Impromptu Bach

Music for a Cause

Johann Sebastian Bach

Mass in B minor, BWV 232

Text and translation

Friday, September 15, 2017

7pm Performance at St. Michael’s Church

225 W 99th St, New York, NY 10025
Entrance on Amsterdam Avenue at 100th St.

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.

Collaborating Organizers



  • Lisa Bielawa
  • Katharine Dain
  • Meg Dudley
  • Amy Goldin
  • Jolle Greenleaf
  • Abigail Haynes Lennox
  • Linda Lee Jones
  • Sherezade Panthaki
  • Melanie Russell
  • Elena Williamson


  • Donna Breitzer
  • Luthien Brackett
  • Hai-Ting Chinn
  • Doug Dodson
  • Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek
  • Timothy Parsons
  • Elisa Sutherland


  • Andrew Fuchs
  • Matthew Hensrud
  • Nate Hodgson
  • Donald Meineke
  • Scott Mello
  • Marc Molomot
  • Gene Stenger


  • Joseph Beutel
  • Jesse Blumberg
  • Joe Chappel
  • Robert Hansen
  • Thomas McCargar
  • Andrew Padgett


  • Luke Balslov
  • Robinson Pyle, principal
  • Greg Gettel


  • Christine Chen


  • Todd Williams


  • David Dickey
  • Priscilla Herreid, principal
  • Fiona Last


  • Lareine Han
  • David Ross, principal


  • Ben Matus
  • Andrew Schwartz, principal


  • Dongmyung Ahn
  • Jeffrey Girton
  • Toma Iliev
  • Peter Kupfer
  • Francis Liu
  • Augusta McKay Lodge
  • Johanna Novom
  • Adriane Post, principal violin II
  • Theresa Salomon
  • Edson Scheid
  • Caroline Shaw
  • Beth Wenstrom, leader
  • Alana Youssefian
  • Jude Ziliak


  • Kyle Miller, principal
  • Maureen Murchie
  • Alissa Smith
  • Jessica Troy


  • Shirley Hunt
  • Ezra Seltzer, principal
  • Matt Zucker


  • Wen Yang

Organ and Conductor

  • Jeffrey Grossman

Thank you