On September 15—International Day of Democracy—65 musicians from New York City and beyond came together for a spontaneous and free performance of Bach’s monumental Mass in B minor. All the performers donated their time in the hopes of raising money to support three causes they voted to support: the ACLU, Black Lives Matter, and Planned Parenthood. All proceeds from the performance were divided among these three organizations, and the event was supported and documented by donations of products and services from our community.
Fundamental to our collective vision was that the entire evening be free and accessible to the public. We made a conscious choice to strip away the financial constraints associated with our regular work as performing musicians. Audience members donated at the door or through a CrowdRise campaign, which distributed their contributions directly to the charity. From the Impromptu Bach CrowdRise page, donors can choose to donate to one or all of the charities chosen by the artists.
Given the anxiety and distress many of us feel about our country’s current state of affairs, we turn to music to help ease our collective emotional stress, and we chose to perform a work we trust will be restorative, powerful, and both musically and socially satisfying for all involved. Thank you for joining us as we launched the 2017–18 season in a communal and celebratory way, highlighting music’s importance in our community’s daily lives.
We are truly grateful to the Reverend Katharine G. Flexer (Rector) John Cantrell (Music Director), Richard Storm (Administrative Assistant), along with the clergy, staff, and parishioners of St. Michael’s Church for their generosity in hosting our rehearsals and tonight’s performance. saintmichaelschurch.org
Thank you to Gene Murrow and everyone at Gotham Early Music Scene (GEMS) for hosting our intermission reception and for guiding everyone into the church this evening! gemsny.org
Photographer Joanne Bouknight is fantastic at capturing performers at their best and we’re grateful to have her with us tonight commemorating this special concert. joannebouknight.com
Justin Jalea is a social justice coordinator and conductor of Inspire—a new choir in New York dedicated to promoting unity through the choral arts. He was very helpful in guiding us as we made contact with the charities we voted to support. If you are associated with a music organization that would like to connect with a social justice cause, we would highly recommend Justin. justinjalea.com
Keith and Jennifer Duarte are the proprietors of Damn Good Honey, a sweet business dedicated to helping people learn to become beekeepers in addition to growing organic vegetables, creating honey soap and other handcrafted natural products. Please support their generosity with your generosity and order something special from them! damngoodhoney.com
Peter Hellman and Susan Cohen generously supported this performance with a generous gift, and we are truly grateful! Perhaps you’re a wine lover? If so, consider checking out Peter’s latest book In Vino Duplicitas by visiting his website at peterhellman.com where you can find a variety of online sellers.
Judith Norell is the owner of Silver Moon Bakery, and she is an amazing supporter of early music and Impromptu Bach. Her love of the arts is present in her deliciously crafted breads and pastries. If you are in the neighborhood of Broadway and 105th Street, we hope you’ll stop in try one of Silver Moon’s amazing creations! silvermoonbakery.com
La Toulousaine is a much prized, local French bakery located at Amsterdam between 106th and 107th Street. A sweet, small business serving up French country goodness! They don’t have a website, but they can easily be found on Amsterdam serving up traditional French treats throughout the day. Special thanks to Nora for her generous donation of treats to thank the artists for their time and talents!
Thank you to Henry Dischert and Parkside Press for printing our program cards for tonight's performance! Always on time and beautifully printed, we have relied on Parkside for years. Thank you, Henry! parksidepress.yourinvitationplace.com