Johannesburg Bach Choir: 4th Edition Newsletter
Dear Music Lover

50 Years and still going strong!

The year 2014 marks a very auspicious event in the history of one of Johannesburg’s finest choral societies – we are fifty years old! From humble beginnings and small numbers at our first concert in 1964, we have become a leading vocal force in this city.
To commemorate this achievement, our 50th Anniversary Gala Concert will be taking place on Sunday, 8th June. Venue details and ticket information can be found to the right of this newsletter
The Johannesburg Bach Choir’s aim has always been to bring the works of Johann Sebastian Bach and other Baroque composers to the attention of the music-loving public, and this event is no exception. First on the list will be the Te Deum by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, a work of great exuberance and fanfares which brims over with exultation. The main work of the afternoon is Bach’s Magnificat, the lively setting of the Canticle of Mary, mother of Jesus.
Our soloists for this concert are:
Hanli Stapela - Soprano
Talita Strydom - Soprano
Jonathan Watkins - Countertenor
Chris Mostert - Tenor
Dawid Kimberg - Baritone
South African born Dawid is one of the world’s foremost baritones, currently based at London’s Royal Opera, with many performances at the greatest opera houses to his credit. Hanli Stapela, is one of South Africa’s premier sopranos and teachers, holding professorships at the Universities of Pretoria and Potchefstroom. She was principal soloist at the State Theatre and has performed most opera roles, including several operas written for her to perform. Talita combines a busy professional career in a corporate legal environment with a specialisation of performing liturgical music, and children!! Chris Mostert has a background specialising in Baroque music and small chamber ensembles. Jonathan is a member of the Gauteng Opera (previously the Black Tie Ensemble) and is one of a very few countertenors singing professionally in Southern Africa. The countertenor voice was especially popular in the music of Bach, and is becoming established again as the preferred voice in many of Bach’s works.
The choir and soloists will be supported by a 27- piece orchestra. Our resident Musical Director, Tim Roberts, will conduct.
Don’t miss this momentous occasion!

Kind regards
Reiner Fossati: Chairman


Some fun facts you might not have known about us....
  • Did you know that the first concert given by the Johannesburg Bach Choir was an all-Bach concert at St Catherine’s Church, Bramley on 1 September 1964?
  • Did you know that the Johannesburg Bach Choir has taken part twice in concerts conducted by choral giant Sir David Willcocks? Verdi’s Requiem in 1997 and Orff’s Carmina Burana in 1998?
  • Did you know that, although most of the Johannesburg Bach Choir’s performances have been in the city itself, we have sung in Pretoria (St Alban’s, Unisa and the State Theatre), Soweto, Krugersdorp, Potchefstroom and Midrand?
  • Did you know that the Johannesburg Bach Choir was invited to provide the choral entertainment at the Centenary celebration of the District Grand Lodge of Freemasons of the Transvaal in 1995?
  • Did you know that the largest venue the Johannesburg Bach Choir has sung in was the Standard Bank Arena which seats some 10 000 people?
  • Did you know that the Johannesburg Bach Choir has sung all but one of the top ten classical choral pieces?  All except the Palestrina.
  1. Mass in B minor – Johann Sebastian Bach
  2. St. Matthew Passion – Johann Sebastian Bach
  3. Messiah – Georg Friedrich Handel
  4. Missa Solemnis – Ludwig von Beethoven
  5. Requiem Mass – Giuseppe Verdi
  6. Requiem – Gabriel Faure
  7. Requiem – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  8. Missa Papae Marcelli – Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
  9. German Requiem – Johannes Brahm
  10. The Creation – Franz Joseph Haydn


Upcoming Events & Announcements

50th Anniversary Gala Concert

Date: Sunday, 8 June 2014
Time: 15:00 (3 pm)
Venue: German School Hall
11 Sans Souci Rd, Parktown
(right next to Milpark Hospital)
Ticket prices are very reasonable for such a fantastic event: R120 for a standard ticket, R100 for pensioners and students, R80 for children under 12. There is also a new “family ticket” for R250 which admits two adults and up to four children. Ticket prices include refreshments. There is safe, free parking in the school grounds.

For tickets, speak to any Choir member or call Kevin Martin on: 011 706 4885011 706 4885. Download the concert flyer here

Member's Bio

Member Bio: Rob Greenish


Some well-known singers and musicians to have graced the Johannesburg Bach Choir over the years....

Elizabeth Connell (above) who was a world-famous soprano up to her death in 2012 sang with the Johannesburg Bach Choir in its infant days
South African musician Dario Broccardo wrote two masses especially for performance by the Johannesburg Bach Choir
World-famous pianist, Petronel Malan, played Mozart’s piano concerto in Eb for us in 1991 at age 15


The Johannesburg Bach Choir in 1969 in the German School Hall

In 1975 in the Johannesburg City Hall

And more recently in 2010, rehearsing at St Columba's with Tim Roberts

Where it all started…..
The Choir was formed in 1964 by Tony Fell (above) with the objective of performing the lesser known works of J.S. Bach, in particular the cantatas.
Copyright © 2014 Johannesburg Bach Choir, All rights reserved.
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