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Performances to showcase Bach and Bible

A three-day festival celebrating Johann Sebastian Bach's music, faith and life will be held March 7 to 9 at three locations throughout the Twin Cities. The festival will include three separate performances of Bach's monumental Mass in B Minor by the Exultate Festival Choir and Orchestra.

Bach's personal Bible will be also on display along with other artifacts of his faith and life.

Performances will be held:

• Friday, March 7, 7 p.m., St. Phillip the Deacon Lutheran Church, 17205 County Road 6, Plymouth.

• Saturday, March 8, 7 p.m., Woodbury Lutheran Church, 7380 Afton Road, Woodbury.

• Sunday, March 9, 4 p.m., Bethel University, Benson Great Hall, 3900 Bethel Drive, Arden Hills.

Bach, considered by some as the "Fifth Evangelist" and the finest Lutheran composer of all time, composed more than 1,000 works during his life. His Mass in B Minor is regarded as the summation of his lifelong involvement in church music and theology.

Exultate is a chamber choir and orchestra founded in 1996 by Dr. Thomas Rossin, conductor, with Dr. Stephen Gabrielsen, accompanist. Exultate is the nation's only professional choir with a self-contained orchestra.

The Twin Cities Region of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans will host a reception for Thrivent Financial members prior to each performance. At this reception, members will have an opportunity to meet and hear from Dr. Rossin, whose doctoral thesis was an analysis of Bach's personal notations in his Calov Bible. Further details can be found at

Tickets for the performances are $18 for adults and $15 for seniors over 65 and children under 16. To order tickets, call (651) 707-0227 or visit

Thrivent Financial members may receive a discounted $12 ticket by calling (651) 707-0227.

The musical performances are made possible, in part, by a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council through funds provided by the Minnesota State Legislature and the McKnight Foundation.

The Twin Cities Region of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans provided a grant making it possible for concertgoers to view one of the volumes of Bach's personal Bible on loan from Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Mo.

Thrivent Financial's Twin Cities Regional Financial Office, Golden Valley, offers financial products and services to 138,000 Thrivent Financial members in the greater metropolitan Minneapolis-St. Paul area.