The Shenandoah Valley between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains is a paradise for nature-loving tourists. In addition, local music enthusiasts are bringing the spirit of the famous Leipzig St. Thomas Church into their village. A church service in the style of Johann Sebastian Bach ended the Shenandoah Bach Festival in the small town of Harrisonburg last Sunday. The so-called "Leipzig Service" is one of the specialties of the festival, which started in 1993 and has a different theme every year. Entitled "Bach and Schubert," one of the past festivals had performances of Bach's and Schubert's music, and in another year, the festival offered concerts with Bach and Gospel music. This year, the festival honored Russian immigrants who were relocated to the Harrisonburg area after the collapse of the Soviet Union. For one week, works by Russian composers could be heard, besides works by the Thomas Cantor. In addition, the festival showed films about Canadian pianist Glen Gould. The variety of programs makes the town of 20,000 a special attraction for music lovers. The Leipzig Service is one of the most unique elements of the festival. However, it has been adjusted to modern times and to the location, as Georg Hirsch reports.
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