Bach Cantata Vespers

The Bach Cantata Vespers series at St. James presents four Bach cantatas each season as the centerpiece of the Evening Prayer liturgy. Psalms, hymns, homily, and additional choral music all reflect the theme of the cantata. The St. James Bach Choir is joined by professional soloists and orchestra. Additional choral singers interested in singing in the Bach choir may contact the Church Office about rehearsal requirements.

The commissioning of new motets and psalm settings is a unique aspect of the Bach Vespers. Seventeen choral motets have been written by composers including Paul Bouman, Carson Cooman, Richard Felciano, Frank Ferko, Randy Giles, Richard Hillert, Ron Jeffers, Robert Kyr, Joel Morris, Timothy Nickel, Richard Proulx, Carl Schalk, Kevin Walcyzk, and Christopher Wicks. If you are interested in funding the composition of a new motet for a Vespers next season in memory of an individual or in honor of a special birthday, anniversary, or other special event, please contact the Church Office for more information.

The series is supported by the “Friends of Bach Vespers at St. James” and offerings received at the Vespers. In previous seasons — more than 130 individuals and organizations supported the series with an average attendance of 230 persons. Please consider becoming a Friend of Bach Vespers in making a contribution to support this unique ministry!

Fall Vespers at St. James
This fall we have begun to reinvigorate the St. James Vespers tradition with a service on Sunday, November 13th, 2022 at 5:00pm. This Vespers service highlights and celebrates the Reformation with instrumental, vocal, and organ music.

Join us for a Bach Vespers Service on Sunday, November 13th at 5:00pm.
“We are excited to return to our Vespers Ministry on the second Sunday of November. As we prepare to resume this beautiful tradition, we are looking at refreshing and reimagining it as well. For me, this means we must start with the foundation: the Vespers liturgy itself. This service will focus on highlighting the structural components of the liturgy, where and when they come from, and how they came to be a part of this centuries-old tradition. The ancient roots of this service will be evident in the 3rd Century Hymn Joyous Light of Glory, and a choral realization of a chant setting of the canticle, Magnificat by Charles Wood. Tying into our fall Stewardship theme, the service will feature Paul Bouman’s beautiful anthem, It Is a Good Thing to Give Thanks. Please join us!”
–Colin Stave, Director of Music Ministry

Please join us again in 2023 …

Summer Bach Cantata Vespers …

Mark your Calendars for our Bach Cantata Vespers service on Sunday, June 11th, 2023 at 5:00pm. The service will feature Bach’s charming Cantata 112 “Der Herr ist mein getreuer Hirt” (The Lord is my faithful Shepherd). The St. James Bach Choir will be joined by soloists and instrumentalists. If you are interested in joining the choir for this service, please contact Director of Music Ministry, Colin Stave. Please join us for this beautiful service, and a reception to follow in Pioneer Chapel.


You may choose to listen below to the most recent recording of our Evening Prayer Vespers Service from Sunday, November 13th, 2022. Click below to listen to this latest recording …



NOTE:  For other upcoming musical events in the Portland area, please visit WEKA or Western Early Keyboard Association at