Melvin Dickinson recently received the Governor's Artist Award for co-founding the Louisville Bach Society and directing it for over 35 years. That it was well-deserved can be gleaned from the full house at Calvary Episcopal Church for the Society's performance of Bach's "Christmas Oratorio." "Triumphant Rejoicing" expresses the theme and provides the tone for the entire work, which is recognized as one of Bach's great composition.
The entire opus is in six sections but this performance featured only three of them, entitled "Christmas Day;" "The Second Day of Christmas" and "The Third Day of Christmas." Bach took his sung text from Scripture and Church music with which he was familiar.
The Society's presentation of "Christmas Oratorio" was well received; its arias were eloquently rendered by Mary Wilson Redden, soprano; Antoinette Hardin, alto; Jeffrey Price, tenor and Alexander Redden, bass. Their efforts were elegantly supported by the chorus and members of the Louisville Orchestra, while Dr. John Hale enhanced the audience's delight by his pre-concert lecture. This concert marked the 285th presentation by the Bach Society, all directed by Melvin Dickinson.