South Charlotte

Churches will host jazz fest

Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church and Carmel Presbyterian Church will host JAZZ in the Park, a free concert open to the public, 3 p.m. Oct. 30.

The concert is the combined effort of the two churches' music ministries, led by Paul Reynolds, director of music ministries at Carmel; and Cathy Youngblood, director of music ministries at Good Shepherd.

Youngblood says the event is a response to a new call for churches to balance the "come-and-see" attitude with the "go-and-tell" mindset.

"Rather than only presenting the message of Christ through music in the church building and expecting others to come to us, we are heeding the call to go out into the community and meet people where they are," said Youngblood.

Performances will include a combined choir from both churches, a variety of jazz favorites performed by soprano Mindy Damon, and old-time classics performed by The Rick Bean Jazz Trio.

Damon, originally from Rock Hill, has traveled the country and abroad singing with groups including Turning Point Ministries and Disney's Voices of Liberty, and now teaches voice, theater and choir at Charlotte Christian School.

Rick Bean, founding pianist of the trio, was a longtime friend of the late Loonis McGlohon, former director of music at Carmel Presbyterian. Bean now is president of the Loonis McGlohon Foundation, which supports events that promote ministry through jazz.

The concert will be at Stumptown Park, at 120 South Trade St. in Matthews, with free parking. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church.

JAZZ in the Park is a free event; however, voluntary donations will return to the community through programs to prevent hunger.

Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church is at 3307 Rea Road in Charlotte and has worship service at 11 a.m., with Sunday school at 9:30 a.m.

Carmel Presbyterian Church is at 2048 Carmel Road in Charlotte and has worship service at 10:30 a.m., with Sunday school at 9:30 a.m.

The music ministries of Good Shepherd and Presbyterian joined forces for a similar event in the past, when a Christmas concert was given in December 2007 that featured the music of Loonis McGlohon and other jazz composers from the community.

Youngblood says jazz is an accessible means of expression, and Stumptown Park is a fun place for families and friends to enjoy a Sunday afternoon.

"We hope to give folks a relaxing evening of jazz - sacred and secular - as a bridge between community and church," she said.

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