Benefit concert Friday for UMC organ restoration
After 43 years of service to the Baldwin City community, a valuable piece of the First United Methodist Church needs money to be refurbished and updated.
Nearly two-thirds of the funds for the church's organ have been raised, but nearly $16,000 is still needed. With that in mind, members of the church will be hosting an Organ Restoration Benefit Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
"We thought a benefit concert would raise awareness of the money we need to improve the organ," church organist Sharee Thompson said. "I don't know what to expect from the concert, but anything is helpful."
The First United Methodist Church is located at the corner of Eighth and Grove streets.
The church needs to raise $49,000 to update and refurbish the long-lasting organ. Thompson said nearly $33,000 has already been received, most of which came from members of the church.
The Rev. Pam Morrison said the money will be used to update the organ's technology and working mechanisms.
"We are trying to repair our organ," Morrison said. "It's gotten to the point to where the parts, while still working, are fragile. These things needed to be done or the organ will stop working."
Morrison also said the organ has been an important piece of the church and community for many years.
"It's such a magnificent instrument," Morrison said. "It can cover the lowest to the highest sounds of an orchestra. It's meant a lot to this community. It has been used in many weddings and funerals. It's very important to this community."
The concert will last one hour, with Thompson and her husband, Matthew Thompson, playing for the majority of the time. The church's bell choir will also be performing.
Thompson said the church members have worked hard at getting the word out about the concert, but she has no idea what to expect Friday night.
"We've done the best we can to advertise it," Thompson said. "I'm not sure how many people will show up to it."
Morrison agreed, saying they don't know what to expect Friday evening, but she hopes the community will come to the concert.
"It's tough to say how many people will show up," Morrison said. "We've tried to get the word out. I'm hoping lots of people come out and we hope they will bring friends. I also hope people come listen to Matthew and Sharee, because they are two talented, young musicians."