T. Herbert Dimmock leads the Bach Concert Series and Orchestra.… (Handout photo )
The Bach Concert Series will welcome the new year with music written for the occasion — "Am Neujahrstag" ("For New Year's Day"), Part Four of Bach's "Christmas Oratorio." Technically, the performance will be one day late, since this series presents its free programs on the first Sunday of every month, but that's close enough.
This portion of the oratorio for soloists, chorus and orchestra offers a reflection on the biblical passage concerning the naming and circumcision of Jesus.
"The thing I think the audience will find most unique in this work is the Echo Aria," said T. Herbert Dimmock, the veteran choral conductor who launched the Bach Concert Series in 1988. "We'll have another soprano and an oboist off-stage to create the echo effect Bach intended."
The program will also include some organ music by Bach, performed by Philip Brisson with a visual twist. "The organist was basically invisible to the audience," Dimmock said. "Thanks to a grant, we bought a high-quality camera and big screen and we added video for the first time last month. Now the audience can see the organist's hands, the keys and the stops."
The Bach series, based in the Inner Harbor area since 2002, has proved remarkably resilient. "By almost any yardstick, things are going very well," Dimmock said. "We're in the black. Since our first year at the Inner Harbor, our audience has grown 46 percent. The choir has gotten a little bigger, and, artistically, I think it's growing."
The church's location near M&T Bank Stadium means some Sundays are tricky. "But most of the time, we make it work," Dimmock said. "And the church has a garage where people can park for free."
The concert is at 4 p.m. Sunday at Christ Church, 701 S. Charles St. Free admission. For more information, call 410-752-7179 or go to bachinbaltimore.org.