Bach at the Sem, presented by Concordia Seminary and the American Kantorei, enters its 20th season with a full schedule of Sunday concerts: 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. Andrew Megill, guest conductor for the Dec. 2 concert, is a member of the faculty of Westminster Choir College. Dr. Megill also leads two of North America’s finest professional choirs, the Carmel Bach Festival Chorale and the Chorus of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, as well as The Masterwork Chorus, one of the New York area’s foremost volunteer choirs. Featured at the December concert are J. S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Pt. 1, and Cantata 191: Gloria in excelsis Deo, as well as the Magnificat of Bach’s American contemporary, Charles Theodore Pachelbel.
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.