Bach’s ‘Christmas Oratorio’

A 40-year holiday tradition will return to Wichita when the Singing Quaker Alumni Choir presents J.S. Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Metropolitan Baptist Church, 525 W. Douglas.

The “Christmas Oratorio” dramatically relates the Christmas story with recitative narration by tenor Patrick Greene and moving commentary sung by soloists Beverly Hoch, Charleen Ayers, Alaina Fenton, Brian Stanghoner and Mark Bartel.

The 80-voice choir will sing devotional chorales as a backdrop; an orchestra made up of players from the Wichita Symphony and the Friends University Orchestra will play colorful interludes and accompaniment. The performance will be sung in English (translated from the original German). Cecil Riney will conduct.

The “Christmas Oratorio” combines six cantatas Bach wrote in Leipzig in 1734 and performed at church services between Christmas Day and Epiphany. Saturday’s concert will recall performances of the “Christmas Oratorio” presented at Friends University annually from 1950 until 1990.

Tickets are $12, $10 for students and seniors. For more information, call 316-295-5537.

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