Carolina Chamber Music Festival Concert to be presented at First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church, 400 New Street, New Bern, North Carolina (Photo courtesy of Zach Frailey)

NEW BERN, Craven County - Continuing its Bicentennial Celebration, First Presbyterian Church of New Bern is presenting the Carolina Chamber Music Festival's concert titled "Sounds of Change" on Saturday, September 16.

The concert will be located in the historic sanctuary at 400 West New Street. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with a pre-concert discussion with Composer-in-Residence Reza Vali. Music starts at 7:00 p.m. and concludes at 9:00 p.m. Dessert and coffee will be served at the reception following the concert.

The public is invited to celebrate 15 years of CCMF and 200 years of New Bern's local landmark, First Presbyterian Church, with music by Bach, Shostakovich and Reza Vali. The show will conclude with Ravel's String Quartet in F Minor.

The concert is part of the 200th anniversary of First Presbyterian Church's founding, which is a year-long commemoration of the church's past, present and future.

"First Pres" as it is lovingly referred to by members and non-members alike had its formal organization in the parlor of Mrs. Elizabeth Minor on Craven Street near Pollock Street under the leadership of Rev. John Witherspoon with 13 original members.

Rev. Witherspoon, a New Bern native, in addition to organizing First Presbyterian Church, New Bern, also helped to organize First Presbyterian Churches in Raleigh, Greensboro and Bethlehem. Five years later, the New Bern church building, located at 400 West New Street, was dedicated.

The bicentennial year has featured a variety of celebratory events, interactive lectures, concerts and worship services to tell the story of the church and its outreach to the local community and the world. The celebration will culminate New Year's Eve, Sunday, December 31, with a church-wide rededication of the founding members as the congregation moves forward to the next 200 years.