Click here for the full Anniversary Season Program

In its Bach Cantata Program, St Johns Southgate presents an ongoing series of services incorporating the choral music of J.S. Bach. The cantatas are presented in their intended context, liturgical Lutheran church services. The services include congregational liturgy and chorales, and organ music on the 1992 Knud Smenge pipe organ.

The program was founded in 1997 and 2016 is its 19th liturgical year.  The series has presented over 110 different cantatas and most of Bach’s major choral works in over 160 events.

The series features the St Johns Bach Choir and Orchestra directed by St Johns’ Director of Music, Graham Lieschke. The St Johns Bach Orchestra plays on period instruments.  St Johns has a collection of period instruments including a chamber organ, harpsichord, pair of oboes da caccia, set of baroque timpani, two cornetti and a specialised recorder.

Some works are presented in collaboration with other groups. A long-standing collaboration with the University of Melbourne involves students of the Early Music Studio of the Melba Conservatorium of Music.

Within the cantata program, the St Johns Visiting Music Director program has brought prominent international church musicians to Melbourne:

  • 2004 Thomas Schmidt (St Peter’s Lutheran Church, New York, USA)
  • 2006 Georg Christoph Biller (Thomaskantor, Leipzig, Germany)
  • 2010 Albrecht Koch (Dom St Marien, Freiberg, Germany)
  • 2013 Rick Erickson (Trinity Lutheran Church, New York, USA)

The program located below is organised on a rolling basis.

Translations and notes on Bach cantatas are available here.

Services include an opportunity to make offerings and donations to support the St Johns Bach Program, or you can make a tax-deductible donation through the St Johns Southgate Bach Foundation.

Free parking (up to a limit) is available at all service times.

St Johns Bach Choir 

The St Johns Bach Choir is a selected/auditioned semi-professional choir formed in 1998 for the Bach Cantata Program.  Many of its members participate in other fine vocal ensembles in Melbourne. To express interest in joining the choir, contact the church office.

SJBachChoir1

St Johns Bach Orchestra

The St Johns Bach Orchestra draws on the pool of highly skilled period instrument players in Melbourne and Australia. It was formed under the directorship of Dr Graham Lieschke to support the Bach cantata program, and is now one of the most established period baroque instrumental orchestras in Melbourne.  Its core of regular players is joined from time-to-time by local and international visiting artists.

SJBachOrch1

 

Upcoming Events

Sun 26 Mar - 9:00 AM

Eucharist (Annunciation of our Lord)

Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (BWV 1)

for 3 soloists, chorus, strings incl. 2 concertante violins, 2 oboes da caccia, 2 horns and continuo

St Johns Bach Choir and Orchestra
directed by Graham Lieschke

Guest Preacher:
Christian Wolff, Pastor Emeritus of St Thomas’ Church, Leipzig, Germany

Thu 25 May - 7:30 PM

Vespers (Ascension of our Lord)

Christ lag in Todes Banden (BWV 4)

for 4 soloists, chorus, strings and continuo

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Early Voices and Baroque Orchestra
directed by Erin Helyard

Guest Preacher:
Robert Gribben former Chair of the Standing Committee on Ecumenical Relationships World Methodist Council

Sun 20 Aug - 9:00 AM

Eucharist (11th Sunday after Pentecost)

Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir (BWV 38)

for 4 soloists, chorus, strings, 2 oboes, 4 trombones and continuo

St Johns Bach Choir and Orchestra
directed by Graham Lieschke

with Guest Ensemble
La Compañia (directed by Danny Lucin)

Guest Preacher:
Stephen Pietsch Lecturer in Pastoral Theology, Australian Lutheran College, Adelaide

Sun 01 Oct - 9:00 AM

Eucharist (St Michael and all Angels)

Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele (BWV 69)
&

Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft (BWV 50)

for 4 soloists, chorus, strings, 3 oboes, 3 trumpets, timpani and continuo

St Johns Bach Choir and Orchestra
directed by Graham Lieschke

Guest Preacher:
Mark Whitfield Bishop of the Lutheran Church of New Zealand

Sun 29 Oct - 9:00 AM

Eucharist (Commemoration of the Reformation – 500 years)

O ewiges Feuer, O Ursprung der Liebe (BWV 34)

for 4 soloists, chorus, strings, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 3 trumpets, timpani and continuo

St Johns Bach Choir and Orchestra
directed by Graham Lieschke

Preacher:
Tom Hoffmann Pastor of St Johns Southgate

Sun 26 Mar - 9:00 AM

Eucharist (Annunciation of our Lord)

Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (BWV 1)

for 3 soloists, chorus, strings incl. 2 concertante violins, 2 oboes da caccia, 2 horns and continuo

St Johns Bach Choir and Orchestra
directed by Graham Lieschke

Guest Preacher:
Christian Wolff, Pastor Emeritus of St Thomas’ Church, Leipzig, Germany

Thu 25 May - 7:30 PM

Vespers (Ascension of our Lord)

Christ lag in Todes Banden (BWV 4)

for 4 soloists, chorus, strings and continuo

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Early Voices and Baroque Orchestra
directed by Erin Helyard

Guest Preacher:
Robert Gribben former Chair of the Standing Committee on Ecumenical Relationships World Methodist Council

Sun 20 Aug - 9:00 AM

Eucharist (11th Sunday after Pentecost)

Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir (BWV 38)

for 4 soloists, chorus, strings, 2 oboes, 4 trombones and continuo

St Johns Bach Choir and Orchestra
directed by Graham Lieschke

with Guest Ensemble
La Compañia (directed by Danny Lucin)

Guest Preacher:
Stephen Pietsch Lecturer in Pastoral Theology, Australian Lutheran College, Adelaide

Sun 01 Oct - 9:00 AM

Eucharist (St Michael and all Angels)

Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele (BWV 69)
&

Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft (BWV 50)

for 4 soloists, chorus, strings, 3 oboes, 3 trumpets, timpani and continuo

St Johns Bach Choir and Orchestra
directed by Graham Lieschke

Guest Preacher:
Mark Whitfield Bishop of the Lutheran Church of New Zealand

Sun 29 Oct - 9:00 AM

Eucharist (Commemoration of the Reformation – 500 years)

O ewiges Feuer, O Ursprung der Liebe (BWV 34)

for 4 soloists, chorus, strings, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 3 trumpets, timpani and continuo

St Johns Bach Choir and Orchestra
directed by Graham Lieschke

Preacher:
Tom Hoffmann Pastor of St Johns Southgate