Choir Formerly Led by Johann Sebastian Bach is one of
Most Prominent in Lutheran Music
The Bach Institute at Valparaiso University is honored to host the boys choir of St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany, as it kicks off its United States tour on Nov. 2.
During the last decade, Valpo has developed a strong relationship with St. Thomas Church, and the Valparaiso University Chorale is the only collegiate American choir to serve four residencies at the church. Because of the close partnership between the two institutions, Valpo offers a rare opportunity for music enthusiasts in the Midwest region to see the choir of Johann Sebastian Bach’s home church.
“We’re honored to host a concert by the world famous Thomanerchor,” said Christopher Cock, director of The Bach Institute and choral and vocal activities at Valparaiso University. “The choir will present an excellent program of music by Leipzig composers, including two cantatas by J.S. Bach. This concert promises to demonstrate why this choir enjoys a reputation as among the most outstanding boys choirs in the entire world.”
The St. Thomas Boys’ Choir, or the Thomanerchor, has a history that spans more than 800 years and is Leipzig’s oldest cultural institution. Throughout its history, the church and its choir have played a significant role in shaping Lutheran church music. In 1723, Bach was installed as St. Thomas’ director of music, a position he served for 27 years.
In June 2012, to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the church, the Valparaiso University Chorale and University President Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., visited Leipzig for the annual Bachfest celebration. During this visit, the Chorale served its fourth residency and Heckler signed an agreement with the church resolving to continue the cultural, educational and theological exchanges for many years to come.
As part of this agreement, the Chorale will continue to perform at the St. Thomas Church, the Bach Institute at Valparaiso University will conduct scholarly endeavors in Leipzig, and St. Thomas clergy and cantors will contribute theologically and musically to Valpo’s campus. Not only will the choir be performing at Valpo in November, St. Thomas’ pastor, Britta Taddiken, will also preach in the Chapel of the Resurrection on Sunday, Nov. 3.
The Thomanerchor will perform in the Chapel of the Resurrection at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2. The Bach Institute is thankful to Aldi Inc. as the exclusive corporate sponsor of this event. Tickets are available now at valpo.edu/thearts or 219.464.5162; cost is $40 for reserved seating, $20 for adult general admission, and $15 for senior and student general admission.