Bach at the Sem, presented by Concordia Seminary and the American Kantorei, enters its 20th season with a full schedule of Sunday concerts: Oct. 28, Dec. 2, March 24, and April 28. All concerts are at 3:00 p.m. in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus on the campus of Concordia Seminary in Clayton, Mo. A free will offering is taken at each concert.
Dr. Martin Dicke, director of the Peoria, Ill. Bach Festival, will be the guest conductor for the Bach at the Sem Concert on Oct. 28. Performances will include two cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach, “Wachet! Betet!” (BWV 70) and “Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott” (BWV 80). In keeping with the Reformation Sunday emphasis, Heinrich Schütz’s motet for unaccompanied choir, “Herr, auf dich traue ich” will also be performed.
The American Kantorei, the performing group of Bach at the Sem, was founded in 1969 by its first musical director, the Rev. Robert Bergt, a member of the Concordia Seminary faculty. Following a hiatus of some 20 years, the Kantorei was resurrected in 1993 at the behest of its major sponsors, Robert and (the late) Lori Duesenberg and Richard and Phyllis Duesenberg, and has since presented to the communities of Concordia Seminary and St. Louis at large nearly 100 concerts of the music of premier Lutheran composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as music of Schütz, Buxtehude, Mendelssohn and other Lutheran composers.
In this period of guest conductors, following the death of Maestro Bergt in 2011, the chorus is prepared for each concert by interim music director, Dr. Jeral Becker, director of choral and vocal activities at Saint Louis University.