Classical music with a twist opens the annual Concerts with a Cause season Sept. 24

(Featured photo is of Anastasia Petrunina, the Augusta Symphony concertmaster, who will be part of a string quartet in the opening concert of the annual Concerts with a Cause series)

Concerts with a Cause returns for its 21st season on Sept. 24.

The season opener features a string quartet playing classical music but with a twist.

 “I enjoy classical music,” said Jamie Council Garvey, who created the concert series.

St. John United Methodist Church

But she knows that not everyone is as much of a fan as she is, so she asked Anastasia Petrunina, the Augusta Symphony’s concertmaster to vary the concert. The program will include Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as well as music by Queen and Abba and will begin at 3 p.m. at St. John United Methodist Church, 736 Greene St.

Garvey said it’s rare to hear all four of Vivaldi’s seasons in one concert and adding Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and Abba’s Dancing Queen provides a unique musical experience.

Joining Petrunina will be Thomas Lakubek, violin; Craig Mumm, viola and Daniel Mumm, cello.

Garvey has always wanted to offer concerts that others weren’t providing. She doesn’t do chamber music because the Harry Jacobs Chamber Music Society fills that niche.

 Each year, she receives hundreds of requests from performers wishing to be part of the series, so she’s selective.

The 2023-2024 season is pared down from previous years with only three concerts.

The second concert will be the annual Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols at 10:30 p.m. Dec. 24.

Another love of Garvey’s is choral music, and the season will end with the Georgia State University Singers, joined by John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School’s chorale and Harmonix at 7 p.m. March 3, 2024.

“They are a stunning group,” Garvey said of the Georgia State University choir.

Having the high school students join them will make for an “exciting” concert.

The Concerts with a Cause series began as a way to celebrate the church’s new organ in 2003 and to give back to the community. Admission to each of the concerts is free; however, an offering is taken and donated to a charity. Sunday’s concert will benefit the Family Counseling Center of the CSRA.

Since its inception, Concerts with a Cause has raised more than $230,000 for 61 area non-profits.

Typically, there’s at least one organ concert on the slate. But not this year. Instead, the American Guild of Organists will present its competition winner in concert at the church on Feb. 17, 2024, she said.

Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

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