The Mel Larimer Concert Series has been a tremendous success, providing our community with high-quality musical events, recently free of charge, as was the desire of its eponymous leader, Mel Larimer. Many of us remember Mel with love and respect: he worked tirelessly to elevate the quality of music in our area, through his involvement at Traverse City Central HS, Interlochen Arts Camp, and right here at FCC, leading our Sanctuary choir for many years. He served not only our community but also our God, closing his correspondence always with “Soli Deo Gloria”, for Glory to God alone. He believed, and he lived as he believed.
We have a unique and meaningful opportunity to pay tribute to Mel, who meant so much to so many. A new choral work by Dan Forrest, a brilliant young American composer, has been offered for commission to be dedicated to Mel Larimer. As you will recall, the most recent MLCS event this past Dec. was a spectacular Christmas concert, featuring the music of Dan Forrest, and accompanied by Dan himself! Hundreds of local choir members, including members of local high schools, along with chamber orchestra and percussion filled the Sanctuary at FCC with the beautiful and meaningful work of Dan Forrest. Those of us who had the privilege to meet Dan and appreciate his humble, servant’s heart, will never forget the experience. This unique circumstance to honor Mel Larimer with a work by Dan Forrest is a true gift. We would like to offer everyone the opportunity to participate in funding this lasting recognition of a very special person; the cost of the commission will be $5000. We are hopeful it will be published and ready for performance before the end of this year! Checks should be made payable to FCC with “MLCS commission” on the memo line.
Please consider how you’d like to be a part of this meaningful tribute to one of God’s most faithful servants. For questions, contact Joni Griner Licht at firstname.lastname@example.org or Margo Sirrine at email@example.com/231-218-0275.
About the Mel Larimer Concert Series:
Mel Larimer was the beloved Director of Music and conductor of Traverse City’s First Congregational Church Sanctuary Choir from 1997 to 2008. Bringing together Grand Traverse regional musicians to perform major choral/orchestral masterworks was always a major part of Mel Larimer’s fondest wishes and goals for our community. At his passing in 2008, the Mel Larimer Concert Series Memorial Fund was established so that our community could carry on this worthy aspiration. The over-arching goal of the Mel Larimer Concert is to bring together Grand Traverse area musicians to perform great music. All vocalists who are up to the challenge and can fulfill rehearsal requirements are welcome to participate. Masterworks selected may include music of various world cultures, creeds and historical origins, and can be from sacred or secular choral traditions. The Mel Larimer Concerts are outreach events offered to individuals and established public and private institutions as a community service. The Traverse City First Congregational Church (as custodian of the MLCS Trust) is pleased to host these events where appropriate.
The purpose of the Mel Larimer Concert Series is to perform great music that inspires humanity’s creative yearnings and gives expression to the stirrings of the human spirit. To that end, we will strive to present, advocate and promote a repertory of innovative and traditional choral music and seek to educate the public and nurture its appreciation of the life-enriching qualities of choral music and the arts.