Welcome to Kalamazoo Choral Arts. Previously The Kalamazoo Bach Festival, this new title reflects our new mission statement for the organization, defined by our board of directors: “to create, enrich, and transform community through singing.”
This mission embodies three important values that drive our work:
a clearer identity,
openness to an expanded repertoire and diverse audiences, and
a core belief in the power of singing to bring people together.
Love Is (volume 6)
New Name and Logo Reveal!
Chris Ludwa, Conductor
Wednesday, May 24, 2023, 7:30 pm
Dalton Theater, Kalamazoo College
What could be better than a commissioned world premiere and a huge celebration to reveal all of our organizational changes that bring us hope, growth, and a stronger bond with our community? We are thrilled that composer David O. has collaboratively partnered with Joe Ossmann to compose “Blessed: Meditations on the Beatitudes” for our chorus and chamber ensemble. We will share this glorious work both in-person and live-streamed with you during our final concert of the season!
Win a Trip for 2 to Chicago!
We will no longer be checking proof of vaccination at concerts and masking is highly encouraged, but not required.
We reserve the right to make changes to our current COVID policy based on CDC recommendations and current community statistics.
WHAT IS A LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT?
A land acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous peoples as stewards of the land and the enduring relationship – historical and current – that exists between Indigenous peoples and their territories. Such statements are made routinely as a matter of protocol at public gatherings. We align with these beliefs and with Kalamazoo College's Land Acknowledgement statement. We will be including both written and verbal acknowledgements at our events. To view both the short and long statements and for more information please visit the K-College Land Acknowledgement Page HERE.
To create, enrich, and transform community through singing.
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.
We are extremely grateful to these businesses, organizations,
and individuals for their generosity and support.
Previously Programmed in 2022, Season No. 76
with the KSO
Julian Kuerti, conductor
Saturday, April 15, 2023, 7:30 pm
The Symphony is joined by the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Chorus for a bit of Mozart and the concert’s focal point: Johannes Brahms’ heartfelt Requiem to hope, courage, and the anticipation of joy. The concert opens with a movement from Beethoven’s Tenth (yes, Tenth!) Symphony created by a computer’s analysis of incomplete musical sketches. This concert is produced by the KSO. More information about tickets can be found HERE.
Beethoven No. 9 with the Kalamazoo Philharmonia
Andrew Koehler, conductor
Saturday, March 4, 2023, 7:30 pm
Dalton Theater, Kalamazoo College
Perhaps no single work has had a bigger impact on the imagination of generations of musicians than the heaven-storming Ninth Symphony of Beethoven. In his late style, boundaries no longer mattered to the composer; hence his bold decision to add singers and text to a genre that, by definition, had been purely instrumental. The Enlightenment-era text of Schiller – the beloved Ode to Joy, a paean to the universal kinship of all humankind – resonates even today, a beacon of hope among our social fractures and cycles of violence. This concert is produced by K-Phil, More information about tickets can be found HERE.
Sunday, December 4, 2022, 4 pm
Kalamazoo College, Stetson Chapel
The ultimate seasonal celebration of your favorite holiday music, a taste of Brahms, and a sparkle of our Spring World Premiere, all in beautiful Stetson Chapel and live-streamed on our YouTube Channel.
We are delighted that piano duo Pierre and Sophié van der Westhuizen will join us as our guest artists for the afternoon in celebrating this now over 50-year holiday tradition that will be sure to bring joy to the beginning of your holiday season!
Thank you to our Concert Sponsor!
Jason Max Ferdinand Singers
Saturday, November 19, 2022, 7:30 pm
First Congregational Church
Premiering in March 2021, the ensemble appeared with Decca Classics recording artists Voces8, to create a live virtual concert experience for music lovers around the world who were quarantined during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic entitled, Live from London. Since then, the group has toured both nationally and internationally. We are excited that the twenty-eight-member mixed vocal ensemble will make its Kalamazoo debut this Fall!
Fall Cabaret Fundraiser
with OutFront Kalamazoo
Friday, October 14, 2022, 7:30 pm
We are going to celebrate the joy of singing and embrace our LGBTQ+ community together! The Kalamazoo Bach Festival and OutFront Kalamazoo will present this fun community fundraising event that will feature Kalamazoo’s finest Drag Queens, a fantastic cabaret show produced by KBF including audience sing-a-longs, a set by the Nathan Moore Affair, great food, drinks, local artisan goods for sale, and well-known DJ DazzleShip to cap the night off with dancing. Come sing and dance with us!
A Look Back at 2021-2022, Season no. 75
Haydn La Creación
Featuring the Michigan premiere
of an inclusive translation in Spanish
Kalamazoo Bach Festival Chorus | Arcato Chamber Orchestra
Dr. Chris Ludwa, Music Director
Kalamazoo College, Dalton Theater
Open Virtual Dress Rehearsal: Thursday | June 9 | 7:30 pm
Live In-Person Concert: Friday:| June 10 | 7:30 pm
Angela Lowe, Soprano Edward Ferran, Tenor Carlos Monzón, Bass
Use Code BACH 75
for 50% off through June 3
Holidays with the Kalamazoo Bach Festival - 2 performances
Sunday, December 5, 2021 | 4 pm VIRTUAL ONLY| Kalamazoo College, Stetson Chapel
ALL LIVE PERFORMANCES CANCELED
LIVE-STREAM, VIRTUAL ONLY TICKETS ARE AVAIlALBLE
The ultimate seasonal celebration of your favorite holiday music, pieces from around the world, and two world premieres, all in beautiful Stetson Chapel and live-streamed on our YouTube Channel. Local favorites, special community guest artists will join us in celebrating this now over 50-year holiday tradition that will be sure to bring light to the beginning of your holiday season.
Thank you to our Concert Sponsor!
Congratulations to our 2022 Young Vocalists FINALISTS!
Join us Wednesday, February 9, at 7 pm for the final virtual recital and
announcement of Winners!
Musical Theater Finalists
Love Is (Volume 5)
Tuesday, February 22, 2022 | 7:30 pm | Kalamazoo College, Dalton Theater
We are delighted to be joined by special guests Apollo 5, the international award-winning British vocal ensemble, along with the Bach Festival Chorus, Kalamazoo Male Chorus, and Kalamazoo College Singers for the most eclectic tribute to love you’re bound to experience anywhere. This concert will be in-person and live-streamed on our YouTube Channel.
Daphnis et Chloé with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
Friday, April 1, 2022 | 7:30 pm | Miller Auditorium
Mozart’s ballet music from his opera Idomeneo opens the door to this program featuring one of the largest and most-loved ballet scores ever written, Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé. The Kalamazoo Bach Festival Chorus joins the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra in an unforgettable presentation of the complete ballet, with supertitles. The program also includes Richard Strauss’ comical tone poem Till Eulenspiegel, about the life (and death) of the trickster of the same name as recorded in German folklore of the Middle Ages.
Chanticleer - IS NOW CANCELED DUE TO COVID-19 ILLNESS
All concert tickets purchased will be processed for a full refund the week of April 4.
Tuesday, April 5, 2022 | 7:30 pm | Kalamazoo College, Dalton Theater
We could not be more excited to have the opportunity to bring Chanticleer to Kalamazoo for our 75th anniversary! Founded in San Francisco in 1978, Chanticleer is known around the world as “an orchestra of voices” for the seamless blend of its twelve male voices ranging from countertenor to bass and its original interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz, and from gospel to venturesome new music.
Haydn La Creación (The Creation) - 2 performances
Thursday, June 9 & Friday, June 10, 2022 | 7:30 pm | Kalamazoo College, Dalton Theater
We finish our anniversary season and celebrate with Haydn's classical masterpiece for soloists, chorus, and orchestra that depicts the scenic narrative of the biblical story of Creation. We present this grand work in Spanish, featuring Latinx guest soloists, and adding visual effects in the theater for a fresh new interpretation and creative take on this exceptional musical depiction of the beauty of the earth. We will present this performance two times, both in-person and on June 9, live-streamed.
Together We are Stronger
Change Gonna Come, the Music of Sam Cooke
Discover Open Doors, Community Fundraiser
Sunday | August 29 | 4 pm
Bronson Park | FREE Concert in the Park
Thank you to our concert partners!
Arts Fund of Kalamazoo County,
a program of the Arts Council of
Bill and Jeannette Maxey
The Kalamazoo Bach Festival and Open Doors of Kalamazoo have teamed up to present you with a powerful experience of artistic expression and an opportunity to support and better understand our local housing crisis. For over 50 years, Open Doors has been effectively and efficiently providing affordable homes and personal support to create long-term solutions for people in our community who need a safe place to call “home.”
Change Gonna Come is a biographical musical theatre production portraying the life and songs of soul singer Sam Cooke whose influential career was tragically shortened when he was shot at just 33 years of age. Baritone Jerome Collins, the founding member of the a capella ensemble Straight No Chaser, portraying the life and songs of Sam Cooke paired with Kalamazoo’s favorite jazz instrumentalists and backup singers led by Bach Festival’s Music Director Chris Ludwa, are sure to deliver a profound and beautiful work, Change Gonna Come, written in partnership by Chris Ludwa, and Jerome Collins.
Jerome Collins, visiting artist
Jessica Louise Coe
Gerald J. Case-Blanchard