The Elgin Master Chorale, under the direction of Maestro Andrew Lewis, opens its 71st season on Sunday, Nov. 12, with a performance of two choral masterpieces by J.S. Bach, the "Magnifcat" and Cantata 80, "Ein Feste Burg," commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. These works stem from man's desire to connect more closely with the divine, and have proved transformational since their creation.
In addition to translating the Bible into German, Martin Luther wrote many hymns (both text and music), believing that the singing of hymns by the congregation made it an active participant in the worship service and helped to internalize the Christian message.
Luther's most popular original hymns include the Christmas hymn "Von Himmel hoch" and the Reformation hymn "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott" ("A Mighty Fortress is Our God"), which has become the battle cry of Lutherans and other Protestants. The hymn was later used by many composers, including J.S. Bach in his chorale cantata.
The Janus Ensemble will accompany Elgin Master Chorale in the concert, which will be presented in the Blizzard Theatre at the Elgin Community College Arts Center, 1700 Spartan Drive.
Opening the concert will be the Elgin Master Chorale Children's Chorus, performing pieces by Bach as well as other composers.
Tickets are $24 or $19 for students and seniors. Tickets are available online at elgin.edu or by calling the Blizzard Theatre box office at (847) 622-0300.
For more information on upcoming Elgin Master Chorale concerts, visit www.elginmasterchorale.org.
In December, the tradition continues as the Elgin Master Chorale joins in Elgin Symphony Orchestra's "Magical Holiday Concerts." It is a holiday musical extravaganza for the entire family, complete with an appearance by a very special visitor from the North Pole.
Performances will be 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way in Elgin. Tickets start at $30. For tickets, visit elginsymphony.org or call (847) 888-4000.