St. John’s Elora getting back to Bach

ELORA – St. John Anglican Church in Elora is relaunching its monthly concert series including several events focusing on the music of J.S. Bach and recitals featuring soloists from the parish choir.

In his time, Bach wrote cantatas as a form of “musical sermon” on the scripture readings for specific days during the liturgical year.

These shorter works also served as musical prototypes for his larger, more famous vocal works such as the St. John and St. Matthew Passion. 

Each 45-minute event will feature a combination of musical exploration with music director Patrick Murray, a scripture reading and short homily exploring the readings that the work is based on, and a performance of the piece featuring soloists from the parish choir and baroque instrumental ensemble.

The first concert, called Bach Meditations, is on Jan. 22 at 3:15pm and features Bach’s Cantata 111: Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh allzeit (God’s will is best, it shall be done). 

Soloists include Rebecca McKay, Christina Stelmacovich, Nicholas Nicolaidis and Alan Macdonald. Rona Goldensher will be the concertmaster and Rev. Susan Clarke (Knox-Elora Presbyterian Church) the guest speaker.

On Feb. 19 at 3pm it’s The Music that Makes Us – from Bach to Broadway and beyond. This concert features vocalists Christina Stelmacovich and Michael Cressman with Catherine Robertson on piano.

On April 16 the series continues with Cantata 4: Christ lag in Todesbanden (Christ lay in death’s bonds).

Soloists include Lesley Bouza, Christina Stelmacovich, Chris Fischer and Michael Cressman.

Rona Goldensher will be back as concertmaster.

The pieces will be sung in German but English translations will be available to follow along.

Admission to the concerts is by donation.

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