Inspirational Concert Fills IHM Church

Community members begin to find seats for Sunday’s concert at Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Catholic Church, which raised funds for the Catherine LeClaire Memorial Organ Fund. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Performing ‘Memorare’ are from left, David Moore, John Machuzak, Randy Erickson, Rene LeClaire, Julie Habiger, Viera Moore, Adrienne Borrego, Claudine Kasunic, Laura Erickson, Cathy Morzinski and Ruth Doyle. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Mezzo Soprano Julie Habiger performs ‘Blessings’ as her husband Kerry, left, and son Andrew listen during Sunday’s benefit concert at IHM. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Staff Report

Audience members heard an inspirational musical concert hosted by Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Catholic Church of Los Alamos Sunday. It was the third in a series of free concerts held to raise money for the Catherine LeClaire Memorial Organ Fund.

Catherine LeClaire, 53, was a beloved figure in the church and the community who passed away May 17, 2011 after a brief illness. Rev. John Carney told the audience Sunday, “Catherine was a saint.”

She is described as having had a gentle and generous spirit. A woman of many talents who was a gifted artist, musician and poet. She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends and looked forward to her visits to the East Coast. She especially loved to vacation at York Beach, Maine with her family.

LeClaire and her husband, Rene, moved to Los Alamos in 1986. She was particularly active at IHM, contributing her time and musical and artistic talents and sang with the Immaculate Heart of Mary quartet, a group that produced an award-winning CD with the proceeds donated to the Church.

Sunday’s concert brought together musicians from IHM and other churches and musical groups from around northern New Mexico. Among the featured groups was an accapella group of 12 voices singing “Memorare” (meaning ‘To Remember’) formed from experienced singers who were friends of LeClair’s.

A quintet of singers from this group performed a barbershop arrangement of “Poor Wayfarin Stranger” and a vocal renaissance piece from Thomas Tallis “O Sacrum Convivium.”

Also featured in the program were an original arrangement of “Amazing Grace” by pianist Daniel Marks and works by violinist Nicholas Travia and pianist Greg Smithhisler.

About the Memorial Organ Fund:

The decision was made some time ago to lay the necessary groundwork leading to the purchase of a new organ for the next generation of worshipers and sacred music lovers at IHM. IHM serves more than 1,300 families in Los Alamos and the surrounding communities.

In addition, IHM is a popular venue to host musical performances in the community because of its favorable acoustical setting, large space and available instrumentation. A selection has been made of a Rodgers organ with three manuals and the most advanced stereo sampling of cathedral quality sound available.

It has been estimated that the cost of purchasing and installing the organ will be approximately $100,000. With Sunday’s successful concert and continued contributions from individuals and groups, it is hoped that installation of the new organ can take place this summer.

For more information about the Memorial Organ Fund, visit the IHM website at www.ihmcc.org

Mezzo Soprano Julie Habiger singing one of two solos she performed during Sunday’s concert at IHM. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Nicholas Travia. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

David Moore. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

David Moore, Viera Moore, Rene LeClaire, Laura Erickson and Randy Erickson. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Daniel Marks. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Daniel Dunning. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Greg Smithhisler, left, and Daniel Marks. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Rev. John Carney jokes with choir members. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Rev. John Carney greets Rene LeClaire. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Rev. John Carney speaks with Caitlyn LeClaire. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Rev. John Carney chats with baseball legend Bun Ryan, center, and Los Alamos artist Secondino Sandoval following Sunday’s concert at IHM Church. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

 

 

 

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