Three Days of Performances and Interest Sessions Link College and Community
Middlebury, VT—The second annual Middlebury Bach Festival will take place April 27–29, 2012, featuring special guest early music ensemble ARTEK and members of the New York Baroque Dance Company. Student singers and instrumentalists from Middlebury College and regional professional musicians will also join together for a performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Easter Oratorio, BWV 249. Three days of musical events will bring the College and town of Middlebury together, modeled after the way the famous organist/composer worked in Leipzig over 275 years ago.
The Festival is organized by Jeffrey Buettner, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities, and Jessica Allen, singer, voice teacher, 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. This year’s festival celebrates vocal artistry with early music ensemble ARTEK and their director, Gwendolyn Toth ’77.”
The festival opens on Friday, April 27, 2012 with a Gala event at the Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts at Middlebury College. A Baroque dance, including dance instruction by members of the New York Baroque Dance Company, will take place from 6:30–8:00 p.m. with live music of J. S. Bach performed by guitarist Eric Despard. The event includes a catered reception. Admission is free. At 8:00 p.m. there will be a free screening of the documentary film “Bach and Friends” by Emmy nominated filmmaker Michael Lawrence.
On Saturday, April 28, 2012, Interest Sessions will take place from 10:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m. at Mead Memorial Chapel and the Mahaney Center for the Arts. Presenters will include Gwendolyn Toth ’77; Jeffrey Buettner; Dr. Emory Fanning, College Organist and Professor Emeritus; and James Miller, New York City Baroque Trumpet Specialist. All the Saturday daytime events are free and open to the public. From 6:00–7:30 p.m. Saturday, classical guitarist Eric Despard will present a “Bach Unplugged” performance at 51 Main at the Bridge in downtown Middlebury.
A highlight of the celebration is the Festival Concert on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. at Mead Chapel. The evening will feature performances by ARTEK Early Music Ensemble, directed by Gwendolyn Toth ’77, and the Middlebury College Choir and Festival Orchestra, conducted by Jeffrey Buettner. The program includes selections from Madrigals, Books IV and V by Claudio Monteverdi and Easter Oratorio, BWV 249 by J. S. Bach. Admission is $12 for the general public, $10 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, emeriti, and children under 12. Middlebury College students will be admitted free with ID. Tickets are available through the Middlebury College Box Office: go.middlebury.edu/tickets or (802) 443-MIDD (6433).
On Sunday, April 29, 2012, area congregations will join in the celebration by presenting music by J. S. Bach in their morning services. To close the festival, Emory Fanning will give an organ concert at 2:00 p.m. at Mead Chapel. Admission is free.
For more information, call 802.443.3168 or go to http://go.middlebury.edu/bachfest.