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Bach Festival Begins

The Bach Festival began Saturday, April 9 with a performance by the Arcato Chamber Ensemble and the Bach Festival Chorus. (Tim DeCoursey / Index)

Bach Festival kicked off on Saturday, April 9 with Mozart’s “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” and the “Requiem Mass in D minor” in the Chenery Auditorium, performed by the Arcato Chamber Ensemble and the Bach Festival Chorus.

Music Department Chair and Director of the Kalamazoo Philharmonia Andrew Koehler conducted the Arcato Chamber Ensemble, while Professor of Music and Director of Vocal and Choral Activities James Turner conducted the Bach Festival Chorus during the Requiem Mass.

Soloists from the Bach Festival Chorus performed during the show during certain movements. These soloists were divided by singing part and included soprano Katelin Spencer, mezzo-soprano Phyllis Pancella, (tenor) Jeffrey Picón, and baritone Ian Greenlaw.

Several Kalamazoo College alumni were also on stage.

John Mayer K’16 and Graham Key K’16 were both in the choir as well. Key described preparation for the concert as “not unlike preparation for any other choral performance. [The Bach Festival Chorus] had rehearsals every week in Dalton Theater on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.”

Key also praised his fellow chorus members: “Because membership to the [Bach Festival Chorus] is open to the public on an audition basis, the average skill level of the group members is quite high. It was incredibly exciting to rehearse with such magnificent people, not just because of their level of artistry, but because of their perspectives and experiences that come from outside the ‘K bubble’.”

“It was my first time watching a performance like that, and I am glad that it turned out to be such a wonderful experience. The Requiem was interesting to see,” Juan Avila K’19 said. “It was pleasant to hear the musicians and choir singers so well to the movements of the conductor’s hand movements.”

The performance of Mozart’s “Requiem Mass in D minor” and “Eine kleine Nachtmusick” was only the first of many events of the Bach Festival during the week. The festival will end on Saturday, April 16 at 3:00 p.m. with the Young Vocalists Concert, which will be held at K College in the Recital Hall of the Light Fine Arts Center. Various high school and college singers from all around Michigan will perform at this event.

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Bach Festival Begins