The Swan’s Island Baptist Church hosted a special chamber music event on Nov. 4. This is the third year that the Winsor musicians have traveled to Swan’s Island to perform.

Peggy Pearson, oboist; Peter Sykes, harpsichordist; and Kendra Colton, soprano delighted islanders with the works of J.S. Bach, R. Vaughan Williams, Thomas Augustine Arne and Georg Philipp Telemann. They opened with a Sonata in A minor for Oboe and Continuo by Telemann.

Toward the end of the evening, Peter Sykes played Bach’s Toccata in E Minor, BWV 914, on the harpsichord. As Sykes sat down at his harpsichord to play he was holding a laptop computer. He began to tell the audience how he had forgotten the sheet music for the piece, but had it in his laptop. Sykes said, “This is a first for me, performing music from the 18th century, using technology from the 20th century.” He opened his laptop and put it on top of his harpsichord. Then he said, “I hope the battery lasts.”

The voice of Soprano Kendra Colton filled the church as she sang Arne’s “Five Shakespeare Songs”, and later, Vaughan Williams’s “Six Blake Songs.” Several Bach numbers were also performed by Colton.

There was a special children’s program at the Swan’s Island School a day earlier. Students from Frenchboro arrived on the passenger ferry R.L. GOTT to join Swan’s Island students for the Friday afternoon performance.

The performers presented a fun-filled, entertaining, interactive children’s performance. Colton invited the kids to sing along in the round to a version of “Row, Row, Row your Boat,” but with much different wording.

Pearson explained the difference in the types of oboes that she uses and demonstrated the different sound of each.

Sykes not only played his harpsichord, but also brought along, and played, a theremin. Named after inventor Leon Theremin, this is the earliest electronic musical instrument, and requires no physical touch to play it. It has two antennas, and a player holds both hands above it to make the sound. One hand controls pitch; the other controls volume. At the end of the program, all of the kids got a chance to play the theremin.

Funding for the children’s program was made possible through the Island Institute’s Inter-Island Events grant program, part of the Island Community Fund.

Gael Minton, a seasonal resident of Swan’s Island, has been responsible for bringing the musicians to the island for three years. She and her husband, Ty, host the performers at their island home.