Skip to main content
Skip to main menu Skip to spotlight region Skip to secondary region Skip to UGA region Skip to Tertiary region Skip to Quaternary region Skip to unit footer


Hodgson Singers and Atlanta Baroque Orchestra collaboration brings landmark Bach oratorio to life

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

The Hodgson Singers, University of Georgia’s premiere choral ensemble, take the Hodgson Hall stage in the second to last Thursday Scholarship Series concert of the 2018-19 season. Joining them will be the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, a professional, early-music orchestra. The date of the concert, March 21st, is significant as it is Bach’s birthday and the concert will feature one of his most lauded works.


Johann Sebastian Bach’s Johannes Passion BWV 245, or St. John Passion, is a dramatic work that recounts Christ’s arrest, trial, and crucifixion, as described in the gospel of John. This ambitious passion-oratorio was written in 1724 during Bach’s first year as Thomaskantor in Leipzig. 


This collaborative performance is not one to be missed. Led by Artistic Director Julie Andrijeski, the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra performs on period instruments in an historically informed style, and will join the Hodgson Singers in breathing life into Johannes Passion BWV 245. Additionally, a new portativ organ, a small chamber, pipe organ used to provide harmonic foundation in the continuo group of a baroque orchestra, has been donated to the school, and will be used for the first time at this concert. 


“The length, dramatic scope, and technical demands of the work lend to the auspiciousness of the event,” says Dr. Daniel Bara, the John D. Boyd UGA Foundation Professor of Choral Music and the Director of Choral at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music. He adds that since Bach’s music is among the most specialized and virtuosic in the repertoire, we are also welcoming several professional singers to collaborate on this performance, including UGA voice alumnus, Derek Chester as the Evangelist. Chester will be joined in the performance by several other professional soloists for the reflective, interpolated, highly virtuosic arias of the work including Emily Noël, soprano; UGA’s own Elizabeth Johnson Knight, mezzo-soprano; Kyle Stegall, tenor, and Paul Max Tipton, bass.  The role of Jesus will be sung by DMA student Washington Isaac Holmes, and the role of Pilate will be sung by MM choral conducting student Eric Newell. Adding to the roster of instrumentalists will be several UGA players, including Ruth Monson, and two graduate student violinists who received special coaching by ABO players.  


“I’m hoping this can be one of the landmark concerts of the year at the Hodgson School, as it celebrates the talents of our faculty and student soloists, Hodgson Singers, and our alums, and places our school in great company as a program that tackles the significant works of our field at a professional level, with performances that are at once stylish, dramatic, and accessible,” says Bara.


The Thursday Scholarship concert will take place at 7:30 pm on March 21st. Tickets for the concert are $20 for adults and $12 for students and can be purchased by phone at 706-542-4400 or online at All proceeds directly fund student scholarships. The Hodgson Singers and Atlanta Baroque Orchestra will perform the same concert the following evening as part of First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta’s free Concerts @ First Series.For those unable to attend either event, the Thursday performance will be streamed online at






Writer: Camille Hayes,            

Contact: Daniel Bara,

Support us

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.

Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty.