Bach’s Luncheon Provides a Casual Place to Enjoy Classical Music

by Emma Waywood

Musical recitals consisting of formal attire and sophisticated airs are quickly becoming things of the past. With this in mind, several students at Cedarville University continually come together to perform a unique concert with an ironic twist; Bach’s Lunch.

Bach’s Lunch combines both music majors and aspiring young musicians alike into a more casual environment through food and melody. It is held once a semester, during the freshman visitation known as CU Friday, and also on the day when Cedarville music major hopefuls arrive to audition for the program. They are encouraged to attend by Cedarville staff in order to get a key experience many colleges don’t offer.

“It gives those who are considering the University a chance to hear musicians who are already here, and it also gives other people who want to come a chance to listen,” sophomore french horn performance major and Bach’s Lunch performer Chloe Sodonis said.

Despite its name, Bach’s Lunch does not necessarily include musical selections written by Sebastian Bach. In fact, it’s only named “Bach’s Lunch” because one is indeed allowed to bring in their own “boxed lunch” to the performance. Whether it be from Stinger’s or the refrigerator at home, the recital gives the rare chance to enjoy an orchestration and quality nourishment.

“You can actually bring your lunch into the Recital Hall, which you can’t normally do,” Sodonis said. “You can eat while you listen, so it’s more of a casual environment.”

The inspiration for this event came from the chairwoman of music and worship, Beth Porter. Seven years ago, she came up with the idea, and simultaneously devised a way to help both incoming potential freshman and current music major students. As violin professor Carlos Elias pointed out, only specific music majors are allowed to perform as the recital.

“The upcoming Bach’s lunch will feature music majors that have or have had a recital this semester,” Elias said.

In this way, they are able to gain some key experience before playing in front of a bigger audience alone. At the same time, they are also helping to inspire those who might one day take their place, raising up a new generation of Cedarville music majors.

This semester’s performance on Nov. 9 featured several musicians, most of whom were seniors and juniors. It consisted of both classical and contemporary pieces, giving the visiting high schoolers’ the perfect chance to witness what they could potentially be getting themselves into.

Most recitals and concerts are seen by many as a heavy commitment; sit down for an hour or so, listen to one performer, and remain absolutely silent as the affair goes on. With a more casual environment, as well as the promise of food, the hope is that more audience members will feel at ease enough to attend.

“Music is meant to be performed, and meant to be played and listened to,” Sodonis said. “It’s not just meant to be practiced. I think this event is a chance for people to come listen, and I would hope more people would see the value of that.”

The next Bach’s Lunch will be held again sometime next semester. Though orchestrations may not be everyone’s style, the chance to come together to bring praise and glory to God is priceless. And the opportunity to bring food into the Recital Hall? An opportunity that must never be wasted.

Emma Waywood is a freshman journalism major and an arts and entertainment reporter for Cedars. She enjoys singing in Concert Chorale, watching reruns of Friends, and heavily debating superhero movies.


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