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American Folksongs & Spirituals

May 1 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Various prices
John V. Sinclair, conductor
Members of the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra
Kevin Deas, bass-baritone
Meredith Woodend, mezzo-soprano
American Folksongs & Spirituals celebrates the heritage of original American music and marks the first performance by the Bach Festival Choir since March of 2020. Artistic Director and Conductor John V. Sinclair will direct the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra alongside guest artist bass-baritone Kevin Deas. Featured works on the program include “When the Saints Go Marching In,” “Nobody Knows,” and a stunning arrangement of “Amazing Grace” by Rollins College music professor Jamey Ray.
Featuring 100 members of the Bach Festival Choir, American Folksongs & Spirituals explores the heritage of American music and its roots at a time when America is carefully re-examining its history. The Bach Festival Society reaches into the richness of American and African American music to perform some of the finest works of their kind, including pieces from Burleigh, Rutter, Copland, and more.
Ever since COVID-19 eliminated in-person rehearsals last Spring, Bach Festival Choir members have rehearsed remotely and engaged with each other through weekly digital rehearsals. “We in the choir have really missed sharing music with our friends and loyal audiences. It’s thrilling to realize the long ‘dry spell’ is finally at an end,” said Karen Lane, a long-time choir member.
The Bach Festival Society has been no stranger to programming unique performances during the pandemic, but the sprawling outdoor venue at the Dr. Phillips Center allows Sinclair and the accomplished musicians of the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra to safely perform these inspiring works live and in person for the first time.
John Sinclair shares his enthusiasm for the program by paraphrasing Aaron Copland during his time in France, “Why do Americans try to arrange music like Europeans when there is so much at their fingertips? This music is inspired by the great American musical spirit and heritage.”


Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
445 South Magnolia Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801 United States
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