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Conversations with creators and organizers of the arts scene in West Michigan, hosted by Cara Lieurance

Bach’s Birthday Bash rounds up performers and music of all kinds

Anonymous print of J.S. Bach
public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Anonymous print of J.S. Bach

Monday, March 20 is the day before Johann Sebastian Bach’s 338th birthday. A free musical celebration organized by Janet Hill is planned for 7 pm at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church where she serves as music director. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Hill and co-organizer Carl Doubleday say the concert will feature members of the American Guild of Organists plus singers and other instrumentalists in a “prism format” of continuous music — a kind of informal “Bach Around The Block” program. It serves to demonstrate the many ways in which Bach’s genius remains a fundamental voice in today’s music.

Hill says six essential chorales by Bach will be paired with modern songs that echo the text of the cantatas upon which the chorales are based. The variety and short length of the selections will appeal to many, including families with school-age children and up, says Hill.

Janet Hill and Doubleday also talk about the American Guild of Organists, of which they are both longtime members. The southwest Michigan chapter was formed in the early 1948, and has hosted the AGO regional convention twice, most recently in 2013.

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.