December 18, 2015

Contact: Michele Abba

Cal Poly to Present Bach Week at Various Locations Jan. 19-24

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Music Department will present Bach Week, Tuesday through Sunday, Jan. 19-24, with presentations and performances on campus, in Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, and in Santa Barbara.

The Music Department has added events to the weeklong program, which now includes a recital by musicians of Mensa Sonora California, a guest artist lecture, and a guest artist master class.

Faculty members Thomas Davies and David Arrivée established Bach in the Mission in 2011 as an annual collaborative concert that would give Cal Poly student musicians the opportunity to rehearse and perform the vocal and instrumental music of Johann Sebastian Bach with faculty members and local professionals. It became a weeklong event in 2015 to complement the annual concert.

Bach Week features a range of events, including a chamber music performance incorporating period instruments and a collaborative performance of large vocal and instrumental works by students and professionals. Free demonstrations and lectures provide additional context for these performances.

The first event, “Inside Bach Week,” will be at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19 in the Pavilion of the Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly. Davies and Arrivée will take a look at the week’s repertoire in the context of Bach’s life and, in the case of the “St. John Passion,” as it functioned in the religious context of the Lutheran church year. Musical examples and some German will be included.

The second event, a presentation titled “The Role of the Evangelist in Bach’s ‘Passions,’” will be at 11:10 a.m. Jan. 21 in Room 218 in the Davidson Music Center on campus. Guest artist Christopher M. Cock has performed the role of the Evangelist numerous times throughout Europe and the U.S. and will offer great insight into what it takes to deliver such a role.

At 3:15 p.m. on Jan. 21 in Room 218 in the Davidson Music Center, Chicago-based baritone Daniel Eifert will give a vocal master class focusing on musical interpretation. Several Cal Poly voice students will present works to be discussed.

On Jan. 22, Mensa Sonora California will perform “Bach and Sons” at 8 p.m. in Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. “The group’s stunning performance last year makes this a not-to-be-missed event,” Davies said. The program will include works by Bach and his musical sons. 

The week will culminate with two performances of the “St. John Passion,” with Davies leading the ensemble of students and professionals: a 30-voice choir, a 22-piece orchestra, and vocal soloists in this most theatrical of Bach’s larger works. The first performance, titled “Bach in the Mission VI,” will take place at 8 p.m. Jan. 23 in Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. The second performance, “Bach at Trinity,” will take place in Santa Barbara’s historic Trinity Episcopal Church at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 24. This will be the first time that Cal Poly’s “Bach in the Mission” concert will be performed outside the county.

Admission to the campus events is free. Tickets for the concerts in the mission are $20 for premium public and premium student tickets, $15 for the general public, and $10 for students. Discounts are offered on tickets to both mission concerts at $35 for premium public and premium students, $25 for general public, and $15 for students. Tickets for the Jan. 24 concert are $20 for premium (general and student), $15 for general, and $10 students.

Tickets are sold at the Cal Poly Ticket Office between noon and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. To order by phone, call SLO-4TIX (756-4849). To order online, visit Tickets may also be purchased at the door the nights of the concerts.

The events are sponsored by Cal Poly’s College of Liberal Arts, Music Department, Instructionally Related Activities program, and Tevis Fund for Visiting Artists. Additional support is provided by the Handler and Steiner Family Fund.

For more information, visit the Bach Week website at or call the Music Department at 805-756-2406.

# # #