Music & Organ

Music At St. John’s presents 
Ken Vaiden and Carol Henderson
"Romancing Broadway

Music At Saint John’s” NEW Concert Series proudly announces the 2nd Concert of the 2017-2018 season: Romancing Broadway. On Wednesday, September 20, at 7:00 PM Romancing Broadway will feature Ken Vaiden, tenor, and Carol Henderson, pianist, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 197 Mountain Road in Halifax. Tickets are $10 (call 434-476-6696). The evening includes a free reception on the lawn during intermission.

Ken Vaiden, from Chase City, is a familiar star of the stage in Southside Virginia and has most recently played the lead role of Billy Flynn in the Prizery’s production of “Chicago: The Musical.” Ken also appeared as the Ugly Duckling in the musical “Honk,” the classic story by Hans Christian Andersen. Audiences may also remember that Ken starred as Scrooge in the Prizery's inaugural performance of “A Christmas Carol,” and that he reprised the role 10 years later.

“Music At Saint John’s” is excited to be showcasing Ken Vaiden’s talents. A native of Chase City, singing has always been a part of who he wanted to be. Since first grade, Ken has been singing and began a romance with dreams of performing on Broadway stages. It wasn’t until Ken began his studies in business at Longwood University that he was formally recognized for his singing talents. As a result of this encouragement, he studied voice throughout his university years. Ken graduated in 1986 with a B. S. degree in Business. After college, Ken began to work in the library at Chase City Elementary School, and it was there that he was encouraged to expand his options. While working full time, he returned to Longwood and earned a Masters of Education degree. Ken now serves as librarian at South Boston Elementary School.

Ken and Carol first met in the fall of 2000 in Clarksville and have been collaborating ever since. They most recently performed in South Hill in February 2017. Carol Henderson began her piano studies at the age of 4, and continued her piano studies at Northern Illinois University. Carol earned her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. She currently serves as Director of Music at St. John’s and also directs the Southside Virginia Community College Chorus.

In Romancing Broadway the audience will be drawn into a performer’s tale of the mystique and magic of Broadway. Ken will tell of a performer’s hopes and dreams and share his personal fascination with the theater. He has said that “I only choose music that speaks to me.” Ken has chosen his most cherished songs from musicals such as “Chicago,” “Wicked,” and “Les Miserables” as well as other selections as performed by Josh Groban, Frankie Valli, and more. Be prepared for an extraordinary evening of entertainment on September 20th at 7:00 p.m.

“Music At Saint John’s” invites you to enjoy Romancing Broadway at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 197 Mountain Road, Halifax 24558. Tickets are $10, call 434-476-6696 to reserve your ticket(s). Experience the enchantment of Broadway!

Coming Soon: 
November 7th at 7:00 pm will feature Celtic Music by Regina Christanson and Stephen Whitley. This concert will feature Celtic harp, guitar, and songs to soothe our souls during the late autumn season in beautiful Halifax.  


                                             An organ builder's sketch of his vision of the new pipe organ being built for St. John's 

The Status of Our Organ
Our organ console will be similar to this one 
On Monday, April 24th Father Ross, Lott Rogers, and Carol Henderson took a “field trip” to Grooms and Payne, Ltd. in Louisa, Virginia. We were able to observe several items of interest in the workshop. Currently, George Payne and Kelly Grooms are in the midst of a major restoration job for Covenant Presbyterian Church in Roanoke. Apparently, not only is Covenant’s pipework in need of work and restoration, but their console became inoperable just a few weeks ago. (See Covenant’s website)

On our trip we witnessed several facets pertaining to the construction of an organ and gained more knowledge of what steps are being taken to create a custom-built pipe instrument for our church. We explored the workshop, visited with George and Kelly, with the workers, and saw craftsmanship in action! We saw two swell chests open with pipes standing. This provided us with an up-close-and-personal hands-on observation. We had a discussion on Restoration and Reconditioning of 1880 Hook & Hastings pipework. This pipework is similar to what some of our pipework will undergo using the Austin pipework from Wilkesboro, North Carolina and what our old pipework will need. We looked at reconditioned reed pipes from Hagerstown, Maryland, to see how a reed works and what reconditioning means.

We saw a new console that is under construction for Covenant Presbyterian Church. It was finished with its six coats of varnish, laying on its back to receive its electronic control system. This allowed us to observe George’s original engineering, to see the true size of a console, and to look at a solid state system. We discussed the size/design of the main casework for the swell and for the great divisions. We were able to get an idea of the size of the Positive unit and saw what other options there may be for our decisions such as types of wood for the console, the bench, and the casework in the gallery.