Our Story

BACH is Champaign-Urbana’s premier chamber choir. Joseph Baldwin is its second Music Director, succeeding Chester L. Alwes in 2017.

The Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois ("BACH") was founded as a project-based professional ensemble in 1996 for teaching, learning, and performing music of the Baroque era. Now a thriving nonprofit community organization, BACH is proud of the diverse range of its repertoire—from its roots in Baroque music to today’s most exciting new works by living composers. Today’s audiences enjoy programs featuring both favorite Baroque masterpieces and leading works from across the entire choral repertory.

It is a true community enterprise, welcoming experienced singers from the community, university, and surrounding areas, as well as the support of committed volunteers. BACH was named "Chamber Ensemble of the Year 2000" by the Illinois Council of Orchestras. It receives support from the Illinois Arts Council, as well as many generous local donors — individual and corporate.

"Hence it was a special treat to see the labors of love expended upon [J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, 1998]…and the impressive array of vocal and instrumental talent which goes under the name of BACH ... delivered with magnificently buoyant energy ... (and) remarkable skill."

"All the elements of this performance [of Handel’s Messiah, 1999] added significantly to the wonderful overall effect. The...choir sang with superb discipline...It is easy to become jaundiced by performances of this most popular of classical compositions, but there are always new insights to be gained from this marvelous work, especially in a performance as fresh and lively as that Sunday." — John Frayne, The News-Gazette