It comes along every year, in felicitous synch with the arrival of Spring, and I hope you'll be able to join me for our annual Bach's Birthday Bash on Saturday, March 21, 2015.
We've been doing this for a number of years now, either on the actual birthday or in advance of it, establishing a tradition of sorts with a sequence of hour-long, all-Bach performance events through the morning and afternoon. This year, we'll visit five notable Minneapolis churches, where we'll enjoy the playing of members of the local American Guild of Organists chapter
Performances will take place from 9 to 10 a.m. at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church (511 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis) featuring performances by Professor Dean Billmeyer and resident musician Andrew Hackett on the magnificent 78-rank 1980 Robert Sipe mechanical-action pipe organ.
Only that first hour will be broadcast, but our Bach's Birthday Bash continues through the morning and afternoon, with our next event from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at First Unitarian Society (900 Mount Curve Avenue, Minneapolis), featuring University of Minnesota student cellists Ben Osterhouse and Rosa Thompson-Vieira and pianists Kevin Hobbs and Chun-Han Sophia Lin, along with organist Nancy Lancaster playing the famous 35-rank 1961 Holktkamp neo-Baroque pipe organ.
Then, after a lunch break, from 1 to 2 p.m., we'll reconvene at Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church (2020 West Lake of the Isle Boulevard, Minneapolis) with a performance by the resident choir, led by Arden Haug, and resident organist Mary DeVries, plus some noteworthy young organists Kevin Seal, Adrian Volovets, Jessica Park and Kennnith Qian Vigna showcasing the 28-rank tracker-action pipe organ built in 1980 by Daniel Jaeckel of Duluth, Minn.
Then from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., we'll visit Saint Paul's Episcopal Church (1917 Logan Avenue South, Minneapolis) featuring the 45-rank 1998 Dobson pipe organ played by John Salveson, Isaac Drewes, David Anderson, Allan Mahnke and Jungjoo Park.
Finally, from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Episcopal Cathedral of Saint Mark (519 Oak Grove Street, Minneapolis) the recently revamped 79-rank Foley-Baker pipe organ will be put through its paces by Lukas Perry, Sharon Kleckner, Peter Vanderwall and resident canon musician Raymond Johnston, who wraps up the day with Bach's mighty Passacaglia in C-minor!
All performances are free, though we might be asking for voluntary donations to the Red Cross or Habitat for Humanity. Remember, the first hour's program will be broadcast live on Classical Minnesota Public Radio network stations (KSJN-99.5FM in the Twin Cities) and streamed live at classicalmpr.org.)
Be with us in person or in spirit as we celebrate the 330th anniversary of Johann Sebastian's birth with our Bach's Birthday Bash!