Bach For The BLM Era: K-College Prof Premieres New Cantata Setting | WMUK

Bach For The BLM Era: K-College Prof Premieres New Cantata Setting

Apr 8, 2021

An image from the video production of Awake, Arise.
Credit Chris Ludwa

Dr. Chris Ludwa got tired of waiting for change. So, with the help of co-producer Dr. Everett McCorvey, a fellow voice professor (University of Kentucky), the Kalamazoo College professor and leader of the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Chorus updated a beloved Bach cantata, "Wachet Auf," with words of inspiration to marginalized communities and people of color. 


Ludwa says his second call was to Dr. Rhea Olivaccé, a soprano soloist with an international career and a professor of voice at Western Michigan University. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Ludwa, Olivaccé and McCorvey share stories about the experience of turning this new setting into a multi-national, multi-racial production. The premiere of the filmed performance, which brings together  Olivaccé,  tenor Lawrence Brownlee, and bass soloist Kyle Ketelsen, spoken-word artists, and a chorus and orchestra of diverse musicians from the US and the UK, is at 4 pm on Sunday, April 11 on YouTube.