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Bach Study Group

Conductor: Mark Nelson
Pianist: David Almond  

We are an informal group dedicated to the study of  J.S. Bach’s vocal music. We immerse ourselves in a cantata or other vocal work for a number of weeks and perform a final run-through at the end of the study period. Founded in 1983, the group currently numbers around 50 and includes singers (SATB) and instrumentalists (flute, recorder, bassoon, violin, viola, cello, and piano). We are grateful to the Howe Library, which provides rehearsal space and makes possible the borrowing of scores from the Drinker collection of the Philadelphia Free Library.

During the 2016-17 season, we will spend a considerable amount of our time on the St. John Passion.

Auditions: No auditions; singers and instrumentalists of all levels of experience are most welcome! Interested musicians should contact Mark Nelson (mark.bach.study@gmail.com) prior to coming to a rehearsal.

Rehearsals: Fridays, 10:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. in the Mayer Room of the Howe Library in Hanover, N.H. The Howe requests that we park in Hanover Parking Facility in order to leave room for regular library patrons.

Weather closings: We do not meet on snow days for the Hanover schools. In such an event I will notify BSG members via e-mail. You can check school closings at the VPR school closings site.

Listen to Bach 

About Bach

Librettos and Notes

Librettos with English translations plus Ellen Frye’s conductor’s notes are available as pdf downloads.

Seasons 2009–2016 under the direction of Ellen Frye

2015–2016 Season

2014–2015 Season

2013–2014 Season

2012-2013 Season

2011–2012 Season

2010-2011 Cantatas

2009-2010 Cantatas


Henry Drinker conducting a Bach cantata during one of his “singing parties.” The Bach Study Group is modeled after these informal gatherings of musicians.

Bach Study Group, 2010


1. Phil Porter - December 12, 2010

“Be not the first by whom the new is tried;nor yet the last to lay the old aside.” With advice like that how would anything ever get done? This webpage is an excellent start. I particularly like the hyperlinks that send one to the analyses Ellen has done of works we have studied,such as the Christnas Oratorio and various cantatas. You might list the cantatas we will be studying during the first half of 2011.

Best wishes,

Phil Porter

2. Lucie Arbuthnot - June 21, 2012

For anyone wishing to study Bach’s choral works along with excellent orchestral accompaniment, this is an absolute goldmine.

3. Margaret - February 9, 2014

love and miss you all very MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Margaret……..Barbara Halls companion.

e-mail …….1009@myfairpoint.net…….would love to hear from you …ELLEN has been agreat source of support. wish I COULD MAKE IT BACH TO YOU ALLL SOON….TO YOU MELANIE A SPEEDY RECOVERY…

4. DNA 2 - May 9, 2014

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