SUU Opus Choir Performs Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cantata No. 4

As part of Southern Utah University’s Festival of Excellence, the Department of Music will perform the Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cantata No. 4 on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. The Performance-Lecture is at 1 p.m. with the concert at 7:30 p.m. Both will be held in the Thorley Recital Hall of the Music Building on SUU’s Campus.

Dr. Douglas Ipson, assistant professor of music theory and history at SUU, explains, “Although intended for public worship, the church cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach constitute one of the greatest artistic achievements of the Baroque (or any) era.”

In this performance-recital, Dr. Krystal McCoy will direct the Opus Chamber Choir and a group of instrumentalists in a performance of selections from one of Bach’s earliest masterpieces in the genre, Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4. Throughout the performance,  Dr. Douglas Ipson will remark on the theological and historical context of the work and highlight its most important musical features.

Written in 1707 as one of his first church cantatas, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cantata No. 4 was intended to be performed for the first day of the Easter feast.

The music is composed for sopranos, altos, tenors and basses with accompaniment by instrumentalists.

Christopher Cheney, a Bachelor of Arts candidate in Music, shares, “I love the 4th and 6th movements from Bach’s Cantata No. 4, mainly because they are challenging and beautifully intricate. These songs have pushed my abilities to the limits, and they’ve taught me how to overcome them and become a better musician and person. Preparing for this concert has helped me to develop new skills on how to sing, how to speak, and how to overcome obstacles. It’s led me to find help from others and become inspired by the past so that I can help grow the future of music.”

Don’t miss this rare interpretation of the theological and historical meaning behind Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cantata No. 4. For more artistic experiences, check out the BFA Capstone Exhibit in the Southern Utah Museum of Art, complete with artist explications provided by some of the featured artists on April 2, at 10, 1 and 3 p.m..

For more information about the Department of Music at SUU, please visit


Story by: Alexis J. Taylor
Photo by: SUU Marketing