Singing since 1793
Michelle Cenci played a melody by Charles Gounod on violin, accompanied by the Westerlo Reformed Church music director Wally Jones on organ. The two played Ashokan Farewell, composed by Jay Ungar and made popular in The Civil War film by Ken Burns. Before them, the audience heard readings from the Gettysburg Address and Union Army Officer Sullivan Ballou's last letter to his wife.
The music in the Westerlo Reformed Church on Sunday afternoon had people clapping, laughing, crying, and pondering with eyes closed, watered, or wide. The pews creaked beneath the mostly silent but enthusiastic congregation. Pale pink light shone through stained glass windows on Sept. 22 as more than a dozen skilled musicians played in various combinations and genres on stage, celebrating 220 years of the church.
Over $1,500 was collected to benefit the Hilltown Community Resource Center food pantry open to families five days a week in the church's annex.