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

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.

Cara Lieurance covers local music with live morning interviews, and produces WMUK's Let's Hear It weekday mornings at 10 am Mon-Fri, showcasing local interviews and performances. She also produces The Pure Drop, an hour of Celtic music, with musician Dave Marlatt.
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