Durango will enjoy an annual Bach Festival for the second time this year. The festival will showcase the music of J.S. Bach; dozens of musicians will perform eight concerts over seven days, from Sunday to March 21.
A week of Bach would be a special treat for any place, but it's particularly impressive for a town the size of Durango.
The idea was that of C. Scott Hagler, minister of music at St. Mark's Episcopal Church on East Third Avenue. The church will be the site of the performances, both in the church sanctuary and in the parish hall.
Hagler has been a Bach aficionado since his teens, he said Monday.
"It's what kept me in music when my peers were out cruising the A&W," he said.
As a student of piano and organ, Hagler was particularly taken then by Walter (later Wendy) Carlos, who played Bach's music on a Moog synthesizer.
Hagler started the festival last spring because "I just felt a pent-up need. I have these ideas, and if they hold out, I do it."
He couldn't think of many lessons learned from last year. This year's festival will be much the same except it will open with a concert by area music students from young children through college students. The participants will be recommended by their music teachers.
Bach's Lunch, a series of noon recitals with lunch afterward, will take place all week. Local music experts will lecture.
The festival's finale, Bach's Birthday Bash, will commemorate the 323rd anniversary of Bach's birth: It will take place March 21 with a gala dessert reception after.
Festival passes, including all recitals, lunches and the final concert are available this year.
Hagler said the new Fort Lewis College Chamber Orchestra, directed by Kasia Sokol and James Bader, will perform a movement from one of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos during the Sunday student recital.
"You'll hear a couple of choirs during the week, and on Friday's Bach Lunch you'll hear a lute and mandolin ensemble," he said.