Carson Cooman

KENNEBUNKPORT — The First Church invites you, your family, and friends to attend the next in a series of summer concerts to be held in the church at 141 North St., Kennebunkport, at 7 p.m. Monday, July 29.

Joyce Painter Rice, Music Director and Organist, the Rev. Charlotte Bell, and members are pleased to offer these concerts. The July 29 concert features American composer and organist Carson Cooman.

All concerts of First Church’s “Monday Night Summer Concert Series” are open to the public free of charge. Donations for “music and building” are gratefully accepted.

Cooman, who played a recital in First Congregational Church in August 2016 is a returning favorite of First Congregational Church. After his recital that year, when the church was actively raising money to restore its antique organ, Cooman validated and celebrated that effort by composing “TheKennebunkport Suite.”

The suite is three-hymn arrangements as a gift to the congregation. “The Kennebunkport Suite” was written for and is dedicated to Joyce Painter Rice, First Congregational Church, and the church’s 1854 E. & G. G. Hook pipe organ (Opus 177).

“The Hook organ is, in the manner of many small American organs of its era, a single manual organ with a 13 note pedal board,” Cooman said. “This particular instrument is an especially beautiful example of an unaltered organ by the great American builders of the 19th century. It is especially well suited to its home in the small church sanctuary.”

Cooman holds degrees in music from Harvard University and Carnegie Mellon University. Since 2006 he has held the position of Composer In Residence at The Memorial Church, Harvard University.

As an organ recitalist, Cooman specializes in the performance of contemporary music. More than 150 new compositions by more than 100 international composers have been written for him. He has made many recordings as organist, including two recordings of music by Lothar Graap (Kunaki), three recordings of music by Carlotta Ferrari (Kunaki), a recording of Andreas Willscher’s fifth organ symphony (Divine Art), a double CD of music by Eva-Maria Houben (Wandelweiser), a recording of music by Paula Diehl (Zimbel), “Music for Exultation and Reflection” (Lorenz: 22 works by 18 contemporary composers), “A Marvelous Love: New Music for Organ” (Albany; featuring works by Van Ness, Dalton, Rozema, Aberg, Stover, and Machajdik), and “Legends in the Garden: Organ Music by Thomas Aberg” (Soundspells).

Cooman’s recordings of more than 1,200 additional contemporary organ compositions can be heard freely from his website and YouTube. As a composer, Cooman created a catalog of works in many forms ranging from solo instrumental pieces to operas, and from orchestral works to hymn tunes. His work has been performed on all six inhabited continents and appears on over forty recordings, including more than twenty complete CDs on the Naxos, Albany, Artek, Gothic, Divine Art, Metier, Diversions, Convivium, Altarus, MSR Classics, Raven, and Zimbel labels. His website is www.carsoncooman.com.

In addition to concerts, suppers, and other events, the Rev. Charlotte Bell and First Church members welcome you to attend the weekly Sunday church service which begins at 9:30 a.m. and coffee fellowship at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome at First Church.

 First Congregational Church is located 1.5 miles south of the Seacoast Trolley Museum where Log Cabin Road becomes North Street. The church is next to Arundel Cemetery, and near the Kennebunkport Historical Society.

Directions from Kennebunkport’s Dock Square are Spring Street to a left on Maine Street, bear right on North Street and follow North Street to First Congregational Church on the right.

For directions or more information, you may call the church office on Tuesdays at 967-3897. The church’s website is www.firstchurchkport.org. The church’s Facebook page can be found by typing “First Congregational Church of Kennebunkport” in the search line on Facebook.