Three Days of Performances, Interest Sessions, and Celebrations Will Link the Community and the College
Middlebury, VT—The first of its kind, the Middlebury Bach Festival will further the appreciation of the music, life and work of Johann Sebastian Bach by providing College and community audiences with three days of performances and interest sessions May 6-8, 2011. The Festival will culminate in an exciting Festival Concert in Mead Chapel at Middlebury College on Saturday, May 7 at 8:00 P.M. Internationally-recognized Bach scholar Christoph Wolff will be a featured guest speaker.
The Festival is being organized by Jeffrey Buettner, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities, and Jessica Allen, director of the Women’s Glee Club and director of music at the Congregational Church of Middlebury. “Johann Sebastian Bach brought together diverse musical styles, sacred and secular genres and musicians from church, town, and university, and this was the inspiration for our festival," says Buettner. “Bach’s music is appealing, emotionally and intellectually, and our programs include some of his most endearing, intricate, and celebratory works, performed by a truly wonderful group of musicians from across the region.”
Friday, May 6
The opening of the Festival will be celebrated on Friday, May 6 at 8:00 P.M. with a Gala event at the Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts at Middlebury College. The Gala will include a professional Baroque ensemble performing chamber music by J. S. Bach, and a catered reception. Admission is free.
Saturday, May 7
On Saturday, May 7, ongoing interest sessions about Bach’s music, life, and times will be given throughout the day at Mead Memorial Chapel and the Mahaney Center for the Arts. Presentations will include College Organist and Music Emeritus Emory Fanning, “The Chorale Preludes of J. S. Bach,” at 10:00 A.M. in Mead Chapel; Assistant Professor of Music Larry Hamberlin, “Anatomy of a Concerto,” at 11:00 A.M. in Mead Chapel. After a Noon lunch and concert at the Mahaney Center for the Arts, Jeffrey Buettner will present the interest session “Singing Bach,” at 1:30 P.M. in the Mahaney Center for the Arts, Concert Hall. The final interest session, “In Search of J. S. Bach’s Human Face: The Everyday Life of the Leipzig Thomascantor,” will be given By Christoph Wolff, Adams University Professor at Harvard University, and director of the Bach-Archiv Leipzig, Germany, on Saturday, May 7th at 2:30 P.M. in the Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall. All the Saturday daytime events are free and open to the public.
On Saturday evening, the celebration continues with a pre-concert reception with a cash bar at Edgewater Gallery in Middlebury at 6:00 P.M. Then at 8:00 P.M., the Festival Concert at Mead Chapel will feature remarks by Christoph Wolff, and performances by Middlebury College Choir and the Middlebury Bach Festival Massed Choir and Orchestra, under the artistic direction and conducting of Jeffrey Buettner. Tickets are $10 for the general public, $8 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, emeriti, and children under 12; and $6 for Middlebury College students, and are available through the Middlebury College Box Office (http://go.middlebury.edu/tickets or 802.443.MIDD).
Sunday, May 8
On Sunday, May 8, the community will ring again with the sounds of J. S. Bach. Area congregations including the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society, The Congregational Church of Middlebury, The First Congregational Church of Cornwall, Memorial Baptist Church, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, United Methodist Church, and Weybridge Congregational Church, UCC will feature performances of music by Johann Sebastian Bach in their services. Havurah, the Addison County Jewish congregation, will begin the Friday service with music by Bach.
These many events bring the College and town of Middlebury together, modeled after the way the famous organist/composer worked in Leipzig over 275 years ago.
The Middlebury Bach Festival is sponsored by the Office of the President of Middlebury College, the Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts, the Middlebury College Choir, the Department of Music, the Middlebury College Academic Enrichment Fund, the German Department, and the Middlebury College Rohatyn Center for International Affairs. Pre-concert reception sponsored by Edgewater Gallery at Middlebury Falls and Two Brothers Tavern.