Let us take a step back in time and visit the Baroque era with Daniel Reuning of Fort Wayne's Bach Collegium — A Baroque Music Ensemble, the region's only early music choral and instrumental ensemble.
The time is somewhere between 1600 and 1750, and composers are developing new, groundbreaking forms of music. The arrangements were said to be of elaborate musical ornamentation with changes in musical notation, and development of new instrumental playing techniques.
Today, Reuning and his team of trained professional vocalists and instrumentalists are bringing this era back to life with original scores and period instruments.
To kick off the season, Bach Collegium will hold its opening night performance at 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1126 S. Barr St. Performing with the ensemble will be the Fort Wayne Children's Choir's Chamber Choir.
Reuning said the Bach Collegium presents Bach as Bach should be heard, with a fine mix of instruments and vocals.
“There is this wonderful wedding of voices and instruments that's the perfect blend,” he said. “They were made to complement voices and not obliterate voices.”
From the construction of bows down to the strings, early instruments physically were made differently than instruments today. All of the instruments played by musicians were made in the mid-1700s, and they are maintained and cared for dearly by their owners.
Using Baroque instruments, concerts reflect period performance practices, which typically include 30 to 50 vocal musicians and seven to 17 instrumentalists. The use of period instruments allows for a warm sound that blends with the classically trained voices.
The group takes great care to choose vibrant, resonant spaces for performances so voices and instruments can best showcase the style of the era, which is why St. Paul's church is an ideal location for opening night.
“St. Paul's is very much like the Leipzig church were Bach composed his music,” Reuning said. “It's another wedding of Baroque composition — it's a wedding of the music and the building. There's a wonderful resonance and an intimacy."
Tickets for opening night are $20 per adult, $5 per student and free for ages 12 and younger with a paying adult.
The Bach Collegium also invites everyone to join them at 2 p.m. Dec. 1 at Queen of Angels Catholic Church, 1500 W. State Blvd., for the eighth annual “Messiah” Sing-Along with Thomas Remenschneider. Holiday cookies and coffee will be served.
The nonprofit ensemble also offers a cookbook, “Masterpieces From Our Kitchen: A Taste of Bach,” for sale for $10 at most events and on its website, www.bachcollegium.org.