Student Concert
Student Concert (Paul Boyer)
FARMINGTON — For around 250 years, people have been listening to, playing and enjoying the music of Johann Sebastain Bach.

Starting Sunday, Durango will be holding its sixth annual Bach festival. The festival will run through the week, finishing Saturday.

The festival is being presented by 3rd Ave. Arts and will be held at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, located at 910 E. 3rd Ave.

Scott Hagler, the executive director of 3rd Ave. Arts said the festival will kick off on Sunday at 2 p.m. with a student recital. There will be a $5 fee at the door.

Mick Hesse, a Farmington trumpet player, will be performing during the Bach Festival. He said one of the reasons the festival is being held during March is to celebrate Bach's birthday March 31.

Hesse will be playing both solo and with the Trumpet Geezers, a local group of trumpet players older than 50. He will also be part of the Bach Festival Chamber Orchestra, which will be performing during the Festival Finale on Saturday, March 23.

In addition to Hesse, the Farmington residents Tenille Taylor, Cathy Pope and Hans Freuden will be playing at the festival.

Hagler said music like Bach's has the ability to bring people together Êto build bridges and to break barriers. He said people in the United States can perform Bach compositions with people across the ocean and the music is the same universal language.

00020000076D0000059E 767,Hagler will also be performing during the festival, including as part of the two-keyboard concerto that will be taking place during the finale.

People identify with the beauty of Bach's music, Hesse said. He said a lot of western music is based on the harmonies in Bach's compositions.

Pope said classical music like Bach's compositions are the basis for Western music culture, and now is becoming an important part of musical culture throughout the world.

"When you listen to Bach, it's like hearing the voice of God," Pope said.

Bach's music is from the Baroque era of music, Hesse said. The Baroque era is known for its flourishes, he explained.

Bach challenges trumpet players with extreme high notes, Hesse said.

Making the notes very clear and crisp is one of the challenges Bach's music presents violin players, Pope said.

School music programs inspired both Hesse and Pope to become involved in music. Hesse said he has been playing trumpet since he started in fourth grade, over 50 years ago.

Music has been a career for Hagler since he was in high school.

"My calling is about creating beauty," Hagler said. "Beauty within itself is a worthy goal."

He said he got the idea to put on the Bach Festival and it just wouldn't go away, so he decided to go ahead with it. The festival has always experienced a good turn out, he said.

A schedule of events is available at www.durangobachfestival.com. Tickets can be purchased at St. Mark's Episcopal Church or by calling 1-800-838-3006. Concerts are $5. The Bach Lunch, held every day at noon, is $8, or $15 for two people.

The Bach Lunch is a half-hour recital in the Parish Hall. It provides people with an opportunity to meet musicians and listen to lectures by Timothy Smith, a music theory professor from Northern Arizona University.

Hannah Grover may be reached at hgrover@daily-times.com; 564-4652. Follow her on Twitter @hmgrover