Centenary Church September Song Festival

Throughout September, Jacksonville and the surrounding area residents will have a new way to spend Sunday evenings: at the Centenary United Methodist Church’s September Song Festival.  The Festival will feature performances by professional musicians and display works of art by other fine artisans.

This Festival is a dream come true for Terri Benz, Centenary Church’s musical director.  She has been with Centenary Church for 30 years and has always dreamed of having a professional musician festival in Jacksonville.  Finally, that dream has come to fruition in the form of the Centenary Church’s September Song Festival.

 According to Benz, this will be the first time the Centenary Church has held an event like this and the Centenary Church’s Evangelism Committee has worked hard to organize it.  Benz says that the vision for this Festival is to create an opportunity for the Centenary Church to do some community outreach, as well as celebrate the upcoming fall season.  Since fall is Benz’s favorite season, she is especially looking forward to the Festival.

 While the event is called the September Song Festival, music will not be the only art form celebrated at the Festival. Stained glass makers, bakers, photographers, silk flower arrangers, potters, and jewelry makers are just some of the featured artisans that will be found at the September Song Festival.   Not only does the Festival give the artisans an opportunity to display their work, but also to sell their products.  If you are interested in purchasing any arts and crafts from local artists this will be a great opportunity.

 The Festival will take place every Sunday in September from 4-6 p.m. at a newly purchased lot to the south of Centenary Church.  Benz joked that once you get to Centenary Church, located at 331 E. State Street, you cannot miss the Festival site.  The Festival is free to the public and she invites anyone who is interested in supporting the fine arts in Jacksonville to attend. 

 Before leaving for the Festival, Benz recommends packing a lawn chair or a blanket to sit on while you listen to the music.  She also encourages everyone who comes out to bring a picnic supper with them.  However for those that do not want to bring food (or who get hungry while listening to music), there will be fall-themed concessions, like caramel apples and cider, available to purchase.  In consideration of the rainy summer we have seen so far, Benz would like to assure everyone that the event will not be canceled due to rain.  In case of bad weather, the event will be held inside Centenary Church.

 Benz wanted professional artists at the Festival because she wanted to have a high quality offering for the Jacksonville community.   She certainly succeeded with following line-up:

• September 7: Capital Chamber Singers

• September 14: Rob Killam Trio

• September 21: Tapestry

• September 28: Mike Anderson Mountain Dulcimer and Storyteller

 Everyone please help Centenary United Methodist Church celebrate fall and these wonderful musicians and artisans during the month of September.

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