The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park was founded in 1935 at Rollins College to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach’s birth by presenting the composer’s orchestral and choral music to the public for its enlightenment, education, pleasure, and enjoyment. The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park has the distinction of being the third-oldest continuously operating Bach Festival in the United States, as well as being Central Florida’s oldest operating performing arts organization. In 2017, the society set out to produce a commercial recording of six works by Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Paul Moravec. This recording features works that have never been recorded before, including” Music, Awake!”, a work commissioned by the Society to honor Dr. John Sinclair’s twenty-five years as the Society’s conductor, and” Light Shall Lift Us”, a moving composition written in response to the Pulse nightclub attack. These commemorative recordings were funded, in part, by The Elinor & T.W. Miller, Jr. Foundation. “This project really sets the Bach Festival apart from other choral societies and will help us build awareness of the society and draw music lovers to our performances in the future,” says Elizabeth Gwinn, Executive Director of the Bach Festival Society. The society plans to share the tribute, “Light Shall Lift Us” with the community as a way of remembering the Pulse tragedy of 2016.
Below is Dr. John Sinclair’s moving composition, Light Shall Lift Us.