Celebrating Bach (plus event schedule)

By Vanessa Johnson

June 4, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 12:56 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. Despite the summer temperatures, many people are gathering this week to celebrate Christmas. The Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Peoria kicked off their 10th annual Bach Festival Monday.

This year's theme is Christmas with Bach, completing the life trilogy of Jesus Christ.

The week-long musical event began with a young artist concert during the lunch hour. Performers range from ages 10 to 21.

A festival worker said the concert is a great outlet for beginning musicians.

"It's great to give kids that opportunity to begin to deal with their nervous issues as they learn to give their attention to the beautiful music that they are performing," said Molly Sloter.

The Peoria Bach Festival runs through Saturday.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FOR THE PEORIA BACH FESTIVAL:

Tuesday - June 5

Bach at Noon: Christmas in Leipzig - 12:05 p.m. (Free)

Enter into the Christmas story by listening to some organ music that may have been heard at Christmas in the Leipzig churches during Bach's time and singing some of the Christmas hymns that may have been sung. The narrative of the Christmas story will serve as the structure for this concert.

Wednesday - June 6

Lunch With Bach: The Christmas Oratorio - 12:00 p.m. (Free - call to reserve a lunch)

Dr. John Jost, lecturer

Have a FREE lunch on us and learn about Bach's Christmas Oratorio. It was first performed at worship services during the 12 Days of Christmas in Leipzig during the Christmas of 1734-35. Dr. John Jost, Artistic Director of the Peoria Bach Festival since its founding 10 years ago, will take time to explain the history and musical aspects of this setting of the Christmas story. Lunch is served at 12:00 noon. The lecture will begin at 12:10 and conclude at 1:00 p.m. The lecture is FREE. Call (309) 676-4609 to reserve a FREE lunch.

Wednesday - June 6

Hey Kids! Meet Mr. Bach: Mr. Bach Goes to Bethlehem - 4:00 p.m. (Admission $2.50)

Mr. Bach returns to Peoria to talk about the Christmas story, play some of his Christmas music, and tell children about his Christmas Oratorio. The first 50 families in attendance will receive a free gift. To order tickets, please call 309-676-4609 or e-mail us at peoriabachfestival@trinitypeoria.com.

Thursday, June 7

Bach at Noon: Aspects of the Christmas Oratorio - 12:05 p.m. (Free)

Enter deeply into some of the back stories of the Christmas Oratorio. Sing some of the hymns Bach used in his Christmas Oratorio and, among other things, learn about the reed instruments used in Bach's time, what they mean for the Christmas story, and how they are used by Bach.

Thursday, June 7

Chamber Concert 2012: Arias from the Christmas Oratorio - 5:30 p.m. (Free)

In operas and oratorios, arias are times for reflection upon the events unfolding in the story. For our Chamber Concert this year, several arias from the Christmas Oratorio will be featured. In the form of a lecture/recital, explanation and commentary will presented by both the singers, instrumentalists, and conductors. Come and enter into the world of the performer.

Friday, June 8

Bach at Noon: More Arias from the Christmas Oratorio - 12:05 p.m. (Free)

As a continuation of the Chamber Concert 2012, this concert will feature more arias from the Christmas Oratorio in the form of a lecture/recital.

Friday, June 8

Coffee and Christmas Treats - 6:00 p.m.

Pre-concert Lecture - 7:15 p.m.

Organ Prelude - 7:45 p.m.

Concert: The Christmas Oratorio: Parts 1-3 - 8:00 p.m. (Admission $15 Adults/$10 Students at the door or $12 Adults/$8 Students if purchased in advance)

Peoria Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra, Dr. Martin Dicke, conductor

Saturday, June 9

Pre-concert Lecture - 7:15 p.m.

Organ Prelude - 7:45 p.m.

Concert: The Christmas Oratorio: Parts 4-6 - 8:00 p.m. (Admission $15 Adults/$10 Students at the door or $12 Adults/$8 Students if purchased in advance)

Peoria Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra, Dr. John Jost, conductor

The 10th Anniversary of the Peoria Bach Festival concludes with a performance of the final three parts of Bach's Christmas Oratorio. The fourth part was composed for worship services on New Year's Day and covers the story of the circumcision and naming of Jesus. The fifth part was composed for worship services on the first Sunday after the New Year and retells the story of the journey of the Wise Men to Jerusalem. The sixth and final part was composed for worship services on the Day of Epiphany (January 6) and relates the story of the Wise Men visiting and worshiping Jesus, the newborn King, in Bethlehem. Each part begins with a rousing chorus and concludes with a meditative Christmas hymn.

To order advance tickets, please call 309-676-4609 or e-mail peoriabachfestival@trintypeoria.com.

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