The George Nelson Memorial Concert Series, “Rhythm by the River,” was initiated and endowed in 2007 in memory of and in tribute to Mr. George Nelson, whose love of music resulted in a legacy to promote an outreach mission through Bethany UMC and to the Middle Peninsula community at large. It began with the procurement of a beautiful Steinway piano, and continues with regular presentations of talent in celebration. Mr. Nelson felt strongly that music is a vital part of the church to glorify our Lord and to recover the heart of worship. Mr. Nelson’s mission then, as it is ours now, is that churches will grow through their mission, ministry, and music.
Over the past ten years, our free concert series has included many notable artists, among them: The Manhattan Piano Trio, USAF Langley Winds, Poisoned Dwarf, The American Youth Harp Ensemble, Maria Von Trapp, Virginia Voices International, The Locrian Consort, The Virginia Mountain Boys, Dean Shostak and his glass harmonica, and always an annual favorite, Dr. Rudy Shackelford, Bethany’s own organist.
For the 2018-2019 series, we featured “local” artists from the Middle Peninsula. The Tom Euler Band, a rising progressive blues/rock player, kicked off the season in September, followed by Rudy Shackelford’s organ and piano concert, “Homage to Claude Debussy” in November. Spring concerts included The Gurleys, a husband and wife duo known for their exceptional bluegrass sound and beautiful vocals, and the Courthouse Community Orchestra.
Since its beginning, the concert series continues to provide a musical venue for entertainment by not only established musicians, but also is an exceptional opportunity for new, younger talent to enhance their musical education and refine their performance skills. We warmly wish to invite you to come and enjoy the many wonderful and diverse upcoming concerts and events.
Click HERE to download the 2018-2019 season brochure!