'Bach at the Sem' is back
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 6, 2012 - Concordia Seminary's "Bach at the Sem" series, which has been in hiatus, resumes its Sunday afternoon traditions with a Feb. 12 concert at 3 p.m. at the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus on the seminary grounds, 801 Seminary Pl., in Clayton.
The concert features an organ recital by Dennis Bergin with choral works presented by the American Kantorei. Jeral Becker, the Kantorei's interim director, will conduct. The American Kantorei, a choral and orchestral ensemble, is dedicated to the performance of sacred music from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Neoclassical periods.
Selections in the mostly Bach program include six of his Schubler Chorales for Organ, his Prelude and Fugue in D Major and his "Jesus Christ, My Sure Defense." The American Kantorei will invite the concert audience to join in singing stanzas 1, 2 and 8 from that hymn's.
Works on the program by other composers include John Jenkins' Fantasy for Strings, and St. Louis organist Dennis Bergin's own choral composition "The Last Enemy."
The Bach at the Sem series had been put on hold last semester after the death of the series' longtime conductor and music director Rev. Robert Bergt. Becker had served as the Bergt's assistant conductor. The next concert in the series will be in April.
The free concert is open to the public and requires no tickets. A voluntary offering will be taken to defray costs.
Patricia Rice is a freelance writers whose areas of concentration include music.