She wants to connect people with music

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Created: 01/15/2022, 10:00 a.m

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Musician and board member Maria Hammer misses the big performances of her Bach choir and the orchestra in the monastery church (see picture) and in the town hall. (archive photo) © tb

For decades, the association “Bach Choir & Orchestra Fürstenfeldbruck” has enriched the musical life of the city. Every year, around 150 musicians perform three major oratorio concerts on the monastery grounds. Behind the musicians are people who coordinate the events. One of them is Maria Hammer, who has been part of the Bach Choir for over 20 years.

Fürstenfeldbruck – “Music fulfills me and surprises me again and again,” says Maria Hammer. “You can only grasp certain things in music – a very special depth – if you make it yourself.” Hammer worked for years as a music teacher at a high school. For them, musicians like Bach and Mendelssohn are brilliant artists. “The opportunity to sing such works is great,” says the Fürstenfeldbruck native. She can do that in the Fürstenfeldbruck Bach Choir. Singing in the choir has become such a big hobby for her that she decided to take on more responsibility in the association that runs the choir.

Former music teacher Maria Hammer has been singing in the choir for 20 years.
Former music teacher Maria Hammer has been singing in the choir for 20 years. © tb

For them, emotions make music

In 2015 she therefore became a member of the extended board of the association “Bach Choir & Orchestra Fürstenfeldbruck”. Two years later, she was elected as a full member of the board, where she is responsible for press and public relations, among other things. From 2015 to 2020 she was also responsible for ticket management. “There are so many tasks to be completed in order to realize our projects. There are really great people in our club who invest a lot of their free time,” says Maria Hammer, summing up the past few years. For them it is clear: without the many helping hands in the club, the big concerts would not be possible.

Even if the work of the board is not always easy and the members, especially in the past two Corona years, have demanded a lot of flexibility, the music lover knows what she is doing it for. “I am deeply convinced that culture has a great power to connect people. Because it reaches us through emotions. We don’t have to think about it, it just happens,” says the 62-year-old. During the Corona period, neither the orchestra nor the members of the choir could bring these emotions to the stage. In 2020, for example, all concerts were cancelled, in 2021 the St. John Passion on Good Friday fell victim to the distance rules and most recently the Christmas Oratorio had to be cancelled. But the club was not idle.

She sees the changes as an opportunity

Last September, the choir was able to perform a small matinee, which was a complete success. “It was a real feeling of well-being to finally be actively making music again,” says Maria Hammer. The pandemic is forcing the association to react flexibly and to use the change as an opportunity – for example, people are thinking about new concert formats. “We look to the future with hope,” says Maria Hammer optimistically. “And as soon as it’s possible, we’ll do another concert.”

The Bach Choir can look back on a long tradition

The association looks back on a long tradition. It was founded in 1954 – at that time only as a choir. The string orchestra was added nine years later. Every year, the musicians stage three major oratorio concerts in Fürstenfeldbruck – on an Advent weekend, on Good Friday and on the first Sunday in July.

The concerts are performed in the town hall and once a year in the monastery church, which is a particular joy for the artists. “We are always overwhelmed by the baroque church jewel of the former Cistercian monastery Fürstenfeld,” enthuses Maria Hammer. It is important to the association to enrich Brucker’s musical life with music that people from the place and surroundings make. In addition to top-class soloists, professional wind players are engaged. The orchestra is a pure string orchestra.

The voluntary organization and all work related to the complex events are carried out by the members of the association and the board of directors. When selecting the pieces of music – since 1995 under the artistic direction of conductor Gerd Guglhör – for the concerts in the monastery, care is always taken to ensure that they fit the ambience.

“The music for the church concert is always consciously related to this space with its splendor and religious statement,” explains Maria Hammer. For example, the Verdi and Bach Requiems were performed in the monastery. To ensure that the concerts are a success, the singers and string players meet once a week for a good two hours in the monastery’s lecture hall to practice. There are also rehearsal weekends, main rehearsals and dress rehearsals.

Club profile:

1. founding date: choir 1954, orchestra 1963

2. number of members: choir about 100, orchestra about 50

3. contact options: [email protected]

4. website: www.bco-ffb.de

Christopher Riegel

Further news from Fürstenfeldbruck read with us.

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