When we are given a treasure, we are also given great responsibility. Whether the treasure we receive is of an earthly or of a heavenly nature, it always comes with a responsibility to first cherish the gift and thank the giver; to then protect, grow, and nurture the gift; and then finally to share the gift with the world around us so they too can be blessed and nurtured by it.
As Lutheran Christians, we have been given a great heritage of music and the proclamation of God’s Word through music. This heritage of music is loved, studied and performed all over the world by people of all ages, races, and creeds. This heritage of music is so rich and has shaped our world and its music so deeply that scholars still have not been able to fully plumb its depths and examine its impact.
Key figures in this heritage include musicians such as Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) – without whom the current boom in early music and historical performance practice would not have been possible; Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706) – whose Canon in D is played in elevators and for weddings all over the world; and Dietrich Buxtehude (c1637-1707) – whose imaginative and groundbreaking organ music is still played and revered as prime examples of a genre of music that came to be known as the stylus fantasticus.
However, the central figure in this musical treasure is Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Bach was a devoted church musician who not only drew inspiration from and composed the best examples of all the musical genres and styles that preceded him, but also ushered in a new age of harmony and invention. Scholars still study his life and music, sometimes arguing about their conclusions. Performers of all levels of ability, both young and old, are still challenged by his music and drawn to the depth of the musical expression within it. Composers are still studying and drawing inspiration from his music. And listeners all over the world are still deeply moved and blessed by it. Not only that, his music points us to the greatest Treasure of all.
So, please join us for the twelfth annual Peoria Bach Festival (www.peoriabachfestival.org) that will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Peoria, Illinois from June 2-8, 2014. The Peoria Bach Festival celebrates the music, life, and faith of one of history’s greatest composers, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). It has been held annually during the first full week of June since 2003. Organized and hosted by Trinity Lutheran Church, Peoria, Illinois, it is a collaborative effort featuring musicians from all around Central Illinois and the surrounding regions. Not only does it showcase Peoria’s own musicians, but it also seeks to encourage and disciple a new generation of musicians while at the same time attracting national and international talent. Trinity’s attractive Gothic architecture and reverberant acoustics combined with its historical and religious roots provide a perfect setting for this celebration of Bach’s music and faith.
Please visit www.peoriabachfestival.org for details or call (309) 676-4609. Hope to see you there!