In November 2011, renowned Bach scholar Helmuth Rilling came to Colorado to headline the National Collegiate Choral Organization Festival in Fort Collins. His pupil Dr. James Kim (a professor at Colorado State University) witnessed firsthand the multitude of professional musicians who joined the festival just to perform Bach's music. Through this experience, Dr. Kim realized that a festival-like structure could be used to bring nationally recognized performers together with local professional artists for a week of intensive rehearsals that culminated in performances of a major work by J.S. Bach.
Dr. Kim immediately set out to achieve his vision of presenting high quality performances of Bach's music along the Front Range, and gathered advisory board and musicians to present Colorado Bach Ensemble's first concert in June 2012 with Bach's B Minor Mass. Upon Dr. Kim's appointment as Choir Director at Bethany Lutheran Church in Cherry Hills Village, CBE established its home in the church's existing, vibrant music community and venue.
Colorado Bach Ensemble continues to provide stellar introductory experiences of Bach's music for residents throughout the Front Range via concerts, educational programs throughout the Denver Metro, and community outreach initiatives led by a growing staff and Board of Directors. The Ensemble's season now includes significant performances of major works twice each year interspersed with concerts of smaller works such as cantatas, and augmented by a growing educational outreach program in schools and community venues.
The personnel of the Colorado Bach Ensemble consists of a chorus of up to thirty-two singers and an orchestra of six to thirty-five players, depending on repertoire. The Ensemble has presented critically acclaimed performances of Bach's St. Matthew and St. John Passions, B-Minor Mass, and numerous cantatas and chamber music, with annual performances of Handel's Messiah.