Giving Bach with Your Group

Concert Ideas

There are two basic goals to keep in mind when presenting a “Giving Bach” concert:

A Formal Concert Experience

Wherever you perform, try to set up the room like a “real” concert—orchestra facing the audience, and the audience in formal rows, like you would see in an auditorium. By the end of the concert, the “fourth wall” between performers and audience will hopefully be broken, and everyone will be mixing together, but starting your concert like this is most effective.

Before beginning to play, discuss with your audience what is expected from them as to behavior, appropriate applause after each selection, etc. Demonstrate the formal tuning process, and briefly explain how the performers actually tune their instruments.


This is the most powerful element of any “Giving Bach” presentation. Look for ways to keep your audience involved as much as possible. Some ideas for this include:

The “Giving Bach” Concert

“Giving Bach” concerts typically start with the formal concert experience followed by a more informal time during which performers and audience members interact. The structure of a typical concert is given below. #1 and #2 should be treated as a formal concert experience, while #3, 4, and 5 are interactive.

Perform your closing piece in the side-by-side set up, with each of your performers sitting next to the audience member they have been teaching. If some of your performers end up away from their music stand, have them memorize this piece, OR have their audience member hold the music for them. Fun! For best results, this closing piece should last no more than 1:30 (things get a little awkward if it goes too long). Consider making cuts in the music if necessary.