mission of the Bach Festival Society is to bring
excellent vocal, choral and instrumental music to the
widest possible audience in southwest Michigan
through performances of major works by the Bach Festival
Chorus and orchestra, the sponsorship of renowned vocal
artists and choral groups and educational outreach activities.
The Bach Society focuses on the music of J. S. Bach
and composers from the Renaissance to the contemporary
of Kalamazoo’s oldest musical organizations, the
Bach Festival Society was founded in 1946 by Henry Overley,
Professor of Music at Kalamazoo College, who wanted
to bring “town and gown” together to experience
the joy of making music and to create something sublime
— in particular, to recreate the choral and instrumental
music of J. S. Bach and his contemporaries.
included visiting artists, local professional musicians,
college and high school students, and many amateur performers.
A performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion inaugurated
the Festival in March 1947. In its early years, the
season consisted of a Christmas concert and a spring
festival week, featuring many distinguished guest artists.
Since 1947, the Festival has grown and expanded,
due to the active involvement of the community: now
year-long, it includes “Bach-to-School”
educational programs, Bach Legacy Lectures, a “Bach-Around-the-Block”
organ crawl, a Young Artist Competition and Concert,
a High School Choral Festival, master classes for young
singers, and performances with the Kalamazoo Symphony,
as well as our traditional Christmas concert and gala
Festival’s repertoire has expanded to include
not only the music by Bach and his contemporaries, but
also nineteenth-and twentieth-century composers. The
Festival concludes its season each year with the performance
of a major symphonic choral work of Bach or another
master composer (Mendelssohn’s Elijah in 1998,
Mozart’s Requiem in 1999 and 2006, Haydn’s Lord Nelson
Mass in 2000, Brahms’ German Requiem in 2002,
Bach’s B Minor Mass in 2003 and 2007, Mozart’s Solemn
Vespers in 2004, Handel’s Messiah, Parts II
and III in 2005
and Rachmaninoff's Vespers in 2008).
mission is to bring together people of all ages and
diverse backgrounds and provide them with an opportunity
to experience the joy of making music by performing
some of the best works in the choral repertoire.
James Turner, Bach Festival Music Director and Conductor, is also Professor of Music and Director of Vocal and Choral Activities at Kalamazoo College where he conducts the College Singers and the select Chamber Singers.
Since becoming the Music Director of the Kalamazoo Bach Festival in 1996, Professor Turner has led the Festival Chorus and Orchestra in such choral masterworks as Mendelssohnís Elijah, Mozartís Requiem, Mass in C minor, and Vesperae solennes de Confessore, Bernsteinís Chichester Psalms, Vivaldiís Gloria, Haydnís Lord Nelson Mass, Handelís Messiah, Rachmaninoffís Vespers, and J.S. Bachís Magnificat, Christmas Oratorio, B Minor Mass, and St. John Passion.
A frequent collaborator with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Professor Turner prepared the Bach Festival Chorus, Kalamazoo College Singers and Community Chorus for their appearances with the KSO in Shostakovichís Song of the Forest, Carl Orffís Carmina Burana, Brahmsí German Requiem, and Mendelssohnís Lobgesang. In addition, Professor Turner prepared the Bach Festival Chorus for its performance with the KSO of the North American premiere of Ugis Praulinsí Te Deum Laudamus.
Professor Turner earned his MM from Louisiana State University and his BA from Mars Hill College in North Carolina.
Lam-Rodrigues was appointed Director of the Bach Festival
of Kalamazoo in December of 2008. Ms. Lam-Rodrigues
is responsible for managing programming and the implementation
of an annual Festival and BachFest Concert Series, planning
and program development for education and outreach initiatives,
and the day-to-day management of the organization. With
more than 15 years of experience in arts administration,
she is a seasoned administrator with broad experience
in marketing, development, finance, operations, and
Prior to joining the Bach Festival, Ms. Lam-Rodrigues
served as the Director of Marketing and Communications
for the award-winning chamber music presenter Fontana
Chamber Arts (Kalamazoo, MI). In her role, she expanded
the organization's marketing efforts and enhanced brand
development initiatives. During her tenure at Fontana,
Ms. Lam-Rodrigues also held the role of Business Manager,
overseeing the organization's finances and day-to-day
Ms. Lam-Rodrigues also previously served as the Associate
Director of Development of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra,
where she successfully oversaw fundraising efforts for
individual giving. In addition, she has worked in Education
and Outreach for the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago,
Illinois, and in Operations as stage manager for the
Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra in Indiana.
A native of Virginia, Ms. Lam-Rodrigues moved to the
Midwest to pursue her undergraduate studies at the University
of Evansville. At the University she studied piano,
harpsichord and organ, gaining experience as a soloist,
collaborative pianist, and teacher. In addition to her
keyboard studies, her instrumental background includes
flute, trombone, and euphonium. Ms. Lam-Rodrigues holds
a B.S. in Music Management from the University of Evansville
and completed her MBA in Marketing from Michigan State
University in 2004.
Linda Van Dis has been affiliated with the Bach Festival since 1997. She sang alto in the Festival Chorus before leaving the risers for the festival office in 1999 where she has been since. Linda oversees publicity and marketing, manages the box office, ticket sales, donations and gifts, and helps coordinate the Festivalís many educational outreach events. She is the staff liaison to the Festival Chorus and assists with grant writing and season development.
Linda received her bachelor's degree from Kalamazoo College and earned a master's degree in art history from Michigan State University.
Lawrence J. Montei, President
Fred Sang, Vice President
Godfrey Grant, Secretary
Nijole Botyrius, Treasurer
- Mary Beth Birch
- Gordon Bolar
- Nijole Botyrius
- Mark Craig
- Michael Dombos
- Gregory Fitzgerald
- Victor Garcia
- Godfrey Grant
- Judith Halseth
- Jane Hoogerheide
- Cindy Hunter
- Mary Licavoli
- Larry Montei
- John Rohs
- Fred Sang
- David Scarrow
- Irene Trivers
- Claudia Willsea