Happy Bach’s Birthday! Celebrating in the NYC Subways–and “Everywhere”

It’s J. S. Bach’s 327th birthday.

Dale Henderson and about a dozen (last count I heard from him) other cellists and other musicians are celebrating by playing Bach in the NYC subways. A year ago, I was part of the first “Bach in the Subways Day.” Invited and inspired by Dale, I brought a cello and a folding chair, plopped myself down on the 96th St. 1/2/3 uptown platform, and played and played. Tips were offered and declined.  “Happy Bach’s Birthday,” I’d say.

It was one of the most enjoyable, interactive music-making experiences I had while in NYC on sabbatical, or anywhere else, for that matter. Now I’m back at DePauw, teaching this week, not able to play in a subway.  Poor me!

Then it came to me–go play Bach other places.  So a some of my student and faculty friends are putting on DePauw’s first annual “Bach Everywhere” event.  An elementary school assembly program later this morning.  A free, informal, bring-your-lunch concert at the Methodist church on campus.  We’ll be playing outside, dropping into classrooms (where the teacher has invited us), showing up at the Rotary club.

It’s going to be a fun day.  And what better way to celebrate Bach, and music, than by giving away musical presents?

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