Church puts musical congregation on stage for a good cause

by Eren Tataragasi

Regina Dill, left, Christina McDonald and Andre Weker will perform April 27 at St. Margaret's Episcopal to raise funds for a new church organ. Eren Tataragasi/UCW photo


WAXHAW – St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church has a very musical congregation.
There are pianists, cellists, horn players … it’s an extensive list.

And on April 27 at 7:30 p.m. three of those musicians, Andre Weker, Christina McDonald and Regina Dill, will perform music from the 1700s to the 20th century in an effort to raise funds for a new church organ.

The church’s existing organ, a Baldwin, was built in the 1980s and was purchased used when the church was constructed about eight years ago.

Father Todd Dill explained the organ was already a dinosaur by the time it came to the church.

“By the 1980s they stopped making new parts for the organs and no one seems to service them anymore, so it’s at the end of its life,” Todd Dill said.

The church’s organist is Libby Tilson, head of the music department at Providence Day School.

“We’re lucky to have her,” Todd Dill said.

But having an organ on the fritz has, no doubt, made her job a little more difficult.

Dill said a new electric/digital organ will cost around $100,000, while a pipe organ could cost as much as $500,000. So they’ll likely go with the electric, which has a 50-year lifespan.

Dill said he knows even the electric one is expensive, but it’s important to have an organ in the church.

“Especially with the Episcopal church. It centers on anglican music and it’s just part of our background,” Todd Dill said. “It’s really a part of who we are and really important for us to have an organ. It’s a really huge part of the tradition to hear an organ and choir music together, not the piano.”

“In my experience as a lay person, people also sing out more when they sing with an organ,” added Regina Dill, Todd Dill’s wife and one of the musicians performing April 27.

The Dill’s said the church’s traditional music leanings also is what’s lead to a number of trained musicians ending up a part of the congregation.

“A lot of other churches have started playing rock music, so we’re getting more cream of the crop musicians and we’re able to do more recitals like this,” Regina Dill said.
The Dill’s both were in the Air Force Band and studied music performance at the Cincinnati Conservatory — she plays the flute, he played the French horn.

Regina Dill is also a math teacher with Monroe Middle School and is second flute piccolo with the Union Symphony Orchestra.

The other two performers, Weker and McDonald, also studied music performance.
Weker, now a stay at home dad, went to Boston University for bassoon performance, but now plays and teaches piano.

McDonald, a former certified public accountant with Wells Fargo and now a stay-at-home mom, studied music performance at Appalachian State University and plays the cello.

The three musicians will perform a dozen songs for a performance that will last about an hour and 15 minutes.

Regina Dill’s favorite piece is one by Aaron Copeland, titled, “Duo for Piano and Flute.”
“We really tried to do a blend for the recital,” Reginal Dill said about the music selection.

But she said the piece by Copeland is her favorite because of how the piano and flute are written to play together.

“If you like Copeland, you will like that piece,” she said.

Regina Dill and Weker will both play a solo, but the heart of the recital is the songs played by the trio.

“And it’s a love offering, you don’t have to donate if you don’t want to,” Regina Dill said about the recital.

Todd Dill said the organ has had a long life, it’s been going since 1985, and now it’s time for a new one, worthy of the worship space.

“I would just rather we do it the right way,” Todd Dill said.

For more information about the recital, contact the 8515 Rea Road Church, at 704-243-3523 or visit www.saintmargarets.net.

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