Lutheran Legacy concert to commemorate the Reformation


The Moorpark College Choir standing and singing in the vocal arts room in the Music building at Moorpark College. Moorpark College Director of Choral Activities Brandon Elliott conducts, as the choir rehearses for the upcoming Lutheran Legacy concert on Oct. 27 and 28, 2017. Photo credit: Ian Cohen

By Ian Cohen

This year marks 500-years since Martin Luther initiated the Protestant Reformation. The music of the period surrounding the Reformation has symbolic meaning to Protestants, and is represented by several well-known Baroque era composers.

Moorpark College music students will enshrine the Reformation and the memory of Martin Luther when they host the Lutheran Legacy concert on Friday Oct. 27 and Sat. Oct. 28. The orchestra and choir will perform works by Mendelssohn, Bach, and Brahms.

Luke Dodson, 20, and Moorpark College instrumental music major, oboist, and member of the Moorpark symphonic choir, said that the concert features a cross section of musical works from the time frame surrounding the Reformation.

“There is a large variety of classical music, and several time period’s, and each piece has its own distinct style,” Dodson said. “Don’t expect to get bored because it’s always going to change up on you.”

The Moorpark College Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Chorus is set to perform in the upcoming Lutheran Legacy concert. Students and families are invited to attend and commemorate the 500-year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, as well as the 50-year anniversary of Moorpark College.

Brandon Elliott, the Moorpark College Director of Choral Activities, choral conductor, and Music Director for the Lutheran Legacy concert, said that the concert sheds light on some of the most historically important and revered musical works from the time period.

“There is a lot of musical history surrounding the Reformation and the Baroque era,” Elliott said. “We will be highlighting that by drawing upon some of the greatest Baroque composers of the time, including Bach.”

Elliott provided an overview of what concertgoers should expect, including a sneak preview into how the concert will commence.

“We open the concert with the Mendelssohn Reformation Symphony, which uses a Lutheran chorale tune called ‘Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott’,” Elliot said. “The choir will sing a choral version of ‘Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott,’ so that the audience can hear and recognize that theme throughout the symphony.”

After intermission, the choirs will combine to sing well-known Bach Cantata’s called “Vachet Aus,” according to Elliott.

Moorpark professor James Song is the music director for the student symphony orchestra. He will be conducting the student orchestra for most of the Lutheran Legacy concert. While Brandon Elliott will be conducting the choir throughout the concert.

Dominic Preston, 24, and Moorpark College vocal music major, said that his favorite part of the music comes at the very end of the concert.

“In the Bach piece, ‘Vachet aus’ that we are doing, the last movement of the piece is the ‘Amen’ movement,” Preston explained. “It starts out really fast and really fun. And ends with a really big finish, so it’s going to be fun, and end on a really strong loud note!”


For more information about the Lutheran Legacy concert, please visit, or call the box office at (805) 378-1485.