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Douglaston concert to benefit historic church organ

A benefit concert sets out to raise money for the historic pipe organ inside the Community Church of Douglaston. Photo courtesy Bob Reina
TimesLedger Newspapers

After weeks of fine-tuning and planning, a group of Douglaston musicians announced a benefit concert for later this month to help restore a historic organ at the Community Church of Douglaston and fund a junior yacht club in the neighborhood.

The concert, scheduled for May 19 at 1:30 p.m., will feature Douglaston’s own Attention Screen jazz and classical group, with resident Bob Reina leading the way on the historical Ralph and Alice Greenlaw memorial pipe organ to demonstrate its unique capabilities.

Joining Reina will also be Attention Screen trumpet and cornet player Liam Sillery, double bass player Chris Jones and drummer and percussionist Mark Flynn.

Originally built in 1928 and refurbished in 1968, the organ has been the focal point of countless worship services and performances. It was later rebuilt from scratch in 2010 with help from nearly $175,000 in donations from the church congregation to expand its musical capabilities, Reina said.

What makes this performance unique, Reina said, will be the type of jazz his group performs. Rather than its typical improvised jazz, Attention Screen will showcase nine newly composed original jazz and classical works to complement the abilities of the organ.

Reina, a pianist, said the organ was unique because it exhibited a vast range of tones coupled with modern technology made possible through its 2010 refurbishment.

“It’s capable of both drama and subtlety,” Reina said. “It has the widest dynamic range of any instrument I’ve experienced.”

But along with its many features comes the great price of maintaining it, Reina said, which was one of the reasons his group helped assemble the benefit concert.

Proceeds from the concert will also go on to fund the purchase of new sailboats for the Douglaston Junior Yacht Squadron, Reina said. The group has been an active part of the Douglaston community and provides sailing instruction to children throughout northeast Queens.

The concert is scheduled to take place at the Community Church of Douglaston, at 39-50 Douglaston Parkway Sunday, May 19, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The venue includes 155 orchestra seats for $20 each, 70 balcony seats for $15 each and three wheelchair accessible spaces for $15 each.

Advance tickets are available by mailing a check to the Community Church of Douglaston. There will be a limited number of walk-in tickets payable by cash or check on the day of the concert. Complimentary wine will also be served during intermission.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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