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 Madison, Wisconsin, 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, one-day marathon of live performances, the festival evolved during the pandemic to a virtual format, and now to a multi-day festival of in-person and virtual performances. 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, created 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.
The 2022 festival was a hybrid of in-person and virtual events, with 171 performers in 55 different performances, over a 5-day period. A total of 12 hours of performance time included virtual submissions and in-person events. Featured guest artists included Lawrence Quinnett performing Bach’s French Suites, and a lecture/demo on historic performance techniques by Kangwon Kim, baroque violin and Tami More, harpsichord.
The 2023 festival took place from March 8-12. Click here for more information about the 2023 guest artists.
The 7th annual BATC festival took place on March 8-12, 2023. Thank you to the performers, audience members and donors who contributed to its success!
Our 2022-2023 Board of Directors
Betty Cohen, President
Ken Stancer, Vice President
Martha Florey, Secretary
Janet Murphy, Treasurer
Melanie de Jesus (on leave)
BATC was a recipient of a 2017 Early Music America outreach grant.