The D.C. Council will be commending the Washington Bach Consort on May 6 at St. Peter’s Church on Capitol Hill for its 30 years of free concert series that attracts more than 2,000 attendees each year.
In 2006, the Washington Bach Consort completed the entire cycle of Johann Sebastian Bach‘s 215 cantatas after 16 seasons of the Noontime Cantata Series. It later showed the series again for newer audiences.
Founded by late Dr. J. Reilly Lewis in 1977, the Washington Bach Consort has been dedicated to the study and performance of the works of Bach and his contemporaries.
The mission of the Washington Bach Consort, according to the its website, is “to perform to the highest artistic standards the music of J.S. Bach and his Baroque contemporaries, expand its audience through concerts, collaborations with other performing ensembles, media appearances, marketable recordings and tours, and promote current and future appreciation of J.S. Bach in our community through compelling music education programs presented by members of the Consort.”
The Consort is known as one of the critically acclaimed and widely recognized performing arts institutions in the country. Apart from participating in numerous festivals, it has also made three European tours.
In its new 41st season, the Consort opened with the introduction of a new artistic director, Dana Marsh. The Los Angeles Times has called Marsh “an energetic and persuasive conductor.” He has also entered into fruitful collaborations with the London Mozart Players, the Choir of St. Thomas Fifth Avenue, Studio de Musique Ancienne Montreal, Magnificat (U.K.), Cappella Romana, Ensemble Charivari Agréable, the Band of Instruments, City of Oxford Orchestra, Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, and the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra.
Recently, the Consort also completed Bach’s entire 215-cantata cycle. The Library of Congress has added the Washington Bach Consort performance recording and concert program archives into its permanent collection.
In addition to the Noontime Cantata Series, the Consort performs outreach to thousands of D.C. students every year with programs like Bach to School and the Wunderkind Project.