2020-2021 Season No. 74 Singing One Breath and One Concert at a Time

In the spirit of the greatest TV Holiday specials, Kalamazoo Bach Festival presents an online virtual concert experience that will have you bursting with joy as you enjoy a cup of cheer with us! Revel in the holiday splendor of Stetson Chapel, enjoy visits by carolers in festive costuming at your virtual doorstep, rejoice in a refreshing new arrangement of “Let There Be Peace on Earth” and the world premiere of a new text setting of J.S. Bach's Cantata Wachet auf that strengthens our Bach  Festival message of equity and social justice. Take a journey through magical holiday images of Kalamazoo over the years, and have your heart and your ears filled with holiday songs and spirit once again as we celebrate the season together.​

Holidays with the Kalamazoo Bach Festival!

Virtual Concert

SUN | DEC 6 | 4 pm

How does my virtual ticket link purchase work?

After you have selected and purchased your concert viewing link that best fits your viewing pleasure, a confirmation email will be sent to you. You will be notified in this initial confirmation email that you will receive a SECOND email 24 to 72 hours BEFORE the concert with your private link to our concert. We suggest you copy and paste this link or type it into your browser, smartphone, computer, or smart TV YouTube Channel app on December 6 at 3:55 pm. The concert will premiere in live Eastern time at 4 pm with live chat available so we can all enjoy this concert together. If you are unable to watch during our concert premiere time, don't fret! The concert and your private link will be available for you to use until December 31, 2020.

Snowball Student link $5

(suggested for for 1 viewer)

Spirited Individual link $10 

(suggested for 1 viewer)

Cozy Individual link $19

(suggested for for 1 viewer)

Frosty Fun Family link $59

(suggested for 4 viewers)

Joyful Gathering link $99

(suggested for 5 to 8 viewers)

Holiday Party link $139

(suggested for 9 to 12 viewers)

Season's Greetings link $199

(suggested for up to 20 viewers)

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Stay Safe.

Stay Home.

Our May 30 Spring Concert Transcendence has been rescheduled for March 13, 2021

Our 3rd annual

fundraising raffle has been postponed until the Spring of 2021

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and in support of Kalamazoo College's decision to proceed virtually this Fall, our office is currently closed to the public.

We are still here for you, working remotely and you can reach us through email at Bach@kzoo.edu, or leave a message by phone at 269-337-7407. We will be sure to respond as quickly as possible.

We are dedicated to keeping our musicians and staff employed and are excited to be presenting our Holiday Concert virtually this season. We understand there are many organizations in need of support during this time. To help sustain our efforts please consider making a contribution to the Kalamazoo Bach Festival.

Bach Festival Chorus,

    Chris Ludwa, conductor

Kalamazoo Philharmonia

    Andrew Koehler, conductor

Nielsen Symphony No. 3 "Espansiva"

Vaughan Williams

    Toward the Unknown Region

Brahms Schicksalslied

Your ticket purchase will automatically be held for the rescheduled date of March 13, 2021. The amount of your ticket purchase may also be donated or fully refunded by emailing us at Bach@kzoo.edu.

More information about your concert ticket purchase will be sent directly to you by May 15 via email and regular mail. Thank you for your patience and support!

The new raffle date will be in May of 2021 and the trip will be rescheduled for June of 2021. TBA

Your raffle ticket from 2020 will automatically be entered into this season's raffle or can be fully refunded by emailing us at Bach@kzoo.edu.

Be sure to check out our virtual recital from April, Safe at Harbor, songs of peace, joy, comfort, and laughter during these challenging times.

Watch now HERE

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Looking Back at our 2019-2020 Season:



THUR OCT 24, 2019 | 7 pm

Hornet Suite, Kalamazoo College

In collaboration with the Grand Traverse

Distillery and many local favorites, we bring

you our fourth annual BACHTOBERFEST!

Celebrate the Kalamazoo Bach Festival’s community with a very festive spirit.  An opportunity to celebrate our chorus members, raise community awareness of our events and outreach, sing together, feature the Bach Festival Chamber Singers in concert, live music performed by The Dacia Bridges Project and Susie Parr Trio, a silent auction, food, and drink.


SUN NOV 3, 2019 | 4 pm

Chenery Auditorium

Nobuntu is a “Five Part” A’cappella Vocal

ensemble made up of young women from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The name Nobuntu is an African concept that values humbleness, love, purpose, unity and family from a woman’s perspective. Their repertoire is a fusion of traditional Zimbabwean rooted music, Afro Jazz, Gospel and Crossover in pure voices with minimalistic percussion, traditional instruments such as Mbira and some dance movements.


SUN DEC 8, 2019 | 4 pm

Stetson Chapel, Kalamazoo College

It's time to celebrate 50 years of beautiful music making in Stetson Chapel!

The Bach Festival Chorus, directed by Dr. Chris Ludwa, and our favorite  guest artists, the Western Brass Quintet, will set the mood for one of Kalamazoo's favorite holiday traditions. This concert frequently sells out so we recommend you purchase your tickets early!


THUR DEC 19, 2019 | 7:30 pm

Old Dog Tavern, Kalamazoo

LOVE IS (Volume 3)

WED MAR 4, 2020 | 7 pm

First Congregational Church, Kalamazoo

Tickets will be available at the door.

Do you like to sing in the shower? Are you the loudest one belting out "Happy Birthday" at your niece's party?  Well come on out to our Beer Choir and have some holiday cheer with us!


Winners of the Kalamazoo Bach Festival's Young Vocalists Competition join the BachFest Chorus, First Congregational Church Chancel Choir, and Kalamazoo College Singers for the most eclectic tribute to love you’re bound to experience anywhere.


Bach Festival Chorus, Chris Ludwa, conductor

Kalamazoo Philharmonia, Andrew Koehler, conductor

Nielsen Symphony No. 3 "Espansiva"

Vaughan Williams Toward the Unknown Region

Brahms Schicksalslied

Explore the profound questions of what lies beyond our physical experience on earth.  The Nielsen contrasts movements that capture the gust of energy and life-affirmation we send out into the world, as the composer himself put it, with a pure vision of Paradise.  A concert that puts aside our ideological debates and finds common ground in what it means to be human.

Join us for a  pre-concert talk at 6:30 pm in the corner reception room.

SAT MAY 30, 2020 | 7:30 pm

Chenery Auditorium

Chris NEW.png

Our 2020 Kalamazoo Bach Festival will take place from May 29 through June 4. All concert details and events will be updated and posted on August 15, 2019! We can't wait to share these exciting events with you!

The mission of the Bach Festival Society is to bring excellent vocal, choral and instrumental music to the widest possible audience in southwest Michigan through performances of major works by the Bach Festival Chorus and orchestra, the sponsorship of renowned vocal artists and choral groups and educational outreach activities. The Bach Society focuses on the music of J. S. Bach and composers from the Renaissance to the contemporary era.

We are committed to sustainable and relevant programming, becoming actively involved in the community with social justice initiatives, increasing diversity with the staff, board, and chorus, creating an equitable organization, and creating a concert experience accessible to the entire community. The Kalamazoo Bach Festival sees profound relevance in civic engagement, connecting music and the arts with community efforts to demonstrate love and commitment to our community.



Be a Part of  the New BOGO: Buy One GIVE One

You have the opportunity to provide a concert experience that has the potential to change someone's life forever.


We are focused on building partnerships with organizations in Kalamazoo that support the needs of our community's families. We believe that providing intentional access to high quality fine arts experiences can help families feel welcome, feel respected, and feel loved. Help us build a stronger and more equitable community by helping us provide a concert experience to everyone. 

Upon check out on any online or phone ticket purchase, you will have the opportunity to support our new ticket initiative and to donate to our Annual Fund Campaign. Thank you for trusting us to make Kalamazoo an accessible place for the arts for everyone. 

Looking Back at our 2018-2019 Festival Week


                                              is April 26-May 6

In collaboration with Kalamazoo College, voice students  perform for and be coached by our visiting guest artist and soloistfor our large choral masterwork.



Fri April 26

7:30 pm

K-College, Light Fine Arts


Our featured guest soloists for 
Carmina Burana share their 
beautiful voices featuring opera,

Broadway, and more! 

Bach Festival Chorus,

   Chris Ludwa, conductor
Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra,
   Andrew Koehler, conductor


with Elliot Madore

Fri April 26

10:30 am

K-College, Light Fine Arts

Sun April 28

4 pm

Chenery Auditorium


In its 11th year, area church choirs and organists join in honoring the life and legacy of J.S. Bach by presenting a work by Bach and/or his contemporaries during their regular services. Participating churches will be part of a unique city-wide celebration of Bach’s musical legacy. 



In collaboration with the Kalamazoo Public Library, local pianist, Kory Heitzig and Bach Festival chorus members will send you to the moon and back with this lovely all-ages family evening event featuring your favorite bed time stories paired with beautiful music and lullabies. Come in your jammies and snuggle down to an evening of awe and wonder.  

Enjoy a lovely mid-morning concert featuring cellist David Peshlakai and his captivatingly beautiful 
interpretations of the Bach Cello Suites No. 1 and

No. 3. A refreshing brunch of pastries, fruit, and beverages will be provided.


Fri May 3

7:30 pm at K-College, Dalton Theater

Tickets available online

and at the door

Rhea Olivaccé, soprano, Arturo Ziraldo, viola
Sookkyung Cho, piano, Kyd Kane, spoken word artist


Heartside Harmony Chamber Music Society is breaking barriers. By facilitating discourse regarding the definition of “classical” or “art” music, and the role of people of color in defining the cultural works of past and present, Heartside presents works that explore the human condition and highlight excellence by diverse artists who live and work in West Michigan.  This challenging and moving evening will feature Creole Songs by Camille Nickerson, Three Dream Portraits by Margaret Bonds (texts by Langston Hughes) and 
original performance poetry by Kyd Kane. The goal of Heartside Harmony CMS is to engage deeply with all people regardless of education, cultural background or ethnic history, and to create value and access to profound musical experiences.




Sun April 28

Times and Locations


Mon/April 29

KPL Oshtemo

Tues/April 30

KPL Central

6:30 pm



Thur May 2

11 am

 K-College, Dalton Lobby



Sat May 4

7:30 pm

Stetson Chapel, Kalamazoo College

Tickets available online

and at the door

Arcato Chamber Ensemble, 
Andrew Koehler, conductor
Bach Festival Chamber Singers, 
Chris Ludwa, conductor

Join the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Chamber Singers and Arcato Chamber Ensemble for an evening of entertainment that explores powerful and inspiring music which informs and guides us in various ways. Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Five Variants on Dives and Lazarus, Gustav Mahler’s Adagietto from Symphony No. 5, Christopher Theofanidis’s Visions and Miracles,  Ola Gjeilo’s Unicornis Captivatur, a setting for a cappella choir that draws on 17th century tunes and tells a fascinating and energizing story about thismythical creature. Vivaldi’s Gloria in D, a work of celebratory music, will close this exciting evening of music.



Mon May 6

8 pm

Old Dog Tavern

Carl Witt, piano

Mike Fuerst, bass
Jay Gavan, guitar

Join us outside in the beautiful garden at the Old Dog Tavern and sing your favorite Beatles songs with us. Added bonus – a portion of drink sales for the evening will 
be donated to the Bach Festival!




Mon May 6

7 pm

Locations TBA

collaboration with the American Guild of Organists, discover the music of J.S. Bach and the sounds of the many beautiful pipe organs throughout the churches of downtown Kalamazoo.

7 PM

First Congregational Church
7:30 PM

First United Methodist
8 PM

St. Luke’s Episcopal