Kathleen Otterson, Artistic Director

Kathleen Otterson’s lifelong interest in Johann Sebastian Bach took root in high school
when her flute teacher set her the task of learning the B minor Flute Sonata, and
continued through her undergraduate years as a flute major at UW-Madison. IN
graduate school, under the baton of UW choral director Robert Fountain – who
programmed a Bach motet every calendar year – and the tutelage of voice professor
Ilona Kombrink, the interest in Bach gradually became serious study.
Singing as alto soloist in Bach’s choral works has been a great joy of Kathleen’s
professional singing life: favorites include the Magnificat in D Major, St. John Passion,
the Mass in B minor and the Weinachtsoratorium.

As Music Director at Christ Presbyterian Church, Kathleen has led the Chancel Choir,
Quartet, and orchestra in several of Bach’s cantatas, including Ein feste Burg ist unser
Gott for the 500th anniversary celebration of the German Reformation in 2017; and
excerpts from the St. John Passion in 2013.

Kathleen Otterson is a career teacher: having taught instrumental music in Madison and
Milwaukee; and since 1995, voice lessons to students of all ages in her home studio.
She served for six years on the voice faculty at UW-Oshkosh and retired in 2022 from
Edgewood College after 20 years as vocal instructor and choral director. Kathleen
founded and directs the Artemis Ensemble – an adult treble choir; and sings with the
Isthmus Vocal Ensemble. In 2023, She is honored to have recently received the 2023
Madison Youth Choirs “Carrel Pray Music Educator” award, given annually to an
individual who has made a difference through their teaching.
Previous organizational experience includes state and regional leadership in the
National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS); the Board of Directors of the
Madison Youth Choirs, and she is currently president of the Isthmus Vocal Ensemble

After 30 years at Christ Presbyterian Church, Kathleen will begin in September 2023 as
choir director at Midvale Community Lutheran Church. This change affords her time and
energy to grow her voice studio and lead BATC!

Kathleen adds: “Being chosen to succeed the late Marika Fischer Hoyt – a friend and
musical collaborator – as Artistic Director of “Bach Around the Clock” is a great honor.
I look forward to working with the BATC Board on this wonderful addition to Madison’s
musical calendar.

Announcing BATC’s 2023-24 Board of Directors & Artistic Director

SAVE THE DATES for BATC 2024: March 6-10

At the Bach Around The Clock annual meeting on June 18, 2023, the board welcomed our incoming artistic director, Kathleen Otterson. Kathy is a professional vocalist, choral director, and music educator. She brings a lifelong interest in the music of J.S. Bach and great depth of experience through her work at Madison’s Christ Presbyterian Church, Edgewood College, and many other organizations. Kathy adds: “Being chosen to succeed the late Marika Fischer Hoyt – a friend and musical collaborator – as Artistic Director of  Bach Around The Clock is a great honor. I look forward to working with the BATC Board on this wonderful festival.”

The board also elected directors and officers for 2023-24.  Joining the board of directors this year is Sean Kleve, a Madison-based percussionist, composer, conductor, and harpsichordist and a long-time performer of Bach on modern and non-traditional instruments.

Our 2023-2024 Board of Directors

Betty Cohen, President
Ken Stancer, Vice President
Martha Florey, Secretary
Janet Murphy, Treasurer
Theresa Kelley
Sean Kleve
Steve Kurr
Rich Samuels
Jaret Schroeder

Marika Fischer Hoyt

Marika Fischer Hoyt, founder and artistic director of Bach Around The Clock, passed away on February 22, 2023.

Marika’s vision for Bach Around The Clock was “to provide performers and listeners the opportunity to immerse themselves in the joy that is woven into the music of J.S. Bach, and to make this experience as widely available as possible.”  She saw the BATC 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.”

The Bach Around The Clock board of directors sends our sincere sympathy to Marika’s family. We will honor Marika’s vision as we present the 7th Annual Bach Around The Clock festival on March 8-12.

Betty, Ken, Martha, Janet, Rich, Terry, Jaret, Steve and Melanie

Who’s performing at BATC and why?

Bach Around The Clock is unique community event! Amateur and professional musicians of all ages perform pieces that they choose themselves.

Why? Because they love the music and it means something special to them.

Meet some BATC 2023 performers! Would you like to perform? Click here!

  • Who: Shad Wenzlaff, piano teacher, and his youth and adult pupils
  • What: BWV 924/Prelude in C Major WTC Book 1; Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook / BWV 126; BWV Anh. 116; BWV Appendix 122; BWV 822; BWV Anh. 131; BWV 822; Preludes BWV 924, 927, 936; Invention in D BWV 774; Sinfonia No. 15 in b BWV 801; Prelude in D BWV 936
  • Why: “Bach is musical perfection. I enjoy the constant sense of discovery with Bach repertoire.”
  • Who: Kieran Foltz, age 10, cello
  • What: “Musette from English Suite III in G Minor” BWV 808, and “March in G” “Finale, Kortte lebe, Kortte bluhe” from BMW 207, “Vereinigte Zwietracht der wechselnden Saiten.” (Both from Suzuki Cello Book 2)
  • Why: “I really enjoy playing Bach pieces like these two because they have so much life to them! There are so many things to think about while playing, like volume and speed and tone and it makes the two songs interesting and maybe different every time I play them!”
  • Who: Mani Inthachith, high school student, piano
  • What: Bach 2 part invention in D minor BWV 775 and Bach 2 part invention in A minor BWV 784
  • Why: “As a younger performer who has only played through limited Bach repertoire, these inventions have been two of my favorite pieces of Bach to work through. There are a variety of of technical aspects of both and they differ from one another. I think that these are great examples of well constructed shorter Bach repertoire and I would enjoy to be able to play them in front of an audience.”

BATC Announces 2023 Guest Artists

Plans are underway for the 7th Annual Bach Around The Clock Festival, taking place in Madison, Wisconsin on March 8-12. BATC 2023 will include our traditional in-person marathon of amateur and professional performers on Saturday, March 11 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, plus our popular virtual festival of pre-recordings by musicians of all ages at home or in their studios. We are delighted to announce our 2023 guest artists!


Wolfgang Rübsam, world-renowned organist specializing in the organ music of J.S. Bach, will present a recital on Friday evening, March 10 at 7:30pm at Luther Memorial Church, 1021 University Ave, Madison. This event is co-sponsored by the Association of Church Musicians, Madison Chapter; the Luther Memorial Church; and Bach Around The Clock.


Sean Kleve, percussionist, harpsichordist and early music specialist, will present Bach on Marimba: How Historical Performance Practice and Period Instruments can Influence Modern Interpretation, including a lecture/demo/performance on Thursday evening March 9 at 7:30pm in the Collins Recital Hall and a master class on Friday, March 10 at 1:15pm at the UW School of Music. Sean’s events are presented by BATC in partnership with University of Wisconsin – Madison, Mead Witter School of Music.



Pianist Lawrence Quinnett, returns to Bach Around The Clock for his third appearance. For 2023, Dr. Quinnett will perform Bach’s Overture in French Style in B minor and the Italian Concerto in F. His performances will be part of the in-person festival at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Madison on Saturday, March 11. He will also perform these pieces on Friday, March 10 at First Unitarian Society’s Noon Musicale.




BATC Board of Directors and Officers for 2022-23

Board members and officers for the 2022-23 fiscal year are (from left to right, top to bottom):

Betty Cohen (President), Janet Murphy (Treasurer), Rich Samuels,
Melanie de Jesus, Steve Kurr, Theresa Kelley,
Ken Stancer (Vice-President), Jaret Schroeder, Martha Florey (Secretary)



Betty Cohen, President, is an amateur recorder player and member of three Madison-based early music ensembles: The Neighborly Consort, Regent Recorders, and Winds of Southern Wisconsin. Now retired, her career included management positions in public health and academic librarianship.

Ken Stancer, Vice-President, is Music Director and Organist at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Madison. He teaches piano at the Monroe Street Arts Center, and also teaches private organ and recorder. Ken recently retired from elementary classroom music teaching after 33 years.

Martha Florey, Secretary, is an amateur musician playing saxophone in the Madison Municipal Band, UW Summer Band, Sun Prairie Band, MaTC Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Ahead, and the Third Lake Saxophones Quartet. Now retired, Martha trained as a lawyer, and was employed as a WisDOT budget analyst and traffic safety data specialist.

Janet Murphy, Treasurer, has worked in music education, arts administration, and concert promotion. She enjoys playing half a dozen diverse instruments.

Melanie de Jesus is a career teaching artist of viola and violin. In addition to maintaining a private studio, she serves the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras as viola section coach, chamber music coach, and workshop teacher since 2011, and is currently the director of the Madison Conservatory.

Theresa Kelley is Professor Emerita of English at UW-Madison. She sings classical music, focusing on early music, in particular the baroque.  She also plays Renaissance music on the lute.

Steve Kurr is Music Director at Middleton High School, teaching the three school orchestras, music history courses, and serving as the Instructional Leader for the Fine Arts Department.

Rich Samuels is a host of classical music programming on Madison’s radio station,WORT, and does audio recording of many musical ensemble performances in Madison. Now retired, Renaissance and Reformation were his academic interests, and television journalism was his profession.

Jaret Schroeder, while currently employed in the sciences, is also an organist and a church musician and member of the Association of Church Musicians.

Marika Fischer Hoyt, Artistic Director and founder of Bach Around The Clock, is currently on leave of absence. Marika’s vision continues to guide and inspire us as we plan for the 7th annual BATC festival, March 9-12.


Announcing a Bach masterclass for pianists

Lawrence Quinnett, concert pianist and Assistant Professor of Piano and Music Theory at Livingstone College, will present a

Bach masterclass for pianists on Thursday, March 17 from 4-6pm at St Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 1833 Regent Street, Madison.

Now accepting registration from advanced pianists.  Four participants will be selected to work with Dr Quinnett.

Submit your application and recording to Bach Around The Clock by March 9.

  • Application form is available here
  • Click here for instructions for submitting recording.

Contact BATC with questions or comments.

Do we really need period instruments to play Bach?

Join us for this special discussion/performance by Kangwon Kim and Tami Morse
Wednesday, March 16th from 6-7:30PM at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 1833 Regent St, Madison, WI
and on demand starting March 20th

“What did Bach hear when his pieces were performed at his churches in the 17th and 18th centuries?  What would Bach say if he hears his music performed by modern orchestras in the 21st century?  Of course, we will never know.  However, we can study history to find out what Bach heard in his time and strive to recreate the style and sound.

In my presentation, I will show my baroque violin and historical bows and play some examples on them.  I will compare their sound to the more familiar sound of my modern violin and bow.  I will play Bach on both instruments and talk about the differences and similarities and what we could focus on when we play baroque music.  My colleague, Tami Morse will talk about the harpsichord and play examples of what Bach heard in his time on the keyboard instruments.

Many people devote their lives to studying Bach’s music and philosophy completely and find it impossible to achieve the goal.  As composer Max Reger wrote, Bach’s music is considered the “beginning and end of all music.”  There are always new dimensions and depths to discover in Bach’s music.  I invite you to start this journey of getting to know Bach’s music by thinking about the sound of period instruments and historically informed style playing.  It is not the instrument that matters, it is how we hear the music and how we respond to Bach’s magnificent musical writing.”


Announcing the BATC 2022 Interim Artistic Director

BATC founder and artistic director, Marika Fischer Hoyt, will be on sabbatical for the 2021-22 season.We wish Marika a bon voyage as she travels to Zurich with her husband. She will return to Bach Around The Clock for the 2022-23 season.

The Board of Directors is delighted to announce that Melanie de Jesus will serve as Interim Artistic Director during Marika’s absence. Melanie will provide leadership and oversee the implementation of the BATC 2022 festival. Melanie served on the BATC Board of Directors in 2020-21 and helped bring several exciting innovations to the 2021 Virtual Festival, including the Virtual Master Class, the Middleton High School student performances, and an instructional video on how to record your performance. Melanie is director of the Madison Conservatory and a viola section coach for WYSO. Read more about Melanie’s background here.

Position Open for Interim Artistic Director

Bach Around The Clock’s Artistic Director, Marika Fischer Hoyt, will be on sabbatical for the 2021-22 season.The Board of Directors is opening a search process for an Interim Artistic Director to provide leadership and oversee the implementation of the BATC 2022 festival.

Position Summary

The Artistic Director serves as the artistic head and public face of the annual Festival, and is responsible for ensuring community engagement and artistic excellence, and providing overall directional vision and artistic leadership. The Artistic Director works closely with the Board of Directors throughout the year, to ensure the artistic quality and smooth execution of all Festival events, and to assist with the Festival’s ongoing planning.

The position is part-time, with flexible hours, averaging about 10 hours per month over 10 months, late August through May, but more intensive during January-March. The Artistic Director is paid an honorarium of $2000.

A detailed job description is available here

For more information, please contact Betty Cohen.