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Baroque Singalong — 40th Annual Bach Festival

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Date(s) - 10/01/2016
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Church of the 49ers


Join in the singing of beautiful Baroque music under the direction of John Carter and Daryl Hollinger. $5 admission.

The Sonora Bach Festival will be holding a Baroque Singalong on Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 2:00. The event, featuring choral music from the time of Bach, Vivaldi and Handel, will be held the Church of the 49ers, 11155 Jackson Street, Columbia CA. Admission for singers or listeners is $5.00. Tickets are available online at or by calling (209) 536-6330 or at the door. For more information visit the webpage at or contact

Any singer of choral music is probably familiar with the annual performance event of a Christmas Messiah Singalong where the audience joins together in a read-through of Handel’s masterpiece. The Sonora Bach Festival, celebrating its 40th year, will be presenting a Singalong of own Singalong, broadening the scope of the event to include not only music from Handel’s Messiah but also the choral music of his contemporaries, Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi and others. The music is not rehearsed. And while the music is also not “conducted”, the music is “led” by area music leaders who keep the group together. This year’s leaders will include, Daryl Hollinger, John Carter and Barbara Broad. Accompanists for the event will be Dorothy Woodford-Arndt, Diane Day and Gail Johnson.

Last year’s Sing Along, featuring just the music of Bach, was a first for the festival. According to program initiator and Groveland resident, Barbara Broad, “The event was so successful we decided to offer it again. This year, however, we are broadening the repertoire to include music of other Baroque composers. Bach’s music is so

profound and sophisticated that it can be very difficult to perform so we are aiming for music that people know or that, for the most part, can be read easily”.

This years’ music will include choruses by Handel, Vivaldi, Buxtehude and Kuhnau. From Handel’s Messiah will be “And the Glory of the Lord”, “Lift Up Your Heads”, and “Hallelujah”. But included, to give a broader perspective of Handel’s creative output, is a chorus from his Ode to St. Cecilia’s Day, and a duet from his Chandos Anthem NO. 4. Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria will be represented by its first two choruses and its last. Dietrich Buxtehude’s chorale cantata of the Christmas carol, In Dulci Jubilo, for three voices, and two movements from Kuhnau’s Cantata To Us a Child Is Born will also be featured.

Among compositions by Bach will be excerpts from Cantata NO. 4, Magnificat, B Minor Mass, his harmonization’s of hymn tunes and even some arrangements by Ward Swingle of The Swingle Singers fame..

The Singalong will be held in Columbia, CA at the Church of the 49ers.

“The acoustics, piano, parking and lighting are good at the church” says Baroque Singalong committee member, John Carter. “Add to that great music from Bach’s time and we have the makings for a wonderful afternoon”.

Musicians of all types including youth and instrumentalists are encouraged to attend. Listeners are also invited enjoy the performance.

Popular music Singalongs have been a part of the American musical landscape for centuries: The Grange Association Singalongs of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, Shaped-note Hymn Sings of the Deep South, The Sing-Along-With-Mitch record albums and television shows of the 50’s and 60’s, the Hootenanny of the 1960’s, and now the “Carpool Karaoke” of late-night talk show host James Corden’s.

Singalongs of classical music, however, are relatively new. The most well known, the Messiah Singalong, begun in the 1960’s at Avery Fisher Hall, New York, began a craze of seasonal sing-alongs that are now found in large as well as small cities; even Sonora has its own every other Christmas season. Additionally, Summer Sings, featuring non-Messiah major works are common across the country.

According to Barbara Broad,
“Singalongs give singers an occasional opportunity to experience choral music when they are not able to join a chorus or when their chorus is not able to perform the choral works requiring lots of strong singers. We hope many people come out to enjoy this opportunity”.

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