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Taylor Festival Choir Presents “Oktoberfest in Song: Bach and Brahms, Beer and Brats”



Press Release

The internationally acclaimed Taylor Festival Choir (TFC), led by Founding Conductor Dr. Rob Taylor, opens their 2019-2020 season with a choral concert entitled Oktoberfest in Song: Bach and Brahms, Beer and Brats at 4 pm on Sunday, October 6th at Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting Street.

The concert features J.S. Bach’s great motet “Jesu meine freude,” “Zigeunerlieder” (Gipsy Songs) by Johannes Brahms, motets by renowned symphonist Anton Bruckner, and drinking songs stemming from the Beer Choir Hymnal. After the concert, patrons can purchase locally-produced craft beer and bratwursts to celebrate Oktoberfest and join in more singing with the TFC. There will also be a pre-concert talk by Dr. Taylor at 3:00pm at the concert venue.

“One of our goals in the Taylor Music Group is to put together concerts where the music-making is totally world-class, but within an inviting, fun environment. Classical music especially is too often stereotyped as being stuffy and unapproachable, and it shouldn’t be! We are making this concert into an event befit its title! Music of three great classical composers, plus a post-concert Oktoberfest celebration—Bach and Brahms, both known lovers of good German beer and post-concert celebrations, would definitely approve!” said Director Rob Taylor.

Tickets for the concert are $35 reserved seating, $25 general admission and $10 student ID. Tickets can be purchased at or on site 30 minutes prior to the concert. Beer tastings and bratwursts will be for sale following the concert (not included in ticket price).

The concert will also be performed in Beaufort, SC on Saturday, October 5 at 7:00pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 157 Lady’s Island Drive. Tickets are also $10-35 and can be purchased at or on site 30 minutes prior to the concert.

The Taylor Music Group’s 2019-2020 concert season, entitled Let Us Sow Love, is available at “Since we were children, we have been taught the Golden Rule: ‘love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ In Vacation Bible School I was taught ‘God is Love.’ These are certainly words to live by, and yet in the news every single day, there is evidence that love is sadly not the motivating factor in all-too-many actions and decisions in our world. Still, I think we all know in our hearts that love is the only path avenue on which the world can truly live in peace in harmony. We have decided to entitle our 2019-2020 season Let Us Sow Love in the hopes of inspiring our audiences to live their lives more fully through love. Whether it is our opening concert that features the music of Bach and Brahms in an environment celebrating fellowship and brotherhood, to our final concert that features the power of love and how it ultimately overcomes hate, we look forward to immersing ourselves in art that celebrates the greatest power in the world: Love,” said Taylor.

Founded and conducted by Robert Taylor, the Taylor Festival Choir is inspired by the life and career of Bob Taylor, the conductor’s late father and a noted choral musician and pedagogue. Since its inception in 2001, the Taylor Festival Choir has toured and been heard in prestigious venues and festivals throughout the U.S., and has garnered a reputation of excellence among critics and choral specialists alike. TFC was one of only two American adult chamber choirs featured at the 2009 American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Convention and 50th anniversary celebration, and they were again featured in the ACDA Southern Division Conference in February 2017, where they were selected to perform the prestigious Raymond W. Brock commissioned composition.

The Taylor Festival Choir has recorded on the Delos, Centaur, and MSR Classics labels. Their recent recording of BBC composer of the year James MacMillan’s Mass and Celtic Mass by Michael McGlynn received rave reviews throughout Europe. Their recording Sing We Now of Christmas, recorded with legendary guest artists including Liz Carroll, John Doyle and Kim Robertson, has been called “a choral feast that will linger long in your memory after you’ve heard it” (Audio Society of Atlanta).  TFC serves as the professional choir-in-residence at the College of Charleston. It presents a full concert season in the Charleston area, and serves as the flagship ensemble for the Piccolo Spoleto Celtic and Choral Arts Series.

Personnel in the ensemble include conductors, educators, performers and professionals from throughout the United States. The Taylor Festival Choir performs the finest choral literature from all eras, with particular emphasis on new music and folk music from the Celtic nations. Dedicated to bringing the beauty and spiritual enrichment of choral music to as wide an audience as possible, the Taylor Festival Choir tours frequently, and performs outreach concerts in schools and churches throughout South Carolina and surrounding states. TFC toured Ireland with sister ensemble Na Fidleiri in 2013.

Dr. Robert Taylor is the Director of Choral Activities at the College of Charleston, the Founding Artistic Director and President of the Taylor Festival Choir (TFC) and Taylor Music Group (TMG), and the Director of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Singers. Called a “rising star in the international choral scene” and a “true master of his craft” (Lindsay Koob, Delos Records), Taylor’s choirs have been described as sounding “more musical than would seem possible” (Charleston Post and Courier), and have received numerous plaudits from critics and choral specialists for their technical proficiency, musicality and beautiful sound production. Taylor’s ensembles have performed throughout the United States and Europe. They have been featured in numerous festivals, conventions and special concerts, including the 2005 and 2009 American Choral Directors (ACDA) National Conventions, the 2008 and 2011 National Collegiate Choral Organization National Conventions, and multiple appearances in regional and state ACDA and AGO conventions. Most recently, Taylor and his combined choirs performed with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in a feature concert in the 2013 National Collegiate Choral Organization National Convention. Taylor’s groups also appear annually in the prestigious Spoleto Festival U.S.A. and Piccolo Spoleto Festival.

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  1. Pingback: “Oktoberfest in Song: Bach and Brahms, Beer and Brats” | City of Charleston

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