Bach Festival Choir
The singers of the Bach Festival Choir are the nucleus of the Bach Festival Society.
“. . . I get to participate in the presentation of some of the most significant and beautiful music ever composed in an atmosphere of professional dedication and accomplished musicians, both instrumentalists and singers . . .” – member of the Bach Festival Choir
- All singers are volunteers. Many have music degrees or advanced musical training, serve as educators in the Central Florida area, or maintain active schedules as soloists in churches and other venues throughout the community. Many others singers are simply brought to the Choir by their love of music and the desire to sing with an extraordinary group and to learn and perform extraordinary repertoire. Regardless of their backgrounds, the members of the Choir are adept at reading music, sight-singing, and vocal performance.
- The regular, two-hour rehearsals are held once weekly from mid-August to early May. Additional rehearsals are scheduled during concert weeks, and choir workshops are held twice per season.
- Membership is only through audition. Members re-audition every two years or at the discretion of the conductor. Please see “Join the Choir” for more information, or click here: Join the Choir
In its 83 years, the Choir has earned a reputation of excellence through its extraordinary repertoire and collaborations.
As an oratorio choir, the Bach Festival Choir’s primary repertoire is comprised of the generally recognized “Greatest Classical Choral Works.” The Bach Passions, his Mass in B Minor, along with major works by Verdi, Mozart, Brahms, Rossini, Puccini, and others are presented in rotation. However, the Choir also delights in presenting works that might be lesser known and works by contemporary composers.
Because of its reputation of excellence and artistry, the Choir has enjoyed working with world-class composers, renowned musicologists, and of course, superb soloists.
In 2015, Pulitzer Prize winning composer Paul Moravec teamed with award-winning critic, biographer, librettist, author, and playwright Terry Teachout to create “Music, Awake!,” a work commissioned by the Bach Festival Society to celebrate Artistic Director and Conductor Dr. John Sinclair’s 25th year with the organization.
Several European tours and collaborations with organizations such as the London Symphony Orchestra and the London Bach Choir attest to the Bach Festival Choir’s international reputation of excellence.
- In England, the Choir has performed with the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus in Bournemouth; at King’s College Chapel, Cambridge; at Merton College Chapel, Oxford; and at Gloucester Cathedral. The Choir has also been privileged to perform in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, Thomaskirche in Leipzig, and Smetana Hall in Prague.
- Between 2007 and 2010, the Choir performed with the London Symphony Orchestra when they were in residence at the Daytona Beach International Festival. The collaboration on Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 was reviewed as a “first rate performance” and the Choir as “every bit the equal of the world class London Symphony Orchestra.”
- The Choir has performed in London’s Royal Albert Hall with the London Bach Choir under the direction of Sir David Willcocks. To reciprocate the musical hospitality, the Bach Festival Choir of Winter Park hosted the London Bach Choir for a joint concert in Orlando to an enthusiastic audience of over 3000, again with Sir David at the baton.
- In this country, the Bach Festival Choir has partnered with the Moravian Music Foundation to record Sing, O Ye Heavens: Music of the Moravians and other recordings of Moravian music.
- Locally, the collaboration with both the Southern Ballet Theater and the Orlando Ballet, including the public opening of the Dr. Phillips Center of the Performing Arts to present Orff’s Carmina Burana received rave reviews.”
Carmina Burana” is the classic 1+1=3 scenario, where a finished product is more than the sum of its parts. Except in this production, a collaboration between Orlando Ballet and the Bach Festival Society, it’s more like 1+1=10.
The Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra most often perform as a singular unit, but the professional instrumentalists that comprise the Bach Festival Orchestra are, indeed, extraordinary musicians in their own right. Find out more about the Bach Festival Orchestra.
The Bach Festival Society celebrated its 75th Annual Festival in 2010. Download and view a PDF of the commemorative book celebrating this anniversary and the history of the organization here: Volume 1 | Volume 2.