UNE staff and students in Bach festival

Published 02 May 2018

The 9th New England Bach Festival (10-13 May) features a range of UNE staff, students and graduates. This is the seventh festival for which lecturer in creative arts education Benjamin Thorn has been artistic director. He also appears as a composer with the world premiere of Fracas written for the Lotti Trio, which includes music lecturer Alana Blackburn, in the opening concert at 7:30pm in the Uniting Church, which is the main venue for the festival, on 10 May. The rest of the program is from the baroque period.

Benjamin and Alana will also be supporting music PhD candidate Kylie Constantine when she presents a lecture/recital on the J-B Stuck cantata Philomèle, at 12:30pm on 11 May. This is linked to her research on musical representations of Philomèle across the ages.

Maths lecturer Lena Schmalz will perform Bach’s great Passacaglia and Fugue in C- Minor in the Armidale Organ Crawl, 2:30pm 12 May starting in the Catholic Cathedral. The Organ Crawl is like a pub crawl but with an short organ recital in each of four churches, and Armidale is one of the few places in the world where this can be done with an easy walk between churches. Other performers in the Organ Crawl are Warwick Dunham and Tim Godden.

Senior Learning Designer Sarah Thorneycroft is performing in a Tribute Concert to the great 70s and 80s fusion group Sky, at 7:30pm on 12 May, along with former music lecturer Steve Thorneycroft and friends. Steve is joined by Stephen Tafra as the duo EphenStephen at 12:30 pm earlier that day, in a concert that includes the canons from their transcription of the Goldberg Variations.

Education student Camilla Tafra performs a solo cello recital at 12:30pm on 13 May with music by Gabrielle, Boccherini and Bach.

Music graduate Diana Weston will join up with fabulous Israeli keyboard player Michael Tsalka in Bach and Sons in which they play harpsichords, piano and organ at 7:30pm on 11 May.

Artistic Director Benjamin Thorn believes he has put together a broad ranging program  that includes concerts that should appeal to a range of audiences. Other concerts in the festival include the Armidale Symphony Orchestra, 2pm 13 May in the Catholic Cathedral, and a free performance of the Peasant Cantata in Hanna’s Arcade, and the Festival Evensong 5pm 13 May, in the Anglican featuring Cantata 44 which was composed by Bach for that Sunday in the church year. Tickets are available on www.trybooking.com (search for nebf), from Regional Australia Bank branches and at the door.