Wilkes Chorus To Perform St. Matthew Passion

The Wilkes University Chorus joins the Arcadia Chorale, the Kantorei Choir of the Choral Society of Northeast Pennsylvania, and the Arcadia Festival Orchestra to perform J. S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion during the 33rd annual Northeast Pennsylvania Bach Festival. The performance will take place on March 18 at 3 p. m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Wilkes-Barre.

The St. Matthew Passion, often considered Bach’s masterpiece, features tenor Gene Stenger as the Evangelist and baritone Timothy Lefebvre as Jesus. Additional vocal solos will be performed by Wilkes student Martina Barna, Wilkes alumnus Christopher Gallo and a number of other guest soloists and members of the Arcadia Chorale. The performance will be conducted by Steven Thomas, chair of the division of performing arts, director of choral activities and professor of music at Wilkes University and music director of Arcadia Chorale.

The Northeast Pennsylvania Bach Festival, which is presented by the Arcadia Chorale, begins on March 17 at 4 p. m. with an organ concert at First Presbyterian Church in Wilkes-Barre. That evening, at 7:30 p. m., members of the Arcadia Festival Orchestra will perform a program of chamber music in St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. The festival concludes March 18 with the performance of the St. Matthew Passion.

Admission for the chamber music and choral concerts is $15 and $12 for seniors and WVIA members. Wilkes students, faculty and staff will be admitted free with a Wilkes ID. Admission to the organ concert is free with a free-will offering being taken.

The Wilkes University Chorus is the University’s largest choral ensemble, and is open to any member of the Wilkes community, by audition.

The performance of the St. Matthew Passion is supported by a grant from Wilkes University’s Research and Scholarship Fund, which provides financial support to faculty for their work as scholars and creative practitioners, and awards grants for developing or implementing a research, scholarly, and/or creative project.