Sycamore United Methodist invites the public to its continuing Jessie Viner Concert Series, starting with Truman’s Ridge at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Truman’s Ridge, a bluegrass group with some local and some international roots, performed the first concert for the church’s Jessie Viner series about five years ago, around the time of the band’s formation. Since then, this blend of instrumentalists and vocalists has played all over a five-state area.
Bruce Wallace, producer of the band and banjo player, said that this concert will be one of the last opportunities to hear bass player Karel Waska. Waska is completing his doctoral studies in geology at Northern Illinois University, and will return to the Czech Republic after he graduates this spring. Waska brings a 20-year blend of bass experience in everything from symphonic orchestras to gypsy jazz in France.
The other musicians in the band include Steve Waver, guitarist and co-founder of the group, and Mark Flower, mandolin and fiddle. There will be a free-will offering for the band, and refreshments will be served.
The following Saturday and Sunday, the church will feature portions of its active musical program in the Spring Choral Celebration, “The Colors of Your Grace.”
The program, created by music director Bev Rauch, features the Adult Choir, Kid’s Choir, and many instrumentalists, small groups, and soloists. The music is widely varied, including Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and a jazz gospel piece featuring sax players Jim Selig and Gracia Watson. The popular Good News! quartet, directed by Doug Elder, will share its beautiful harmonies in “We Shall See Jesus.” Atlee Mathews will choreograph the children’s dance team, and Craig Fritz accompanies the Adult Choir.
“The Colors of Your Grace” will be performed at 5 p.m. April 20 and at 8:30 and 10 a.m., April 21. The church is located at 160 Johnson Ave. in Sycamore.
For more information, call the church office at 815-895-9113, or visit the church website at www.sycamoreumc.org.