How we engage the Dayton community

We give singers throughout the Dayton region the opportunity to perform at a professional level. We shape our community by inspiring upcoming generations with the rich tradition of choral performance.

We develop collaborative programming that supports regional arts groups, and we bridge cultural divides by reaching out to diverse segments of our community.

Our collaborations have been funded by the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District (MCACD), the Ohio Arts Council (OAC), the Miriam Rosenthal Foundation for the Arts, The Virginia W. Kettering Foundation, and the Monarch/Genesis and Toulmin Funds of The Dayton Foundation.

We have been collaborating with our community for more than 15 years. Read about the collaborations below:

2018-2019 – Songs of Hope and Freedom with Central State University


We broadened the cultural horizons of our community and promoted an understanding and respect for diversity through the arts.

The concert was a collaboration with the Central State University Chorus for a shared program of both traditional and modern spirituals. The project brought together two outstanding Dayton area choral groups with different traditions and musical styles to expand the musical and cultural perspectives of the singers and audiences of both organizations.

2017-2018 – Sebastian & Sons with The Human Race Theatre Company

Bach Society of Dayton presents Sebastian & Sons

We provided our audience with a unique exposure to the musical legacy of the J.S. Bach family:  Their music. Their relationships. Their joys and their dramas. 

The concert traced the evolution of music from the Baroque to the Classical periods through the eyes of the Bach family.

The music was personalized through dramatic interludes portrayed by actors from The Human Race Theatre Company.  The script for the four-scene play was written by Karen Righter and was supported technically by Dr. Samuel Dorf, Bach Society board member and University of Dayton professor.

2016-2017 – Russian Echoes with Russian Duo

Bach Society of Dayton presents Russian Echoes

We introduced the diverse and vibrant flavors of Russian music to our chorus and our audience in this concert collaboration with Russian Duo, an international project based in Ohio and born out of love for Russian traditional and classical music. 

Russian Duo is a celebration of cross-cultural creativity, exploring the range of possibilities offered by the combination of balalaika, voice and piano.  The Duo took us across the span of Russian culture with humorous pieces, pulsating dance music, rhythmic folk songs, gypsy melodies, and lyrical romances.

2015-2016 – The Music of Downton Abbey with The Human Race Theatre Company

Bach Society of Dayton presents The Music of Downton Abbey

We merged choral singing with live theatre in this concert collaboration with The Human Race Theatre Company, a professional theatre company exploring the human experience and promoting enlightenment, inclusion and understanding.

The concert featured instrumental and choral music from the post-Edwardian era portrayed in Downton Abbey, the hugely popular British period drama.  Actors from the Human Race played fictitious members of the Grantham family whose dialogue tied historical facts to the music and added educational benefits to the performance.

We also sponsored two social events in the community, one for young professionals, and the other one for our typical demographic.  The intent for both was to reach out to our community and make wonderful music available to the widest possible audience.

2015-2016 – AMERICAN MOSAIC, dayton's largest performing arts collaboration

American Mosaic

We were honored to collaborate with the Dayton Philharmonic, The Dayton Opera, Dayton Ballet, The Human Race Theater Company, Muse Machine, and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company in American Mosaic, a performance extravaganza celebrating American art and the 50th anniversary of the Miriam Rosenthal Foundation for the Arts.

For decades in Dayton, Miriam Rosenthal ensured that a variety of organizations, especially Dayton’s cultural organizations, thrived.  When Rosenthal died in 1965, the Dayton community established the Miriam Rosenthal Memorial Trust Fund in her honor.  The fund is now called the Miriam Rosenthal Foundation for the Arts.

2014-2015 – South American Accents and the Dayton Hispanic Community

Bach Society of Dayton presents South American Accents

We introduced the music of Spanish composers to our chorus and our audience, and engaged the growing Hispanic community in Southwest Ohio.  It was a concert that featured the Misa Criolla, a stunning folkloric mass from the Argentine.

Outreach for the concert included an advertising partnership with Dayton's Spanish language newspaper; work with the Welcome Dayton immigrant initiative through the City of Dayton Human Relations Council; support from Wright State University's Office of Latino Affairs; and a tutoring program for Hispanic students, who attended a dress rehearsal with their parents.

2013-2014 – CELEBRATING DANCE AND SONG with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company

Bach Society of Dayton presents Celebrating Dance and Song

We blended classical choral singing with modern African-American dance in this collaboration with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, a diverse, groundbreaking group of movement artists who have performed globally for nearly 50 years.

DCDC developed all new choreography to fit the music and the performing venue.  The dancers used the stage as well as the wide central and side aisles in the sanctuary, giving the audience a feeling of being closely involved in the performance.

Generous funding support for DCDC’s participation came from the Toulmin Fund of the Dayton Foundation and from the Ohio Artists on Tour of the Ohio Arts Council.


Bach Society of Dayton and Kettering Children's Concert Choir

We nurtured young local singers by expanding their part in Bach's St. Matthew Passion and giving them greater exposure to classical choral music. 

The St. Matthew Passion, arguably the most significant choral work in western music, requires two choruses, two orchestras, and a children’s choir.  The Kettering Children's Concert Choir sang with the us on several sections and chorales, all in German, and our Music Director John Neely attended KCC rehearsals with instruction on German pronunciation and Baroque performance practices.

We were able to perform the Passion through extraordinary financial support from the Miriam Rosenthal Foundation for the Arts and seven other foundations and funders.

2011-2012 – Joy of Singing with the CENTRAL STATE UNIVERSITY CHORUS

Bach Society of Dayton and Central State University Chorus

We embraced cultural and racial diversity through a concert collaboration with the Central State University Chorus.

The concert was performed in the home venues of both choruses, and our joint rehearsals offered the chance for singers to interact and experience different conducting styles.

The project was generously supported by the Monarch/Genesis Fund of The Dayton Foundation.


Bach Society of Dayton presents St. John Passion

We encouraged singers from Cappella, the college preparatory chorus of the Kettering Children’s Choir.  The ensemble joined our chorus, orchestra, and soloists in a performance of J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion.

The Bach Society and Cappella rehearsed jointly prior to the concert, allowing the groups to make personal connections.  German diction support was provided, and our music director John Neely offered special musical instruction.  The collaboration also featured a St. John Passion study guide for churches, choirs, and schools.

The concert was funded by the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District and the Monarch/Genesis Fund of The Dayton Foundation.

2009-2010 – FOLLOW THE MUSE

Bach Society of Dayton presents Follow the Muse

We collaborated with Muse Machine, a nationally celebrated arts education organization providing artistic and creative exposure to more than 72,000 students and their teachers each year.

Eight talented high school-age singers from the greater Dayton area performed with us.  Some students came from Muse Machine-affiliated schools and others from Cappella, the regional high school honors choir of the Kettering Children’s Choir.  Young people and school advisers from Muse Machine schools attended the performance at special ticket prices to enhance their learning and enjoyment of the music.

In addition, small ensembles of our chorus presented interactive workshops on Baroque music to senior high choral music students at Stebbins and Centerville High Schools.  Our music Director John Neely prepared a study guide focused on the repertoire for the concert, which was made available to teachers at Muse Machine’s affiliated schools.  John also acquainted high school educators with the essentials of Baroque organ music during the Muse Machine’s annual teacher/adviser training workshops.

This concert was generously supported by funding from the Ohio Arts Council and the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District.


Bach Society of Dayton and Gem City Ballet

We partnered with Gem City Ballet to perform a new ballet by Peter Merz set to J.S. Bach’s choral masterpiece, the Magnificat.  The project was supported by a generous grant from the Miriam Rosenthal Memorial Trust Fund.

We also collaborated with the University of Dayton Library to bring multimedia art to life through performances of J.S. Bach's and John Rutter’s settings of the Magnificat. The collaboration was funded in part by a grant from the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District.

2007-2008 – PROJECT SING

We gave high school students the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and gain experience with music not normally performed by church or school groups.  Eight students from the Xenia High School Vocal Ensemble rehearsed and performed with the chorus, soloists, and instrumentalists of our March 2008 concert.  As a result, the students deepened their knowledge of great choral music and learned about the possibilities and rewards of singing beyond high school.  The project was partially supported by a Learning and Partnership Grant from the Ohio Arts Council.

2006-2007 – PROJECT SING

We gave student chamber choirs from Wayne High School, Centerville High School, and Sinclair Community College the opportunity to perform serious choral music in a professional environment.  It also gave participating schools the opportunity to showcase their music programs.  The project was made possible through a grant from the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District.

2005-2006 – psalm Triptych, a COMMISSIONED WORK

We commissioned a new choral work from Dr. Donald Busarow, a well-known Wittenberg University professor, composer, and performer.  The commissioned work, A Psalm Triptych, was based upon Psalm 100 and demonstrated the interplay between chorus, percussion, and brass.

The commission gave us an opportunity to reach out to young musicians and help them understand and appreciate serious choral music.  We collaborated with the faculty of the Stivers School for the Arts and offered selected students face-to-face contact with the composer and a mini-master class in composition.  The project was supported by an Ohio Arts Council Arts Innovation grant.

2004-2005 – ST. JOHN PASSION with Muse Machine

We introduced Baroque performance practices to select students from the community.  The students, from Muse Machine member schools, attended workshops and participated in our performance of J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion.  Their involvement helped increase our contribution to the Dayton arts community as a whole and expand our audience.  The project was funded in part by a grant from the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District.

2003-2004 – SING, MY SOUL and the African American Community

We partnered with prominent African-American soloists and university faculty members to expand the appreciation of classical choral music within the African-American community, to introduce minority youth to the positive role models of successful African-American artists, and to increase the diversity our audience.  The collaborative concert featured both traditional choral music and a collection of spirituals. 

We also developed educational materials for Stivers High School choral/vocal students and offered them a workshop with our music director, our accompanist, four soloists, and members of our chorus.  During the workshop, the students were able to interact with successful African-American vocalists and seek career guidance from them.  The students and their director also received complimentary tickets to the concert.

The project was funded in part by a grant from the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District.