, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 5, 2013

‘An inspiration to us all'

Organist celebrates 50 years at Trinity United Church


“I remember once she was in tears at the back of the church after services because she’d made this tiny mistake everyone else had forgotten about,” Small said. “She was very sensitive. Always wanted to do her best. But she’s just an excellent organist. She does a spectacular job.”

More accustomed to playing a piano when she started at Trinity United at the age of 24, the church’s organ was a challenge, Brown has admitted. Although she’s developed a fondness for the 1853 Philadelphia-built organ today, she played it for eight years before she tackled using the foot pedals.

Son Norman Brown remembers Sunday mornings as a boy. His father went off to the restaurant, and he and his brothers Bruce and Robert, headed to Sunday school and then to services. He can’t remember a time when his mom wasn’t sitting up front playing the organ, he said.

He didn’t appreciate her talents at the time, he said, nor the music at home while he was growing up. But he does now.

Daughter-in-law Sandy Brown loves Cynthia’s involvement in the church the whole family attends.

“It’s been amazing for my daughters to listen to her play at services,” Sandy Brown said. “The organ brings the church to life; filling the sanctuary and folks with harmony. We aren’t afraid to sing aloud when Cindy plays. Together we sound amazing.”

Woodes said Cynthia Brown’s personality is as important to the congregation as her music.

“She loves it when the choir gathers around her piano in her beautiful home for rehearsal,” Woodes said. “She’s just always a happy and giving woman. She loves her church and is friendly to everyone.”

About 10 years ago, Trinity’s former pastor, Dr. Wilbert D. Gough wrote a tribute to the organist whose music praises the Lord at weekly worship.

“Cynthia Brown is not only a talented and dedicated organist, but a great servant of Jesus Christ and the church,” Gough wrote. “She inspires the congregation to sing God’s praises so beautifully. ... She is an inspiration to us all.”

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