Musikanten Montana performs Christmas Oratorio

Montana Early Music Festival brings Bach to Bozeman, Butte, Missoula and Helena Jan. 17-20

New & Notable

Musikanten Montana extends the celebration of the season with the 17th annual Montana Early Music Festival Jan. 17-20, featuring the Montana premiere of HIP (Historically Informed Performances) of J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. For the fourth consecutive year, the ensemble will travel to four Montana cities – Bozeman, Jan. 17, Butte Jan. 18, Missoula Jan. 19, and Helena Jan. 20 (see details below).

After the acclaimed 2018 performances of the Christmas Oratorio’s first half, the festival ensemble will perform the remaining three cantatas of the six that the German master composed for the major church festival days of the 1734 Christmas Season in Leipzig. The concerts will open with Bach’s Epiphany Cantata 65, “Sie werden aus Saba alle komen.”

“Many of us think of Christmas as a one-day event, while historically it was more often considered a season which may last as long as 40 days,” notes Musikanten Artistic Director Kerry Krebill.

A 15-member chamber orchestra will play period instruments – Baroque oboes, bassoon and flauti dolci (recorders), natural trumpets and horns, gut strings and historic timpani – either actual 18th century instruments or modern replicas. Players come from Early Music hotspots of Seattle, San Francisco, Minneapolis, New York, Indianapolis, Denver and more.

Leading the orchestra as concertmaster will be MEMF favorite Carrie Krause, concertmaster of the Bozeman Symphony, and member of Apollo’s Fire and other world-renowned Early Music ensembles. Organist Keith Reas and cellist Sarah Stone are the continuo players.

Krebill will conduct the vocal soloists, chamber orchestra and singers of Musikanten Montana in this joyous work. Vocal soloists are Amanda Balestrieri (soprano), Anne Kania (contralto), Daniel Hutchings and Thomas Gregg (tenors), and Bobb Robinson (baritone), all specialists in “music before 1800.”

Musikanten Montana’s Early Music Festival tour

Bozeman: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, at Holy Rosary ($35 general, $15 students, or “according to the ability to pay”; family tickets available for $100 for up to five people)

Butte: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at Immaculate Conception (suggested donation: $25 adults, $10 students, and free for children under 12)

Missoula: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 at St. Francis Xavier ($35 general; $15 students; available from Bitterroot Baroque at

Helena: 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at the Cathedral of St. Helena ($35 general, $15 students, or “according to the ability to pay”; family tickets available for $100 for up to five people)

Seating for the concerts is general admission, with a reserved section for Musikanten Angel donors ($100 and above); tickets will be available at the door, as well as at outlets in Helena, Missoula and Hamilton.

In addition to Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, the instrumentalists of MEMF will perform a Salon Concert Monday, January 21st at one of Helena’s beautiful homes in the Mansion District. RSVP to attend.

Call 406-442-6825 or visit for more information.