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December 28, 2011

Singing in the New Year with the Bach Concert Series

Among the unsung stalwarts of Baltimore's musical life, the Bach Concert Series figures highly.

With modest financial resources, the organization manages to put on monthly concerts during the music season at Christ Lutheran Church in the Inner Harbor, covering a great deal of Bach's immortal repertoire. Most of the performances are free, which only adds to the value of the venture.

The Bach Concert Series will sing in the New Year on Sunday with an apt choice -- Cantata 16, "Herr Gott, dich loben wir," which was composed for use on New Year's Day (see below for an audio clip). T. Herbert Dimmock will conduct the orchestra and chorus. The soloists are tenor Richard Kennedy and bass Mark Wilson.

The program also offers the G major solo cello suite, with soloist Gretchen Gettes, and a selection from the Orchestral Suite No. 2.

If you would like to get in on the performing end of things, the Bach Concert Series is looking for some additional singers for the presentation this season of one of the cornerstones of Western music. Here are the audition details:

Herb Dimmock plans to expand the chorus, currently at 45 members, by 6 to 8 singers for performances of the St. Matthew Passion, March 31-April 1.

Interested singers should be able to "sight read well and blend with other voices." Auditions are held by appointment. Call 717-533-6873 or email:

The Bach Concert Series Choir rehearses Sundays 5 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., and the second Tuesday of each month, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

And now for that sampling from the New Year's Day Cantata:

Posted by Tim Smith at 10:31 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Clef Notes

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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