Mark Twain and the Fountain Music Series

When the Fountain Music Series presents its 21st annual Spring Concert this Sunday, April 30, at 4 p.m. at First Congregational Church, the usual suspects will be on the program, i.e., Handel, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Vaughan Williams, etc. However, our famous former neighbor, Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, will also be on the program. How did this come about?

Olivia Susan Clemens, beloved daughter of the famous writer, died on Aug. 18, 1896, at the age of 24. She was buried in the Clemens family plot in Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira, N.Y. The epitaph on her headstone quotes a poem titled Annette and penned by the Australian poet Robert Richardson. Renowned contemporary choral composer Dan Forrest has set these words to music in the moving anthem Good Night, Dear Heart.

Forrest’s work will be the culmination of a program spanning more than four centuries of choral music, preceding director Edwin R. Taylor’s benediction, The Lord Bless You and Keep You.

Visitors are always welcome at First Congregational Church, located by the fountain at the intersection of Main Street and West Lane. During current renovations, worship is at 8:15 and 10 on Sunday mornings. For more information, visit or or call 203-438-8077.