ABS Music Director Jeffrey Thomas is enjoying the beautiful setting of Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, as he rehearses and directs the centerpiece concert at the 2015 Middlebury Bach Festival. Between rehearsals, his residency includes teaching classes on composing for the voice, form and structure in Bach’s works, and ornamentation. He will also present an “Interest Session” on “Rhetoric in the Early Cantatas of J.S. Bach.” Maestro Thomas joins students, affiliate artists, faculty, and professional musicians from Vermont and greater New England for this popular festival celebrating the music and influence of Johann Sebastian Bach.
The Middlebury Bach Festival is organized by Jeffrey Buettner (Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Middlebury College) and Jessica Allen (singer, voice teacher, Music Together teacher, and Director of Music at The Congregational Church of Middlebury). “We are especially pleased to be celebrating the fifth year of the Middlebury Bach Festival,” says Allen. “It is rewarding to see how many people are supporting our endeavor, and that they appreciate the timeless magnificence of Bach’s music, whether they are attending or performing in the Festival.” Three days of musical events, April 24-26, will bring the College and town of Middlebury together. Festival Music Director Jeffrey Buettner stated: “It’s our fifth anniversary and it was designed to further the appreciation of the arts and classical music through the model of J.S. Bach.”
Saturday evening, April 25th, features the grand Festival Concert led by Jeffrey Thomas at 8:00 P.M. in the Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall. The concert opens with Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 followed by a trio of his Cantatas: “Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit” BWV 106 (God’s time is the best of all times), “Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Sagen” BWV 12 (Weeping, lamentation, worry, despair), and Bach’s joyful cantata for Palm Sunday, “Himmelskönig, sei willkommen” BWV 182 (King of Heaven, welcome).
Jeffrey Thomas remarked: “I’m so happy to be here, in this beautiful place, working with a very talented assembly of musicians, all excited to be part of the continuation of a really wonderful Bach festival. It is the talk of the town, and I already know of friends of ABS from the Bay Area who plan to attend, including a participant in our Choral Workshops over the years. The producers, Jeff and Jessica, have created a wonderful resource for the college and for the community. I hope it will thrive for a very long time to come.” Thomas joins a distinguished list of previous guest conductors including Martin Pearlman (Music Director of Boston Baroque) and Christoph Wolff (Adams University Professor of Music, Harvard University).