Bach Chamber Choir to present Fall Concert Oct. 28

Staff Report

The Bach Chamber Choir will present a Fall Concert at 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 28, in the acoustical space of First Lutheran Church, 225 S. Third St., Rockford.

Celebrating their 30th performance season, the concert will feature J.S. Bach’s cantata No. 80 based on the famous hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”

Also featured in the concert is Antonio Vivaldi’s famous “Gloria,” an extended work based on the text of the second part of the mass ordinary. Several a cappella motets will be sung as part of the concert.

In recent years, the choir has sought to feature some of J.S. Bach’s numerous organ works. A highlight of this concert will be Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor” commonly called “The Phantom of the Opera.” The organ piece will be performed by Gregory Gyllsdorff, the choir’s accompanist and First Lutheran’s director of music. Tickets are available from choir members and at the Vineyard Books & Gifts for an advance sale price of $18. Tickets will be available at the door for $20 per person.

The choir is under the artistic direction of Ronald Weber, a longtime musician in the Rockford area and a seasoned classical tenor of opera, oratorio and art song. A graduate of Rockford Guilford High School and Rock Valley College, a performer with the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center productions as well as Starlight Theater, a member of the Rockford Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Weber is part of a roster of talented musical artists who have directed the Bach Choir.

The choir began in 1982 under the baton of Wayne Hatwich, a pharmacist and musician, and focused on the classic cantatas and motets of J.S Bach and other famed baroque-era composers. The choir’s second director, Joseph Caulkins, continued the founding ideals along with experimenting with early music concert themes.

In recent years, the choir was led by Dr. Eric Johnson, director of choral music at NIU (DeKalb), who added some 20th-century choral influence to the Bach Choir. Weber is in his second full season as the artistic director and also serves as the president of the Bach Board of Directors.

For more about the choir, the concert or regarding auditioning, call the Bach Choir at (815) 847-0264 or contact them by e-mail at

From the Oct. 24-30, 2012, issue

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