July 16, 2020

Old Lyme Church Hosts Concert Tonight to Benefit Work of Immigration Assistance Committee

First Congregational Church of Old Lyme’s Director of Music Simon Holt, will perform the Sept. 14 ‘Immigration’s Inspirations’ concert.

OLD LYME — The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL) presents a special fund-raising concert Saturday, Sept. 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. in its Meetinghouse that will help raise money for the church’s ongoing efforts to help area families facing deportation crises.  Admission to the concert will be a free-will donation.  The concert will be followed by refreshments and raffles in the Fellowship Hall.

The benefit concert, arranged and performed by FCCOL’s Director of Music Simon Holt, is called ‘Immigration’s Inspirations: A Celebration of Foreign-Born Composers Whose Works Influenced American Music & Culture’ – and features musical selections by foreign composers, who either emigrated to America, whose U.S. tours and works heavily influenced American composers, or whose works celebrated iconic overseas buildings that influenced American architecture.

All proceeds will benefit the charitable work of FCCOL’s Immigration Assistance Committee (IAC), which connects immigrant families with free or low-cost legal aid before and during deportation proceedings; and helps them understand their rights under federal and state law, particularly when their families include members who are U.S. residents.

The IAC played an instrumental role in helping a New Britain couple, Malik bin Rehman and Zahida Altaf – whose daughter is a U.S. citizen – win a stay of deportation after initially seeking sanctuary in FCCOL. The family is currently awaiting a ruling from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

The IAC is also working to reunite the Torres family from Waterbury. In August 2018, Miguel Torres and his two children, all of whom are U.S. citizens, watched helplessly as their wife and mother, Glenda Cardenas Caballero, was deported to Honduras even though she had complied with all Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) directives and her immigration case was under appeal.

Pieces performed during the benefit concert will include:

  • “Humoresque” by Pietro Yon, who was born in Italy and moved to the U.S. in 1907
  • “Sonata II” by Paul Hindeminth, who was born in Germany and moved to the U.S. in 1940
  • “Grand Chorus in March Form” by Alexandre Guilmant, whose U.S. tours were instrumental in establishing American improvisational styles
  • “Suite Gothique” by Loen Boellmann, who composed a piece celebrating Notre Dame, an iconic building that influenced American architecture
  • “Imperial March” by Edward Elgar, an English composer whose U.S. tours were immensely popular
  • “Fantasia in G major BWV 572” by J.S. Bach, the German-born father of all composers of music for the organ
  • “Thema met Variaties” by Hendrik Andriessen, which was written for Lady Susi Jeans, the Austrian-born organist, teacher and musicologist who taught several influential 21st Century European organists
  • “Carillon de Westminster” by Louis Vierne, a Frenchman who composed a piece celebrating Westminster Abbey, another iconic building that influenced American architecture

If readers are unable to attend but would like to support the IAC, send a tax-deductible contribution via check or money order to the Immigration Assistance Fund, FCCOL, 2 Ferry Road, Old Lyme, CT 06371.



  1. Gene Ralno says

    This is the kind of activity that caused large numbers of U.S. citizens to abandon the churches we used to love. American citizens are dying by the thousands on California sidewalks, of exposure, disease, drugs, alcoholism and crime. How much do the churches give to salvage their lives? Thirty years ago, my family and I asked why our church collected money for the stupid moms who risk their childrens’ lives on an unnecessary, hazardous journey. Then we realized they seek generous American entitlements. At that point, we joined the millions who already had left their churches.

  2. Peter Brown says

    Glad to see the church supporting criminals. Just waiting for them to hold a fundraiser for those who dodge their taxes!

  3. Gene Ralno says

    I guess you don’t really want to hear from your readers. You simply deleted my post because it offered polict criticism. Bias, propaganda and indoctrination must be on your agenda. I won’t bother your material again.

  4. SUSAN B COLE says

    Old Lyme Congregational Church is a role model for us all. What’s happening all over the country: deportation of innocent tax paying people seeking a better life for their families, racism, shootings, ignorance, voter suppression, lying, failing economics and greed all are shameful and an embarrassment. Keep up the good work.

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