History of Bach Parley
The French word “parley” means discussion; a key element of each concert is the commentary by our Music Director which provides historical context for the composers and compositions and offers suggestions about what to listen for in the music. These conversational remarks create a relaxed concert atmosphere and connect the audience with the performers.
On June 4, 2017, the season finale concert marked the debut of the Bach Parley Chamber Singers, a 12-voice vocal ensemble. Because the Bach Parley started out as primarily a vocal group in 1981, it has been a goal of our Long-Range Plan to reintroduce repertoire for chorus and instruments together, and the Chamber Singers will return on June 3, 2018.
Tallahassee Bach Parley concerts feature local professional musicians and are free and open to the public, with a $10 suggested donation. This allows community members of all income levels to attend. In addition, we encourage membership contributions at multiple levels from concertgoers who are interested in further supporting the Bach Parley.
The Bach Parley String Academy, our non-profit music school, opened in fall 2015. The mission of the Bach Parley String Academy is to cultivate in Tallahassee’s youth an appreciation for and achievement in music, nurture positive character development, and bridge cultural divisions through the common language of music. Through our partnership with St. John’s Episcopal Church, we teach violin, viola, and cello lessons in their classrooms during weekdays. By providing access to high quality music instruction in a central downtown location, and by raising funds and offering need-based scholarships, we can strengthen existing public school and community string programs throughout the Big Bend region.
The Bach Parley's Kids Go for B’roque project is a competition and recital featuring talented young musicians playing pieces from the Baroque era. With the permission of his or her music teacher, any child age 18 or younger may audition playing on strings (violin, viola, cello, bass), guitar, wind instruments, or piano; vocalists and small chamber ensembles are also welcome to participate. All students audition for and receive written feedback from three judges who are professional musicians and educators. The highest scoring students perform at the final performance for the public. The dress rehearsal allows them to connect with their peers and experience the preparation required for a professional concert. This educational program began in 1997, was revived in 2011 after a hiatus, and is now an annual event of the Tallahassee Bach Parley.