Concert held at Thompson Congregational Church

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Thompson - posted Mon., May. 6, 2013
Pianist Barbara Speer and flutist John Curran performed together at the Thompson Congregational Church on May 5. Photo by D. Coffey.
Pianist Barbara Speer and flutist John Curran performed together at the Thompson Congregational Church on May 5. Photo by D. Coffey.

The sanctuary of the Thompson Congregational Church was filled with the delicate sound of flute and piano on May 5. Flutist John Curran and pianist Barbara Speer joined forces to perform selections of Johann Nepomuk Hummel (Sonata in D Major Op. 50), Claude Debussy (Petite Suite), and John Rutter (Suite Antique).

The two Rhode Island residents have played together in the past, and each has a long list of musical credits to their names. Curran, who was a Woodstock native for years, has performed with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, the Rhode Island Philharmonic Community Orchestra and the Ocean State Summer Pops Orchestra. He has taught at Brown University, the Music School of the Rhode Island Philharmonic and at Wheaton College. He was also a chemist for 17 years with the Rogers Corporation.

Speer has performed as a soloist with orchestras in the U.S. and abroad. She was a member of a chamber ensemble on Long Island. She worked with 70 musicians and performed up to 40 concerts a year. She moved to the Providence, R.I., area five years ago, where she continues to perform and teach private lessons.

Curran played a 14-karat gold flute during the concert. He credited the instrument with toning down his normally bright sound to something a little darker. He spoke briefly about the selections he had chosen for the concert. Hummel was a contemporary of Beethoven and the Sonata was a famous piece. The Debussy was a beautiful impressionistic piece about a boat, a girl with flaxen hair and the calmness of a moonlit night. The Rutter piece was written for a festival and had a modern feel to it. They ended the concert with an encore selection based on John Denver's “Annie's Song.”

The audience joined the artists after the concert for some refreshments. Music Minister Susan Markham said more concerts would be scheduled at the church in the future. “We want to get some big names in here,” she said.


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