Victoria Bach Festival provides venue for professional concerts

June 15, 2017 at 6:51 p.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

Since 1976, a group of civic-minded and musically inclined citizens have worked tirelessly to provide the city of Victoria and the Crossroads area access to the annual Victoria Bach Festival. This event has grown into a world-class festival which would be difficult to find anywhere else in the USA. Artistic director Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez described it best in his program notes: "The warmth, openness and true love for what goes on during this week of music is inspirational."

I strongly agree with him about the week of music I experienced recently. There was a certain "je ne sais quoi" to the festival this year. Not only were the cantatas of J.S. Bach featured at free, noon concerts, but also the orchestral geniuses of Aaron Copeland, Joan Towers, Leonard Bernstein, Silvestre Revueltas, Carlos Chavez and Deitrich Buxtehude were performed in the evenings at a nominal cost.

Saturday evening's performance, June 10, marked the United States orchestral debut of Latin American composer Juan Pable Contreras' Mariachitlan. What a coup for Victoria and The Bach Festival Association. Contreras was as amazing as his music.

I offer my congratulations to President Mary Ann Sawyers and the directorial board, Emerging Artist coordinator Faith Debow, festival board members, advisory board members, contributors, staff, production personnel and volunteers for their heroic efforts to entertain and at the same time educate, enlighten and inspire everyone who attended.

Words would fail me if I were to begin to express my gratitude to Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez and the myriad of vocal artists and accomplished musicians who performed during the week. I can only say, "Kudos! Bravo! You brought world-class performances to Victoria."

Congratulations is also due to the numerous patrons who attended the festival performances. Your attendance is evidence that The Victoria Bach Festival provides the city and the Crossroads area a venue for professional concerts. Remember that the best advertising is by word of mouth! Let's all make plans to attend next year and extend invitations to family members, friends and neighbors to attend as well. There should be no empty seats in the venues!

I encourage everyone to support the performing arts. Your generous donations to The Victoria Bach Festival Association will assist in producing many more festivals in the years to come.

Morris D. Williams, Edna



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