Last spring, after Greg Funfgeld’s fall, and after the Board of Managers decided to postpone our Spring Concert, I volunteered in the Bach Choir office to help contact our patrons to let them know of the postponement and to promise more details at a later date. I left a great many answering machine messages, and, when I had the privilege of actually speaking with someone on the other end of the call, it was, invariably, a heartening and humbling experience: the individuals with whom I spoke uniformly, and without exception, expressed deep concern for Greg and mentioned looking forward to when the postponed concert would take place. During the past week, the consensus among many of my colleagues in The Choir was that, not only did we feel greatly prepared for the concert (an extra six weeks of prep time are as valued as they are rare), but we also felt a tangible excitement about finally geting to perform this music for our audience. These are two examples of the striking symbiosis in the Bach Choir family: there exists a genuine and rewarding connection between our listeners and benefactors, and the musicians who put countless hours of intense rehearsal into every performance. Thus, for me, and I suspect for many individuals in both roles, beyond the thrill of, and pride in, the music-making, there was the enormous reward of the relationship in which we share so abundantly. To those who packed the First Presbyterian Church this afternoon, and who offered support and active and involved listening, I think I can extend the collective gratitude of the entire organization – this concert was a labor of love for all the performers and those working tirelessly behind the scenes (chief among them, our unbelievably fantastic office staff and Board of Managers, not to mention Greg Funfgeld’s visionary work in conceiving and preparing the program, and his fearlessness in conducting a very challenging set of pieces). And, as in the strains of that gloriously over-the-top Rutter arrangement that concluded the concert uniting our supportive audience and the performers, it should be said: we make beautiful music together.
I’ve compiled a slideshow of some pictures of the final rehearsals, Greg Funfgeld’s pre-concert lecture, and a picture from the gallery as we all took our places for the Schütz Echo Chorale.