SCRANTON — The Arcadia Chorale will present the 32nd Annual NEPA Bach Festival, a celebration of the music of J. S. Bach and his contemporaries, on Saturday and Sunday, March 25 and 26.
The festival opens with an organ concert at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 25 at Elm Park United Methodist Church. The concert will be given by organist James Kennerley, who is Organist and Choirmaster at Saint Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church, New York City.
Kennerley has played at many major venues in the U. S. and in Europe, including the Washington National Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, and Westminster Abbey. He holds degrees from the Juilliard School and from Cambridge University, where he was Organ Scholar at Jesus College.
Members of the Arcadia Festival Orchestra will perform a program of chamber music by Mozart, Fauré and J. S. Bach at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 25 at Covenant Presbyterian Church.
Jeffrey Ellenberger and Martha McAdams will perform Mozart’s Duo in G Major for violin and viola. Tom Heinze, Harold Levin and Gayle Klaber will perform a Bach trio sonata arranged by Mr. Heinze for oboe, viola and cello. Concertmaster Sophie Till, along with John Vaida, Amy Iwazumi and Christiane Appenheimer-Vaida, will perform Fauré’s String Quartet, Op. 121, and Ed Wargo will be the featured flute soloist in a performance of Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 2 by the full Arcadia Festival Orchestra.
The Bach Festival will conclude with a choral concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 26 at Covenant Presbyterian Church. The concert features the Arcadia Chorale, and follows an “evening” motif, with music written for the Vespers service along with other music about nightfall.
The program includes Handel’s Dixit Dominus, an early work written when the composer was just beginning to make a name for himself, Jan Dismas Zelenka’s Magnificat in D Major, written for the royal court in Dresden, and Bach’s Cantata 6 Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden / Stay with us, for night is falling. Rheinberger’s beautiful Abendlied, a motet which shares its text with the first movement of Bach’s cantata, rounds out the program. Featured soloists for the performance are Martina Barna, Kathy Brink, Lauren Cuccia, Becky Elfman, Linda Hickernell, George Levandowski, Alene Olsommer, Wes Poole and guest soprano Kelly Pleva.
Admission for the Chamber Music and Choral Concerts is $15 and $12 for seniors and WVIA members. Students will be admitted free with a student ID. Admission to the Organ Concert is free, and a free-will offering will be taken.
The Bach Festival is supported in part by a Lackawanna County Arts and Cultural grant, a program of the Lackawanna County Commissioners and the Lackawanna County Council on the Arts and by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
The Arcadia Chorale is one of Northeast Pennsylvania’s premier musical organizations and has served the region with choral concerts of the highest quality for more than 35 years. The Chorale has received critical acclaim for performances of works ranging from the Renaissance to the present. The Music Director of the Chorale is Dr. Steven Thomas, who is Chair of the Division of Performing Arts, Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music at Wilkes University.
For more information or to reserve tickets visit arcadiachorale.org or call 570-871-0350.