Singers, orchestra present Bach’s ‘jewel’

B minor Mass gets first peninsula performance


Peninsula Singers presents J.S. Bach’s masterpiece, the B minor Mass, at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 21, with chorus, orchestra, guest soloists and organ/cello continuo.


Conducted by Dewey Ehling, the concert at the Performing Arts Center, 304 E. Park Ave., Port Angeles, is the first performance on the North Olympic Peninsula of what is called the “crown jewel” of Bach’s compositions.


“Bach never got to hear a performance of this most famous of his works,” said Ehling. “It is believed that the occasion for which he prepared the Mass, the opening of a church in Dresden, did not occur until after his death in 1750. … It was not until 1859 that the entire work was performed.” 


A musical setting of the Latin Mass, the work will be sung in Latin. The audience will have a translation of the Latin text in the program.


Peninsula Singers is made up of singers from Port Angeles, Sequim, Port Townsend, Port Ludlow and Chimacum. The orchestra includes players from the Port Angeles Symphony and the Port Townsend Orchestra.


The concert is also a family affair. Yale Ph.D. candidate Esther Morgan-Ellis returns to Port Angeles as alto soloist: Her parents Deborah and Phil Morgan-Ellis play in the orchestra.


Also returning is Allison Tutton, daughter of Valerie and Dan Tutton; she studies French horn with the principal player of the Chicago Symphony.


The continuo part, a baroque style representing the chordal structure and the bass line, will be played by the group’s accompanist, Sandy Rawson, and long-time cellist Fred Thompson. Thompson’s wife, Jean, will sing in the chorus. 


Other soloists include soprano Janeanne Houston, of Pacific Lutheran University’s faculty, who previously sang Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” and Mozart’s Grand Mass in C minor with the Singers. In the other soprano role will be Sharon Annette Lancaster of Seattle. Ross Hauck, tenor from Issaquah, also joined the singers earlier for Mozart’s Mass. Glenn Guhr, baritone, teaches

voice at Shoreline Community College.


Orchestra players with solo roles include Kate Dean, violin; Anne Krabill, oboe d’amore and oboe; and Judy Johnson, flute. There will be three baroque trumpet players from Seattle in the orchestra as well.

Tickets are available at Pacific Mist Books in Sequim and Elliot’s Antique Emporium in Port Angeles.