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Santa Barbara Choral Society to Sing Bach’s Epic ‘B Minor Mass’

The first concerts in the 'Masterworks at San Roque' series will be held Saturday and Sunday

The first of a series titled “Masterworks at San Roque,” the Santa Barbara Choral Society’s nearly 100 voices will perform its inaugural concert.

The Choral Society will give two performances of Johann Sebastian Bach’s greatest choral masterpiece, the B Minor Mass, at 8 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 26, and at 3 p.m. Feb. 27 at San Roque Catholic Church, 3200 Calle Cedro in Santa Barbara.

Led by artistic/music director JoAnne Wasserman, soloists include Deborah Mayhan (first soprano), Tamara Bevard (second soprano), Cynthia Jansen (alto), Jonathon Mack (tenor) and Dean Elzinga (bass) accompanied by the 26-piece Choral Society orchestra, with David Potter featured on the organ.

Potter is the music director at San Roque Catholic Church and a Choral Society accompanist.

Matching the music to the acoustics of a performance venue is a major focus for Wasserman, since it so completely alters the finished choral product. The series will showcase great choral works that lend themselves to an intimate, chapel-type acoustic, such as you would find at San Roque Catholic Church or St. Anthony’s Seminary chapel.

The perfect nature of the venue for this kind of music, of course, was brought to Wasserman’s attention by Potter, the rehearsal accompanist. Potter will also be showcased, on organ, at the upcoming Choral Society’s Faure’s Requiem performance at Hahn Hall in April.

This is the first of what is hoped to be an annual series of great masterworks to be presented at the church.

“The acoustics here are wonderful,” Wasserman said, “and the sheer beauty of the space is a perfect backdrop for the B Minor Mass.” The B Minor Mass was the final work of the composer, although it had been written over an extended period of time with sections of the work performed during a 20-year period.

General admission tickets for the concert are $25, and student tickets are $10. To reserve tickets, click here or call 805.965.6577. Tickets also may be purchased at Chaucer’s Books and at the door, but advanced purchase is recommended.

Masterworks Patron tickets at $250 include reserved seating, private reception (following the Saturday night concert on Feb. 26), complimentary beverage at intermission and valet parking.

— Barbara Burger is a publicist.

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