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Staunton Bach Around the Clock packs timeless appeal into 12 hours

The Heifetz International Music Institute at Mary Baldwin University will fill Saturday with a busy schedule of music for all ages by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Head to Christ Lutheran Church in Staunton to start the popular free Bach Around the Clock marathon at 9 a.m. with “Preludio,” an hour of Bach preludes for strings and keyboards played by the Heifetz Institute Ensemble in Residence, plus alumni and musical guests. It’s followed at 10 a.m. with the multimedia presentation “The Journeys of Bach,” which Benjamin K. Roe, president and CEO of the Heifetz Institute, will fill with stories, snapshots and background about how Bach’s time in his native Germany shaped his music.

“Bach for Beginners,” a child-friendly introduction to Bach’s Preludes and Fugues from “Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1,” begins at 11 a.m. Next, at noon, will be “A Bach Potpourri,” featuring songs and stories.

“Bach, Accompanied” begins at 1 p.m. Harpsichordist Lynne Mackey will team up with violist Carlos Walker and saxophonist Anthony Cincotta; listen for “Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord in G Major, BWV 1027.” Viola fans will want to stick around, as at 2 p.m., violist Andrew Gonzalez, a Heifetz alumnus, will present “Viola Da Spalla,” which features “Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007.”

At 3 p.m., members of the Charlottesville-Albemarle chapter of American Guild of Organists will present “King of Instruments,” filled with memorable organ works composed by Bach.

“Bist Du Bei Mir — Be Near to Me” follows at 4 p.m., which focuses on Bach’s sacred selections, including a congregational sing-along of chorales from “St. John Passion” and the complete solo bass “Cantata BWV 82, “Es ist Genug (It is Enough),” sung by Adrian Smith. Also performing will be soprano Sheila Dietrich, countertenor Charles Humphries; tenor Brian Thorsett; organist Florence Jowers and Heifetz Ensemble in Residence.

In “Chaconne,” at 5 p.m., Garth Newel pianist Jeannette Fang performs the Bach-Bersoni “Chaconne in D minor,” transcribed for keyboard.

At 6 p.m., guest organist Timothy Olsen will present “BATC and Throughout the (Liturgical) Year,” featuring major Bach organ works interspersed with chorale-preludes from the different seasons of the church year, from Advent/Christmas to Pentecost. Olsen comes from North Carolina School of the Arts and is cantor at Augsburg Lutheran Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

At 7:15 p.m., “The Heifetz Half-Hour” features the Heifetz Ensemble in Residence. Listen in “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3” for violinists JiHyun Baik and Carlos Martinez, violist Carlos Walker and cellist Zhihao Wu.

“Grand Finale: The Cantata Hour” starts at 7:45 p.m. and features Dietrich, the BATC Chamber Choir, Thorsett and Smith. Then there will be orchestral, choral and audience performances of a Bach chorale from Cantatas 75 and 99, with Jowers playing the church’s Taylor and Boody organ.

The festival is free. The church is at 2807 N. August St. in Staunton. For details, go to


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