FUMC host­ing or­gan con­cert

Cov­ing­ton na­tive to per­form Sun­day

The Covington News - - Local News - By Jenny Thompson

Bill Call­away, a Cov­ing­ton na­tive, will per­form at the fi­nal con­cert of the First United Methodist Church Or­gan In­au­gu­ral Con­cert Se­ries at 3 p.m. Sun­day.

Call­away’s per­for­mance will honor the me­mory of five peo­ple who had an in­flu­ence over his mu­si­cal ca­reer.

“When I first started plan­ning this pro­gram,” Call­away said, “I didn’t in­tend for it to turn out this way, but it just sort of evolved.”

As a child, Call­away at­tended FUMC of Cov­ing­ton where, at the time, Josie Futrelle Goode served as the church’s or­gan­ist.

“She was just a won­der­ful, sweet lady and just amaz­ingly tal­ented,” Call­away said. “I re­mem­ber even as a lit­tle boy, be­ing fas­ci­nated by the sounds of the or­gan.”

Call­away had taken some pi­ano lessons be­fore sit­ting down with Goode at the or­gan. He played his first con­cert at FUMC at the age of 13.

“That was my big de­but — I still re­mem­ber how ex­cited I was,” Call­away said.

He said Goode re­mained sup­port­ive of his tal­ent even while he at­tended East­man School of Mu­sic in Rochester, N.Y., and while earn­ing his Bach­e­lor of Fine Arts from the Univer­sity of Ge­or­gia.

The first seg­ment of Call­away’s per­for­mance ded­i­cated to Goode, who was FUMC’s or­gan­ist for nearly 40 years, will in­clude classical pieces by Bach and Han­del taught to him first by Goode.

The sec­ond part of his per­for­mance hon­ors Dave Young, who was FUMC’s mu­sic di­rec­tor dur­ing the 1980s and 1990s.

“He did a mag­nif­i­cent job of start­ing the con­cert as­so­ci­a­tion,” Call­away said.

Young or­ga­nized the Con­cert As­so­ci­a­tion in New­ton County al­most 20 years ago.

Call­away said he is so ap­pre­cia­tive of Young’s ef­forts al­low­ing him to play with mem­bers of the At­lanta Sym­phony Orches­tra at New­ton High School. He has since re­turned the fa­vor by play­ing at the wed­ding of Young’s daugh­ter.

He said Young’s trib­ute will in­clude some of his fa­vorite hymns such as “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” as well as an ac­co­lade to his ex­cel­lent tenor voice.

“I re­mem­ber ev­ery Christ­mas he would sing a lit­tle spir­i­tual called ‘Sweet Lit­tle Je­sus Boy,” Call­away said.

Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the Arts As­so­ci­a­tion of New­ton County Bun­cie Lan­ners will sing the spir­i­tual to Call­away’s ac­com­pa­ni­ment.

The third per­son hon­ored in Call­away’s per­for­mance is Becky Hutchins who grew up with him and stud­ied un­der Goode at the same time.

As fresh­men in high school Hutchins and Call­away per­formed duets and as adults they hosted a Christ­mas party for 20 years where they would play hol­i­day tunes to­gether for their friends and fam­i­lies.

“It was al­most like a Cov­ing­ton in­sti­tu­tion,” Call­away said. “It was al­ways such a fun time.”

Call­away said he will play some of Hutchins’ fa­vorite songs they used to play to­gether such as a med­ley from Rogers’ and Ham­mer­stein’s “The Sound of Mu­sic” and “Bat­tle Hymn of the Repub­lic” writ­ten by Ju­lia Ward Howe.

The last por­tion of Call­away’s per­for­mance will honor his par­ents, the late Dr. Jor­dan Call­away and Caro­line Call­away.

“They love mu­sic and they were in­stru­men­tal when I was young in get­ting my lessons started, and they were al­ways very lov­ing and sup­port­ive,” Call­away said.

He said nei­ther of his par­ents played an in­stru­ment but loved to lis­ten to him play.

Call­away’s per­for­mance will fea­ture the ini­tial use of the new clock bell cym­bel­stern, a Glock­en­spiel hand-crafted in Ger­many, re­cently do­nated to the church by Florence Fowler Pea­cock in me­mory of Ben T. Banks Jr.

“The or­gan is just glo­ri­ous now,” Call­away said. “When I first started, we just had a small two-man­ual or­gan that was built in the 1920s.”

Cur­rently, Call­away is or­gan­ist for First United Methodist Church in Cham­blee. Since 1987 he has served as ac­com­pa­nist for the West At­lanta/Douglas Choral So­ci­ety, makes reg­u­lar con­cert ap­pear­ances at the Cathe­dral of St. Philip in At­lanta and has per­formed at events such as Christ­mas at Cal­len­wolde, the Dec­o­ra­tor’s Show House and ban­quets at the Gov­er­nor’s Man­sion.

He also has given a solo or­gan recital at St. Paul’s Cathe­dral in Lon­don and has played his­toric in­stru­ments while on Euro­pean tours in Eng­land, Ire­land, Wales and Ger­many.

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