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Bach Festivals & Cantata Series
Bach Festival of Central Florida

Name:

Bach Festival of Central Florida

Location:

Lakeland & Winter Haven, Florida, USA

Venues:

First Presbyterian Church, Winter Haven
St. Paul's Episcopal Church of Winter Haven - 656 Avenue L, NW
All Saints' Episcopal Church of Lakeland - 209 South Iowa Avenue
First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales - 16 North Third Street

Years:

1974; Since 1976 (Annual Festival)

Months:

March

Artistic Director:

Moody Chisholm and Dr. Virginia Davidson (1974-1978)
Dr. Bennett Penn (1979-1991)
Robert Custer (1992-1996)
Andrew Walker (1996-)
Dr. Gabriel Statom (-Present)

Ensembles:

Bach Festival Chamber Orchestra and Chorus

Website:

Bach Festival of Central Florida
Bach Festival of Central Florida on Facebbok

History & Mission:

The millennium season of the Bach Festival of Central Florida marking the 250th anniversary of J.S. Bach's death and celebrating 25 years of Festival concerts is well past us as we race into the 21st century and progress into our 32nd season.

The Bach Festival of Central Florida was first conceived in the fall of 1973 when Moody Chisholm, former conductor of the Ridge Oratorio Society, and Virginia Davidson, then Professor of Music at Polk Community College, joined forces to organize the Bach Festival of Central Florida. The first Bach Festival concert was presented on January 2, 1974, at First Presbyterian Church in Winter Haven. The Festival's Articles of Incorporation were prepared and filed by Dr. Martin Galstad. No programs were presented in 1975, and the first concerts sponsored by the newly incorporated organization were presented on October 2-3, 1976. Since then there have been festivals each year.

In the words of the founders of the Bach Festival, the purpose of the new organization was "to promote the works of Bach and his contemporaries through performance." A phenomenally gifted musician, J.S. Bach was the most influential composer of the Baroque era, a particularly rich era in the history of Western music.

Through the annual concerts of the Bach Festival, J.S. Bach has been placed in a broad historical context. Over the past quarter century the Bach Festival has sponsored programs featuring not only Bach's music, but works of earlier Baroque composers, including Monteverdi, Frescobaldi, Purcell, Johann Pachelbel, and Dietrich Buxtehude. Past performances also included music of J.S. Bach's contemporaries, including Georg Frideric Handel and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi; music by J.S. Bach's sons, several of whom were noted composers in their own right; and music by later composers inspired or influenced by J.S. Bach, including Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn, and Johannes Brahms.

Over the years, a number of Music Directors have worked tirelessly to organize the Festival's activities and plan programs. During the first five years of the Festival, Mr. Chisholm and Dr. Davidson served as Music Directors. In 1979, they were succeeded by Dr. Bennett Penn, Assistant Professor of Music at Florida Southern College and director of the Lakeland Choral Society. Dr. Penn served as Music Director for twelve years. In 1992 Penn was succeeded by Robert Custer, Coordinator of Musical Arts at Polk Community College. Mr. Custer served as Music Director for 5 years. The next Music Director was Andrew Walker, who assumed the position in the fall of 1996. Mr. Walker was also Music Director of St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Orlando. The accomplished Mr. Walker received his Bachelor of Music degree with honors from Royal Holloway College of the University of London, England, and had considerable experience as organist and choir director in both Great Britain and the USA.

The present Music Director is Dr. Gabriel Statom. Dr. Statom received the Bachelor of Music Education degree with voice and piano emphasis from The University of Mississippi, the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting with organ as the principal instrument from Florida State University and a Doctor of Worship Studies degree from the Institute for Worship Studies, affiliated with Wheaton College and Northern Theological Seminary, both in Chicago, Illinois.

Recent Festivals:

Mar 20-22, 2009
Mar 12-14, 2010
Mar 18-20, 2011

Nov 6-27, 2011
Apr 13-14, 2012

Logo:

Dec 2008

Mar 2009

Mar 2010

Nov 2011

Source: Bach Festival of Central Florida Website & Facebook

Prepared by Aryeh Oron (November 2009 - March 2012)

Bach Festivals & Cantata Series: Main Page: Countries A-I | Page 2: Countries J-Z | Schedule of Concerts of Bach's Vocal Works
Links to Bach Festivals | Links to Bach Organizations & Societies | Discussions of Bach Festivals & Cantata Concerts
Major Bach Events: Year 2015 | Year 2014 | Year 2013 | Year 2012 | Year 2011 | Year 2010 | Year 2009

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Last update: ýMarch 1, 2012 ý23:30:40