As part of their Baroque Festival the weekend of Feb. 21-23, the instrumentalists of the Bach Collegium will give a special performance at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21.

“I can wager that (some) of these (pieces) have never been played in Fort Wayne,” artistic director Daniel Reuning said.

Many people will be familiar with traditional Baroque musicians, like J.S. Bach and Antonio Vivaldi. But what about composers with the last names of Pisendel, Kuhnau, Fasch and Heinechen? If you’ve never heard of these music writers, then stop by Zion Lutheran Church on Friday night.

The festival will have two concerts. One will have instrumental music on Friday night, and the other will be a choral concert on Sunday night.

Of special note will be the open rehearsal on Friday from 10 a.m.-noon at Zion Lutheran Church. Reuning estimated that they “will be hosting about 50 kids” including homeschoolers, students from Redeemer Classical School, and students from Canterbury School. It’s actually “open for any kid,” Reuning said; this lets the Bach Collegium help kids become more familiar with this style of music. Students will be able to handle the Baroque instruments, and see and hear the difference between modern classical instruments and those used up to 400 years ago.

Baroque music was popular from 1600-1775. While we still use violins, flutes and harpsichords today, the structure of some of those instruments has changed over time. Flutes now have keys, instead of just holes for the fingers, for example.

Studying music from the Baroque time period is actually a growing trend, Reuning said. Many of the musicians who will be playing on Friday have college degrees specifically in Baroque studies. Reuning listed several colleges — including Case University and Indiana University, Bloomington — that offer specializations in early music like this. “Its getting more and more popular — it’s catching on,” he said.

The instrumentalists at the Feb. 21 concert will include three violinists, a violist, a cellist, a double bass, flute, oboes, a bassoon and a harpsichordist. Some musicians will be doing double duty, like the flutist who will also play the recorder.

Others will be playing in concert, like the violins that will be doing the Vivaldi concerto for three violins with the accompaniment of oboes, viola, cello and double base. All musical instruments used will be either originals from the Baroque period, or faithful copies from that time.

In true Baroque style, the instrumentalists will be playing without the presence of a conductor or director. Reuning said he will get to sit out in the audience and just “enjoy the music.”

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