HANFORD – When former Fresno City College music professor John Hord joined the Episcopal Church of the Saviour in Hanford, he had heard fellow church-members fondly remember the church hosting a summer concert series.
Hord decided it was time for a series like it to make a return.
With Hord spear-heading the revival, the retired teacher is hoping this weekend’s Mother’s Day concert at the church will help kick-start a renewed series he plans to have begin later this year.
Sunday’s first concert will feature a solo piano performance by Dr. Richard Fountain, who is a friend of Hord’s and had planned to perform in Fresno the day before.
Sunday’s concert is set to begin at 2:30 p.m.
A light reception will follow and the event is open to the public. Admission is free with a free-will offering being taken to benefit the artist.
Dr. Fountain is a professor of piano at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas and the principal keyboardist for Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra and the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra.
“He can really play up storm,” Hord said. “He’s a really great pianist.”
Hord, who spend more than 20 years teaching at Fresno City College, said he hopes the series can be a reflection of the community and that the past series was popular.
“By what I heard,” Hord said. “The congregation really liked it and I was told the community was behind it. So I decided I’d help bring it back.”
While the concert is in the church, Hord said the concert series will be non-faith based with hopes of bringing together different styles and sounds to the different concerts that are being planned. He hopes it to be on a monthly basis.
Following the Mother’s Day concert, the church is planning to host chamber music and art songs of Mexico on Sept. 10 with Hord playing piano and being accompanied with his friends Nathan Johnson (trumpet) and Alexandra Sessler (soprano).
A pipe organ recital is planned for Oct. 22 from student members of the American Guild of Organists with another on March 11 by Tyrell McKenzie, the church’s organist.
Nov. 12 will included a short piano recital and a brief lecture on climate change in collaboration with the United Nations’ 23rd session of the Council of Parishes meeting in Bonn, Germany.
On Dec. 3, Advent lessons and carols will be performed by parish musicians.
In April, Hord is also hoping to have local school musicians perform pieces based on Hispanic/Latino and Asian heritages.
“The important thing we want to get across is that everyone is welcome,” Hord said. “The church is really welcoming and we wanted to make it pay what you can so no one is left out.”
The Episcopal Church of the Saviour is located at 519 N. Douty St.