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Organ recital honors a piece of Marblehead history

An exhibit of Nicholas W. Kent’s art, “Spirits of the Boat Yard,” is in Marblehead.

An exhibit of Nicholas W. Kent’s art, “Spirits of the Boat Yard,” is in Marblehead.

HEAVENLY MUSIC: St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Marblehead, built in 1714, is celebrating its 300th anniversary throughout the year with a series of public lectures, organ recitals, special church services, and a scholarly symposium.

An organ recital featuring Barbara Bruns is next Sunday.

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A recitalist, accompanist, and conductor, Bruns is minister of music at the Parish of Christ Church in Andover.

She will perform on St. Michael’s Opus 69 mechanical action, 22-stop organ, built by C.B. Fisk and Co. in Gloucester in 1974. The concert will feature music by Mendelssohn; Carson Cooman, Messiaen, and Bach.

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Bruns holds a bachelor’s of music degree in organ performance from Augustana College and a master’s of music degree from the New England Conservatory. She is associate conductor of The Boston Cecilia and visiting professor of music at Ferris University, Yokohama, Japan.

The concert begins at 5 p.m. It is open to the public. There is a suggested donation of $10, to benefit the Recital Series Fund. A reception follows the concert.

Future concerts feature Nancy Granert, on March 16, and Bill Crane on May 18.

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Visit stmichaels1714.org.

SEUSS ON STAGE: Horton, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, Jojo, Sour Kangaroo, and all the Whos in Whoville visit Reading Friday through next Sunday.

They’ll be singing and dancing on stage in the Coolidge Middle School adaptation of “Seussical: The Musical.”

The show features students from the middle school’s drama club and is directed by Lori Mandolese Loussedes.

The musical is based on the characters, stories, and books of Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, including “Horton Hears a Who!” “Horton Hatches the Egg,” and “The One Feather Tail of Gertrude McFuzz.”

The musical debuted on Broadway in 2000 and had two US tours and a United Kingdom tour. It has also become a favorite production for regional theaters, as well as school and community drama groups.

“Seussical” runs 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday at the William E. Endslow Performing Arts Center at Reading Memorial High School.

Tickets are available at the high school and at the door the days of the performances.

AUTHOR’S CORNER: Boston historian and author Anthony M. Sammarco (above) discusses “A History of Howard Johnson’s: How a Massachusetts Soda Fountain Became an American Icon,” 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Peabody Institute Library in Danvers. His book recounts how Howard Johnson created an orange-roofed empire of ice cream stands and restaurants that once stretched from Maine to Florida to the West Coast. . . . Jennifer Haigh reads from her first collection of short stories, “News From Heaven: The Bakerton Stories,” 7 p.m. at Book Ends in Winchester. Haigh takes readers to Bakerton, Pa. — the fictionalized coal mining town in her novel, “Baker Towers” — and into the hearts and minds of multiple generations of its residents. The stories, some of which first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Granta, and One Story, are intertwined, spanning decades in a once-booming company town facing decline as the 20th century unfolds.

IN LOCAL GALLERIES: “Spirits of the Boat Yard,” an exhibit of paintings by Nicholas W. Kent, is at the Stetson Gallery in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead throughout January. An opening reception with the artist is noon to 2 p.m. next Sunday. Kent grew up spending countless hours in the boatyards of Marblehead with his father, Christopher Kent, an avid sailor and boatman. His father’s death a few years ago affected him deeply, and the emotional turmoil of that loss is reflected in the work on display. Kent, of Salem, has a bachelor’s degree in media arts and design from Northeastern University. In 2008, he co-founded Mind Adventure Inc., a small publishing company of self-help and inspirational books and media.

Items can be sent to wdkilleen@gmail.com.
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