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News 2015: (US) Bach Society Houston Pilot Project: "Bach in Schools"

Contributed by admin on Dec 10, 2015 - 11:09 AM

“Bach had how many kids?!?” exclaimed students at Foster Elementary School when told that Johann Sebastian fathered 20 children. Bach Society Houston’s new pilot project Bach in Schools is a 50-minute presentation for elementary school students focusing on J.S. Bach’s life and music, featuring live performers from the Bach Society’s orchestra and professional choir, and a real harpsichord. ...

The first Bach in Schools presentation took place on November 19, and received an overwhelming response by the fifth grade students. “Doesn’t your arm get tired?” another student asked baroque violinist Alana Youssefian, who had just played a fast and furious Vivaldi concerto. At the end of the presentation, a boy approached bass-baritone Christopher Besch and said “I want to do what you’re doing when I grow up!"

Designed and coordinated by retired music teacher Dawn Denne, the Bach in Schools presentations are led by Bach Society Director Rick Erickson, and are free to any interested grade school. The students learn about the life and times of Bach, sing rounds to illustrate Bach’s compositional style, and listen to live performances of music by Bach and his contemporaries played on original instruments from Bach’s time.

“The music of Johann Sebastian Bach is timeless — it’s something that resonates with people of all ages and backgrounds. We musicians often perform for older audiences with adult singers and instrumentalists, but in Bach’s day, children were an integral part of music-making, in fact, at least half of his choir consisted of boys,” notes Erickson.

Bach Society Houston was founded in 1982 for the purpose of presenting exemplary, historically-informed professional performances of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and his contemporaries. It maintains its own professional choir and period instrument orchestra, which features Houston’s finest early music specialist performers, and collaborates extensively with other early music ensembles in the Gulf Coast area and from around the world."

Visit the Bach Society Houston website [2] for more information.

 

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