Bach Around The Clock celebrates the enduring musical legacy of Johann Sebastian Bach.
BATC’s goal is to provide performers and listeners the opportunity to immerse themselves in the life-giving joy that is woven into the music of J.S. Bach, and to make this experience as widely available as possible.
J.S. Bach was born on March 21, 1685. Every year, on a Saturday near his birthday, BATC presents a community festival in which amateur and professional musicians of all ages perform their own selections of Bach’s music for a live audience. Originally a one-day, 12-hour marathon of live performances, the festival evolved during the pandemic to a 10-day virtual format. The festival is free and open to all who would like to participate as performers or audience members.
Marika Fischer Hoyt, BATC’s founder and artistic director, views this festival as a “musical crossroads, where performers from many different organizations and different backgrounds can meet on common ground. Bach’s music is infinitely relevant and infinitely adaptable, and that allows us to reach our hands out in many different directions…to increase our ability to engage with and serve our community.”
Incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2017, BATC presented three successful festivals (in March of 2017, 2018, and 2019) to in-house audiences of 500-700 adults and children at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Madison, as well as live-stream broadcasts accessed by 400-600 listeners/viewers in Wisconsin and beyond. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused cancellation of the in-house festival; instead, a virtual festival welcomed musicians who recorded their performances and submitted them electronically. At each festival, as many as 130 amateur and professional musicians, ranging in age from 7-77+, have performed individually and in ensembles, presenting as many as 50 different vocal and instrumental works of J.S. Bach.
In 2021, a 10-day, 14-hour virtual festival was presented, attracting 83 performers who self-recorded or pre-recorded in a BATC studio. More than 2000 viewers enjoyed a wide variety of performances, including presentations by guest artists, a master class, and sing-along chorales.
Melanie de Jesus will serve as interim artistic director for the 2022 BATC festival, while Marika is on sabbatical.
Bach Around the Clock serves as fiscal sponsor for Just Bach — a free, monthly concert series at Memorial Lutheran Church, Madison, WI, celebrating the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.
The 7th annual BATC festival will take place in March 2022. Plans are underway for a hybrid of virtual and in-person performances. We hope you will join us either as a performer or an audience member!
Our 2020-2021 Board of Directors
Marika Fischer Hoyt, Artistic Director
Betty Cohen, President
Ken Stancer, Vice President
Janet Murphy, Secretary
Genevieve Murtaugh, Treasurer
Melanie de Jesus
BATC is the recipient of the 2017 Early Music America outreach grant.