Monday, March 21, 2016
Happy Birthday Johann Sebastian Bach!
Today was J.S. Bach's 331st birthday and I celebrated with two friends from the Flint Symphony, violinist, Lorrie Gunn and cellist, Judy Vander Weg. We have the distinction of being the first registered chamber music group in Michigan to perform the music of J.S. Bach under the auspices of Bach in the Subways, a movement which is catching on all over the world to introduce the music of J.S. Bach to people who wouldn't normally come into contact with it.
"Wait a minute," you might say, "Michigan doesn't have any subways." And you would be right. According to Dale Henderson, the founder of Bach in the Subways, you don't have to play Bach in a subway system to participate in this worldwide celebration. Bach in the Subways began in New York City's subways in 2010 with a single cellist, Dale Henderson, who wanted to share the glorious music of Bach with the public and "sow the seeds for future generations of classical music lovers." Part busking and part flash mob, it has since grown rapidly throughout the world with musicians playing in train stations, on street corners, in cafes and malls, zoos and restaurants and, after today, a hospital in Flint, Michigan.
More Bach was heard today than perhaps ever before in history on one single day. It was heard for free throughout the world because part of the terms musicians agree to when they sign on to participate in the Bach in the Subways project is that they will perform for free in a place where the general public will come into contact with the power and beauty of Bach's music.
It was a wonderful feeling to perform the music of Bach for the people of Flint as they were coming and going through the hospital lobby. I hope our music was able to lift the cares and concerns from their shoulders for a short time and let their spirits fly with the heavenly music of Bach.