Featured in The Kansas City Star: Bach Aria Soloists celebrates 20th anniversary with Bach, Beer and Bites at Boulevard

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Time flies when you’re playing Bach. The Bach Aria Soloists, made up of four of Kansas City’s finest musicians — violinist, founder and artistic director Elizabeth Suh Lane, keyboardist Elisa Williams Bickers, soprano Sarah Tannehill Anderson and cellist Hannah Collins — is celebrating its 20th anniversary next season.

Time flies when you’re playing Bach. The Bach Aria Soloists, made up of four of Kansas City’s finest musicians — violinist, founder and artistic director Elizabeth Suh Lane, keyboardist Elisa Williams Bickers, soprano Sarah Tannehill Anderson and cellist Hannah Collins — is celebrating its 20th anniversary next season.

The group has lined up a gala schedule that focuses on Bach, of course, but includes lots of other music. The season will kick off Sept. 8 with Bach, Beer and Bites at Boulevard Brewing Company.

Bach Aria Soloists will be joined by BAS alumni guitarist Beau Bledsoe, soprano Rebecca Lloyd and keyboardist Jan Kraybill. Pianist Roger Wilder will provide jazz interludes between the classical selections.

“It’s a celebration,” Lane said. “There will be a lot of food from Affäre German restaurant and, of course, delicious beer from Boulevard. And there will be music all evening, too. It’s very casual. There will be birthday cake.”

The very first BAS concert two decades ago was a hauskonzert or house concert in a showcase home. That show was so popular that these hauskonzerts have become an annual event. The group will present another one Oct. 20 at the Mission Hills home of Mandy and Jaswinder Singh.

“Sarah will sing some Purcell arias and Hannah and I will do a Kodály duo and Elisa will play some keyboard music by Buxtehude and Rameau,” Lane said. “We wanted to pay homage to the heritage of the Singhs, so we’re consulting composer Reena Esmail for some Indian-flavored music.”

On Dec. 14, the Holiday Concert will feature bright and festive baroque music. Special guest Kyle Stegall will join the group for a program of Bach, Mozart and Vivaldi, as well as traditional and not-so-traditional carols.

“Kyle is a tenor who’s been performing at a lot of different Bach festivals around the country and he’s going to do two incredible Bach arias,” Lane said. “They’re two of my favorites, and they’re perfect for the holiday season.”

On Feb. 22, 2020, it’s a Bach Extravaganza at Westport Presbyterian Church with Bach scholar Christoph Wolff. Bickers will have an opportunity to display her dazzling talents on the church’s gorgeous Martin Pasi organ.

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Bach scholar Christoph Wolff

“We all have such tremendous respect for Dr. Christoph Wolff,” Lane said. “This will be the third time he will comment alongside our program. They’ve always been sold out concerts because a lot of people are interested to hear about Bach the person, his life and his music with the insight that only Dr. Wolff can bring. You can ask him literally anything about Bach, and he seems to have answer.”

The season will end with “An Evening with Rodney Marsalis” at Village Presbyterian Church. Rodney is the cousin of renowned jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. To cognoscenti, Rodney is a trumpeter of equally impressive talents.

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                                                                              Rodney Marsalis 

“My friendship with Rodney goes back to our Tanglewood days as students,” Lane said. “He has his own brass ensemble in Philadelphia and they do all their own brass arrangements and they are absolutely outstanding. We’re going to utilize Village Presbyterian’s organ a lot. There’s a beautiful concerto by Bach that we’ve never done that he will perform with Elisa. I’ve spoken with Rodney, and he feels like this program will be the crème de la crème of baroque music.”

Sept. 8: Bach, Beer and Bites: Bach Aria Soloists 20th Anniversary Celebration. 5:30 p.m. at Boulevard Brewing Company, 2534 Madison Ave. $50.

Oct. 20: 20th Annual October Hauskonzert. 7 p.m. at the Singh residence.

Dec. 14: BAS Holiday Concert. 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 11 E. 40th St. $17-$35.

Feb. 22, 2020: Bach Extravaganza with Bach scholar Christoph Wolff. 7:30 p.m. at Westport Presbyterian Church. $17-$35.

April 18: BAS Presents: An Evening with Rodney Marsalis. 7:30 p.m. at Village Presbyterian Church, 6641 Mission Road, Prairie Village. $17-$35.

 

This article originally appeared in The Kansas City Star.

Erin MurphyFeatured in The Kansas City Star: Bach Aria Soloists celebrates 20th anniversary with Bach, Beer and Bites at Boulevard