2017 Illinois Bach Academy
June 18-23, 2017
School of Music and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois School of Music proudly announces the founding of the Illinois Bach Academy, a one-week summer workshop dedicated to the exploration of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, “the most spectacular miracle in music!” (Richard Wagner). This year, during the week of June 18th – 23rd, the Illinois Bach Academy will celebrate one of Bach’s most profound masterpieces, the St. John Passion. The week will culminate in an historically-informed public performance of the work by the IBA participants. The concert will take place Friday evening, June 23, at 7:30 pm, in the Foellinger Great Hall of the Krannert Performing Arts Center.
The Academy faculty includes some of the country’s leading experts in the study and performance of 17thth and 18th-century music, including musicologist Robin Leaver, Baroque violinist Nancy Wilson, conductor Andrew Megill, and the members of Fuma Sacra, one of the country’s finest professional vocal ensembles specializing in early music, as well as members of the Fuma Sacra Baroque Orchestra.
The Academy is designed for musicians of all experience levels, united by their interest in the music of Bach. Each day begins with the IBA participants gathering for a lecture exploring the historical and liturgical context of the St. John Passion. The rest of the morning and early afternoon are spent in rehearsals. In the late afternoon, participants divide into tracks with daily events geared toward their particular interest and experience. (see descriptions of the various tracks available below). The week also includes seminars on Baroque performance practice, as well as related concerts, including IBA Faculty recitals and a guest appearance by the Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana (BACH), conducted by Chester Alwes.
SINGER. This track is ideal for passionate amateur and experienced choral singers, with the ability to read music, as well as music teachers and undergraduate music education and performance students who want to learn about and perform a major Bach work, Participants in the SINGER track, will be divided into small groups for voice lessons and German diction classes.
YOUNG ARTISTS. This track is ideal for undergraduate or graduate music majors (or recent graduates) with significant vocal experience. Participants in the YOUNG ARTIST track will be mentored by members of Fuma Sacra, receive daily coaching on solo and small ensemble repertoire which will be performed on an evening recital. In addition to coaching and singing in the choir, the Young Artists will understudy arias from the St. John Passon, coach with Andrew Megill and Nancy Wilson, and may also be considered for the small chorsolisten roles (Judas, Peter, etc.). A maximum of a double quartet of singers will be admitted in this track through a recorded audition process (for audition requirements email Andrew Megill at firstname.lastname@example.org).
CONDUCTORS. This track is ideal for conductors with some experience. In addition to participating in the choir, participants in the CONDUCTOR track will attend lectures with Andrew Megill on score study and analysis, rehearsal technique, working with instruments, performance practice, and recitative conducting. Only eight conductors will be admitted to this track. Contact Andrew Megill at email@example.com to express interest.
MUSICOLOGY: The musicology track is designed for those who have a love for music history, and a desire to more fully understand Bach’s world and the relationship of his music to his time and place. In addition to participating in the choir, musicology students will enjoy daily seminars with Robin Leaver, exploring Bach’s world in greater detail.
INSTRUMENTALIST: Admittance to this track is by audition only, and is reserved for highly skilled professional instrumentalists who want to expand their knowledge of Baroque performance practice. Participants in this track receive daily coaching with Nancy Wilson and Leah Nelson on solo and chamber music repertoire, and will play as part of the orchestra in the final performance of Bach’s St. John Passion. If you are interested in this track, please contact Andrew Megill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuition for the week is $600. Housing and meals are available through the University at a moderate rate, or participants may choose to make their own housing arrangements in one of the many reasonable hotels in Champaign-Urbana. To register, and for information on room and board, click the links above. There is a reduced tuition rate for current University of Illinois students, and for participants in the following week’s Choral Conducting Symposium. Each participant will need to purchase the Bärenreiter edition of the vocal score of the St. John Passion.
Contact Steve Burian for more information.
Graduate credit is available for an additional fee.
Learn more about Choral Music at the University of Illinois.