With a backdrop of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, a historic Gloucester church raised more than $4,500 for war relief efforts in Ukraine during a concert Sunday night.
Almost 200 audience members attending the free “Bach Birthday Bash” concert for the German composer’s 337th birthday at the Gloucester Meetinghouse, which held its first in-person concert since the start of the pandemic.
The money was donated to the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian aid organization, the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation said in a statement.
The concert was presented by the foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the church built in 1806. The building now is home to the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church.
“We were greatly encouraged by this outpouring,” foundation president Charles Nazarian said in a statement. “It far exceeded all our expectations, showing the concern and great generosity of our community concerning the struggle for freedom in Ukraine.”
The concert featured harpsichord, violin, organ and vocal sections in Bach’s compositions, with a closing performance of the Ukrainian National Anthem, the statement said.
The Bach performance was the first in a series of three concerts scheduled at the Meetinghouse for this spring, the statement said. The Meetinghouse will host a Holocaust memorial performance on May 1 and a performance by the Appleton Consort on May 22.
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