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Farmer-Doctor Is Bach Festival’s No. 1 Cheerleader

How did a poor farm boy, longtime pediatrician, and master gardener get to be the No. 1 cheerleader for the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival? “It’s simple,” says Ed Comer, MD.  “My mother made me take piano lessons when I was little, even though we could hardly afford it.” He has been hooked on classical m ...More

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Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, June 9-16, Shows Bach – and Verdi and Britten – Live On

The music of Johann Sebastian Bach never dies, as will be obvious to those experiencing his music at the 21st Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. For more than two decades, the festival has celebrated the legacy of the 18th-century German composer, usually paired with the legacies of a rotating selection of other composers. This year the ...More

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Young Artists’ Program Gives Gifted Place To Play

Young virtuosos in the Valley aren’t shy about striking the right notes. “The bar keeps being raised,” says Mary Kay Adams, executive director of the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. On May 5 at 3 p.m., eight teenagers will take the spotlight in Eastern Mennonite University’s Martin Chapel, for the Young Artists’ Recital, sponsored by the festival. “Over time, a ...More

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Bach Festival Receives Grant from Carpenter Foundation

A grant of $12,000 from the E. Rhodes and Leon B. Carpenter Foundation will help bring five gifted performers to the 21st annual Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, June 9-16, 2013. “Through the grant we were able to secure Veronica Chapman-Smith, Kenneth Gayle, Heidi Kurtz, Grant Youngblood and Naoko Takao as part of our concerts,” said ...More

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A Community Celebrates 20 Years of Bach

A German Bach specialist once observed that the music of Johann Sebastian Bach can be played successfully on modern or on period instruments, “but what you can’t recreate is the audience of the time.” Ken J. Nafziger, artistic director and conductor for the Shenandoah Valley Bach Fes ...More

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Bach Festival Marks 20 Years with Grammy Winner Eugene Friesen

Over 300 years may have passed since Johann Sebastian Bach swept a stage in Germany, but the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival will stir its strings and winds for the 20th year in Harrisonburg on June 10-17. Executive Director Mary Kay Adams calls the annual festival “an enhancement of the cultural fab ...More

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Recital Showcases Area Youth

The works of Mozart, Hummel, Haydn, Loewe and others will be on display Sunday, May 6, at 3 p.m. in Martin Chapel, as 11 local students showcase their talents in a young artists’ recital on the campus of Eastern Mennonite University (EMU). The program, sponsored by the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, will “give the community an opportunity to reco ...More

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Historic Recital Connects Bach and Negro Spirituals

A program connecting the organ works of Johan Sebastian Bach and the vocal arrangements of Negro spirituals will create “a spiritual connection spanning the genres,” March 21, at 7 p.m., in Trinity Episcopal Church, Staunton, Va. The program will feature organist, Marvin Mills, and American soprano, Marlissa Hudson. The duo will alternate between solo organ works and addition ...More

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19th EMU Festival Pairs Bach and Mozart

“Great music. Great musicians. Nourishment for the soul.” Artistic director and conductor Kenneth J. Nafziger made these promises to the audience at the start of the 19th annual Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. In keeping with Nafziger’s comments, the June 12-19 festival at Eastern Mennonite University featured works by Bach and Mozart, energetic vocal and instrumental performances ...More

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Bach, Mozart Intersect at EMU Festival

It’s a match made in musical heaven. Two classical giants will meet on the Lehman Auditorium stage at Eastern Mennonite University, not to compete against but to complement each other at the 19th annual Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, June 12-19, 2011. The glorious works of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) and Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus ...More