Conservatory Grad Inspires new Bach Fest in Massachusetts

March 19, 2015

Thanks to Baldwin Wallace Conservatory alumna, Amanda Stenroos '12, the country's longest-running collegiate Bach Festival has now inspired an event of the same name in Western Massachusetts.

Stenroos, who earned a BM in violin performance from BW is now working on her Master of Music in violin performance at University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass). She sparked the curiosity of her UMass teacher when she wore a BW Bach Festival t-shirt to one of her lessons.

One semester later, Stenroos is at the forefront of the movement to bring UMass its very own Bach Festival. "I am very eager to use my knowledge and passion from BW’s Bach Festival to bring this tradition to Western Massachusetts," said Stenroos, who also caught the attention of the newspaper in Western Massachusetts. The MASSLive story credits Stenroos with coordinating UMass's involvement in the "Bach in the Subways" movement, which sees global musicians performing Bach's work in subways and other public spaces to foster appreciation for the composer.

The subway event is a prelude to the university's very first J.S. Bach Festival concerts, taking place April 17-19, the very same weekend that BW's 83rd annual Bach Festival will be held. Strenroos is "proud" to carry on the Bach Festival tradition: Bach Festival, she said, is "above all, the most important way that BW has shaped me as a musician.