Concerts planned at Waupaca churches, brewery
By Angie Landsverk
The music of Johann Sebastian Bach will be performed in churches and a brewery when the Waupaca Community Arts Board presents the 2015 Bach Festival.
The festival begins on Thursday, Oct. 1, and ends with a Winchester Academy program on Monday, Oct. 5.
“The goal is to put classical music in regular places, where people can access it,” said Marci Reynolds, the arts board’s president.
When Bach played his music, he did so in churches and pubs, she said.
That is why those same venues were chosen for this event.
The festival is made possible by a grant from the Waupaca Area Community Foundation.
“We’ve done a number of classical music events in the past,” Reynolds said of the arts board.
When the Bach Festival was held two years ago, it was also done as a multi-layered event.
Reynolds said it was well attended.
“People were stopping me in the street and saying, ‘You have to do the Bach event again,’” she said.
The festival will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, when the community concert “Bach and the Boys” is presented at Trinity Lutheran Church.
The free concert will include area church choirs, high school choirs and individual musicians.
The next event, “Bach in the Brewery” will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2, at Central Waters Brewery in Amherst.
The brewery is sponsoring the free event, which will feature Virtuoso Bayan player Stas Venglevski.
Reynolds said a Bayan is a Russian accordion which has buttons instead of a keyboard.
“He will be playing the Baroque music of Bach on this crazy thing,” Reynolds said.
Venglevski is originally from Russia and is a graduate of the Russian Academcy of Music in Moscow.
He immigrated into the United States in 1992, tours extensively and is a regular performer with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
“And he’s playing at the brewery,” Reynolds said. “How did we get Stas here is the question, if he’s so famous. It just so happens he is a friend of Nell Buchman’s.”
Buchman, a pianist, lives in Waupaca and teaches at Lawrence University in Appleton.
Cellist Roza Borisova also teaches there. She is married to Venglevski.
Buchman, Borisova, Venglevski and Frank Almond played together several years ago.
Almond is the principal violinist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Buchman said.
On a side note, she explained that Almond was the one, who in Janaury 2014, had the 1715 Lipinski Stradivarius stolen from him in an armed robbery after a concert.
The violin was recovered nine days later.
In regard to Waupaca’s upcoming Bach Festival, it was Buchman who suggested Venglevski for the Bach in the Brewery event.
“They wanted something a little different,” she said.
Because Venglevski is classically trained, that is the genre of music he loves, she said.
“I’ve heard him play Bach just warming up before events. It’s just incredible,” Buchman said.
The festival’s third event will be a Bach Chamber Concert at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4, at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Community.
The concert will include Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048, Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C major, BWV 1066 and the Harpsichord Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052.
Buchman will be the concerto soloist.
Dr. Pat Miles, music director of the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, will be the conductor of the string orchestra.
Tickets are $20 and include a reception after the concert.
People may purchase tickets in advance at Embellishments and The Book Cellear, both in downtown Waupaca, as well as at the door.
Reynolds said free tickets will be given to piano students through their piano instructors.
“We’re always trying to get more kids to our events,” she said.
Bach wrote music for all levels.
“As a pianist, especially if you’re seriously trained, you have to learn Bach,” said Buchman. “He’s the foundation for everything else.”
His writing was unique, she said.
“The thing I love about music in general is it forces you to get deeper to play well, perform well and understand well what you learn. That is what Bach is about – digging deeper,” she said.
Buchman is excited about the festival.
“It’ll be neat, because everyone will feel like they’re in the round with the music,” she said of the Oct. 4 concert. “I think it’s very amazing that a town this size has an event like this. It’s very unique and very special.”
Buchman likes the fact that the event is all about Bach but is not one-dimensional or occurring in one place.
“Let’s take this and do more,” she said, saying Trinity and St. Mary Magdalene both have “glorious” pianos.
On Monday, Oct. 5, Winchester Academy will conclude the Bach Festival when it presents Lawrence University’s Samantha George at 6:30 p.m., at the Waupaca Area Public Library.
She will discuss the history of the antique violin and demonstrate its qualities versus modern instruments.
Those who attend all four Bach events will be eligible to win a prize.
“People were really into the Bach Festival the last time and said, ‘You should encourage people to go to every event.’” Reynolds said. “So when you go to the Trinity event, pick up your Bach Passport. If you go to all four events and get it stamped at each and turn it in at the Winchester event, you’ll be eligible for a prize.”