Performance » Music

Havin' a Hootenanny

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Sunday morning services at Trinity Church in Broad Ripple are full of song.

That stands to reason since Todd Fisher, Trinity's founder and pastor, was a member of the former Indianapolis rock band, Everest, and the church's congregation is populated with familiar faces from the local music scene, including Liz Janes and Stasia Demos, who take turns leading worship services. Hoosier singer-songwriter Jon McLaughlin has been known to take over occasionally too.

"Hootenanny" is Trinity Church's first public showcase of its congregation's talents. - PERRY REICHANADTER
  • Perry Reichanadter
  • "Hootenanny" is Trinity Church's first public showcase of its congregation's talents.

"If you go on a Sunday morning, you get to experience all these different vocalists and musical styles and it's really delightful," said Ellen Jackson, who attends Trinity.

So delightful that Jackson says she regularly leaves services wishing for more.

"It's always the 'leave-them-wanting-more (thing),'" she said. "It really happens all the time at that place."

That feeling became the inspiration for "Hootenanny," an all-church musical fundraiser coming up later this month.

The event -- at 5 p.m. March 15 -- will showcase Trinity's musical talent and benefit Last Bell Ministries, which provides services to Ukrainian orphans. The public performance will mark the first time the church has highlighted such a wide range of its musicians.

Fisher says he might even get into the act that night by performing tunes by Neil Diamond, who is one of his favorite artists.

"We have never done anything like this," said Janes, who plans to lead a folk and gospel music sing-a-long. "It'll be a really great night of people enjoying community and music."

Often, musicians don't have much money to donate to causes, so their performances are their best offerings, said Fisher.

Liz Janes, in grey, with the help of her friend Ellen Jackson uses a screen printer in Liz's basement to print posters for the upcoming event. - PERRY REICHANADTER
  • Perry Reichanadter
  • Liz Janes, in grey, with the help of her friend Ellen Jackson uses a screen printer in Liz's basement to print posters for the upcoming event.

"Hootenanny" is the brainchild of Jackson, an Indianapolis photographer and member of Last Bell's board of directors.

Plans were started well before recent headline-grabbing Ukrainian political and economic turmoil. Its roots are really in a trip Jackson took to the Ukraine to take photographs in the late 1990s.

"It just rattled my cage," she said. "My eyes were really opened."

The life-changing trip led her to volunteer for Last Bell, which provides support for Ukrainian orphans when they grow out of the orphanage system. Without help, the teens are at risk for suicide or prostitution and drug addiction, according to the organization.

So recently, when Jackson and Janes started discussing the musical talent at Trinity, plans for the fundraiser materialized.

Still, there won't be pressure to donate. If their hootenanny brings in $1,000, Jackson will be pleased. "I don't plan to do a big speech," she said. "It's a softer approach to fundraising, which is why it is acceptable to me.

"My personal desire is to stand there and look around the room and see people smiling and enjoying themselves," said Jackson.

Given the musical talent and camaraderie slated for the event, attaining that goal is a given.


If you go:

What: Trinity Church's Hootenanny

When: 5 - 9:30 p.m. March 15

Where: 6151 N. Central Ave.

Details: The event will begin at 5 p.m., when participants can purchase their dinner from area food trucks parked at the church. The first performance begins at 6 p.m. Profits from the event will go to Last Bell Ministries.

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