Richard Sowers, retired, is the former Director of Music Ministries for Williamsburg UMC in Virginia, Southern Hills UMC in Lexington, KY and Christ Episcopal Church in Bowling Green, KY. While working in VA he also founded the Williamsburg Bach Choir and Handel Chamber Orchestra. He's the former Music Director and Conductor of the Abington Symphony Orchestra where he served as Director of Music Ministries for Abington Presbyterian Church outside Philadelphia. During his tenure as Director of Choral Activities at Lindsey Wilson College, he was also Music Director of The Louisville Chorus and founder of the Columbia Choral Society. He has appeared frequently with Kentucky Opera Association, and was an Associate and Artistic Director for regional opera companies throughout the U.S. A featured singer and actor, Sowers has performed with Actor's Theatre of Louisville, on WHAS-TV, and with the Louisville Bach Society. He was the 1st-place winner of the Metropolitan Opera Auditions and for 4 seasons performed the title role in “The Stephen Foster Story” in Bardstown, KY and Tokyo, Japan. He holds applied music degrees from the University of Louisville Music School, sang with the prestigious Indiana University Opera Theater as an adjunct instructor, and completed doctoral studies as a graduate assistant in conducting at the University of Cincinnati (CCM). Sowers attributes his deep love of Bach to his teacher-mentors Fletcher Smith, Gerhard Herz, Melvin Dickinson, Alan Harler, Julius Herford, John Alexander, Gary Kendall, John Wustman, Robert Shaw, Elmer Thomas, John Lehman, Earl Rivers and Maestro Teri Murai.
The Lexington Bach Choir was founded by Richard Sowers in 2007 while Dean of the AGO (American Guild of Organists). As leaders of the Lexington Chapter, Sowers, Marlon Hurst, and Clif Cason conceived and launched the first Bach Marathon, sponsored by the Guild. They programmed Bach cantata literature and formed a temporary ensemble of singers and orchestra players. From this, Sowers formed the Lexington Bach Choir and presented its first concert in November 2007. When Sowers became Director of Music for the Williamsburg UMC in Virginia, he asked Hurst to assume the role of Artistic Director in his stead.
Under Hurst’s outstanding leadership, the Lexington Bach Choir became a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization and subsequently, following the dissolution of the Louisville Bach Society, changed its name to the Kentucky Bach Choir with the intent to share Bach’s music with the greater Commonwealth beyond the Bluegrass region. To date, in addition to its regular concert performances in Lexington, the Kentucky Bach Choir has performed throughout the state in Louisville, Berea, Richmond, Danville, Paris, Frankfort, Williamsburg, and Maysville.
Easter Tidings, Spring 2008
Tates Creek Presbyterian Church