WESTERLY — Joey Ripka, a concert organist and former director of music and organist at Calvary Church in Stonington, and former artistic director of Calvary Music School, will return to the region this weekend.

Ripka will perform Sunday at 4 p.m. at Christ Church Westerly at a concert featuring the works of Bach, Sweelinck, Liszt and Litaize.

A Minnesota native who grew up north of the Twin Cities, just outside Lake Wobegon, Ripka told The Sun in a 2013 interview that aside from the marrying his wife, Erin, and the birth of his daughter, Clara, he was most proud of winning first place in the 2008 Dublin International organ competition, and becoming music director of Calvary Church.

In the same interview, Ripka, who has since moved to Phoenix, Ariz., to become the director of music at All Saints’ Episcopal Church and Day School, said he hoped to be remembered for "making beautiful music and inspiring and teaching others to make and appreciate beautiful music."

Ripka, who also plays the accordion, said in the same interview that his favorite quotation was, "You play Bach your way and I'll play him his way," from Wanda Landowska. The best advice he ever received was "Music first, notes second," and the advice he likes to give best is "Perfect practice makes perfect."

When asked what figure from the past, present or future he would invite to his table for dinner and conversation, he replied; "That's easy, Johann Sebastian Bach … so I could ask him to write more music!"

Sunday's free concert takes place at Christ Church, 7 Elm St., Westerly. A reception will follow in the parish hall. For more information, visit

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