Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 1, 2014

Clear Creek Church to host chamber orchestra concert

Feb 18, 2014

On Sunday, Feb. 23, at 2 p.m., a chamber orchestra concert will take place at the Clear Creek Church, located at 30832 242nd Street in Harper. The concert will offer music in the historic setting of the magnificent Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. Members of the Clear Creek Heritage Association who are hosting the event see the concert as the first in a series of classical music programs for the greater community of southeast Iowa.

The 10-member chamber ensemble will be conducted by Robert McConnell, director of the Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra (SEISO), and include players from SEISO as well as Iowa Wesleyan College and the community at large.

The program features classical selections (Bach and other baroque) and folk tune settings, including a double-oboe concerto and an audience sing-along of a traditional favorite. Conductor McConnell will provide lively commentary and close-up “introductions” to the various string and wind instruments.

The concert will be both outstanding in virtuosity, and welcoming to families and friends. The concert sponsors see this as in keeping with the skills and optimism of their forebears, who founded and built the productive farming community and handsome church over the past 150-plus years.

In the early 1850s, a group of Catholic German families arrived in the area. Over the decades, church, school and rectory buildings were constructed. In 1898, the present grand edifice was built. The Clear Creek Heritage Association conserves the church, as part of the history of Clear Creek Township, Iowa and the nation. Visitors will be inspired to see its many lovingly preserved features, including fine stained-glass windows — with German script, and carved wood statuary and altar.

“We intend to provide concerts for the support and enjoyment of culture as a living legacy of the past, and commitment to the future,” say the sponsors from the Clear Creek Heritage Association, whose forebears date back to the original church members who helped build the original church. Sponsors stressed that the concert welcomes students, retirees and all parts of the community to attend. Event sponsors are also reaching out to many music and institutional groups throughout the Midwest to schedule classical concerts for future seasons.

The Feb. 23 concert is admission-free; all are invited to the reception at the church’s social hall afterward. Free-will donations are welcome.

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