Performance, Reflection on “St. Matthew Passion”

PosterMarch 10, 2015

On March 22, Illinois Wesleyan University will present “St. Matthew Passion: Drama, Religion, and the Baroque.” A part of Evelyn Chapel’s Religion, Music and the Humanities series and organized in conjunction with the School of Music, the event will begin at 3 p.m. in the Evelyn Chapel.

Assistant Professor of Music Adriana Ponce will provide insight on the context of St. Matthew Passion, an oratorio written by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1727 for solo voices, double choir and double orchestra.  It sets to music chapters 26 and 27 of Gospel of Matthew, which follows Jesus from Judas’ betrayal through Jesus’ crucifixion and burial. The work is widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of classical sacred music.

Following Ponce’s presentation, musical selections from Bach’s masterwork will be performed by Justin Vickers, assistant professor at Illinois State University’s College of Fine Arts, as the Evangelist; and soloists Sam Mullooly ’16 and Jennifer Schuetz, adjunct instructor in the IWU School of Music. Other performers include Cantus Novus Chorale, a semi-professional vocal chamber ensemble under the direction of Ron Kiesewetter ’89, and University Choir under the direction of Provost and Dean of Faculty Jonathan Green. Open to all Illinois Wesleyan students, the University Choir is a mixed choir that performs sacred and secular choral literature throughout the year.

Chaplain Elyse Nelson Winger will offer a theological reflection on the texts. She said the event, which is free and open to the public, is part of the series that seeks to enliven the connections between music, religion and the humanities in today’s multifaith and multicultural context through lectures, discussion and performance. 

By Tia Patsavas ’16