First Lutheran Church presents ‘Bellows and Beyond’ concert

Online Staff Report

First Lutheran Church, 225 S. Third St., offers the fourth in its eclectic Sounds from the Sanctuary 2011-12 concert series at 3 p.m., Sunday, April 29, at the church. Featured will be multi-award-winning, international concert accordionist Bernadette Zabawa and the rich baritone voice of Rockford’s own Timothy Borden. The concert is free and open to the public. A free-will offering will be received.

Australian-born blind accordionist Bernadette Zabawa has won acclaim around the globe for her sensitive musical interpretations, dazzling technique, and pioneering work in the accordion world. She studied with some of the world’s most renowned accordionists in the Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Austria, Canada and the U.S. She is the seven-time Australian Champion and four-time South Pacific Champion and has earned more than 100 first prizes in accordion competitions. She has recorded for Naxos, EMI and Sony, as well as for film and television scores. Bernadette has worked as a music educator, taught at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, formed and conducted the Accordion Orchestra of Melbourne, and developed her own teaching studio. She has resided in Rockford with her husband, Ed, since 2006.

Baritone Timothy Borden is a Rockford native who sings with the Bach Chamber Choir, the Mendelssohn Chorale, the Conspirare Choristers, and the First Lutheran Church Choir. Borden graduated with a minor in music from Northeastern Illinois University, and studied voice at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. He is well known for his rich interpretations of both classical and more contemporary genres, and approaches his performances with professionalism and sensitivity.

The program will include the U.S. premier of Michael Easton’s “Concerto for Bernadette,” as well as a chamber arrangement of Albin Repnikov’s “Capriccio,” which was arranged especially for Bernadette. In addition, works for the unique Argentinian style of accordion (bandoneon) as well as classical transcriptions improvisations will be featured. She will accompany Timothy Borden with arrangements created especially for this premier concert.

First Lutheran, corner of Third and Oak streets, is located in the heart of Rockford’s historic Haight Village. A large parking lot sits adjacent to the church. Street parking and nearby public lots are also available. First Lutheran is handicap accessible.

For more information about the concert series, call the church at (815) 962-6691.

Posted April 25, 2012

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