to support the local musicians and provide a venue where all ages could learn to appreciate Jazz and acoustic music. In reflection of Delaware Water Gap, PA being considered a Mecca for Jazz, the concerts has a great number of Jazz performances in their schedule. However, all musical styles are showcased during the summer which includes Blue Grass and Classical Music. The next installment in The Presbyterian Church of the Mountain Summer Gazebo Concert Series for 2014 is scheduled for Sunday June 8th and will feature The Lost Ramblers. The concert is free to the public and begins at 6pm. Please Explore The Presbyterian Church of the Mountain Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/pages/Presbyterian-Church-of-the-Mountain/234593743269661 for more information.