Cantata services / Special services PDF Print E-mail

St Johns Southgate presents an ongoing series of services incorporating the choral music of J.S. Bach in the context for which it was written, liturgical Lutheran church services.  2015 is its 18th liturgical year.  The series has presented over 100 different cantatas and most of the major choral works of Bach in over 150 events.

The series features the St Johns Bach Choir and Orchestra directed by St Johns’ Director of Music, Graham Lieschke.  The services include congregational liturgy and chorales, and organ music on the 1992 Knud Smenge pipe organ (see

Some works are presented in collaboration with other groups.  In 2014, these included the Early Music Studio Baroque Ensemble and Early Voices (University of Melbourne, dir. Greg Dikmans) and the Choir of Newman College (dir. Gary Ekkel).

The St Johns Bach Orchestra plays on period instruments.  The St Johns collection of baroque instruments includes a chamber organ (Smenge, 1996), a concert harpsichord (McAllister 2008, after Moermans 1642), a pair of oboes da caccia, a set of 3 baroque timpani, a pair of cornetti and a soprano recorder in d.

Translations and notes on Bach cantatas are available at:

Services include an opportunity to make offerings and donations to support the St Johns Bach Program.  The "St Johns Southgate Bach Foundation Inc" was formed in 2011 to encourage donations and other activities supporting the program.  Donations over $2 are tax-deductible.

To make a donation:
(1) contact the church office at < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
(2) donate on-line (banking details are: ANZ Bank / BSB 013-128 / A/C 2783 73397).  Make sure that you identify yourself with any electronic donation so that you can be sent a receipt for taxation purposes.

Free parking is available at service times.  For enquiries, contact the office on (03) 9682 4995.

Pastor Ian presenting a sermon    A Cantata presented in it's intended setting

Bach Cantata Services for 2015

Events are organised on a rolling basis

9:00 a.m.

Epiphany Festival Eucharist
Herr, wenn die stolzen Feinde schnauben 
(BWV 248 / Part VI)

The Epiphany cantata that concludes the "Christmas Oratorio"

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

Hannah Irvine (soprano)
Hamish Gould (countertenor)
Jacob Lawrence & Matthew Thomson (tenors)
Michael Leighton-Jones (bass)

St Johns Bach Choir and Orchestra
directed by Graham Lieschke

9:00 a.m.           

Eucharist (Quinquagesima / Transfiguration)
Sehet, wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem
(BWV 159)

for 4 soloists, chorus, strings, oboe and continuo

St Johns Bach Choir and Orchestra
directed by Graham Lieschke

9:00 a.m.     

Eucharist (Lent 3)

a capella choral music for Lutheran worship
Ensemble Nobiles
visiting from Leipzig, Germany


9:00 a.m.


Eucharist (Easter 3)
Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiB
(BWV 134)

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

Christopher Roache (countertenor)
Dan Thomson (tenor)

St Johns Bach Choir and Orchestra
directed by Graham Lieschke

A Cello player intense on the task at hand