Bach Festival to Feature Organist Angela Kraft Cross, Local Musicians March 15th and 16th

Promo Photo The CSU, Chico Department of Music and Theatre presents the 2013 Chico Bach Festival on Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16, featuring organist Angela Kraft Cross, the North Valley Chamber Singers, vocalists Ruth Greenfield and Daun Wiess, organ professor emeritus Dr. David Rothe, and North State Symphony Young Artist Award winner Nellie Ponarul.

Angela Kraft Cross starts off this year’s festival on Friday evening, March 15th at 7:30 p.m. on the stage of Harlen Adams Theatre. Dr. Cross will play selections from Bach’s “Clavierbungen III,” also known as the German Organ Mass, on the newly refurbished Centennial Pipe Organ. Organ enthusiasts will recognize Bach’s mighty “E-flat Prelude and Fugue,” which begins and ends the German Organ Mass.

Dr. Cross will also be presenting a lecture-demonstration on the organ music of Felix Mendelssohn on Saturday, March 16 at 10 a.m, in the Social Hall of St. Augustine’s Church at the corner of Third and Salem; following the lecture she will perform a recital in the church sanctuary on the historic T. C. Lewis Organ. This workshop, sponsored by the North Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, is free and open to the public.

The festival continues on Saturday evening, March 16th at 7:30 p.m., also on the stage of Harlen Adams Theatre, with “The Glorious Baroque: Bach and Beyond”, featuring works of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Dietrich Buxtehude, and Johann Sebastian Bach. The North Valley Chamber Singers, under the direction of Dr. David Scholz, will begin the Saturday evening recital by presenting the rarely performed “Confitebor tibi Domine” of Pergolesi. Also on the program are three Buxtehude favorites, played by Dr. Rothe on the Centennial Pipe Organ; the Bach “Sonata #4,” performed by violinist Nellie Ponarul, accompanied by professor emeritus Dr. Robert Bowman on piano; selections from Bach’s arrangement of the Pergolesi “Stabat Mater” sung by vocalists Daun Weiss and Ruth Greenfield; and the beautifully intimate Bach cantata “Komm, du süße Todesstunde” (“Come, Sweet Hour of Death”).

“The Chico Bach Festival is a unique series of concerts in Northern California,” said Dr. Scholz, faculty memberin the Department of Music and Theatre and coordinator of the event. “It offers performances by both professional and amateur musicians, instrumental and vocal music, and soloists and ensemble performances. And of course this is one of the few times during the year that one can hear the Centennial Pipe Organ being played. Angela Kraft Cross is a virtuoso on instruments like the Centennial Pipe Organ, and I’m excited to hear her play that wonderful instrument.”

Scholz said the Saturday evening performance will be an eclectic mix of repertoire.

“Although the music of Pergolesi is not very known aside from his famous ‘Stabat Mater,’ sung during this concert in an arrangement by Bach, the psalm setting ‘Confitebor tibi Domine’ is a fascinating example of the best of Pergolesi’s sacred music for choir and soloists. And the Bach cantata ‘Komm, du süße Todesstunde’ is a wonderful piece of chamber music for alto and tenor soloists, choir and strings, with two flute obligato parts. Although it’s also performed infrequently, this piece is a perfect example of why Bach is considered one of the greatest, if not the very best, composer of classical music.”

For more information, please call Scholz at 898-5152.

Advance tickets for the Friday and Saturday evening concerts, at $15 adult, $13 seniors, and $6 for children/students per performance, are available at the University Box Office, 898-6333; add $2 for tickets purchased at the door. For disability-related seating, please call 898-6333.