'Masterworks' to feature works by Bach, Brixi, Mozart and Handel

Special to the Kansan

HESSTON —  The Hesston College Bel Canto Singers, joined by community members and a professional orchestra, will present Hesston College’s annual masterworks performance  at 7 p.m. Nov. 13, at Hesston Mennonite Church. The 2021 iteration of the concert will feature works by Johan Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Frantisek Brixirather and George Frederic Handel, rather than one large work.

The program consists of Bach’s cantata "Bringet dem Herrn Ehre seine," BWV 148; Brixi’s “Organ Concerto in F”; Mozart’s “Exsultate, Jubilate,” K165; and will conclude with Handel’s “Hallelujah, Amen” from “Judas Maccabaeus.” 

Performing works from the Baroque to early Classical eras will allow participants to perform naturally with a smaller number of singers – a choice that director and Hesston College music faculty member Russell Adrian said was made with COVID-19 restrictions in mind. 

“The choice of literature started with the Bach Cantata,” said Adrian. “When Bach began his tenure in Leipzig, he wrote five cycles of cantatas that followed the lectionary text of the church calendar. The text for BWV 148 comes from the seventeenth Sunday after Trinity, which includes Ephesians 4:2-3 – the theme verse for this year at Hesston College.”

Soloists include Virginia Revering, mezzo and Jonathan Ray, tenor, for the Bach Cantata; Hesston College music faculty and organist Ken Rodgers on the Brixi organ concerto; and Hesston College music faculty and vocalist Holly Swartzendruber on the Mozart concerto.

“To round the concert off, all forces will return to the stage for the final chorus from Handel's ‘Judas Maccabaeus,’” Adrian said. 

All performers will be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and will perform without masks. Audience members are required to wear masks. No tickets are required, but a free-will offering will be accepted following the performance.