The kids have been learning about Bach in their classrooms, so they are well-prepared for what they hear in our hour-long program. We do excerpts from cantatas and chamber pieces and demo various instruments. Usually the kids know someone in the choir because we have a few teachers and school principals. Some of them take music lessons. Our conductor, Greg Funfgeld (pictured below in front of the choir), facilitates a lively Q & A with the students.
Big thanks to The Bach Choir for providing a lovely room with a view (pictured below) since tomorrow's first job is at 9 AM in East Stroudsburg, PA -- more than 2 hours from Philly with no traffic. This non-morning person is greatly appreciative of the accommodations much closer to the job. I'm watching TV, taking a bath in the giant whirlpool tub -- two things I can't do in my Philly studio apartment -- and also transcribing a few interviews for you, my dear readers.
"I can see Russia from my house -- on my giant flat-screen TV while I'm in the whirlpool bath!"
In 4th grade, I said I wanted to play the English horn and soprano sax after learning about the instrument families in our rural Central Pennsylvania elementary music class. I did oboe instead because you can't start on English horn; I eventually played alto sax for about 6 years.
Whatever the results of "Bach to School" are as far as long-term audience building for The Bach Choir or classical music, I'm not sure. But if we expose these kids, some from not-so-great homes, to the beauty and majesty of Bach, performed at a true level of excellence, even for an hour? That's not a bad way to spend a day. And you never know who might become a lifelong musician or music lover, if they only had the opportunity to hear it. Maybe there were a few in the audience today.