Oct. 6 Concert of Caring at Trinity Lutheran Church

Mary Beth Carlson

Staff Report

Oct. 6, Mary Beth Carlson — composer, pianist, speaker and recording artist — will perform in a “Concert of Caring” at Trinity Lutheran Church in Rockford to benefit Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) programs in the community, which include services for children, families, seniors and people with disabilities.

Concert starts at 7 p.m., and the church is at 200 N. First St. The concert is one of five being held around the state in early October (for other locations, see www.LSSI.org).

Carlson’s concerts, which are intimate and heart-warming, feature a selection of music to please listeners of all ages. She is a compelling storyteller as well. Throughout her music, Mary Beth creates a consistent flow with an elegant, beautifully distinctive style that has become a best-selling “signature sound” throughout the country.

The Rev. Denver Bitner, D.Min., LSSI president, said: “We are very excited to be able to showcase Mary Beth’s incredible talent and also her moving story of her daughter’s autism and cerebral palsy. She’s able to not only deliver a great concert, but her personal story reflects a deep commitment to what LSSI is all about — caring for people in need.”

The agency is working toward developing supportive housing for high-functioning adults with autism.

Carlson explained: “Music is a beautiful, treasured gift from God. I know I’m on the right path when I hear from appreciative listeners who tell me moving stories of how my music has been personally meaningful in their lives.”

Carlson is also a composer, and much of her original music has been created in honor of her daughter Jody, who was born with cerebral palsy and autism. She has written and performed music specifically for the International Special Olympics, Arc, Children’s Cancer Research Fund and the Alzheimer’s Association.

Carlson’s piano orchestral arrangements have been featured on several recordings with internationally recognized artists including, among others: Sandi Patty, Darlene Zschech, Sheila Walsh, Kelly Willard, Jim Brickman, The Blenders, Steve Hall and J.D. Steele, who performed at last year’s Concerts of Caring. Most recently, Carlson was interviewed on KTIS radio in St. Paul, Minn., in a five-day series about her journey of faith for the Her Journey radio program.

Tickets are $15 per person. For more details or to purchase tickets, call Rockford Area Lutheran Ministries at (815) 962-4279. For information about LSSI, visit www.LSSI.org.

From the Oct. 5-11, 2011, issue

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