The Sonora Bach Festival will be presenting its locals concert, Saturday, Oct. 15 at 3 p.m. The afternoon of music takes place at The Church of the 49ers in Columbia. Tickets are available online at sonorabach.org or at the door.
The Sonora Bach Festival will be presenting 19 local musicians from Tuolumne and Calaveras counties in a program featuring Baroque music through a world premiere. On the program will be classical music featuring piano, violin, cello, guitar, oboe, bassoon, flute, and voice played in various formats including solos, duets, trios, and quartet. A small chamber orchestra will also be featured.
The ‘Locals Concert’ is one of the annual festival events. Marguerite Close, Locals Concert Coordinator said, “We have so many wonderful, classical musicians living up here in the foothills. Performing at this concert gives some of those musicians something to be practicing for but it also gives our community members a chance to hear, appreciate and value their contribution to our rural life.”
All of the concert’s musicians have been motivated by a parent, relative or friend or by something they heard or saw. Some have taken the route of the professional – making and having made their living from their music as paid performers in concerts and recitals or teaching privately or in school. However, some of the concert’s performers are not “professional.” They may come from fields as diverse from music as optometry, bookkeeping, or physical therapy. They all share a love of their instrument, a life-long commitment to practicing, and a desire to share their skill with others.
Aside from the varied voices and instruments, this year’s concert features a diverse program of music. In addition to the baroque music of Bach, Handel and others, there will be music from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries including a world premiere. Daniel Godsil, Columbia College music instructor since Fall 2021, and prize-winning composer, has written a composition entitled Milia Pasuum (2022) specifically for this performance. The piece will feature Makena Clark on violin and Godsil on piano.
Dr. Godsil said, “The title of ‘Milia Pasuum’ comes from the Latin, literally translating as ‘thousand paces.’ The work was inspired by my many hikes through the Foothills countryside, my new home; places at once both beautiful and calming but also sublime and humbling. The violin part for the work contains transformations of and direct quotations from Bach’s Violin Partita No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006.”
Another composition featured on the program will be a composition by Jose White (1835-1918). The music, for two violins and piano, is a habanera and reflects White’s Cuban-French heritage. Featured on this composition will be Ellora Maggs and Makena Clark, violins, and Carol Criech on piano.
Makena Clark said, ‘La Bella Cubana’ is one of his better-known pieces written for two violins. It is a lot of fun to play. Ellora and I are so happy to be able to play it together for our community.”
The program will conclude with a performance of Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” featuring all the performers and the Festival Board and conducted by board member John Carter.
“This concert is a very collegial one for the performers. No one gets paid, we all sit in the back of the church listening to our friends and colleagues perform while waiting our turn to play, and we all feel like we are part of a team effort to represent classical music in the Foothills,” said Clark.