Music in the Woods comes out of the woods

Published 3:20 pm Friday, November 8, 2019

Through the generosity of First Presbyterian of Bainbridge, a performance for Music in the Woods will be held in the sanctuary of the church on Saturday, November 24 at 4 p.m.

The music series, which adopted the name “Music in the Woods,” has grown from an initial gathering of a dozen friends on a Sunday evening to six yearly events of fifty to sixty guests from Decatur, Grady, Thomas Counties as well as Quincy and Tallahassee.

The idea of music in the woods was born when retired Presbyterian minister, Jerry Little and his wife Beverly attended a student concert on the Tallahassee campus of

Florida State University with Emory and Dorothy Johnson. They came to the conclusion that “we need to have a music program in Bainbridge to feature students from FSU.” The idea took root and an initial concert featuring a recent FSU graduate and a faculty member of the ABAC music program, performed an hour program of classical music to a handful of Presbyterian friends in the living room of Johnson’s country home.

As the idea grew and more people wanted to attend, space became a real problem.

It was also a problem to accommodate some of the ensembles the group wanted to offer. At that point Bill Cooper’s Mablewood Farm near Climax became the select venue.

The first concert of this season will be held at the church, allowing a group of sponsors and five musicians to offer a variety of music enjoyable to all without any charge.

Upcoming musicians include Devin Eatmon, tenor, currently completing his Master of Music in Voice Performance. He recently completed a summer of operatic performance with the Aspen Music Festival.

He will be joined by two baritones, Bret Thompson and Jake Skipworth. Thompson is also completing his Master of Music Performance and for the previous two years he has been a cast member of the Virginia State Opera. Skipworth, a native of Kansas, received his degree from Wichita State University and was a member of the Wichita Grand Opera.

He is currently a member of the St. Petersburg Opera. The three voices will be joined by Dr. Christopher Moore, principal trumpet of the Tallahassee Symphony and principal trumpet faculty member at FSU, as well as a recent Grammy Award winner for his recording with the Chestnut Brass Ensemble.