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Tallahassee Bach Parley Returns To Live Performance

Man smiling in dark suit in front of a white background
courtesy of Reggie Mobley
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Countertenor - and former Tallahasseean - Reggie Mobley

In addition to the ensemble's regular lineup, this weekend's twin concerts will feature a former Capital City resident who is now known worldwide.

The Tallahassee Bach Parley returns to live performance this weekend. Bach Parley director and violinist Valerie Arsenault is almost beside herself with excitement at the prospect of returning to the stage.

"We're taking the plunge back in and we'll have 2 performances in essence. On Saturday, June 5, we are opening our dress rehearsal, and it's at 3 p.m. And then our concert is on Sunday, June 6, also at 3 p.m., with both at St. John's Episcopal Church."

And Arsenault is quick to add that this is the same Bach Parley that was forced to put its schedule on hold during the pandemic. However, the authentic baroque music ensemble will feature a former Capital City resident whose artistry is now known around the world.

"The band is getting back together! It's all the usual suspects: Melanie Punter, Melissa and Charlie Brewer, Kim Jones and a few more. But our big, exciting main guest is Reginald Mobley who is a countertenor."

This countertenor is no stranger to Tallahassee.

"Reggie used to live here and study in Tallahassee and he likes to tell people that we polished him up and sent him out into the world. So, he's familiar to Bach Parley audiences, he's familiar to Tallahassee Community Chorus audiences, where he was a soloist and singer. He was a staff singer at St. John's Episcopal for a long time. But now, Reggie performs all over the world."

Arsenault says those fans of Reggie Mobley will certainly be familiar with the Parley's opening selection.

"Back in 2008 when we first revived the Bach Parley at St. John's, we started the program with this aria by J. S. Bach and Reggie wants to sing that same aria at the beginning of the concert this weekend. So it's a real homecoming and new start in a new performing world and a new way of sharing the music with the audience."

As for the rest of the Parley's performance playlist,

"It's basically going to be Reggie's greatest hits. I asked him what he'd most like to sing and that we'd just make this all of Reggie's favorite things. So we've made a really cool program together. He's excited and we are also."

And, as also traditional, there's no beating the concert's ticket price.

"Just go to the Bach Parley website and for both events they're free, but you need to reserve a spot because we'll have a limited audience with social distancing and we ask that everyone wear masks. But we have a good number of seats left, but they're going fast. So, reserve a spot and then we'll see you on Saturday or Sunday."