The Citizen
Central European music was in spotlight in Mountain Lakes


MOUNTAIN LAKES – Musical productions from Central Europe were the theme at the Community Church of Mountain Lakes on Sunday, March 23.

The church hosted a program entitled “From Court to Countryside:  Music from Central Europe," featuring some the earliest extant music from central Europe. 

Using period instruments like the hurdy-gurdy, gemshorn, lute and the theorbo four faculty members from Westminster College of the Arts located in Princeton, performed works from Poland, Czechoslovakia, the Ukraine, Bosnia and Hungary.

The concert included music composed by Leos Janacek, Jakub Polak, Ivan Padovec, Edward Huws Jones and Mehmed Velagic as well as anonymous pieces from the 10th through 16th centuries.  The performers gave a brief introduction to each piece and displayed and talked about the period instruments that they used.

The theorbo is a plucked string instrument with two peg boxes and thus two sets of strings.  This gives it a wider range, with the added bass notes open or unfretted, according to the performers.

Also played in the concert was a gemshorn, a 15th century instrument which is usually made from the horn of sheep or cattle.  It has holes down the front like a recorder and produces a very sweet melodious sound.

This was the third in a five concert series for this spring.  The Community Church of Mountain Lakes is sponsoring these concerts in conjunction with Westminster College of the Arts in an effort to bring live music and entertainment to the wider community.  The concerts are free to the public and children are welcome. 

The concerts are held on select Sundays at 4 p.m. and last about one hour.  They are followed by a reception with the opportunity to meet the performers and to discuss their music and instruments. 

The next concert in the series will be Sunday, April 6 at 4 p.m. and will feature Clipper Erickson playing a piano program entitled, "Enchantment and Fantasy.”  The public is invited to attend.  A listing of all upcoming concerts can be found at