The Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Should Not Be Missed

April 1, 2016

Shenandoah Valley Bach FestivalPresented by Eastern Mennonite University, the annual Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival in Harrisonburg, VA, is coming up, and you don’t want to miss it! For an entire week, the music of legendary composer Johann Sebastian Bach is celebrated through concerts of varying types and sizes, from musicians and vocalists all over the country. This year’s festival will take place from June 12-19, and if you have an appreciation for Baroque-era music – or music in general – then keep reading, because this is the festival for you!

The Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival

Starting on Sunday, June 12, the festival will open with several of Bach’s Sunday cantatas in the Lehman Auditorium, setting the tone for the remainder of the week. According to the festival’s website, this concert will feature both a chamber orchestra and chamber choir, as well as four vocalists. The performance will transport you to Bach’s time period while you enjoy the composer’s work. The Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival continues throughout the week, featuring excellent music performances every day. Monday to Saturday, you can head to First Presbyterian Church and for the Noon Chamber Music series, held each day at noon. First Presbyterian Church is located at 17 Court Square in downtown Harrisonburg. The festival’s final three days are packed with performances, starting Friday evening back at the Lehman Auditorium. “An Early Music Concert: The Countertenor Voice and the Recorder” will start at 7:30 p.m. Scheduled to perform are several countertenor vocalists and recorder players, including local countertenor Nathan Medley. Also performing during the concert is the Harrisonburg High School Choir as well as the Festival Orchestra. On Saturday, June 18, the festival continues with the “Rural Roots” performance, where pieces like “Appalachian Spring” and “Estancia” will be performed. Sunday is the final day of the EMU Bach Festival, and a Leizpig Service will be held at 10 a.m., followed by a Father’s Day Brunch at noon. The Leizpig Service will feature music written by Bach during his 27 years of service to several churches in the city Leizpig, Germany. Among the songs performed will be Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust, BWV 170, a song that Bach wrote during his time as cantor at Leizpig’s St. Thomas Church.

Baroque Workshop

Students of the Baroque period of music will want to attend the Baroque Workshop! The workshop will feature presentations on the harpischord, viola, Baroque dance, and much more. The workshop runs from June 12-18. It’s a great opportunity for musicians to sharpen their skills while learning from the highly talented instructors.

Tickets and More Information

Tickets for the 2016 Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival can be purchased at the EMU box office or online through the school’s website. Individual and multi-concert tickets are available, as well as group discounts. Those planning to attend the Father’s Day Brunch will need to make reservations no later than June 14,  in addition to purchasing their tickets. Make sure you don’t miss this year’s festival! For all information about the festival, including sponsors, photos and much more, head to

By The Side of The Road Inn and Cottages

Let By the Side of the The Road Inn and Cottages take care of your lodging while you’re in town for the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. Located in downtown Harrisonburg, our excellent accommodations and convenient location can’t be beat. Contact us about June reservations today – we’d love to host you. And for all the best activities, dining and attractions in and around Harrisonburg, make sure you download our free vacation guide!

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